Handling Birdie Hormones

Birds are fascinating creatures, vastly entertaining, full of personality and are much-loved members of the family. They are also, at times, very hormonal. Avian hormones flare-up in the Spring, such as the case with just about every animal in the animal kingdom. It’s just nature, you can’t fight it, you have to wait it out. That doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do to help calm your pet down.

First things first, we’ll talk about when these hormone behaviors start and what traits a bird might demonstrate.

When Do These Behaviors Begin?

Breeding season is pretty much Spring, beginning shortly after Daylight Savings Time. Changes in hormones at this time are instinctual and it’s important to remember that when your beloved bird acts aggressive, needy or just plain weird. You need to be patient and NEVER punish or admonish your bird for nesting or breeding behaviors! King’s Cages experts have put together a list of signs that your bird buddy’s hormones are ramped up and what to do about it.

What Are Some Breeding Behaviors?

  • Shredding. Birds naturally shred paper and other toys, so it’s an easy sign to miss, but shredding is one of the early signs of cascading hormones that trigger breeding instincts. Try to keep items out of the cage that your bird can shred during this time.
  • Nest searching. Avian experts refer to this as cavity seeking, it’s the bird’s instinct to search out a private and hidden place to build a nest. Your pet will look for boxes, drawers, or couch cushions to build a home. This is an escalated behavior occurring at peak hormonal overdrive, resulting in extreme territorial traits. Keep your bird from wandering too much and discourage cavity seeking.
  • Heightened submissive and aggressive traits. Females will often demonstrate submissive postures, such as flat backing, or wanting to be hand-fed. While strutting, fanned or raised feathers and flashing eyes are dominant traits usually, but not always, seen in males. This behavior is typical regardless of season, but during Spring becomes more frequent and dramatic. If your pet exhibits this behavior don’t reach for him, as he will likely bite you.
  • Regurgitating food. Having your adorable bird throw up on you deliberately seems gross, but it’s a sign of love and affection.
  • Becoming overly physical. Birds are naturally affectionate, and bird owners love to spend time stroking and petting those lovely, soft feathers, but during breeding season the physical attention really gets those hormones jumping! Avoid the wings, back and tail feathers, stick to the head.
  • Loss of feathers. At this time your bird might start plucking at its feathers. While this is not always serious, you need to make sure it’s not damaging its own skin or causing bleeding. King’s Cages has a great safe, natural homeopathic formula that’s preferred by vet’s and avian experts alike: “Pluck No More” is safe for all kinds of birds and works quickly to stop feather plucking and helps promote feather growth in mere weeks while calming down your beloved bird even quicker!

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Take an Active Approach.

This behavior doesn’t last forever, although, it can feel like it. Take control and make life easier for everyone by following some simple guidelines. First, have the right product. Choose homeopathic, natural formulas that are recommended by vets and avian experts. The premiere product that is safe, lauded by breeders, proved effective for calming a bird is “No Stress”. This product aids in fertility, destressing your bird, boosts overall health and can be used safely on dogs. No Stress is made in the U.S.A., is water-based and safe enough to use every day.

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Other Useful Tips:

  1. Change the diet. Cut back on high protein foods. Eliminate bread, cheese, nuts, beans and corn, substitute hemp seed, wheat germ and more vegetables. King’s Cages also suggests avoiding wet, warm food during the breeding season.
  2. Give your bird 11-12 hours of darkness or dimmed light. Longer exposure to light stimulates breeding behaviors.
  3. Change up toys and add extra toys. This makes nesting behavior harder as the environment changes often.
  4. Extra exercise is extremely helpful for distracting your bird. Swing time, room to spread his/her wings and fly, and climbing ropes are all useful items for your feathered friend to exert some of that excess energy.