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erineliot

Strolling the yard
Joined
2/2/22
Messages
137
Location
Lafayette, LA
Real Name
Erin Eliot
My Amazon, without question, has hormonal issues. She wing flaps, does a little dance, and then rubs her vent on me or objects constantly. She recently started regurgitating (which was the last straw that lead me here). She does it all, essentially, with the exception of feather plucking. I could go into more detail, but she’s pretty by the book hormonal.

I have tried to lengthen her nights. I have provided her with a silent, perfectly darkened room for optimum sleep. As time passed, I noticed zero improvement in her hormones.

I gave her less baths… and more baths.

I attempted to limit her intake of pellets, seeds and nuts. I incorporated more whole, fresh foods. She has foraging toys. (It has become very clear recently that she needs more physical stimulation, and which I’ll be working on as well.)

However, here is my issue. To the gram, my baby just makes the mark for the bare minimal female weight established for the double yellow headed Amazon. I have spent years trying to rehabilitate my girl to gain some healthy weight. She struggles. I struggle. Last fall, I almost lost her due to a heavy metal toxicity. Since then, gaining weight has been additionally trying. She likes many fresh foods, but not enough to sustain her during a diet transition. If I were to remove her high calorie foods, (her hormone enhancing fshe certainly would take a dangerously long time to force herself to eat the new, fresh foods.

I’m stuck.

Ah, also. She is on Harrison’s.
 

BirdView

Strolling the yard
Joined
11/18/19
Messages
103
Can you elaborate more? What type of Amazon do you have? How old is she? What is her weight? Do you have other birds? I found out Amazons (at least mine) are very sensitive to handling. My DYA can get hormonal by just perching on my shoulder? When that happens I put him down and step out. I also noticed that music triggers hormonal behavior in all of my birds. Fortunately, I have not had prolonged hormonal episodes, nesting behavior, egg laying, or hormonal aggression in any of my birds. I believe what helped most is the long uninterrupted night sleep. My birds have their own space and they sleep from sunset to sunrise.

 

Sparkles!

Rollerblading along the road
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Hormone season usually requires extra calories, not fewer. When you mention weight- you haven’t said if she’s actually underweight or not. Petite birds exists in every species. Weight guidelines are just that- guidelines. Not every human or critter is going to fit guidelines for their species, and that can be normal.
You may just have a more petite female.

What does your vet say? What was her weight pre-toxicity? What chelation method was used to get her out of toxic range?

Hormones are going to happen. Nothing short of endocrine blockers can take a bird out of a hormonal season, but unless the bird becomes a mutilator or life for the bird becomes intolerable, management is more on the human’s end. We need to be more patient while the constant masturbation happens. We need earplugs and a healthy dose of ignoring for the increased vocalizations, etc.

I would not remove any food from her.
 

erineliot

Strolling the yard
Joined
2/2/22
Messages
137
Location
Lafayette, LA
Real Name
Erin Eliot
Can you elaborate more? What type of Amazon do you have? How old is she? What is her weight? Do you have other birds? I found out Amazons (at least mine) are very sensitive to handling. My DYA can get hormonal by just perching on my shoulder? When that happens I put him down and step out. I also noticed that music triggers hormonal behavior in all of my birds. Fortunately, I have not had prolonged hormonal episodes, nesting behavior, egg laying, or hormonal aggression in any of my birds. I believe what helped most is the long uninterrupted night sleep. My birds have their own space and they sleep from sunset to sunrise.

Henri is a double yellow headed Amazon. She’s about 25 years old. She’s been with me for about 5 of those. She did not have a healthy lifestyle before becoming my baby. She is exactly 16oz/452g. Her weight is too low.

I do not have other birds. She is a single person bird. She can get aggressive with others, territorial, is prone to nesting, but I can control that. She starts her little sex dance sometimes by even being looked at. Touch is stimulating as well. She’s never laid an egg.

She sleeps in a room in the dark with a fan to drown out out-of-room sounds. Since she’s been doing this, she gets from sunset to well past sundown some days. She’s just getting worse. And she’s the same way all year round. Once she spent about two or so months on this schedule, with no improvement, I allowed her to start sleeping with us again as it’s what she wanted. I don’t know what to do. She deserves to be happy and healthy and that’s my job.

The food is really what I can’t figure out how to improve. She needs to gain weight but can’t. She needs those high calorie foods, but I know this only makes hormones worse.
 

erineliot

Strolling the yard
Joined
2/2/22
Messages
137
Location
Lafayette, LA
Real Name
Erin Eliot
Hormone season usually requires extra calories, not fewer. When you mention weight- you haven’t said if she’s actually underweight or not. Petite birds exists in every species. Weight guidelines are just that- guidelines. Not every human or critter is going to fit guidelines for their species, and that can be normal.
You may just have a more petite female.

What does your vet say? What was her weight pre-toxicity? What chelation method was used to get her out of toxic range?

Hormones are going to happen. Nothing short of endocrine blockers can take a bird out of a hormonal season, but unless the bird becomes a mutilator or life for the bird becomes intolerable, management is more on the human’s end. We need to be more patient while the constant masturbation happens. We need earplugs and a healthy dose of ignoring for the increased vocalizations, etc.

I would not remove any food from her.
It’s not that she’s aggravating me or grossing me out. I am concerned. I know my bird. She needs more. She’s not okay. She’s not in danger or ill, but I definitely would not say she’s healthy. Mentally she’s unstimulated (different post, different mission), she’s petite and isn’t eating a proper variety of foods or even enough (16oz/452g - not underweight but nearly, and it was HARD to get her to this point before and after the toxicity), and hormonally, she’s so overwhelmed. I know when she’s happy, when she’s stressed, when she’s fulfilled and when she’s receptive. She’s not a problem, she’s having problems. It’s my delighted role to be the one to take care of this. I’ve been great at rehabilitating her up until now. But now I need help.

How can I control both weight and diet to lower hormones and increase vitality?
Anything and everything, I want to try it.
 

erineliot

Strolling the yard
Joined
2/2/22
Messages
137
Location
Lafayette, LA
Real Name
Erin Eliot
Henri is a double yellow headed Amazon. She’s about 25 years old. She’s been with me for about 5 of those. She did not have a healthy lifestyle before becoming my baby. She is exactly 16oz/452g. Her weight is too low.

I do not have other birds. She is a single person bird. She can get aggressive with others, territorial, is prone to nesting, but I can control that. She starts her little sex dance sometimes by even being looked at. Touch is stimulating as well. She’s never laid an egg.

She sleeps in a room in the dark with a fan to drown out out-of-room sounds. Since she’s been doing this, she gets from sunset to well past sundown some days. She’s just getting worse. And she’s the same way all year round. Once she spent about two or so months on this schedule, with no improvement, I allowed her to start sleeping with us again as it’s what she wanted. I don’t know what to do. She deserves to be happy and healthy and that’s my job.

The food is really what I can’t figure out how to improve. She needs to gain weight but can’t. She needs those high calorie foods, but I know this only makes hormones worse.
Oh and she very recently started regurgitating. She has only done this before when she had her toxicity, but that was vomiting. This seems once again to be prompted by hormones, as all the other behavioral symptoms happen in conjunction.
 

erineliot

Strolling the yard
Joined
2/2/22
Messages
137
Location
Lafayette, LA
Real Name
Erin Eliot
Oh and she very recently started regurgitating. She has only done this before when she had her toxicity, but that was vomiting. This seems once again to be prompted by hormones, as all the other behavioral symptoms happen in conjunction.
And all of her vets say she is definitely on the low end of healthy weights and that she should gain more but that she currently seems stable. What scares me is if she were to get sick again, she has little caloric reserve and she drops weight easily. Under my car, she weighs the most now at 452 grams.
 

Sparkles!

Rollerblading along the road
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Joined
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If all of her vets say she is fine and stable, I wouldn’t worry about all the “If” scenarios. Hopefully she’ll never have another toxicity issue under your care, and at the sign of any other health issues you’ll get her seen before any weight has the chance to drop.

Yes, everyone can agree that it would be optimal if she ate more- but many birds choose to eat only what’s necessary for life. You would do her a disservice if you forced more food on her. Provide to her whatever food your vet has recommended. We have not seen your bird’s blood work results. So to recommend you to try palm oil or high potency or anything else like that might actually hurt her- Zons are very prone to high triglycerides and cholesterol and other ailments- and body score/weight has no basis on whether or not the bird is affected. Many thin birds have worse heart and health conditions than the plumps!

Again, I would not change her diet. If she’s maintaining that 452 on Harrison’s, there’s no need to take it from her just because it’s hormonal season.

The masturbating, regurgitation, it’s all hormones. Sometimes the best thing (often the *only* thing) to do is ignore it. It will pass. Yes, it can and does affect them greatly. And as a loving, caring owner, it’s going to bother you too! But it passes. Taking food from a hormone filled bird is not a sure fix at all. Some birds benefit from the removal of high calorie or warm foods to curtail excess hormones-but in all my years of experience it’s the small ones this pertains to mostly. The larger species are more in tune to seasonal, photoperiod, and atmospheric changes that push them into hormonal cycles.

If her cycle is truly something that neither of you can tolerate, you need to make a certified avian vet visit to discuss endocrine modulation.
 

Hahns0hmy

Walking the driveway
Joined
6/1/19
Messages
185
Location
new york ny
Real Name
Adam
past two weeks ive been dealing with hormones. i will tell you what has worked for me so far and some mentioned above. uninterrupted sleep 11 hrs dark silence. the food many say change, dont change it. I found changing food made him stress more. Stick to petting just the head. keep the routine same morning lights on and shut same in the evening. changing the routine to stop hormones made them worse. just give more time out of cage for flight to burn and use up the energy. its been working great for me. i threw in new toys. I also began to make other members of family interact to loosen the bond with me.
 

BirdView

Strolling the yard
Joined
11/18/19
Messages
103
Echo my double yellow Amazon also weighs 450g. He is healthy and muscular. I don't think he is under weight by any means. He has a food bowl filled with pellets all the time (He prefers Roudybush). I put different food in his second bowl everyday (boiled eggs, sweet potato, sweet corn, fresh veggies, sprouted seeds,..). He will keep eating if he doesn't have anything to do. It is well known that Amazon parrots in captivity are prone to obesity. It is better in my opinion to be on the low side of the normal weight range.
 

erineliot

Strolling the yard
Joined
2/2/22
Messages
137
Location
Lafayette, LA
Real Name
Erin Eliot
Just read all the wonderful suggestions! Can't wait to respond... tomorrow! Thank you. ❤
 

Hahns0hmy

Walking the driveway
Joined
6/1/19
Messages
185
Location
new york ny
Real Name
Adam
My Amazon, without question, has hormonal issues. She wing flaps, does a little dance, and then rubs her vent on me or objects constantly. She recently started regurgitating (which was the last straw that lead me here). She does it all, essentially, with the exception of feather plucking. I could go into more detail, but she’s pretty by the book hormonal.

I have tried to lengthen her nights. I have provided her with a silent, perfectly darkened room for optimum sleep. As time passed, I noticed zero improvement in her hormones.

I gave her less baths… and more baths.

I attempted to limit her intake of pellets, seeds and nuts. I incorporated more whole, fresh foods. She has foraging toys. (It has become very clear recently that she needs more physical stimulation, and which I’ll be working on as well.)

However, here is my issue. To the gram, my baby just makes the mark for the bare minimal female weight established for the double yellow headed Amazon. I have spent years trying to rehabilitate my girl to gain some healthy weight. She struggles. I struggle. Last fall, I almost lost her due to a heavy metal toxicity. Since then, gaining weight has been additionally trying. She likes many fresh foods, but not enough to sustain her during a diet transition. If I were to remove her high calorie foods, (her hormone enhancing fshe certainly would take a dangerously long time to force herself to eat the new, fresh foods.

I’m stuck.

Ah, also. She is on Harrison’s.
starting to wonder if harrisons is too potent of a pellet. if it changes hormones. I see harrisons in too many issues.. havent come up with anything yet but im seeing the dots. have you always fed harrisons ? just wondering.
 

erineliot

Strolling the yard
Joined
2/2/22
Messages
137
Location
Lafayette, LA
Real Name
Erin Eliot
If all of her vets say she is fine and stable, I wouldn’t worry about all the “If” scenarios. Hopefully, she’ll never have another toxicity issue under your care, and at the sign of any other health issues, you’ll get her seen before any weight has the chance to drop.

Yes, everyone can agree that it would be optimal if she ate more- but many birds choose to eat only what’s necessary for life. You would do her a disservice if you forced more food on her. Provide to her whatever food your vet has recommended. We have not seen your bird’s blood work results. So to recommend you to try palm oil or high potency or anything else like that might actually hurt her- Zons are very prone to high triglycerides and cholesterol and other ailments- and body score/weight has no basis on whether or not the bird is affected. Many thin birds have worse heart and health conditions than the plumps!

Again, I would not change her diet. If she’s maintaining that 452 on Harrison’s, there’s no need to take it from her just because it’s a hormonal season.

The masturbating, regurgitation, it’s all hormones. Sometimes the best thing (often the *only* thing) to do is ignore it. It will pass. Yes, it can and does affect them greatly. And as a loving, caring owner, it’s going to bother you too! But it passes. Taking food from a hormone-filled bird is not a sure fix at all. Some birds benefit from the removal of high calorie or warm foods to curtail excess hormones-but in all my years of experience it’s the small ones this pertains to mostly. The larger species are more in tune with seasonal, photoperiod, and atmospheric changes that push them into hormonal cycles.

If her cycle is truly something that neither of you can tolerate, you need to make a certified avian vet visit to discuss endocrine modulation.
So the issue is that her toxicity never officially cleared up. They couldn't extract the metals. She did months of chelation, which I believe really helped. But since the metal is inside of her, the hope is that her stomach lining will absorb it and dissolve it. There is still a like risk that the metal may shift and she will begin reabsorption. Although I doubt this will happen at this point, I'm afraid to transition her to healthier foods and risk putting her body under too much stress. Her hormones are already out of control, I don't want to add to the situation. My goal now is to either maintain this weight or have her gain a bit more. But I no longer am encouraging her to eat in a fashion that promotes weight gain. All that being said, the issue with changing her diet for both hormones and simply for greater health is weight loss in transition. The reason I say this is because I can introduce fresh, healthy foods to her (say broccoli) and she won't touch it. I'll give her a wide variety and she just zeros in on high fat and high sugar foods. In order to get her to try the broccoli (our metaphor for any healthy/new food), I have to remove her comfort foods, allowing her to grow hungry enough that she tries the broccoli. This is where the weight loss comes in.

I do love what you said that "many birds choose to eat only what’s necessary for life," because I didn't know this and am fascinated to learn it. It brings me peace with where her weight is at (maybe not to the idea of her losing more, though). Another problem I have is that she has a few vets, one main. In my area, exotic vets are hard to come by and those you do, are not very educated or experienced in the matter. She routinely visits the vet, a few times a year maybe, but anytime there's an actual issue, my vet sources me out to the state vets, who also are good, but also not as educated as I'd hope for my baby girl. Education on exotic bird breeds is rare in my area.

Endocrine modulation? Can you tell me a bit more about that? And to clarify, I can tolerate her hormones. I don't see her as a problem pet, just my sweet baby who is in need of something she's not getting. My goal isn't to shut her up or calm her down, it's to see her thrive.

Lastly, I have palm oil and have tried it. She doesn't take to it. However, more importantly, I had no idea Amazon's are prone to the ailments you listed. Does this mean I should be limiting fat? Because again, that is probably the main source of what she's willing to eat right now. So you're saying that in YOUR experience, the removal of food doesn't impact the larger birds as hormonally as it does the smaller ones? Wow. I'm loving these chats and all the advice! Thank you! Looking forward to your response!
 

erineliot

Strolling the yard
Joined
2/2/22
Messages
137
Location
Lafayette, LA
Real Name
Erin Eliot
Echo my double yellow Amazon also weighs 450g. He is healthy and muscular. I don't think he is underweight by any means. He has a food bowl filled with pellets all the time (He prefers Roudybush). I put different food in his second bowl every day (boiled eggs, sweet potato, sweet corn, fresh veggies, sprouted seeds,..). He will keep eating if he doesn't have anything to do. It is well known that Amazon parrots in captivity are prone to obesity. It is better in my opinion to be on the low side of the normal weight range.
Echo is a CUTE name! Thank you for sharing. So Roudybush? I'll have to look into that. She loves Harrison's and I also tried TOPs, but she won't touch it. I wanted to have two main pellet types for variety. I'll check them out. So when you put food in his bowls, does he just take to anything and try new things, or do you have some kind of persuasion technique? I, beyond any shadow of a doubtt, know mine will not have an issue with obesity. She may be somewhat of a perch potato, but she isn't one much for eating. The number of poops she makes on certain days frightens me! For the most part, I feel the degree to which she eats is nearly perfect, leaning on the lean side. But there are just some days when she barely touches food. Thank you for you help!
 

erineliot

Strolling the yard
Joined
2/2/22
Messages
137
Location
Lafayette, LA
Real Name
Erin Eliot
starting to wonder if harrisons is too potent of a pellet. if it changes hormones. I see harrisons in too many issues.. havent come up with anything yet but im seeing the dots. have you always fed harrisons ? just wondering.
Oh, really?! Well, someone just suggested another food - Roudybush. Do you have any other suggestions? I know she hates TOPs. But I can begin to understand your theory. Harrison's is high potency, which can sometimes backfire.
 

Hankmacaw

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Harrison's also makes the regular maintenance pellets. Roudy bush specializes in pellets for specific purposes and you might see if there is one of those that you like. But all pellets other than those labeled high potency (or something like that) are made for the regular maintenance of your bird.

It is far better to get your bird to gain weight using high protien foods rather than fatty foods. Those high protein foods should be vegetable protein NOT animal protein. In fact your Amazon is the bird that is second most susceptible to atherosclerosis and bad fats and no exercise are the biggest things that encourage atherosclerosis. In order to keep the birds fat intake where it should be You can completely eliminate all saturated fats and substitute with non-saturated fats. It is not the amount of fat they intake, it is the type that does the harm.
 

Hahns0hmy

Walking the driveway
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Location
new york ny
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Adam
Oh, really?! Well, someone just suggested another food - Roudybush. Do you have any other suggestions? I know she hates TOPs. But I can begin to understand your theory. Harrison's is high potency, which can sometimes backfire.
roudybush and tops to me are the same dry as a desert pellet that doesn't get eaten. Im sure its a great pellet but seems like torture to eat. I have tried them but no luck.. and don't blame them. I personally think tropimix from hagan has been welcomed the pellets when fresh are more crisp. I see the pellets eaten decently. I also like Zupreem natural, both get eaten without issue. I inspect poop a lot, I try to keep it text book bright green solid with white. with Harrisons its almost too perfect of a poop very dry.
 

erineliot

Strolling the yard
Joined
2/2/22
Messages
137
Location
Lafayette, LA
Real Name
Erin Eliot
roudybush and tops to me are the same dry as a desert pellet that doesn't get eaten. Im sure its a great pellet but seems like torture to eat. I have tried them but no luck.. and don't blame them. I personally think tropimix from hagan has been welcomed the pellets when fresh are more crisp. I see the pellets eaten decently. I also like Zupreem natural, both get eaten without issue. I inspect poop a lot, I try to keep it text book bright green solid with white. with Harrisons its almost too perfect of a poop very dry.
Love your answer!
 
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