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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone

Sunny is now just over 10 months. The past few days he's very territorial. He sits on the arm of the chair opens his beak to attack if I go near him there. He's also hit me on head with his beak a few times. In the past few days he's been making a high-pitched squeak - it's not a scream or screech and it's different from his normal noise. The past few days he's been sitting in an empty bowl in his cage and I read that this was hormonal behaviour. He's also very possessive of the remote control and bangs his beak on it. He also does heart-shaped wings when he sees it and whistles and talks to it. I have to hide it when he's out and when I take it off him he tries to peak me.

He used to be very territorial when it was time to go in his travel cage and I managed to calm him down by getting the cage setup, leaving him to calm down, talking to him in a cheery voice and giving him a treat. I've also been giving him millet when he is up on the top of his cages and refuses to come down and that has worked too. He was hand-reared. He will let me kiss him and occasionally stoke his head.

It just seems he makes progress in one area and then something else appears. It's getting that I'm afraid to take him out. Is this some kind of teenage hormonal phase? Is there anything I can do to make him less aggressive? Also by using the millet when he's at the top of his cage am I reinforcing his bad behaviour?

Thanks

Carol
 

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It sounds like hormones to me. Joey is nearing the end of a bout of them at the moment. He was hissing, lunging and biting over every little thing. Through it all, he has allowed and even asked for scritches, and gave beaky kisses if I made sure to not get near any of his toys, food, treats, etc. Without thinking, I moved his millet so it wouldn't fall off the top of his cage, as I was bending over to get a kiss last week. He lunged and bit my lip faster than I could even think to notice what was going on or try to move. This episode was caused by the ramekin I had started using to feed him while he was on top of his cage, which is his fave hangout. The last one was because we moved one end of his rope perch a couple inches. It amazes me what catches their fancy, like Sunny's desire for the remote.

One thing that helps shorten the bouts is to give longer nights. I didn't this time because with working overtime, and living on Eastern Time and working on Central Time, Joey's out of cage time is so short anyway through the week. It has taken longer for him to get through the hormones than usual, but I wanted him to have his out time.

Hormones are a natural thing, and I don't think the millet will be reinforce any sort of 'bad' behavior, since it isn't actually bad behavior.
 

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The longer nights have really worked with Milo. He was having a go with me every time I put my hand in his cage, and doing all the hormonal stuff. I started double covering his cage at nights with only his nightlight showing in it, and giving him 12 hour nights. He has really started responding, and the past few days he is back to singing and talking to me, as well as kissing me all the time he is out. Silly bird.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the tips. He normally gets pretty long sleeps but I guess I could extend them even more. I noticed his behaviour got bad when I accidentally left the light on in his room one night. He has a bird lamp, should I stop using it when he's hormonal?

I also found information on the internet about changing his environment and not letting him see any objects like the remote control that he has an attachment to. So hopefully that will help too. I've also been trying to reward him when he's playing nicely and ignore him when he's behaving aggressively.
 

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Not letting him see the remote (or whatever takes his fancy next time) will definitely help. After I moved Joey's ramekin, he stopped biting within a couple days, but still displayed the rest of the behavior. Fortunately, we are at the tail end of this bout.
 

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Re-arranging his cage and extending the long nights should hopefully help to calm your boy down! :)
 
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