Shredding? Appropriate for an egg-bound prone conure?

Discussion in 'Behavior Byway' started by emtGen, 1/21/11.

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  1. emtGen
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    emtGen Strolling the yard

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    So my female jenday conures LOOOOOOOOVES to shred and chew. She's gone through several blankets and perches, not to mention countless toys. I'm worried that the chewing might bring on nesting behavior and shes gotten egg-bound every nesting period for the past year and a half. (according to my vet she likes to lay abnormally large eggs) Does the chewing bring on nesting habits or is it just a typical parrot behavior that I can let her continue with? When I remove any of her fluffy toys or the blanket she just chews through her wooden perches..

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    Last edited: 1/21/11
  2. Holiday
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    Holiday Mac Mama Administrator Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award

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    Chewing is a natural behavior that is necessary to maintain beak shape and mental health. Yes, it is associated with breeding, but birds who are not hormonal chew for the above-mentioned reasons. I would allow her all the chewables she wants, but I would monitor her light and remove chewed up material that could be used for nesting. BTW, when my B&G macaw gets nesty, she actually chews less than she normally does.
  3. emtGen
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    emtGen Strolling the yard

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    Thanks! I know chewing was natural but I was unsure of the extent I should allow. I have noticed that she chews a lot more on the bottom when she's starting to nest. Because she's so eggbound prone I intend on spaying her during the next nesting period. Usually yogurt and warmth are enough to regulate any suspect infection, last incident her sphincter(sp?) stopped working and she got a fungal infection along with a bacterial infection from the egg and was on two types of medication and spent 3 days in an incubator at my avian vet. I'm so hyper aware of her health because of her history that I feel like I should have developed a psychic connection by now lol. But I realize at some point it's gonna be too little too late and I'll risk losing her. That's why I think the spay might be best. And I ramble without my coffee. :lol:
  4. Billie Faye
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    Billie Faye Biking along the boulevard Avenue Spotlight Award

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    Gen, here is some more info for you...
    Limit the amount of physical interaction with your parrot. Touch only her head. Stroking the bird under its wings, down it back or under its tail near the vent is a no-no. reduce the length of her day to 10-12 hours. Provide her a quiet, dark place to sleep for 12-14 hours. This may help to break her egg laying cycle. Diets rich in phytoestrogen such as soy & flax, and warm soft foods can bring on nesting behaviors.
    Egg binding is very common in parrots with other health problems like obesity, lack of exercise and poor diet. Moisture is also very important. Humidity should be around 80% if you find she is egg bound and the air temp around her should be at least 85º. Also, water with aloe vera juice might help get the egg moving. Aloe vera juice acts as an internal lubricant.
    Feed a high quality diet of fresh fruits and veggies including lots of dark greens, like turnip greens, arugula, kale, collards, mustard greens, dandelions, chicory, cabbage, pak choi/bok choy, sprouted grains, legumes, and sprouted seed. Peppermint, spearmint and basil have surprisingly high amounts of calcium. Celery seed, dill seed, fennel seed, unhulled sesame seed, cumin and coriander seeds are an excellent source of calcium too. Stay away from spinach, Swiss chard and beet greens as they prevent the absorption of calcium. Cut out all soy and flax from her diet, as they are phytoestrogen items and will stimulate excessive egg laying.
    IF she is in her cage A LOT, begin an exercise routine for your hen, to strengthen her muscles. Letting her fly/exercise really helps.:hug8:
  5. JLcribber
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    JLcribber Cruising the avenue Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award

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    What do you mean when you say your going to "spay" her??? That is something that is done to dogs/cats/rabbits etc. Not birds.
  6. Allessa
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    Allessa Rollerblading along the road

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    Yeah i dont think theres anyway to "fix" a bird, is there? At least not that ive heard of

    Im sorry u have to keep such a close eye =( I would be scared to death if that were my bird. My lovie LOVES to shred..in and out of nesting behavior. But i notice its much more intense when shes about to lay an egg.
  7. rikkitikki
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    rikkitikki Biking along the boulevard Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award

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    Found this: Discouraging Breeding Behavior In Pet Birds — For The Birds DVM — Avian Vet
    Says environmental changes are the most effective methods to help with hormones. Later on in the article it mentions hormone injections for severe cases, but the only thing it says about spaying is that it is not a simple procedure. I would take that to mean it's probably pretty risky too (or else more people would be doing it)...

    Something else worth looking at: http://kookshop.com/Site/Blog/Entries/2008/1/29_Managing_Chronic_Egg-laying_in_your_Pet_Bird.html
    Surgical treatment: “Spaying” your bird is the most definitive way to stop egg-laying and it can be life-saving. However, there are downsides to this procedure. First, it can be costly. Second, there are significant surgical and anesthetic risks. Finally, at present when we “spay” a bird we only remove the oviduct and uterus and must leave the ovary in place. As a result, we estimate that in about 10% of birds, the ovary will continue to try to release eggs but they will have nowhere to go. These birds then have egg yolk in their abdomen and can become sick. This complication does not occur in most birds but it is important that you are aware of the risks.
  8. Billie Faye
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    Billie Faye Biking along the boulevard Avenue Spotlight Award

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  9. emtGen
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    emtGen Strolling the yard

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    Luckily for Peanut she doesn't lay regularly, she follows a natural cycle. I'v taken all the precautions my avian vet gave me, including giving her plenty of fruits and veggies, and I use both an air purifier for dust and a humidifier. She's fully flighting and I do exercises with her every day and make sure she goes to bed around 8-9pm every night. Unfortunately she still gets egg-bound when she lays, and I was getting rather frustrated until I brought one of the eggs into the vet and they remarked on the size. I don't know what the normal size is for a conure egg and I couldn't tell you what size her eggs are because I didn't think to record it, but every one at my avian vet was telling me the eggs were abnormally large and that its might not be so much of a soft shell/vitamin issue than the issue with size. They were talking about the size making the egg hard to pass, and causing irritation and swelling, which would then lead to egg-binding and infection. Other than the size the vets said the eggs were normal, with a strong shell and normal shape. My avian vet was also the one that suggested I spay her. She's laid abnormally large eggs every cycle, and there's no way to know if she would continue to do so the rest of her life, which would be her at risk. My vet told me it would probably be the best step to take because I would probably end up taking her to the vet almost every nesting cycle and while I have been lucky enough to pick up on the smallest hint of infection until now, theres no way to know if it will be soon enough in the future. They informed me of the risks, which is why I didn't do the spay last cycle, and decided to wait until her next one in hopes that MAYBE she'll lay regularly. It's hard because I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard space on this one.... Kind of like ••••ed if you do, maybe ••••ed if you dont... I'd hate to have to put her through the procedure but I can't imagine laying large eggs, and getting fed medication every cycle is fun for her either... And she's only 7, which means she would possibly have to put up with this for the rest of her life...:(
  10. rikkitikki
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    rikkitikki Biking along the boulevard Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award

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    :hug8: Oh, I can see your dilemma. I hate being put in a place with such a tough decision. I would probably end up going with what your vet says. Or you could consider going to another vet for a second opinion? Maybe they have an alternative idea that might work - and be safe?
  11. Coco's Momma
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    Coco's Momma Rollerblading along the road

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    The concern I have is that I see too many people follow all of the typical recommendations regarding no touching, lighting, food, exercise, rearranging the cage, providing no nesting materials and on and on, yet there is absolutely no result. On the flip side, there are plenty of us that do all the "no-no's", yet don't have hens that lay eggs at all. So there is something more to this stuff....

    Too often I see on other boards especially an insinuation that there must be something missing... perhaps the person is not really following all the recommendations as closely as they should, or the hen would not be still laying! But that just is not the case. Especially when you see time and time again that same suggestions, and time and time again people saying they have tried everything suggested and still the hen continues to lay. That tells me there is something the avian community is missing, and it makes sense. It is natural for us to think we know and have all the answers, but if it were that simple to stop the laying cycle, then it would be easy enough to reverse that and increase the laying cycle, thus assuring ourselves that many of the parrot species that are endangered would quickly go into the non-endangered list. I think about that a lot... because if we could do things to stop laying, then reversing those things would increase laying and assure ourselves that endangered species could be protected. Obviously, it is not that easy. So I really feel for those in a situation where they have done everything the avian community recommends and have not realized a resulting improvement in the situation. This is true whether it is simply the hormonal behaviors that we have difficulty addressing, all the way up to chronic egg laying and egg binding.
    Last edited: 1/22/11
  12. emtGen
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    emtGen Strolling the yard

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    I might do that because I have to go to another vet anyway. My original avian vet is in Oregon, and I just relocated to Rhode Island. I'v already found a vet from one of my east coast friend's who runs a rescue, I just need to set up a time to go in and get Peanut a check up and get his opinion on the matter. For all I know she could end up laying normal eggs from here on out, there's just no way to tell :huh:
  13. emtGen
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    emtGen Strolling the yard

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    I TOTALLY get that. I was running around doing everything and she was still having problems. I was pulling my hair out I was so frustrated because NOTHING I was doing was working. I was practically best friends with the vet tech on the other end of the phone because I would call almost every day with questions. (She totally deserves a bonus) It's the worst thing in the world to do everything right and then have the vet say they don't have a very clear idea of what going on. They were baffled too, but said they have seen birds that get eggbound no matter what. It's soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo frustrating. :omg:

    {edit} I did also want to add though, that I did not know about the aloe vera in the water, which I will try! Sometimes there are nice tricks you can pick up which are incredibly helpful :)
    Last edited: 1/22/11
  14. Billie Faye
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    Billie Faye Biking along the boulevard Avenue Spotlight Award

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    Gen, Please get hold of my CAV in CT...she is license to practice in RI...she comes to your house:
    Northeast Bird Clinic -Home-
    She has been my avian vet for over 20 years before I moved to NC...Talk with her first...
    I have had parrots for over 20 years, bred parrots (Amazons, Tiels, Bourkes, Love Birds, Parrotlets) and never had ANY bird egg bind or be a chronic layer...I don't feed soy products to my birds and I don't feed pellets...they get FRESH / LIVE foods and that is basically what I have fed for all these years...I never provided nest boxes or such unless they were to be bred...I have had macaw/others come to me that were suppose to be male and within a month laid eggs and nothing afterwards....I always have Sunlight type of bulbs in my rooms for my birds...I basically go with what the sun does for lighting time...short in the winter and long in the summer but no issues with birds wanting to lay all the time during this period...:hug8:
    Last edited: 1/22/11
  15. emtGen
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    emtGen Strolling the yard

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    I'll definitely do that, thanks!
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