Who's Online Now
0 registered members (), 75 guests, and 0 spiders.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Search

Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
#261441 - 06/10/19 02:11 PM Female hormones  
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 8
Callum96 Offline
New Member
Callum96  Offline
New Member

Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 8
Hi, some of you might have seen my introduction here:
http://www.mytoos.com/forum/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=261430#Post261430

Now as the title states, Lily and I are having a tough time at the moment due to her hormones. When I adopted her, the previous owner told me that Lily would often lift her wings up and beg to be stroked under there and that as cute as it is I should never do this. I already knew only keep scratches to the head and neck however I’m now thinking his advice was actually a warning and the damage had already been done (she would have only been 2 at the time though?). Lily has just had her 5th birthday so she’s probably at the worst stage for her hormone years. I have only ever scratched her head but I have seen other family members stroking her back and no matter how many times I explain it’s a no touch zone it just doesn’t seem to sink in, they don’t do it deliberately but it still happens every so often. Infuriates me.
I am very much lily’s ‘person’ however she shares the house with 6 of us humans and she had a good relationship with all.

Now here’s the main problem, almost every time I go to try and get lily to step up she will turn her back to me, wings down, tail up and start panting. I simply can’t get her to step up at the moment she is that obsessed with mating. I am not daft and realise that there must be something that I am doing to encourage this behaviour but I just can not figure out what it may be. I am not the most experienced having only had lily for three years so everything is still fairly new to me which is why I’ve finally joined this forum. Lily gets 12 hours of complete darkness a night, I mention this because I have been doing a lot of research and that seems to be a common theme. Lily has always been hormonal and I always ignore it, I simply walk away and try again in 5 minutes. However she has never been anywhere near as bad as she is at the moment and it is really affecting her happiness I feel (and mine, I want my bird back).

I understand there will probably be a lot of questions that require my answers before you can even get close to having any advice for me or if anyone has any stories to share that would help massively?

Thanks in advance.

#261443 - 06/11/19 12:19 AM Re: Female hormones [Re: Callum96]  
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 840
Chucki's Dad Offline
Lives Here
Chucki's Dad  Offline
Lives Here
****

Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 840
NW Ohio
Starting with your second paragraph first, I would attempt to distract her first before trying to get her to cooperate. Does she have a favorite treat? Keeping a favorite treat from her and only offering when you need her to respond appropriately might be useful.

You indicate you already walk away and come back. I would continue to use as a distraction. Cockatoos are very intelligent. You can often change a behavior but sometimes it takes a very very long time.

I’ve never needed to try this but many here advocate “clicker training.” I wonder if this might be useful to distract her or get her to do what you want?

Is there anything in her cage that she tries to mate with? If so, maybe relocate in cage or replace with something else. Is there anything in her general environment that may be encouraging this?

You mention that “Lily is always hormonal.” Although, I’m only familiar with FM M2, “always being hormonal” seems unusual. In the wild certain foods are only available during mating season. Wonder if you may inadvertently be offering something like this routinely?

Our M2 is only hormonal for about 10 weeks. In her early years it would be anywhere between August and March. For the last 6-8 years it’s been mid-December to late February with the customary egg in January. Although for whatever reason she will occasionally back her butt up to one of her toys and do her thing. If it gets to be too often, we take the toy away for awhile or move to different spot.

The 12 hours of sleep is a good place to start. Although ours doesn’t get this as she is too nosey it has worked for many.

Back to first paragraph. Everyone needs to not rub below the head. Not sure you can stop everyone but possibly minimize?

When we got our M2 she was supposedly 3 and the sweetest bird anyone would want. Then the hormones hit. It was like a Jekyll and Hyde thing. She would get off her cage and on the floor trying to bite. She would lunge at anyone walking by her cage. Changing food, water, and cleaning was a lesson in self-defense. She was just plain mean and we began to wonder what we had gotten ourselves into. At the lowest point we were down-right afraid of her. Then I found this site. Fourteen years later we have our mellowed out M2 that likes most everyone even during mating season.

You can’t know for certain what the previous owner did to enhance her hormonal behavior. As I said above, if one is very clever they can change a cockatoo’s behavior but it could take a lot of work and a very long time.

Hope this gives you an idea or two.


Mark and Chucki (FMM2)
#261445 - 06/11/19 11:54 AM Re: Female hormones [Re: Callum96]  
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 10,812
BE2Cassie Offline
Moderator
BE2Cassie  Offline

Moderator
Chained to the Computer
*****

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 10,812
Wrentham, MA
Adding to what Mark has already said have you taken Lily to the vet yet? If she is always hormonal she may need some hormone therapy to get her back to normal. I would be concerned that at such a young age to be constantly hormonal that she is on a rough road for the future. So much can happen with these girls. Cassie kicks in her hormones around Oct each year laying in Dec or Jan. Yes the hormones rule even when you follow all the rules. Cassie will "present" during this time even though we have always followed all the rules thanks in part to Mytoos. Some of the things that Cassie's vet and seasoned owners have suggested that we do is limited the variety of foods available even going down to just pellets for a couple of weeks with no warm mushy foods. Warm foods mimic being fed by a mate through regurgitation. Increase sleep hours up to as much as 14-15 hours per night when hormones kick or just before they start. Change up everything in the cage. This would include moving all perches, toys, feeding bowls to new areas within the cage. Move the cage to another room if possible. Avoid giving her boxes or access to shreddable materials like newspaper.
As she gets older just like Chucki, Cassie is now a very mellow girl with very little aggressive behaviors during hormone season. She does though still lay eggs. Best of luck it does calm down you just have to ride out the crazy years.


Nancy & Cassie BE2
#261446 - 06/11/19 03:39 PM Re: Female hormones [Re: Chucki's Dad]  
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 8
Callum96 Offline
New Member
Callum96  Offline
New Member

Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 8
I have actually been thinking about clicker training yes, I never thought I’d really need it but it may be a case of needing to go backwards before we can move forwards with her. I am not really worried about how long it takes, as long as I can get her through it without it being detrimental to her health and happiness.

No she doesn’t try to mate with anything in her cage, I have recently got her a new cage maybe only a month ago but she was showing this behaviour before the cage swap so I’m not sure if the new cage is relevant. Sorry, when I said ‘Lily is always hormonal’ I didn’t word that very well. What I actually meant was she has always shown hormonal behaviour (I think from her previous owner) but it’s not constant, she can go weeks or even months without showing any but it has always been there in the background ready to come back out.

Lily has never laid an egg yet, and to be honest once I’ve actually managed to get her away from her cage and onto her play stand or just in a different room all together she’s actually very calm and not shown any of the behaviour that you mention. She has occasionally chased feet trying to nip at toes but I never gave this that much thought as it didn’t seem overly aggressive, I think it’s more when she’s not getting the attention she demands.

Really glad to hear that your M2 is much more mellow now and your story gives me great hope as Lily doesn’t seem as bad as you mention, however I may not be anywhere near getting to the worst of it yet.

#261447 - 06/11/19 03:51 PM Re: Female hormones [Re: BE2Cassie]  
Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 8
Callum96 Offline
New Member
Callum96  Offline
New Member

Joined: Jun 2019
Posts: 8
Originally Posted by BE2Cassie
Adding to what Mark has already said have you taken Lily to the vet yet? If she is always hormonal she may need some hormone therapy to get her back to normal. I would be concerned that at such a young age to be constantly hormonal that she is on a rough road for the future. So much can happen with these girls. Cassie kicks in her hormones around Oct each year laying in Dec or Jan. Yes the hormones rule even when you follow all the rules. Cassie will "present" during this time even though we have always followed all the rules thanks in part to Mytoos. Some of the things that Cassie's vet and seasoned owners have suggested that we do is limited the variety of foods available even going down to just pellets for a couple of weeks with no warm mushy foods. Warm foods mimic being fed by a mate through regurgitation. Increase sleep hours up to as much as 14-15 hours per night when hormones kick or just before they start. Change up everything in the cage. This would include moving all perches, toys, feeding bowls to new areas within the cage. Move the cage to another room if possible. Avoid giving her boxes or access to shreddable materials like newspaper.
As she gets older just like Chucki, Cassie is now a very mellow girl with very little aggressive behaviors during hormone season. She does though still lay eggs. Best of luck it does calm down you just have to ride out the crazy years.

I took lily to the vet when I got her just for a check up really, I did trust the previous owner but I like confirmation. It may be worth another visit?
I am willing to give anything a try that anyone like your self advises, I think I might trial a pellet only diet for a couple of weeks as you say and just see if there is any change. I will also up her lights out hours to 14 hours. I completely change her toys and perched around most weekends to give her good rotation and try and keep her more occupied when she is in her cage. I can’t put the cage in another room as her new cage is absolutely huge, it’s more like an aviary to her being one of the smallest too’s and it doesn’t even come close to being able to fit through a door unfortunately. She only really sleeps in the cage, she has a large Java play stand for the day time so she can be with someone at all times and not left alone. Should I be worried about egg laying? I’d imagine there is a lot that can go wrong? Thank you both for your advice.

#261448 - 06/11/19 09:01 PM Re: Female hormones [Re: Callum96]  
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 10,812
BE2Cassie Offline
Moderator
BE2Cassie  Offline

Moderator
Chained to the Computer
*****

Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 10,812
Wrentham, MA
Awesome changing out her cage weekly. You don't need to go to a pellet only diet but I would limit any high sugar foods like fruit. Most veggies are fine and she will need the calcium if she does begin to lay again. I honestly don't think she will lay this soon due to the home change. The most important thing about egg laying is don't try to feel for an egg in her abdomen. This can cause the egg to rupture before it hardens. You have a few months now to begin reading about hormones in hens with egg laying. There are things you can do to try to stop it but doesn't always work, neither do hormone injections. For right now I would focus on diet and training. Clicker training is a great tool but you need to think out what you want to do with it. So many folks get stuck with target training and don't move forward with it. If you are on facebook look up The Animal Behavior Center run by Lara Joseph. She has some wonderful videos on training techniques. She has a cockatoo that lives with her that was taken to a vet to be euthanized due to aggression. He's her love bug now. She has taken in a couple of other cockatoos that have similar issues that she is working with.


Nancy & Cassie BE2

Moderated by  BE2Cassie, Beeps, EchosMom, Janny 

Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0
Page Time: 0.025s Queries: 14 (0.006s) Memory: 5.0100 MB (Peak: 5.3510 MB) Zlib enabled. Server Time: 2019-06-17 19:31:39 UTC