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Last Post 07-04-2014 12:41 PM by  Hughina
Patti behaviour change
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Hughina
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02-04-2014 6:37 AM

    A few months ago my husband was asked to take on rescued Patagonian conure.  He arrived without many feathers but the only history we received was that he had been rescued from Glasgow in that condition a few months earlier and he had to be passed on due to marriage break up etc.


     During the first few weeks his confidence in me improved considerably, but on the rare occasions my husband is home, works away, he is obviously his bird.  Biting was a problem but that was happening less and less, but his morning/evening calls were difficult, hence the ear plug.  (A Patti sat on one's shoulder screaming away definately does little for the hearing).

    Harry is on VL Amazon, but very selective and does not eat veg or fruit as yet.  A week ago his behaviour changed. He will not come out of his cage now, from 12 hours a day pottering around to zero.  I can not put my hand in his cage and this morning I offered him a bit of walnut to encourage him out, he came for it, but bit my finger quite hard and left the nut, normally his favourite.  He has always liked shredding anything he could find.


    Harry sits at the bottom of the cage mainly, fussing over his shredded paper and preening his tail feathers.  He is displaying no signs of illness, so I think he is not a he but a she and is nesting.  Could anyone please give me their opinion and how I can get her/him out of it?  S/He liked a bath when s/he came,  but will not come out for one now, I have tried misting but not interested, "Go Away - let me get back to my nest".  


    Any advice/suggestions would really be appreciated.

    Doddie Kent
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    02-04-2014 10:07 AM
    Sounds hormonal to me. Change the water for chamomile tea, shorten the day by covering earlier in the evening, uncovering later in the morning. Try putting a cardboard box big enough to sit in on the floor of the cage, and some newspaper, see if a nest is built. The hormones rage for up to 8 weekis, you can't stop it, just keep an eye on the shape of your bird, in case an egg is growing. If there's an egg, up the calcium level. Google calcium-rich foods and offer them daily. Calcivet or Zolcal-D in the water to build up calcium levels. If no egg is produced, forget the extra calcium. Some birds love to chew cardboard, and you may find yourself taking extra trips to Tesco etc. to get free boxes! It doesn't last forever. When your husband comes home, ask him to chat to Harry, make a fuss, see what happens. Provide an 'attack toy', something Harry can bite and tear at or bonk if he's inclined, it gets rid of frustration in more than one way. A soft toy, or a small dog kong, something that can withstand attacks. Would it be worth trying to get Harry on a pellet diet? As for fruit/veg, try cutting it in big chunks. Try small, tiny, rice-sized pieces, try making a kebab on a spike of it. I've no idea why, but things like that make a difference. Try pretending to eat fruit/veg out of his pot in front of him, making yummy noises. He may want to copy. Good luck - don't give up!
    Doddie
    Hughina
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    02-04-2014 12:03 PM
    We are over 50 miles from anything, so we are going up to the Fort tomorrow (Thursday), will get the chamomile tea and any calcium things, better to have them in just in case, and the kong. He has paper on the floor of his cage, a roll of the 'toilet' type paper, an old telephone directory, he has already worked his way through a mountain of carboard and balsa wood, but at present it's only the newspaper on the floor. We are seraching for a cardboard box the correct size, will be done today, will try the small soft teddy he has taken a liking to as well.

    My husband is home at the moment and Harry did come out, sit oin his shoulder and dance when he whistled (I can't whistle, I do keep practising but think there must be something wrong with my mouth/teeth shape) but he's off again Saturday night for another month. Harry is usually OK with me when he is away, but coming out, NO, my husband had to entertain him just so I could clean his cage.

    8 weeks? well, ill will just have to sit it out, as long as I can keep him well and safe. I am still calling him, him, but with the feathers missing one can see the area around the vent is swollen and pink.

    Thank you so much for your advice and if there is anything else I can do, hope this does not happen every year, can't be good for them.
    Helen W
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    02-04-2014 1:04 PM
    Toys that can help that are readily to hand include the insides of toilet/kitchen rolls, which you can stuff with rolled up newspaper (it just makes it a bit more interesting).
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    Doddie Kent
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    02-04-2014 2:35 PM
    Can happen twice a year for some birds ... do you know how old Harry is? If it's the first hormonal surge, some birds find it difficult to control. Remember when you were an obnoxious teenager? A bit like that. Perhaps you weren't obnoxious - I certainly was, which made life at home difficult for my parents sometimes. Harry will grow out of it. Keep an eye that a bulge doesn't appear underneath. While your husband's around, try to get Harry to step on to you to get to him. If he's at the other side of the room, you could go to collect Harry and take him to your husband. Do it often enough, he'll associate getting a lift from you with good things. Bribery works a treat!
    Doddie
    Hughina
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    03-04-2014 1:17 PM
    Did the shopping today so was away a while. Managed to find suitable food, tea and kong easily but the calcivet and zolcal-D afraid not, when I do finally get some do I still give her some with the calcium rich food? Yes, definately a she, she laid an egg while we were out, she was so proud and showing off to us, thank goodnes it won't hatch.

    Sorry, but no idea how old she is beside adult, grey eyes and black beak is all I have to go on. My husband will have to find out what her previous owner knows, if anything.

    I feel so much easier now with your help and must admit Harry is bright and cheerful but I understand that more eggs could be on the way in the next few days so will have to keep her that way.
    SharonH
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    03-04-2014 1:26 PM

    You only need one of the Zolcal D or the Calcivet, you can buy online easily, try www.scarlettsparrotessentials.co.uk, but be warned, the website is far too tempting. It could easily end up costing you a lot of money!

    You can put it in the water or on food, I use it in water twice per week as a maintenance dose, but some people prefer to put it into a food that they know will be eaten, that way you use a smaller dose but are sure they have eaten it. Zolcal D seems to be very readily absorbed and I have found it has made big changes to some of the baldies.

    Helen W
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    03-04-2014 1:32 PM
    If you can't get it, try natures own calcium rich food. You could do her a scrambled egg (including the washed crumbled shell)
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    Hughina
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    04-04-2014 1:21 PM
    Usually OK ordering things on the web, just the delivery time and many companies discriminate against the highlands, although I live in Argyll it includes me. I do not use Scarlett's, the postage is astronomical, even for small items. I will try Harry with the egg, today I put her cuttlefish in and she took two big bites and either ate it or ground it up into tiny pieces, she already has a mineral block. I have not had her too long and she was upset when I introduced anything into her cage, yet it was a new cage to her, so it has been a little at a time. Too be honest I don't think she had anything to eat except pellets, she still does not even crack open her food, I have to open the rosehips for her and she did not know what to do with toys, but we are getting there.

    As she is being very selective with her seed mix I was recommended to put her on pellets, Harrisons seem to be the favourite but I went on their site today and found the selection so confusing, can anyone suggest what type I should get for a Patagonian conure please?

    I certainly would not be without her, but she has turned my life upside down, bless her and my Cockatiel, who I have struggled with getting to eat veg for over 10 years, finally, yesterday, I saw him, really tucking in. The only change at home is Harry, who he was really scared of and prefers not to see, so I was wondering if it is a little of the old competition over food that may have brought the change on.
    Hughina
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    07-04-2014 8:09 AM
    Just a thank you for all your advice. The Zolcal-D came today, Harry is still sitting on her egg but is now OK with me (my husband has gone) but won't let me in her cage, so going to have to find a way to clean it without stressing her. She goes to bed earlier without any problems but is eating nothing but her seed mix at the moment, we have make some sweet potato balls, with curly kale added, as per Birdline recipe, see how those go. Again, thank you for your advice and help.
    (Forgot to mention, afraid the Chamomile tea with honey was a none starter.)
    Helen W
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    07-04-2014 11:59 AM
    Oh well, you can't win them all. Would she try the tea if she saw you drinking it? It may be that she'll settle down now she has her egg and may not need the tea's calming effect.
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    Hughina
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    07-04-2014 12:41 PM
    When she came she had an obsession with tea or coffee, "milk, 1 sugar", suppose she still has if she can sneak a drink, but have replaced it with fruit teas which on the whole she likes so I was surprised with the chamomile and honey.  I did try the tea in front of her but think she would be more receptive to the husband. 
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