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One of my female tiels, Igor, is VERY attached to me. She's been trying to get me to mate with her since soon after I got her. I do not encourage this. A little more than a month ago, she figured out how to masturbate on one of her perches. I took it away from her pretty quick, and she stopped. But now she's decided if she can't make love to the stuff in her cage, and I won't give her what she wants, she's going to rub her vent on my head every time she can get on my shoulder!

I've heard that if a tiel is masturbating, you should take away the object of his/her affections, but I can't really take myself away from her. At the moment, she's not being allowed out of her cage. I also need to give the birds a more regular sleep cycle and toys that are more easily destroyed. Any other suggestions would be hugely appreciated!
 

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I too have trouble with this issue!

The reason it's a problem is that I find the idea of depriving her of company in response to her perfectly natural instincts horrible. After all, it's a normal part of her life that we as pet owners are responsible for disrupting. On the other hand, I don't want a chronic egg layer - that would be equally cruel. I think hormone control (ie regular, 12-14 sleep hours) to fight the urge in the first place should be your first port of call - it's worked for me and calmed my Murray right down. It really is important as I have discovered! I'd be interested to see what others come up with too.
 

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I'll second hormone control. That being said, I have a female 'tiel who has masturbated with stuff in her cage for the entire 4 years she's been with me and has never once laid an egg. You certainly have to be careful since unwanted egg laying can be physically stressful for our birds, but sometimes they really do just masturbate for fun.
 

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My female tiel backs her but up to the side of the cage and masturbates on it. She also tends to lay eggs.

I try to keep her on long nights and don't give her any paper that she can chew. This reduces the behavior and the egg laying, but not completely.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My female tiel backs her but up to the side of the cage and masturbates on it. She also tends to lay eggs.

I try to keep her on long nights and don't give her any paper that she can chew. This reduces the behavior and the egg laying, but not completely.
Is cardboard alright to chew on, or should they be chew-free? My birds ignore non-chewable toys and I haven't found any other way to keep them busy.
 

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If the cardboard is part of a toy it should be fine. If it's just regular boxes that she's chewing on that could be bad because she could try to turn it into a nest.
 

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I had been putting paper on the bottom of the cage. Emma was chewing it up, and I think it made her nesty. She has chew toys that don't affect her the same way.
 
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