Ask Lafeber

Question:

March 30, 2021

Mating


Hi, I have two birds right now, a Monk parrot, male, and a Green Cheek Conure, female. My Monk parrot is one year old and my Conure is 10 months old, I believe, when we got her she was 4 or 5 months old, or at least that’s what they told me. I have two questions.

1. My monk parrot keeps getting on top of my conure, does that mean he wants to mate, or that hes asserting dominance? I see humping, but i’m not sure.

2. Also, does it hurt my conure? Not just physically but emotionally to, for example, will that cause her to be aggressive or not as energetic? Well I guess that was three.


Answer:

Hi Mary,

I would keep the birds separated from this point. When parrots are young, they can get along well. But once they start to get mature, hormones kick in and this will bring other issues with it. Both birds are much too young to breed. I know that isn’t an option anyway, since they are different species. But for the female especially, it is not good for her to be around a bird that is starting to get hormonal. She is too young to start laying eggs, and if this continues, she may end up laying eggs. A bird her age is at a higher risk of complications from laying eggs, such as egg binding. And since any eggs would not be viable, it’s best to try to prevent or discourage egg laying since it does take a toll on her health. She is also in danger of being attacked by the Monk parrot because he might get frustrated with her since she isn’t sexually mature yet. Older males can be a danger to younger female birds. It can actually happen if the genders are reversed. A mature bird – even one that is really too young for breeding – wants to mate and if the chosen mate isn’t receptive, it can result in a vicious attack or even death for the younger bird. Once they reach an age where they are ready to bond with a mate, if you have them caged together, the birds will tend to form a bond and lose interest in humans. In order to keep them both happy and tame, keeping them apart is best. They can possibly have some interaction out of the cage, but not if the male continues this breeding behavior.

Thank you for asking Lafeber,

Brenda

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