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moody female 2

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electronegative
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moody female 2

Post by electronegative » Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:55 am

This is a follow-up to this topic, which got locked: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=18630

Peaches has gotten worse. She now bites me nearly on sight. I know it's not a loss of tameness, because she still allows me to handle her if I have food, and I still spend an hour or two with her exclusively every day.

I have tried everything I could think of: rearranging the cage, moving the cage itself, putting her to sleep early, more frequent bathing, trying to focus on trick training, etc. She isn't interested in playing with me at all unless I have food. I think I've tried everything I've read short of getting an entirely new cage, which I simply can't afford. I'm visiting my parents for a few days soon so she'll have a smaller temp cage there and I suppose I'll see how she does then.

I'm pulling my hair out!! If this is breeding/hormone related, I can't imagine going through this every year.

AJPeter
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Re: moody female 2

Post by AJPeter » Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:06 pm

Peaches needs a routine and you need to stick to it, nothing is more upsetting than having your cage rearranged. Try not to handle Peaches even with food in your hand let her get tp know you better, back off and let her come to you. Myself l stopped my bird laying by moving the cage and re arranging inside the shock was complete she stopped laving.

When you get back from visiting your parents let Peaches settle down.

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InTheAir
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Re: moody female 2

Post by InTheAir » Sun Jan 26, 2014 2:38 pm

Electro,
Sorry you are having issues with Peaches!
I'm not sure that the entirety of what you described is coming from hormonal behaviour. .

Have you checked out www.behaviorworks.org ? I think assessing each incident after it happens using the abcs would be useful.

How old is she?
If I remember correctly, you have had her a few months?

Regards,
Claire

electronegative
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Re: moody female 2

Post by electronegative » Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:28 pm

AJPeter wrote:Peaches needs a routine and you need to stick to it, nothing is more upsetting than having your cage rearranged. Try not to handle Peaches even with food in your hand let her get tp know you better, back off and let her come to you. Myself l stopped my bird laying by moving the cage and re arranging inside the shock was complete she stopped laving.

When you get back from visiting your parents let Peaches settle down.
The point of rearranging the cage and adding new toys as I did was to get her to focus on the new arrangement instead of on her breeding urges. This is one of the things that ellie did in her thread for Janey and also what Hilary Stern DVM recommended in her article on reducing breeding behaviors. I'm not having a problem with laying (yet), it's just that it seems that she suddenly seems to distrust and dislike me.
InTheAir wrote:Electro,
Sorry you are having issues with Peaches!
I'm not sure that the entirety of what you described is coming from hormonal behaviour. .
Claire, what might it be if not hormonal behavior? It seems to have occurred concurrently with an increase in looking for nesting sites and shredding papers, etc. I have not taken a look at that site, but I will once I get some time to sit down for more than a few minutes.

Yes, I've had her for a few months, since October, but she's about 2 years old. She's a rehomed bird from a pet store.

Thanks all for your input!

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Re: moody female 2

Post by AJPeter » Sun Jan 26, 2014 5:37 pm

Yes you are right about curbing breeding issues, sorry to have muddied the water.

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InTheAir
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Re: moody female 2

Post by InTheAir » Sun Jan 26, 2014 6:03 pm

I just wonder if it is a combination of hormonal behaviour and something else. I may have completely read it wrong though. I think the best advice I have is to check out pocket sized behaviour guide on that site and identify the triggers.

I'm sure someone who is more experienced with hormonal females will have some useful advice on the subject.

Sorry about your last thread btw :wink:

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ellieelectrons
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Re: moody female 2

Post by ellieelectrons » Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:17 pm

Not sure how much help I can be but... our avian vet does behavioural consultations. I've never had one but if your avian vet offers a similar service, it might be worth trying. Pamela Clark (see http://www.pamelaclarkonline.com/) also offers a consultation service via Skype. She is an expert but in order to work with her you do need to fill in a pretty big questionnaire to give her the complete picture of what is happening.

If the biting is hormone related, then there should be some triggers that cause her to bite you (eg. opening a cupboard, handling a towel, trying to get her out of a cavity). If you know what the triggers are, it makes it a tiny bit easier to manage (but still extremely difficult).

Ellie.

electronegative
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Re: moody female 2

Post by electronegative » Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:39 pm

Unfortunately, I can't afford her rates. I wouldn't have a problem paying for Peaches to go to the vet if she had a health issue, but being nearly broke, a consultation is my last resort. I'll check if my own vet does consultations though.

I'm not sure if there's a specific trigger. She gets particularly aggressive when approached in her cage, but it seems that whenever I or any other women approach her from anywhere she starts biting. She's ok with men. This just started happening this weekend; before this weekend I could handle her when she wasn't in her cage.

electronegative
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Re: moody female 2

Post by electronegative » Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:35 pm

Important update!!

Today I thought maybe what Peaches needed was exercise, so I let her "fly" - and by this I mean, because she is clipped against her will, that I let her perch on my finger and then sort of skip down hallways and such so she can flap her wings and feel like she's flying. Naturally this also tires her, and is in fact the probably the reason for her vet to have once exclaimed, "wow, this bird has lovely and very well-defined muscles!"

Anyway, after I thought she'd had enough of this I sat down and cautiously pet her. Instead of snapping at me or even pinning her eyes, she closed her eyes and allowed to be petted. After this, she acted like her previous self - very docile, sweet, and sometimes even cuddly. She was crawling to the front of my shirt and putting her head on my collarbone. I put her back on a free standing perch after a while, and she started snapping at me again within the hour.

When I told my boyfriend of this development, he said, "she's probably been bored."

So is this it? Has she just been bored, possibly in addition to hormonal surges, or should I report myself to animal cruelty for coming so close to giving my bird cardiac arrest that she became docile?
Last edited by electronegative on Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ellieelectrons
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Re: moody female 2

Post by ellieelectrons » Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:41 pm

Boredom is a possibility. There is a current line of thinking that companion parrots should also have an outdoor aviary that they spend time in as the outdoors provides stimulation and an aviary provides more opportunity for exercise. I hope to do this for Janey & Charlie one day. Pamela Clark recommended it to me when discussing Janey's breeding behaviours.

Another way to encourage exertion is through lots of foraging. Have you read the threads on that? Increasing foraging decreased some of Janey's biting behaviours almost immediately.

Ellie.

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Re: moody female 2

Post by MissK » Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:54 pm

My IRN flies, and I've never seen him do flapping exercise, but interestingly, my Budgies (who also fly) Do enjoy hanging onto their perch and flapping. I've read you can perch your parrot on your hand and moved it up and down so it flaps to balance. I don't see this working in my house, but it's what I read. Or keep skipping - that's good for you, too!
-MissK

electronegative
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Re: moody female 2

Post by electronegative » Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:16 pm

She has a few foraging toys, but she doesn't seem that interested in them. She has been more interested in shredding paper - maybe put shreddable paper in the foraging toys??

I also want to try putting things in a toilet paper roll and scrunching it up for her to tear open. I love the ideas in the homemade foraging toys threads.

MissK, she doesn't seem to like flapping when she's on her perches or even when I'M stationary... she only likes it when I run, too!

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ellieelectrons
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Re: moody female 2

Post by ellieelectrons » Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:22 pm

electronegative wrote:She has a few foraging toys, but she doesn't seem that interested in them. She has been more interested in shredding paper - maybe put shreddable paper in the foraging toys??
Sure, if that works, go for it. You could also put a few treats amongst the paper too. Maybe that will help her get the idea.

My guys wouldn't eat if they didn't forage. That's not exactly true, they have ready-access to pellets all the time but everything else they have to forage for (other than treats that I give them).

Ellie.

electronegative
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Re: moody female 2

Post by electronegative » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:45 am

Well, I'm concerned about the paper shredding encouraging breeding behaviors. But I have heard that male birds like to shred for fun as well, so it should be ok, right?

And just to be sure - it's not bad for her to help her "fly" the way I described? Or the way MissK mentioned, by moving my hand up and down while the bird is perched? Boyfriend pointed out that in the wild she'd be flapping almost all the time, but it's the "wild" is also subzero and scarce of food right now...

Thanks again for the advice. I can't even explain how relieved I was to find her behaving normally after her little exercise session. I may have cried a little. lol

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Re: moody female 2

Post by MissK » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:25 am

Keep skipping, keep flapping. (That's so funny!)
Maybe in time the two of you can get her to fly between you for treats?
-MissK

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Re: moody female 2

Post by AJPeter » Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:52 pm

Billie went through a big hormonal thing and was shredding paper, l was told thet Billie wanted to build a nest and l should discourage her. She also liked the foot toys al l made for but all of a sudden lost interest.

If Peaches is becoming hormonal then excerise is good for her, keep her off fatty and sweet foods, and keep a diary.

electronegative
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Re: moody female 2

Post by electronegative » Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:51 pm

She would already waddle to me for treats, so I'm sure flying to me after her flight feathers grow back in is a very likely possibility. As long as she isn't being moody.

Foot toys are a good idea, I need to look into those as well.

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ellieelectrons
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Re: moody female 2

Post by ellieelectrons » Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:55 am

Yeah I see what you're saying re the shredding. You definitely want to discourage nest building behaviours if you can. I see my vet next week and I'm going to talk to my vet about such things as Janey's hormonal behaviour usually begins in March.

Ellie.

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