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Diet and hormones

teena87

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Hello,

I just wanted to see if anyone would have any experience or feedback on the below.

My male lovebird has been on pellets most of his life. First Goldenfeast brand and then when the small beak formula became impossible to find in Canada I switched to Tops. He ate both. Several months ago I ran out and my order took a lot longer to arrive, in the meantime I also got a female adult lovebird that was fed a seed-based diet and did not touch the pellets. The only thing I was able to get her to eat were Nutriberries. So when I ran out of pellets for the male, I fed Nutriberries to both for about 2 weeks. Since then, my male would not even go near the Tops pellets and so was on the Nutriberries mainly for a while.

My male has been humping/dancing/regurgitating NON stop and I do not recall this behavior being so bad before. Hard to say if it got worse exactly when the diet changed. The female laid 3 clutches 2 months apart and has been extremely hormonal in between. Took them to the vet, got some recommendations on hiding nesting material, reducing daylight for the female, foraging for food etc.

About a week ago I decided to try to find Goldenfeast again in case he or even she might end up eating it. Managed to find a medium beak formula that I've been crushing for them & miracle! BOTH of them eat these pellets. Im particularly surprised by the female as she never ate pellets in her life period. Neither of them have seen Nutriberries for a week and the male lovebird stopped regurgitating and humping almost COMPLETELY. He would literally do it almost non stop all day in and out of the cage. Now, I might see him play with it once or twice and there are no marks in the cage AT ALL, literally 0 (from the regurgitation).

I'm hoping that this will have some positive effect on the female as well in terms of her hormones. But my question is - what the heck could be in the Nutriberries?? I very much doubt this was a coincidence. They still get a bit of a seed/nut/fruit mix by Goldenfeast along with the pellets so its not like they eat pellets only. Any ideas?
 

Ripshod

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Maybe there's some difference in the nutrition through the different foods tried and very interesting result regarding the goldenfeast. I don't have any advice but I do have a very randy male budgie and a tiel so I'll watch this thread, see how it goes.
 

katebf38

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Will be interesting to see what others have experienced. Will be watching this as well.:unsure:
 

teena87

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Just FYI, Im not actually trying to blame Nutriberries for any issues. It is entirely possible that some unique (to him??) dietary needs were just balanced out by the goldenfeast pellets.

Since there may be others here with hormonal issues, I will try to put together a timeline

1st year (approx.) - Goldenfeast pellets and mixes - no regurgitation. He was very young through so I attributed the later changes to sexual maturity and nothing else.

2nd year (approx.) - Tops pellets, Nutriberries and milet as treats regularly (regurgitation pretty frequent and overall sexual activity high with humping and circling etc, even resulted in trip to vet and attempt at Lupron)

Recently - Couple of months of Nutriberries as food and millet at treats (as would not eat anything else after a short break from pellets) - absolutely nuts with humping and regurgitation, I believe worse than previous year so went to the vet again. Got recommendations but nothing really helped.

Last week - Back on Goldenfeast pellets and seed/nut/vegetable mix. No Nutriberries, no millet. A good 95% improvement in regurgitation and other sexual activity starting IMMEDIATELY of new diet (day 2 or so). I am very certain of the changes because I work from home and I see him pretty much all day. He was regurgitating and doing the circling dance/humping pretty much all day. All of his favorite objects in the cage had to be cleaned off daily from the stains of regurgitation...since the new diet, there is not one single mark. In terms of humping, I see him kind of try it once or twice a day but suddenly he seems to not get anywhere with it and gives up after less than a minute. During the recent months I would see him "finish the job" with wing flapping and nearly falling over himself at the end after a good 5 min run.

o_O
 
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Ripshod

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Just FYI, Im not actually trying to blame Nutriberries for any issues. It is entirely possible that some unique (to him??) dietary needs were just balanced out by the goldenfeast pellets.
I could turn that on it's head. I could suggest that there is something in the nutriberries that brings out his natural behaviour - great food source, time to mate - and he has a natural tendency toward sexual over activity?
My ultimate desire in this is to find one single or a group of nutrients we could deliberately avoid in the diet to curtail this behaviour in a 'natural' way, something like Folic Acid, which all my birds get in their diet.
 
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teena87

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I could turn that on it's head. I could suggest that there is something in the nutriberries that brings out his natural behaviour - great food source, time to mate - and he has a natural tendency toward sexual over activity?
My ultimate desire in this is to find one single or a group of nutrients we could deliberately avoid in the diet to curtail this behaviour in a 'natural' way, something like Folic Acid, which all my birds get in their diet.
Yes sure, entirely possible. The question is whether it is what I think you mean - simply the effects of a high energy food triggering mating behavior (fats, sugars etc) or the effects of something specifically overstimulating his hormones. I think I would worry about the latter a bit more. Seems that in humans at least, anything that overstimulates hormones is never good news long-term.

I would say he definitely has a tendency towards sexual activity,

I would also love to know what the reason behind this could be, ingredient-wise.

I will update if I observe any changes in the female. These may take longer to notice
 

JLcribber

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But my question is - what the heck could be in the Nutriberries?? I very much doubt this was a coincidence.

Could very well be a coincidence. You're not considering other things like hormones come every season. It's also spring. A young adult is going to experience hormones more intensely (and possibly longer) simply because they are young and full of life.
 

sunnysmom

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Is your lovie around 2 then? I know with cockatiels, they go through a big hormonal episode around that age. Plus it's spring....
 

teena87

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Could very well be a coincidence. You're not considering other things like hormones come every season. It's also spring. A young adult is going to experience hormones more intensely (and possibly longer) simply because they are young and full of life.
Yes but he has had it all year with a pretty significant increase when he went on Nutriberries completely. This was also in winter (Im in Canada). Right now it actually is spring and it stopped almost entirely exactly when the new food was introduced.

I would be VERY VERY surprised if this was a coincidence just because of the intensity and consistency of the behavior over a long period of time and then a very sudden stop.
 
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teena87

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Is your lovie around 2 then? I know with cockatiels, they go through a big hormonal episode around that age. Plus it's spring....
Yep he is around two. Spring for us here started just now and strangely it is also now that this behavior stopped. The worst of it was actually started still in full winter.
 

Ripshod

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I doubt very much that my budgie has been hormonal all this time. Not naturally anyways.
A little digging has shown me that both Lafeber and Hagen list Folic Acid as a supplement amongst their ingredients whilst Goldenfeast do not. Of course this doesn't mean there is no Folic Acid in the Goldenfeast, it does mean they haven't added it as a supplement.
I'm gonna go out on a limb and order some of Goldenfeast's Australian Blend to try wih both Jack and Tau as we can't go on like this, it's not fair to them.
My aim here is not to say so-and-so's food is carp, I'm looking for a resolution to what is a long-term problem with at least one of my birds. Who knows, maybe this will help others in the same situation. After all, a desired affect of Folic Acid is increased fertility.
 
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teena87

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I doubt very much that my budgie has been hormonal all this time. Not naturally anyways.
A little digging has shown me that both Lafeber and Hagen list Folic Acid as a supplement amongst their ingredients whilst Goldenfeast do not. Of course this doesn't mean there is no Folic Acid in the Goldenfeast, it does mean they haven't added it as a supplement.
I'm gonna go out on a limb and order some of Goldenfeast's Australian Blend to try wih both Jack and Tau as we can't go on like this, it's not fair to them.
My aim here is not to say so-and-so's food is carp, I'm looking for a resolution to what is a long-term problem with at least one of my birds. Who knows, maybe this will help others in the same situation.
Do they eat pellets? I would maybe try that primarily. I was shocked when Mango (adopted female) actually started eating them. I know the small beak formula is available through their main site to US customers. Small Beak – Goldn’obles III | Goldenfeast Direct
& this is the other one that I have Petite Hookbill Legume Blend | Goldenfeast Direct

I would also avoid giving any other treats or foods..for the sake of clarity of the experiment.

I think its a bit of a stretch at this time to necessarily expect anything as we dont know what really changed but I hope you have success! At the very least its a very good brand, mainly organic.
 

Ripshod

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I would also avoid giving any other treats or foods..for the sake of clarity of the experiment.
Good point. A little googling ha shown me there is natural folic acid in leafy green vegies, beans, rice, cereals and pasta. My birds don't need any extra. I could cut it out altogether and reintroduce natural sources gradually.
I love the Hagen foods, and so do my birds, I hope they take to the new quite easily. I've chosen the Australian blend because it does contain a few Australia specific ingredients including eucalyptus, which tiels and budgies get naturally in the wild.

I really hope this works, I don't want my budgies living in separate cages for the rest of their natural lives.
It may not be about the folic acid, that's just one of a few differences. It may just come down to nutrition, I can only speculate for now.
 
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teena87

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Good point. A little googling ha shown me there is natural folic acid in leafy green vegies, beans, rice, cereals and pasta. My birds don't need any extra. I could cut it out altogether and reintroduce natural sources gradually.
I love the Hagen foods, and so do my birds, I hope they take to the new quite easily. I've chosen the Australian blend because it does contain a few Australia specific ingredients including eucalyptus, which tiels and budgies get naturally in the wild.

I really hope this works, I don't want my budgies living in separate cages for the rest of their natural lives.
I hope it works for you too... The only thing that the vet suggested that I haven't done was place them into separate rooms. I know they wont be happy :(
 
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