Pionus parrot nesting behavior..HELP!!!

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craig:
I have a 7.5 yr old white-capped Pionus parrot hen. She has a great personality and we have been good friends for 7 years.

However, lately, she is absolutely consumed with the idea of finding a place in my home where she apparently can build a nest. When she is out of her cage, she is not happy unless I let her roam about freely so that she can go to some of the spots she has selected (wherever there are cracks and crevices, such as under a doorway) and begin digging and chewing. She no longer wants to sit on my shoulder like she used to. If I leave her in her cage, she whines incesently while rubbing her rump on her toys.

I work at home, and this behavior has completely interferred with my ability to focus on my work during the day. Either I am chasing her around the house as she searches for a nesting spot, or I am listening to her whine like a baby. Its really driving me nuts!!
Has anyone else had this type of a problem? What are my options? If I were to put a nesting box in her cage, would that stop her from searching for a site in the house? Would that be a workable option? Is there ANYTHING I can do??? I really enjoy having her around. When she is not controlled by hormones, she is a great pet.
I appreciate any advice!!!
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oldmolly:
[nq:1]I have a 7.5 yr old white-capped Pionus parrot hen. She has a great personality and we have been good ... enjoy having her around. When she is not controlled by hormones, she is a great pet. I appreciate any advice!!![/nq]
Have you tried reducing her daylight hours ? What diet is she on? Don't give her a box as this will only encourage her behaviour and not stop it. She needs to be fed a calcium/vitamin D supplement in case she starts to lay eggs. If she becomes eggbound she may die.
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jmcquown:
[nq:2]I have a 7.5 yr old white-capped Pionus parrot hen. ... hormones, she is a great pet. I appreciate any advice!!![/nq]
[nq:1]Have you tried reducing her daylight hours ? What diet is she on? Don't give her a box as this ... be fed a calcium/vitamin D supplement in case she starts to lay eggs. If she becomes eggbound she may die.[/nq]
Yeah, Molly... you suggested reducing daylight hours with my 'keet Rachel and it made absolutely no difference. Neither did the elimination of anything similar to nesting materials in the bottom of her cage. She got plenty of calcium.. laid at least 5 clutches of eggs and sat on them. She continued to lay for almost 2 years.
Jill
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Owly:
Remember it's normal behavior and this too shall pass. It rarely lasts longer than a couple of months in my single hen - but she's in the same room with my pair, so it could be even less, if my single is affected at all by what's going on with the pair. Something I don't know for sure Emotion: smile.

Meanwhile, look at her protein levels. Offer mostly veggies and greens, with some seeds. Protein levels seem to be a critical indicator of breeding time in pionus hens, who apparently have very low (4-6%) protein requirements until breeding season approaches, when their protein intake increases at least 5-fold. Could her diet be too rich for her?
owly
http://www.ittybittybirdiebites.com - for seedjunkies and MORE! *** JANUARY 2004 SPECIAL IS UP! (Click on Specials)***
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Owly:
While the suggestions oldmolly gave are helpful and will usually assist in reducing egg-laying (or elimininating it) for most birds, some hens will lay in spite of a more sparse/low-protein diet, shorter daylight hours, changing the environment, removing "special" toys (and nesty or nesting material) from the cage, etc. That isn't anybody's fault, it's just an avian fact of life. Sometimes these birds can be helped with lupron injections, and in extreme cases, spaying. It is unfortunate that every bird's hormones respond in exactly the same ways. We usually start solving a problem by trying the most commonly effective solutions as in most troubleshooting situations; did your budgie's vet suggest lupron or other, more severe measures during those 2 years?

owly
http://www.ittybittybirdiebites.com - for seedjunkies and MORE! *** JANUARY 2004 SPECIAL IS UP! (Click on Specials)***
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jmcquown:
[nq:1]situations; did your budgie's vet suggest lupron or other, more severe measures during those 2 years?[/nq]
The vet didn't suggest anything. Just said make sure she has plenty of calcium and remove the eggs after several days. She stopped laying the last year of her life. Rachel died at the age of 12, which isn't a bad age for a 'keet. She was quite happy, but I believe she was missing her next-door-cage-friend, Taz, who had died of an illness six months prior.

Jill
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Marco:
[nq:2]situations; did your budgie's vet suggest lupron or other, more severe measures during those 2 years?[/nq]
[nq:1]The vet didn't suggest anything. Just said make sure she has plenty of calcium and remove the eggs after several days.[/nq]
!!!
Could this be the reason why she kept on laying eggs? To replace eggs/complete clutch?

~Marco~
"Tabulate not thy pre-partum fowl."
chuckunderscoremarcoatbellsouthdotnet
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craig:
She eats a combination of seeds, Glop, fresh baby spinach, and usually some of whatever I am eating. As I have told you in the past, I have tried feeding her other recommended foods, such as sprouts, but she won't touch them.
As far as her daylight hours, I uncover her cage from about 9 am to 7 pm. That's only 10 hours per day. She sleep quietly for 14 hours per day.

She is such a sweet bird. I feel so bad for her because she isn't being allowed to do what she is so driven to do. Even as I am writing this, she is begging for me to let her down on the floor so she can go to one of her nesting spots. She is whining so loud that it is driving me NUTS!! Trying to hold her or sweet talk her does no good. Sometimes, just to have a little releif, I roll her cage into the spare bedroom and cover it up. She sits there alone which makes me feel really bad for her.

She has never laid any eggs, as far as I can tell. How would I know if she was egg bound?
I am really coming to the end of my ropes. Ever since I got her, I have enjoyed her tremendously except for this one big problem. If I had known that this could happen, I never would have gotten a parrot in the first place. They are incredible, intelligent pets, but their drive to breed is so strong that it can't be controlled.
The people in this group have always been great about giving me advice and I really appreciate that!!
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Owly:
I know you've written about her before and you really loved her. I don't think medicine (veterinary or otherwise) will ever be an exact science but sometimes I wish we had more answers than we do.

owly
http://www.ittybittybirdiebites.com - for seedjunkies and MORE!
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