Posted by Diane Burroughs on 30th May 2015
Hormonal birds tend to be especially noisy exuberant and impulsive. An otherwise tolerable Cockatoo or Amazon parrot may vocalize loudly as it vents its sexual frustration through screaming.
Bird trainers agree that the best way to deal with screaming behavior in general is to ignore the behavior while showering your bird with praise and attention when it is quiet.
Remember that seasonal screaming ends unless you're doing something to make your bird horny. Birds tend to be louder in spring and summer months as the days get longer. Your goal in dealing with seasonal screaming is to NOT teach your bird to scream for attention by yelling, punishing or otherwise paying attention to it while it is screaming.
Develop a "special" soft contact whistle to use with each of your birds as a way to communicate to them and let them know where you are at. Praise your bird when it uses the whistle as its way to communicate to you.
While the above behavior training methods are important to know, you also need to examine if you're inducing hormonal behavior in your parrot by how you care for it. If your bird is displaying seasonal screaming behavior take a look at what common parrot husbandry issues may be contributing to the hormonal behavior.
Are you accidentally providing your bird with hormone replacement therapy?
It has been shown that a set of conditions must present in concert to induce hormonal behavior in parrots. Weirdly, we tend to accidentally induce hormonal behavior in our pets when we expect this exotic bird to adapt to domesticated human life.
1.What are your parrot petting practices? Reserve parrot petting to the foot or head regions. Petting other parts of the body tends to induce hormonal behavior, especially in cockatoo's. Wild parrots only reproduce once or twice a year. At other times, their reproductive hormones are essentially dormant.
2.Is your bird getting enough sleep? Did you know that parrots need an average of 10-12 hours of sleep a night? Think about it. Your parrot’s body is adapted to equator daylight patterns where the difference between daylight and dark hours only varies minimally year-round. So, you can rest assured that a parrot is exposed to roughly 11-12 hours of daylight and 11-12 hours of night-time darkness. Your bird needs a dark, quiet place to get its beauty rest! That mean's time free from distractions including LED lights. Consider getting a night-time sleep cage or a cage cover to minimize screaming related to the over-tired grumpy's.
3.Is my bird eating to mate? Tons of protein rich food items are available during a parrots breeding season. But, we helicopter parrot parents think that loading our bird up on protein rich foods is a good thing. Well, it can really be too much of a good thing when the parrot body interprets a protein rich diet as mating preparation. Stick to a well-balanced organic pellet supplemented with vitamin and mineral rich organic vegetables, grains and fruits. Think about the 80 / 20 rule -- 80% pellets with 20% healthy, leafy, brightly colored fruits and vegetables.
4.Is my bird building a nest? Sure, momma & papa birds rest in a nest, but a captive bird will NOT benefit from small nesting cavities combined with soft nesting material. Once again, this just tells the parrot body that it is time to mate. My African Grey, Smokey, is all about staking out a nest under my bed or bedroom dresser. He rushes to the bedroom every chance he gets to hide, rip up carpet and make me his "baby momma!" Then when I try to get him out, he bites, screams and squawk's. I've had to develop the habit of always keeping the bedroom door shut!
5.Am I making my bird horny? A parrot's body is not geared toward getting massages. If you've been rubbing your bird under its wings, on its back and near its tail, you been sending it the wrong signals. It's the signal of love! Sure, your bird love's it, but this form of touch results in hormonal surges that lead to exuberant behavior that causes problems. Confine your normal petting routine to head scritches and foot rubs.
So, in conclusion, if your bird is screaming, it may help to be honest with yourself to see if you may be sending her the wrong message! If you want to naturally help your bird curb its hormones, check out Releaves Dietary Supplement from Harrison's Bird Foods. This natural concoction has great reveiws.
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