Ask Lafeber

Question:

October 11, 2022

Hormonal budgie


I have a 3 year old male budgie that has decided to ‘mate’ with my finger knuckle. He squats down, chirps, spreads his wings and tail feathers. Now he wants to always be on my hand. Should I discourage this and how? Is this just a hormonal seasonal thing that will stop? Will it effect his bond with me? He does have a male budge friend that doesn’t play with him much.


Answer:

Hi Anne,

This is definitely something you should discourage. You can set him on a play area or offer a toy or special treat. Don’t act like he is bad, just divert his attention to another activity. While possible aggression is a concern, the main concern is that males can get over stimulated and the constant straining of wanting or trying to mate can cause a prolapse from his cloaca. This is not a good condition because it can rarely be cured, only managed. You can avoid hormone triggers by limiting petting to his head, diverting him when he does try this, remove any toys or mirrors if he gets obsessed with or tries to mate with. Make sure he doesn’t have anything that can resemble a nest like a bird hut or tent. Generally with males this doesn’t become chronic like with females and egg laying. We actually have an entire playlist of webinars on dealing with hormonal parrots! It’s the main cause of behavior issues. Most of these webinars address ways to avoid or discourage the behavior – such as foraging, another fun activity to take his mind off mating.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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