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Regurgitation

Atomiklan

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Sigh, Lada has started "gurging". Looking for any tips and tricks anyone out there might have to help. I'm not so much looking for explanations. I know whats going on and why and I am already working to reduce, well... in a constant battle really against the dreaded eckie hormones (aren't we all). Strangely/thankfully she does not gurg to/on me despite her attachment to me. However, she is gurging all over the couch constantly which is difficult to manage. Obvious nesting site. She only recently started doing this. She has been through hormonal periods before and was never this bad. I used to let her get it out of her system as there really was no stopping it outside of say expensive and seemingly unnatural drugs. However, as of late, she seems determined to "coat the entire couch" sigh... Couch already has a slip cover and I put down a blanket now too just in case she sneaks by me. Now please note, I am now completely discouraging her getting time on the couch to begin with. The blankets/slip cover are just added precaution. Problem is, per usual, if not the couch, it will always be somewhere else. Under the table, behind the fridge, etc. I am still bird proofing as she discovers new nooks and crannies. I recognize this is almost entriely my doing and I need to be MUCH better about our interactions, food, activities, etc. Lada has always been one of those really difficult laser focused nesty birds. Zero and I do mean zero interest in toys, and rarely food motivated. She is and has always been 100% focused on nesting nesting nesting and sometimes I just have given in slightly in past because its constant! Other than the obvious fix of doing all the normal recommendations to discourage nesting, hormones, etc. any suggestions in the interim to deal with the gurg problem? Thanks!
 

Monaco

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I wish I could offer you something. I'm not entirely convinced that we shouldn't just let them make a nest, be unsuccessful and hope they abandon it. I'm sure basic efforts like reducing nesting site options and careful...EVERYTHING...are valuable tools and techniques for some or even most birds. I'm not convinced it's the answer for all of them, but it's just a thought experiment at this point in time. I know @EkkieLu has a particularly challenging lady. Maybe she can offer some tips?

If it helps at all we're having a very challenging week or two here. I think it's winding down, but we're not out of the "season" yet.
 

Atomiklan

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"I'm not entirely convinced that we shouldn't just let them make a nest"

Yeah, I agree to a point, but its a tough call. Sometimes I just give in for one or two reasons. If she is egg laying and wont stop, sometimes I let her sit on a couple of fake eggs (rarely) just to get it out of her system and this seems to work. Pushes the Eckie reset button so to speak. Also occasionally when staying with family, for example over holidays, I sometimes bring her bed (big fluffy cat snuggle hut). Yes I know what everyone is thinking... this is the worst possible thing to let her stay in, but my family are not bird people (yet) and letting Lada hangout with the family in something familiar and comfortable to her is helping to ease the transition for both Lada and the family. Helps protect family couches and gives her somewhere to escape to if things get a little too crazy. We are slowly working on just hanging out on mobile tree stands and introducing the family, but its a slow process. At home I never give her this hiding spot. The really sad part is she went back into a feather plucking episode right when this hormonal season started. We have been good now for a solid year and her feathers were completely back in, and overnight she decided to make her nest out of herself... Doesnt matter if she has nesting material or not. I have tried that in the past. She will shred material for nesting, but not toys and even when she does have shredable material (thinking maybe it will distract her from feathers) she still manages to make her nest out of all her feathers. Maybe next time I should just try giving her a pile of feathers when she gets in this mood and maybe that will prevent her going after her own.

She is sleeping right now (on her cage thankfully) so I dont have any after pictures, but here is her snuggle hut and her with all her feathers before the feather bomb went off hahaha... She is currently a fluffy grey bird with a giant red head... I am not worried (yet) about this being a serious issue as she seems to only pluck for nesting during nesting times, but I know it can create bad habits so I am trying to fix it sooner than later. Curious to hear any other tips outside the obvious change of human behavior. @EkkieLu

Sleepy burb
PXL_20201119_083520063.jpg

Hormonal burb
PXL_20201111_151316474.jpg
 
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Kassiani

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She is beautiful! I’m sorry she’s so hormonal right now. I have no experience to share, but @Zara had some great suggestions on others’ threads. Hopefully someone will have an idea you haven’t tried yet that will work for your girl!
 

Monaco

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I have seen barbered chest feathers, and I think it was part of the "must...build...nest" mode too. She also attacked her primaries again when I took everything nesty away from her. Honestly I think this is a tightrope routine between the sheer cliff of frustration and the hormones that probably urge them to use feathers for a warm nest.

In burrowing rodents you can do real psychological harm by preventing the biological imperative to dig. I really am concerned that female ekkies chew wood for the sole purpose of creating a suitable tree cavity and shredding the softer stuff for the nest. We're providing the materials, but impervious metal to dig on has got to be a mind bender for their limbic (is that right? The instinct part...) brain and hormones to deal with.

I sure would like to see some research about it. Monaco uses foot toys to try to dig, beak, feet. It can't be good for her.
 

Monica

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Can you... look at changing her diet? At least temporarily?

Can you.... decrease lighting? If that doesn't work, have you tried increasing lighting? Changing the quality of light?

If she's not food motivated, what DOES she find rewarding? Besides looking for a nest?

Have you tried easy foraging options for her?
 

Atomiklan

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Diet, yeah that's not a bad idea. Only problem is I dont know what I would change it to. She already gets a big bowl of fresh fruit during day, chop that I freeze, and she always has either Harrisons course or Harrisons fine available in cage which she likes. Any change in diet would feel like a down grade. Perhaps try some new and exciting fruits and veggies she is not used to? Oh one other thing. She loves trying to get into the finches cage. Most of the time its to go down to the bottom to shread all their paper towels for yeah nesting, but she also seems to be very interested in their pellet mix. Maybe this is just a grass greener otherside situation?

As for lighting, Lada along with Charlie and Emma are 3rd shift birds. They are awake with me at night for work and sleep during the day. We're blacked out during daytime for sleep and have an artificial light schedule indoors at night. They do still get sunshine when we do weekend trips or in the morning before bedtime. I was worried about this a few years back when I first got into birds, but all my fids have adapted really well to 3rd shift living and seem to be happy and healthy with the exception of Lada and her nesty behaviour which frankly she was exactly the same before adapting to 3rd shift anyways. So while I dont rule out lighting to be a factor, I am not convinced yet. Lada also has a proper wavelength parrot cage lamp on a timer.

"If she's not food motivated, what DOES she find rewarding? Besides looking for a nest?" hahahaha now you see the problem... just nesty. Lada has two modes. Sit perfectly still for seemingly hours and not make a peep. This is mode 1 aka stuffed animal mode. Or nest nest nest nest... aka mode 2

As for foraging options, I need lots of suggestions please. If its in a toy form hanging from cage she rarely and I mean RARELY touches it. Cant do box type foraging things either as she ignores the foraging part of the exercise and its all just about box = nest. Make hole and or shred for nest. Best solution I have found for foraging so far are those clear toys that you can put nuts and stuff in. She will sometimes go after those when she is hungry, but she's pretty lazy about it lol.

Maybe I just have a lazy spoiled bird haha? Everyone that knows Lada that also has parrot experience agrees. Lada is a very weird bird. I ofcourse still love my little couch monster.
 

Monaco

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That sounds very much like Monaco. We have a 12/12 late schedule here too. I haven't found any difference in shifting light cycles either...except serious tantrum material if she isn't feeling like going to the sleep cage. The biggest difference I have found was the two cage situation and the addition of the big play stand. For quite a while the sleep cage (her original cage) was the "nest" and she was much less nesty or territorial in /aroud/of the day cage...same thing when I added the pvc gym.
As far as foraging she also does better with the clear cups, and it can take a while with the highest value treats (walnuts lately, safflower seeds) to teach her how to get into the opaque vessels. Big foot toys and beads in the regular food dishes works for additional movement.

If the Harrisons has soy, I would reduce and replace with something that doesn't have any. I also added legumes to the frozen chop. Definitely add fruits and veggies here and there.

Eerily similar...
 

Kassiani

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If the Harrisons has soy, I would reduce and replace with something that doesn't have any. I also added legumes to the frozen chop. Definitely add fruits and veggies here and there.
You know, that's a good idea! Soy is an estrogen mimic for some....
 
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