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Should we continue to pet our IRN during mating season?

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jmlw7
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Should we continue to pet our IRN during mating season?

Post by jmlw7 » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:23 pm

Hi all... so this past week has been quite an accomplishment. We've had Remy for a little over a month now and just this past weekend, he has started bowing his head when we go to scratch his beak, and will roll his head back and allow us to gently pet and scratch his head and neck and back while he clucks like a chicken and whistles. :lol:

SOOOOOOOOO does this mean HE is a SHE considering this is also what hens do when they are inviting a handsome male birdie to mate with her? I dont have a video uploaded since I am video-uploader-illiterate, however, Remy does exactly this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qh0UH7hXZcI and also this... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OpW6M_Oh-s ---- they are both females and the comments say this is the mating stance :shock: :shock: :shock: soooo...

So I guess we are very happy that Remy is allowing us to pet him (err.. her), anytime anywhere, with that position... Remy will be on a perch, on our finger, on our leg, on our chest, on the couch, anywhere and will bow to let us pet the back and head and anywhere really... BUT is this a bad thing if this is actually a mating stance? Should we not be touching him/her during mating season? Does anyone have a male IRN that bends over and clucks like the bird in the video? Remy isnt even a year old yet... about 9 months.

We really know nothing about mating season and behavior of what we should encourage or not. Any help would be very much appreciated!

Hakaishin
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Re: Should we continue to pet our IRN during mating season?

Post by Hakaishin » Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:45 am

He/She is not DNA tested?

IRN's are one of the few parrot species however that are physically different between males and females however. I recommend going to wikipedia and reading about them - short article that does give information on the differences between the two.

jmlw7
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Re: Should we continue to pet our IRN during mating season?

Post by jmlw7 » Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:54 am

Hakaishin wrote:He/She is not DNA tested?

IRN's are one of the few parrot species however that are physically different between males and females however. I recommend going to wikipedia and reading about them - short article that does give information on the differences between the two.
? No Remy is not DNA tested and is only 9 months old. It's a bit difficult to tell the physical difference between males and female Indian Ringnecks at this young an age as I'm sure you know. We most likely wont have an idea of sex until his 2 year old molt. We also assumed Remy was a male when we acquired him as his name (that he wasnt familiar with) was male, so we changed it to a name that we preferred that can be fitting for both male and female in case this wasnt so.

Hakaishin
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Re: Should we continue to pet our IRN during mating season?

Post by Hakaishin » Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:38 am

DNA tests can come much sooner than 9 months (my new IRN was born 2/20/13 and has already been tested). It is expensive however.

Many established breeders include this cost into the purchase price of the bird.

Remy though may actually consider YOU to be their mate. Is it a bad thing? Naw... it's to be expected. Though honestly, whether male or female, would you love Remy any less? What you're doing isn't unhealthy or harmful to the bird. :)

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Skyes_crew
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Re: Should we continue to pet our IRN during mating season?

Post by Skyes_crew » Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:32 am

DNA is not that expensive. About $20 from avian biotech. Regardless of cost though, some people are just not lucky enough to have a DNA'd bird when they get him/her.

The way you describe Remy's behavior leads me to believe its a she. Remy is a cute name for a girl too :D going on the assumption that Remy is female there are a few things to consider. First and foremost is you DO NOT want your bird to form a sexual attachment to you. It could lead to displaced aggression issues when Remy reaches full sexual maturity. To avoid this, never pet her on the neck or back when it is breeding season. She may still form a stronger attachment to the person who is always with her. To avoid this, socialize her as much as possible. You already know about changing her cage around to avoid territory issues. Other than that...females can be as, if not more, sweet than males. To be sure so you can be proactive in her rearing, I would get the DNA done. Avian biotech.com. Kits are free and testing results come back quick. Good catch on her behaviors :D
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jmlw7
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Re: Should we continue to pet our IRN during mating season?

Post by jmlw7 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:20 pm

Skyes_crew wrote:DNA is not that expensive. About $20 from avian biotech. Regardless of cost though, some people are just not lucky enough to have a DNA'd bird when they get him/her.

The way you describe Remy's behavior leads me to believe its a she. Remy is a cute name for a girl too :D going on the assumption that Remy is female there are a few things to consider. First and foremost is you DO NOT want your bird to form a sexual attachment to you. It could lead to displaced aggression issues when Remy reaches full sexual maturity. To avoid this, never pet her on the neck or back when it is breeding season. She may still form a stronger attachment to the person who is always with her. To avoid this, socialize her as much as possible. You already know about changing her cage around to avoid territory issues. Other than that...females can be as, if not more, sweet than males. To be sure so you can be proactive in her rearing, I would get the DNA done. Avian biotech.com. Kits are free and testing results come back quick. Good catch on her behaviors :D
We got the DNA sex kit and it says to pluck 5-6 of her chest feathers, molted feathers dont count :cry: I definitely am not ready to do that, and I feel like it's almost very unlikely Remy is a boy since she really does get into the mating position every day several times a day. I'm not sure the whole DNA sexing thing is worth it for the feather plucking when we are almost certain it's a she. I think we will assume it's a she and ride it out.

During this whole mating season, she has been extremely vocal with my fiance, stepping up to him, but squawking loudly because he isnt me. She has definitely favored me as her mate thus far. She is super affectionate with me, follows me around, acts just like a clingy toddler. It's cute, but not for my fiance. He is going to handle her a bit more and hopefully after mating season, her moodiness with him will subside. She was so sweet before her molt, and then the molt happened at the same time as mating season and she has been one noisy needy, very loud girl.

We also had the in-laws over this weekend and WOW was she LOUD with new people, new strangers got her fluttering her wings and squawking to let them know its HER house. I swear she acts just like a dog sometimes, but squawks instead of barks. After day two, she settled down but still would squawk if they got too close. Every time I got close however, she would cluck like a chicken and get in the female mating stance.

She's a female, we would be very surprised if we are wrong and she gets a ring next year. I started to ONLY pet her on the head and cheeks and under the chin, and will not touch her feathers or her back. Very strange, we thought she's too young to want birdie sex! :lol:

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Skyes_crew
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Re: Should we continue to pet our IRN during mating season?

Post by Skyes_crew » Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:16 pm

She's a female, we would be very surprised if we are wrong and she gets a ring next year. I started to ONLY pet her on the head and cheeks and under the chin, and will not touch her feathers or her back. Very strange, we thought she's too young to want birdie sex!
I think we can safely assume Remy is a girl :D

I have heard of instances where a hen will breed her first season. It's not common though. I think she's just learning right now though. They typically reach maturity at 15-18 months. I think it's great that your fiancé is handling her more. The more people the better. She should always view you as part of her flock and never as her mate. Seems like you've got it well under control :D
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InTheAir
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Re: Should we continue to pet our IRN during mating season?

Post by InTheAir » Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:29 pm

Hey,

It sounds like doing great. I just want to add that it may be worth letting your fiancé and visitors be the sole source of all the best treats.

This article has some other good tips http://www.rationalparrot.com/tease.html

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ellieelectrons
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Re: Should we continue to pet our IRN during mating season?

Post by ellieelectrons » Mon Jun 17, 2013 5:32 pm

Keep an eye on her behaviour. If she is looking for cavities to nest in or getting protective of anyone, step back on the patting. Also, I think as a general rule you should restrict pats to the head in an effort to avoid giving sexual messages. My girl does the same for me and I pay on but only on the head. I've noticed recently though that our male isn't too impressed that I do that.

Ellie.

jmlw7
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Re: Should we continue to pet our IRN during mating season?

Post by jmlw7 » Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:15 am

InTheAir wrote:Hey,

It sounds like doing great. I just want to add that it may be worth letting your fiancé and visitors be the sole source of all the best treats.

This article has some other good tips http://www.rationalparrot.com/tease.html
This was an EXCELLENT article, thank you so much. Both my fiance and I read this and over the past week, we've been able to recognize the sexual behaviors she has been exhibiting. So to make her less attached to me, he has been the one handling her for all the "good" stuff - taking her out of the cage, giving treats, responding to her calls and transporting her from room to room. I've been the bad guy, putting her back in her cage at night and before we leave for work, leaving her on the kitchen counter so she will fly to where she needs to go (since her wings are growing in), ignoring her whining when she wants to go from the couch to the cage, etc and although I am teaching her tricks and patting her on the head, she seems to be getting a bit better.

Although lately, when I try to get her to step up, she will pin her eyes and push my finger away with her beak and then look sad when I retreat. She really wants to be mated with! gosh. We also noticed if she spends long periods at the open window with direct view looking down into a massive tree with so many birds (there is a screen), she gets even more sexual. Does sunny warm days and watching other birds affect her hormones too?

Any idea how long mating season goes in Northeast US? Does it last all summer?

jmlw7
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Re: Should we continue to pet our IRN during mating season?

Post by jmlw7 » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:16 am

All, another concern came up over the past two weeks regarding the whole prevention on breeding. Over the past two months, Remy has been getting comfortable with us and started putting herself to bed at night. Wherever she may be in the house, she knows when she is tired and flies back to the cage and goes to sleep on her favorite sleeping perch. Which we were VERY happy with considering she used to be terrified of her cage and would sleep on the cage walls when we first bought a new big one for her and getting her to go to bed was always a struggle.

So last week, ever since we realized her female hormonal behavior was increasing, in an effort to discourage breeding or infertile egg laying, we completely broke down the interior of her cage and moved things around, bought new perches, changed the toys, etc. to make it feel "new" again somewhat. That worked too much we think, as she no longer likes going into her cage at night again. Its a struggle getting her to go inside, she wants to sleep on a perch in the dining room, or on her bamboo plant, or anywhere else except inside her cage.

After one week of this, and seeing no improvement, we put the perches back to the way they were, and left the toys different. She now seems much happier that her sleeping perch is back and goes to sleep on it, but not without throwing a tantrum first. She still doesnt want to go back inside. Last night, I had to walk her through the house, brought her back to the cage, and she tried grabbing the doors so she wouldnt go in. I eventually got her in, gave her a little treat as an apology and she climbed all over the cage, bobbed her head around in a circle showing her discomfort, and hung upside down on the cage ceiling for 5-10 minutes before going to her sleep perch and going to sleep.

Should we be concerned that we ruined her comfort level and getting her to bed will again be a struggle? Or will this subside over time?

Not sure if we made things stressful for her, which wasnt what we intended. We just wanted to make things a little different. :( This whole mating season thing is really throwing us... we have no clue if we are handling this properly or not.

jmlw7
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Re: Should we continue to pet our IRN during mating season?

Post by jmlw7 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 9:30 am

jmlw7 wrote:All, another concern came up over the past two weeks regarding the whole prevention on breeding. Over the past two months, Remy has been getting comfortable with us and started putting herself to bed at night. Wherever she may be in the house, she knows when she is tired and flies back to the cage and goes to sleep on her favorite sleeping perch. Which we were VERY happy with considering she used to be terrified of her cage and would sleep on the cage walls when we first bought a new big one for her and getting her to go to bed was always a struggle.

So last week, ever since we realized her female hormonal behavior was increasing, in an effort to discourage breeding or infertile egg laying, we completely broke down the interior of her cage and moved things around, bought new perches, changed the toys, etc. to make it feel "new" again somewhat. That worked too much we think, as she no longer likes going into her cage at night again. Its a struggle getting her to go inside, she wants to sleep on a perch in the dining room, or on her bamboo plant, or anywhere else except inside her cage.

After one week of this, and seeing no improvement, we put the perches back to the way they were, and left the toys different. She now seems much happier that her sleeping perch is back and goes to sleep on it, but not without throwing a tantrum first. She still doesnt want to go back inside. Last night, I had to walk her through the house, brought her back to the cage, and she tried grabbing the doors so she wouldnt go in. I eventually got her in, gave her a little treat as an apology and she climbed all over the cage, bobbed her head around in a circle showing her discomfort, and hung upside down on the cage ceiling for 5-10 minutes before going to her sleep perch and going to sleep.

Should we be concerned that we ruined her comfort level and getting her to bed will again be a struggle? Or will this subside over time?

Not sure if we made things stressful for her, which wasnt what we intended. We just wanted to make things a little different. :( This whole mating season thing is really throwing us... we have no clue if we are handling this properly or not.
Can I quote my own post to bump this thread? Sorry for the rush, but we are still seeing this issue, and would like to remedy what we can before the holiday as we wont be online much after tonight... any suggestions?

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Skyes_crew
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Re: Should we continue to pet our IRN during mating season?

Post by Skyes_crew » Wed Jul 03, 2013 10:37 am

It could be as simple as her sleeping perch was disturbed. I may change my cages up occasionally, but I never disturb their sleeping perch. It's the one constant that I allow them in the cage. It's possible that Remy will once again be comfortable with going back once she gets used to her sleep perch again. Try leaving that alone for awhile and see what happens. I don't have females so I can't offer much more advice. Maybe Ellie can help :)
I am owned by my birds...and I wouldn't have it any other way :D

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jmlw7
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Re: Should we continue to pet our IRN during mating season?

Post by jmlw7 » Wed Jul 03, 2013 12:51 pm

Skyes_crew wrote:It could be as simple as her sleeping perch was disturbed. I may change my cages up occasionally, but I never disturb their sleeping perch. It's the one constant that I allow them in the cage. It's possible that Remy will once again be comfortable with going back once she gets used to her sleep perch again. Try leaving that alone for awhile and see what happens. I don't have females so I can't offer much more advice. Maybe Ellie can help :)
Just as I figured :cry: we ruined her comfort level by rearranging her sleeping perch! I guess we just have to wait it out and start over again with the struggle of putting her back to sleep. If anyone (hi ellie :)) has tips on how to make it more comfortable for her faster, let me know.

By the way, we had a shower perch on our dining room mirror and had to take it off because she was starting to get nippy when we would get close. We could see she was getting attached. So she flies to that area with no where to land now... ever since we did that she has been paying attention to us and her old toys more. She even started to preen my long hair again in between her flying from area to area. So indecisive! Women! :roll:

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ellieelectrons
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Re: Should we continue to pet our IRN during mating season?

Post by ellieelectrons » Wed Jul 03, 2013 2:46 pm

Sorry I didn't reply sooner.

My birds aren't monogamous with their sleeping perches and aren't scared of their cage, so I don't have that particular problem. The only other thing I can add to what Skye suggested was, did you put new things in th cage? If so, that could b what scared her. You can move familiar things around in he cage and then introduce new things very slowly, continuously gauging your bird's reaction to them.

The only other things I can think that might be useful is training the "go to bed" behaviour using positive reinforcement. Sometimes get her to go without closing the door, other times cld it but open I again a minute or so later. If she realises she's not always going to get stuck in there when she goes and she's going to get a good treat for doing it, there is more incentive to do so. I reserve a special treat for going to bed, it's the only time they get it.

Also, increasing foraging will give your bird less time to think about reproducing.

Ellie.

jmlw7
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Re: Should we continue to pet our IRN during mating season?

Post by jmlw7 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 12:57 pm

ellieelectrons wrote:Sorry I didn't reply sooner.

My birds aren't monogamous with their sleeping perches and aren't scared of their cage, so I don't have that particular problem. The only other thing I can add to what Skye suggested was, did you put new things in th cage? If so, that could b what scared her. You can move familiar things around in he cage and then introduce new things very slowly, continuously gauging your bird's reaction to them.

The only other things I can think that might be useful is training the "go to bed" behaviour using positive reinforcement. Sometimes get her to go without closing the door, other times cld it but open I again a minute or so later. If she realises she's not always going to get stuck in there when she goes and she's going to get a good treat for doing it, there is more incentive to do so. I reserve a special treat for going to bed, it's the only time they get it.

Also, increasing foraging will give your bird less time to think about reproducing.

Ellie.
She has tons and tons of foraging toys... she is just getting too good at them I think. She is still not going back to her cage on her own. Mating season really has us all confused as to what to do and not to do.

Matter of fact, she for the first time two nights ago tried regurgitating for me! Has this happened with Janey Ellie?! She was preening my hair and sat on my shoulder, then sat on the pillow of the couch next to me and started the head bobbing regurgitating thing. Nothing came out and it was bedtime so I put her right to bed and it hasnt happened again since. But really, everything is throwing us for a loop.

Not to mention, EVERY time we put her near our open bedroom window - directly facing into a tree with tons of sparrows, she always starts acting sexual with her flat back and clucking and eyes pinning when she sees us. Whenever I approach her, she always gets in that position, so I've stopped petting her altogether and is making the fiance handle her instead. Help! Any suggestions? We've tried moving her cage around during the day, rearranged the interior, put her to bed earlier, wake her up later, took almost all nuts and seeds out of her diet (except nutriberries and seeds 2-3 times a week), stopped feeding her sugar or fruit except for a little apple a few times a week. She is starting to ignore her veggies and really wants birdie sex! Any more suggestions on how to get her to chill out would be much appreciated.

The days are getting longer too - sun goes down at 9 now. :shock:

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ellieelectrons
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Re: Should we continue to pet our IRN during mating season?

Post by ellieelectrons » Wed Jul 10, 2013 3:07 pm

Janey hasn't regurgitated to us. She has a male bird, so she can regurgitate to him.

With foraging, start to introduce extra challenge e.g. by wrapping the food in paper. Regarding diet changes, my observation has been that these are long term strategies, not short term ones, so you need to keep it up all year in the hopes to circumvent next year.

Pam Clark suggested at a workshop I went to, that you spend less time with your bird sitting on you and let her spend time on perches nearby you instead. We've got several perching places for our guys throughout the house.

Regarding the clucking behaviour, Janey does do that for us. She doesn't present me with it all the time, just several times in a day. I don't worry about it too much. I previously spoke to my vet about it and he suggested that I only need to worry if she is trying to mate with my hand (e.g. Rubbing her vent against my hand) which she doesn't do. She is more likely to present the clucking behaviour to m husband but this isn't too much of a problem for us because he doesn't interact with her as much as I do.

Ellie.

jmlw7
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Re: Should we continue to pet our IRN during mating season?

Post by jmlw7 » Mon Jul 15, 2013 9:03 am

ellieelectrons wrote:Janey hasn't regurgitated to us. She has a male bird, so she can regurgitate to him.

With foraging, start to introduce extra challenge e.g. by wrapping the food in paper. Regarding diet changes, my observation has been that these are long term strategies, not short term ones, so you need to keep it up all year in the hopes to circumvent next year.

Pam Clark suggested at a workshop I went to, that you spend less time with your bird sitting on you and let her spend time on perches nearby you instead. We've got several perching places for our guys throughout the house.

Regarding the clucking behaviour, Janey does do that for us. She doesn't present me with it all the time, just several times in a day. I don't worry about it too much. I previously spoke to my vet about it and he suggested that I only need to worry if she is trying to mate with my hand (e.g. Rubbing her vent against my hand) which she doesn't do. She is more likely to present the clucking behaviour to m husband but this isn't too much of a problem for us because he doesn't interact with her as much as I do.

Ellie.
The regurgitating hasnt happened again, although the other day when we decided to give her first nut of the month, she was taking small bites and bobbing her neck up and down. I dont know if she was adjusting her crop or getting ready to feed us later but the regurgitating never happened, phew!

Because of this, I dont let her spend much time on me anymore, except if its on my knee while im sitting or on my fingers. I dont let her on my shoulder while Im sitting anymore because its too close to my face and she will probably want to feed me.

My fiance said the other morning, when he took her out of her cage, she was sitting "low" on his finger, with her vent almost touching. Not quite though..........

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ellieelectrons
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Re: Should we continue to pet our IRN during mating season?

Post by ellieelectrons » Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:45 pm

If I'm concerned with Janey's positioning on my hand, I just rotate my hand a tiny bit and then she has to sit up a little.

Ellie.

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