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New clingy behavior - Lovebird

lil_tootie

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mariam hashemi
Hello everyone! I've introduced my lovebird here before but her name is Tootie and we got her over the summer, she was 4 weeks old when we brought her home. Her gender hasn't been confirmed but she seems to have very female-oriented behavior. She's about 7-8 months old now
She was an absolute precious little thing up until about 1-1.5 months ago. We built her a new play area made it all colorful and added new toys and the whole works but as time passed she plays on it less and less and is constantly clingy to my sister and my family.

She loves to burrow herself into our sweaters and shirts as well as any dark spaces she can get herself into (drawers, cabinets, bottom of newly emptied small trash bins etc.). She used to shred paper casually a couple months ago but now if she's not climbing all on us, she's shredding paper. The newspapers we've left at the bottom of her cage to collect her droppings are always shredded the next morning. She doesn't really play with any of her toys anymore. And it feels like she's not able to entertain herself anymore - especially if my sister is around. She's bonded the most with her (which makes sense, as my sister is the one that brought her home).

Its becoming a problem now because she won't self-entertain like she used to when she was out her cage. And she's constantly running around the kitchen area. Her pellet consumption is also very challenging because some days she'll eat no problem and she'll do it on her own. Other days we'll have to kinda make sure she eats. She doesn't eat in her cage at all despite purchasing something smaller to put next to her water bowl so she can dunk the pellets in the water. She does eat her seeds every night and sometimes veggies/fuits (if she's in the mood for it). Never says no to treats, just very picky with her pellets.

Sorry for the long message - my family and I are really struggling right now :/ its becoming debilitating and she's not letting anyone be comfortable. She'll bite hard if she doesn't get her way.
 

Sunni Tiel

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She is definitely going through hormones. You need to do research and make sure you're doing the right things to keep her healthy, I can't help as I don't have lovebirds and don't know much about them, but @Zara @Birdbabe @camelotshadow might have some information.

Sorry it took so long to reply, usually AA is faster!
 

Zara

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The newspapers we've left at the bottom of her cage to collect her droppings are always shredded the next morning.
This is why grates are so good for lovebirds.
If you don´t have one, maybe just don´t line the tray. Wipe it down twice a day instead?
If the papers are always shredded overnight anyway, then they are not doing their job and therefore useless, may as well not bother putting them down.

She loves to burrow herself into our sweaters and shirts as well as any dark spaces she can get herself into (drawers, cabinets, bottom of newly emptied small trash bins etc.).
This is called cavity seeking.
Here is an article for you to have a read of;

I think @TikiMyn may have more insight or advice :)

Its becoming a problem now because she won't self-entertain like she used to
Never says no to treats,
Have you tried introducing foraging?
Foraging cups, wheels etc
It is a great way to entertain them, especially when they have to be caged because they´re home alone.

As for toys, be sure to offer a variety. Some birds are picky.
 

Pat H

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That's what LBs-- cuddle in your neckline/ hair etc... I always told people-- you wear a Lovebird!
 

lil_tootie

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Thank you so much for all your information! The cavity seeking article had another post right underneath it that was also very helpful and sounded exactly like Tootie!
I'll try to incorporate some foraging toys but she's got plenty, but we'll get more creative.
I know everyone in the house is slowly starting to go back to work since COVID restrictions are being lifted and jobs are coming back up so she'll need to spend more time in her cage and I think the home made foraging toys will be great at keeping her busy.

My biggest concern is if she is hormonal, we're not sure how to go about it - will continue to do more research on it and if I have any questions I'll come back to this thread and ask. In the mean time if you have anywhere else on this forum you can refer me to references I'll be happy to look that way!
 

lil_tootie

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I absolutely cannot wrap my head around how much of an amazing community this forum is, especially @Zara :grouphug2:
I just spent the last hour reading up on so many posts about hormonal lovebirds and my family and I really felt so alone in this period; not anymore! :scared6:
I'll definitely be implementing a lot of the tips I read and that @Zara suggested and HOPEFULLY that works.

Tootie's been a little extra tired these past couple days and my parents have told me that in the last couple of days whenever we put her back in her cage she'll hang out at the bottom of the cage for upwards of 5 minutes before climbing back up to her perches. I've read that anytime a bird is resting at the bottom of the cage its usually an indication that she's not doing well. We are in the process of finding an avian vet to take her for a wellness visit and to see what else we can do to help her out. Unless someone else has experienced this during a hormonal period and its nothing to worry about too much?

The days are getting longer and I believe we have to move her cage from her current location. She's currently in my parents bedroom, but from what I've read it seems we need to/should move her to her own room where she'll have total uninterrupted darkness for 12-14 hours (during her excess hormonal periods). I'm worried if she does lay an infertile egg (a clutch is the term, I believe?) I dont know what to do with it or how to handle it and take care of Tootie afterwards. I'll have to do another deep dive on the forum to learn more about it. :cantsee:
 

Zara

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When my girls are wanting to lay eggs, the hang out on the bottom of the cage. They sleep in the corner on the cage grate. That is because I don´t have nest boxes for them (because I don´t want to encourage laying).
But as you say this only happens when you return her to her cage, it is worth having a check up to be sure she is healthy.

I'm worried if she does lay an infertile egg (a clutch is the term, I believe?) I dont know what to do with it or how to handle it and take care of Tootie afterwards.
Having your bird on a good diet is important. Pellets are preffered because they contain all the vitamins and nutrients. If your bird doesn´t eat pellets, then veggies rich in calcium should be given as well as access to unfiltered sunlight for vitamin D3. If sunlight is not a possibility, then pellets are the way to go. If your bird won´t eat pellets, then you need to offer a supplement for calcium. If you offer a supplement, the instructions will tell you how much to offer and when, as it will be more during the laying period, and less for the rest of the year.
Given the egg is infertile, just leave it be. If she has never laid before, she might not even care for it much anyway. But leave it be until she has finished laying her clutch (between 3-7), then if she wants to sit on the eggs and rest, let her do that. If she spends the next week ignoring the egg/s, remove them.
When removing eggs, it can be helpful to move perches, food bowls, water bowls and toys around in the cage. Introducing a new toys, and some foraging can help her move forward.
 

lil_tootie

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They sleep in the corner on the cage grate
She definitely goes to the corner of her cage grate but its not for long, if we see her doing that for an excessive period of time, we'll see if she'll want to come out of her cage...if not we let her be before she gets really aggressive.

Having your bird on a good diet is important. Pellets are preffered because they contain all the vitamins and nutrients.
Yes! She definitely eats pellets - not the recommended amount thats on the back of the bag but she'll eat pellets at least once a day and she's been eating more in her cage for the past few days (she went through a period of time where she wasn't eating in her cage).
We give her veggies almost daily, but we'll increase her veggie intake (if she'll eat it, she can be picky sometimes)
And we've been giving her about 1-1.5 tablespoon of seeds in the evenings before bed but she doesn't always finish it. I read in past posts that we should limit her seed intake? Alternate days maybe? or is once a day in the evening still fine?

Given the egg is infertile, just leave it be.
Got it! Thank you for that advice! :) will make note of that for future reference, hopefully we wont have to deal with it, but if it happens it happens lol
 

Zara

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I read in past posts that we should limit her seed intake? Alternate days maybe? or is once a day in the evening still fine?
I used to mix pellets into the seed. It had always been fine before. But recently one of my girls lost her flight, and it seems she had been picking the seeds from the bowl and avoiding the pellets. So now she only has pellets available. I have a small amount of seed out of the cage for her before bed, and occasionally she gets little pieces of millet spray during the day (one of the little cluster balls).

So yes, alternate days would be better. One day pellet, one day seed. Whatever works for you.

hopefully we wont have to deal with it, but if it happens it happens lol
As she is alone, hopefully she will rarely lay :) Also, just to add, if she lays from up high and the eggs breaks. Leave it be for the day so she can acknowledge it, then remove it when you are settling her down for bedtime, and wipe around where it smashed.
 
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