Ask Lafeber

Question:

March 9, 2022

Boarding & Conure Behavior


1. Thoughts on boarding parrots for 2+ weeks vs taking them on a road trip
2. 3 yr old female green cheek and 3 year old male quaker. green cheek bites me for no reason, do you recommend shots to control her puberty/hormones


Answer:

Hi Jaye,

I’m sorry for the delay in replying. Bird care is a very personal decision and depends on your birds, as well as who could watch them or if there are any qualified boarding facilities near you. We have presented webinars on this topic and I’ll provide you with the link to those. Ideally if someone can stay with them, that is great. If someone can come in and care for them at least twice a day, that is also a good option as long as it is someone trustworthy, who could handle an emergency with them if one came up. There are some pet sitters who are bonded – meaning they have insurance to cover any issues that might come up, and they are going to be very reliable or risk losing that bond. I would not use an unknown pet sitter unless they are bonded and insured. It is not necessary for the birds to be let out or handled – it’s not going to hurt them to stay in the cage for a couple of weeks, and it’s safer unless the sitter knows them and knows how to handle them. Most boarding facilities will not let the birds out for their own safety. There are two webinars in this playlist about boarding or pet sitting.

As for the biting, parrots always have a reason for biting, and there are almost always warning signs before a bite. It’s up to us to figure out the warning signs and what is making them bite. I know Dr. Lamb did touch on the subject of using hormones for behavioral issues. Generally hormone treatment is to reduce or stop egg laying, and it’s not necessarily effective for behavior issues. Do your birds interact or are they caged together? When bird share a cage, they will almost always form a bond eventually, and stop wanting human contact. This is just natural instinct and even same sex or different species will do this when they share the same cage. The solution there is to split the birds up in you want them to remain tame. If the birds do not get along, she may be biting out of jealousy. You need to look at what was going on before she bit – were you just handling the other bird, or were you near his cage? Dr. Lamb discussed hormone triggers, so examine your environment to determine what triggers might be there. I’ll also give you the link to our pages on behavior and training, and those have a lot of useful information. Do as much reading as you can, from reliable sources, because you will at some point read something that is relevant to your situation.

Pet Bird and Parrot Behavior

Teaching Your Bird

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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