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Advice for Extremely Hormonal Lovebird?

olive1324

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Ali
My peachfaced lovebird, Olive, is about 2 and recently (as of March) has gotten more and more hormonal and aggressive. She has never been a super cuddly/affectionate bird, and rather prefers to hang out on my shoulder or just sit on the couch next to me, but lately she has become impossible to deal with. It started with burrowing in blankets/hiding in dark corners where she would become extremely aggressive if I tried to remove her. I discouraged this behavior with a firm no and putting away/keeping her away from anything she could burrow in. This seemed to do nothing at all and over the past few months she has only gotten more aggressive and will immediately start to burrow in anything and everything when she is let out of her cage. I have tried giving her plenty of sleep (covered around 8pm, uncovered around 8am), changing around the layout of her cage often, giving her plenty of foraging/other toys to keep her active and nothing has worked at all. At this point I'm wondering if I should just giver her a nest box and let her lay eggs, but I want to make sure that won't worsen the problem.
 

Zara

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Hello Ali, Welcome to the Avenue :)

I understand your frustration!

Try upping her sleep more to 14 hours asleep - covered and in a quiet area of the house.

with a firm no
This has never ever worked for me in our house. I hear some say it works for them, but I don´t know how much stock to put into that.
 

DoubleTake

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I would agree with @Zara suggestion. I would out her to bed earlier. Is the area where she sleeping away from human traffic at night?
 

Leih

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My female lovebird is doing well on 13 hrs of dark. Still, if she's never layed you may get to the point where you just have to let it happen. When my girl got really aggressive is when I moved her to 14 hrs of dark. If you can (ie if she will allow you to touch her cage) rearrange it. This helps a lot, but when they're really hormonal you need to do it often, like weekly. Also, add in foraging. Anything that keeps her mind busy will help.
 

Leih

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This has never ever worked for me in our house. I hear some say it works for them, but I don´t know how much stock to put into that.
[/QUOTE]
I'm nearly certain lovebirds (especially hens) hear "no" and think it's an invitation for mayhem :roflmao:
 

olive1324

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I would agree with @Zara suggestion. I would out her to bed earlier. Is the area where she sleeping away from human traffic at night?
She sleeps in the office which no one goes in after she is covered. She might get some noise later when I go to bed, but not much at all.
 

BlkForestK

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We are literally going through the same thing with Plum right now. Things that have helped us manage her bad attitude:

Frequent baths. Sometimes she'll take two in one day, once with me and once with my husband. She loves licking the water off the tub/our skin, so it' more for enrichment than for cleanliness

Rearranging the furniture in her room

Adjusting her diet to include very few seeds

Letting her nap when she's tired

14 hours of sleep every night

No happy huts/hollow coconuts/boxes/blankets. If she finds a crevice to crawl into, she turns into a demon.

Drilling simple commands when she gets really agro, using her favourite colour pellets instead of fatty treats

Foraging toys


Frequently reminding myself that this horrible attitude is temporary really helps me to keep things in perspective. Keep her busy any way you can and don't take it personally. You're not alone! ♡
 

SkyPeepers

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I am having a similar problem with my female lovebird. She is 3 years old and started laying eggs soon after I brought her home which was about two years ago. She was laying eggs on a monthly basis. She recently stopped laying eggs. I don't know if it's because the tent that she and her companion sleep in does not have anything in it anymore to keep the eggs from rolling out. I used to keep a wash cloth in the tent for something soft until my male lovebird got his foot caught in the threads from the cloth back in February. (That's another story.) Her eggs have never hatched I'm assuming because he is much older, 14 at least. She has become increasing territorial over time and lately has been biting me when I try to give them food and water. When she sees me fixing food she sits right in front of the place where the food goes in the cage and waits for me to put the bowl in, ready to attack. It is almost impossible to clean the cage too, except for changing paper in the bottom of the cage. I would like to rearrange things in the cage, like you suggested K, but it would be a nightmare. I have put up with the biting, but in the last week she has been bullying my other bird. I always give him apple, spinach or some kind of healthy food everyday. Now when I do that she sits, for example, by the apple piece for 15 minutes or more so that he cannot get to it. He usually goes right to the those foods because he loves them. She never eats them however. I put the foods in different parts of the cage and when she sees him try to eat something she goes straight for him and blocks him from eating it. The same way with toys. They both like shredder toys. If she sees he has a piece of one she will steal it from him very aggressively and almost cause him to fall. He is not real steady on his feet anymore. Then at bedtime, she screams (she has always done this.) However, in the past days or maybe a week now, she will jump in the tent with her companion and fight with him at bedtime. Not for long, thank goodness. I am hoping that this is just a phase that she is going through. I have never had a lovebird (and I have had 10 others) that have ever behaved this way. I really do not want to separate my lovies. Most of the time (and all of the time before) they get along well and really seem to love one another. I just don't know what has happened lately. I am trying to let them sleep longer like you have suggested, but not seeing any improvement. I wish there was some supplement that we could give our lovies to calm them down. I have heard of AviCalm that is supposed to calm birds. Has anyone ever tried that with their birds? I have considered taking her to the vet to see if there might be something they could do for her, but I cannot catch her. I tried to put her in a smaller cage so that I could clean the other one, but it was useless. I only tried a few times because I did not want to make matters worse or upset my other bird. I just hope this is only temporary. It used to be a joy having lovebirds, but not so much lately. Let us know Ali if you find anything that helps. Hope your lovie, Olive, settles down for you soon.
 

Zara

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if it's because the tent that she and her companion sleep in
Get rid of this thing. And anything else that is nest/bed/cave/cavity like. No nooks.
When you remove it, rearrange the cage also.

One of my hens is not ¨tame¨ so I have to do all the rearranging while she is out flying (and hope she doesn´t come over while I have a hand in her cage!).

If this doesn´t help, separating or partial separation could be an option.

I really thing a double cage could be an essential piece of equipment for you, something like this:

Mcage Large Double Flight Bird Wrought Iron Double Cage w/Slide Out Divider 3 Levels Bird Parrot Cage Cockatiel Conure Bird Cage 63 Lx19 Dx64 H W/Stand on Wheels


You can separate them at night time. Separate when there´s fresh food. and allow them together at the times you know they get on well.
Even when the divider is closed, they will still be able to preen through the bars.
If you struggle cleaning the cage, you can move the birds to one side, close the divider and clean one side at a time.
Also, when this is open (no divider) the cage will be a fantastic size, and the space will lessen fights.
 
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