Dear Phoebe, We have actually a 17-year-old mrs dusky top conure, Pickle, whom we love very much. She has constantly been a extremely “interactive” bird, yearn the company of me (female) and my partner (male). She additionally has delighted in spending some time within her “precious.” which is a chest of drawers. However, she behavior changed radically around a month ago. She has actually started spending nearly all her time within the chest of drawers, exhibiting nesting behavior by developing “nests” out of shredded clothes. She come out only to eat, drink and also go potty. Even weirder, she recently switched her desired drawer. Once I take she out, she leans toward the bedroom and tries to do a dash for she drawer. Mine avian vet checked and also said Pickle is not transferring an egg. And my partner (her “mate”?) has actually been the end of town for a week, however Pickle’s behavior hasn’t changed. I don’t want to stress and anxiety or traumatize her. She walk sleep in she cage at night. Ns am very concerned that Pickle will be “stuck” in her nesting behavior and also not come the end of it.

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Your experienced advice would be substantially appreciated. I have been a WPT member for quite a couple of years, yet I never knew about this asking an skilled feature.Thank you. Arlene


Hi Arlene, thanks for composing WPT and also welcome come our \"Ask the Expert\" feature. I'm happy to read about your loving worry for Pickle, a mature extremely interactive woman dusky-headed conure, Aratinga weddellii, and glad that she went to the vet. Ns presume the she is healthy and balanced in every regard. Also, some eggs room palpable just right before they room laid, for this reason Pickle might still have one or much more eggs in process.

All that Pickle’s time inside “precious” is, indeed, valuable to her since it provides her the opportunity to behave favor a biologically actual parrot. Now that the work are getting longer, her efforts will without doubt increase. It's not as well weird the she adjusted her choice from one drawer to another. Based upon observations of the wild Amazon the Santa Barbara (, we check out religiously occupational a particular nest site only to abandon it for another. Possibly a disturbance urged Pickle to relocate -- perhaps you “cleaned out” the an initial drawer --- or probably Pickle was all set for other new.

Either way, it's not unexplained for a fixed-up site to be abandoned and sometimes the ends the laying best then. Other times, a new site is selected and also a brand-new remodel begins. We use this abandon-one-site and select-another-site propensity to draw away companions from laying or to sluggish down too much laying.

At 17, Pickle is absolutely biologically mature, but like plenty of mature psittacines, she has not however laid eggs. However, v time and access to a viable nest, it's not surprising the she's exhibiting what us humans contact \"nesting behaviors.\" might contact these “shredding fun stuff in a cozy places” behaviors because not all who build nests finish up laying eggs. They as with making places.

For instance, ours flock comprises two proven pair of african Grey (Psittacus erithacus). They are retired, for this reason they no longer produce or incubate egg or advanced chicks, processes that formerly took up most of their time. In retirement, they've discovered new hobbies and because they have ground in which come dig, and also neighbors who carry out the same, the two pairs dig and also dig and dig every day. They additionally shred pine, deforest millet, ruin banana bark and pulverize cotton rope toys. Every day, castle make intricate soups, and also every evening they exercise solos, duets and quartets. Lock make huge messes, talk around everything a lot, have actually sex whenever castle feel favor it, feeding each other and, ~ a full day, cuddling on perches the afford lock ease and privacy. The removed of their colony boxes disallowed eggs and parenting behaviors, but alternate behaviors are significantly increased.

A an excellent way to emphasis Pickle's attention towards non-reproductive place-making would certainly be to market her a range of areas to explore and also various substrates to pulverize. If girlfriend don't want her to go all the way through laying, girlfriend might have the ability to non-stressfully change the setting in means that she values so the egg-laying becomes ho-hum contrasted with what's new. However, that might also be also late in she cycle this time around for this level of diversion, for this reason we'll discuss what to execute if she lays, below. In the meantime, think about making part future areas for Pickle that are conducive come shredding and also privacy, but not have to laying.

Additionally, no all that lay eggs incubate them. Pickle can lay a nice small clutch only to be done through it. In every cases, her companionship through her require not readjust except to deepen. prefer Cella, (Eclectus roratus vosmaeri) seek a nest, make it nice, put eggs and incubate them but give up the eggs as soon as don't hatch. Pickle might do the same. Therefore, an facet of “wait and also see” accompanies this brand-new phase that Pickle's behaviors and your reaction to them.

Generally, psittacine hens lay egg at 24 hour intervals till their clutch is complete. Conures lay between 2 -- 5 eggs every clutch, sometimes more. Incubation starts when the critical egg is laid and also for conures occurs end 21-23 days. (Clinical Avian Medicine and also Surgery, Harrison and also Harrison, appendix 5 by K. Flammer, pg 663.)

Another factor to consider is Pickle's in its entirety athleticism. You re welcome be certain Pickle on regular basis exercises due to the fact that we recognize that who room in good shape are much better equipped come lay eggs 보다 over-weight, under-nourished or sedentary birds. Therefore, as soon as she's not nesting, encourage Pickle to paris if she's flighted. Or to flap, climb, run and walk if she's not flighted. I bet she's happy to operation to precious, because that instance.

Regardless of even if it is or no Pickle lays, your partnership with she can and should continue to grow and also deepen. In fact, now that she's shown you her brand-new talent for place-making, friend can obtain creative. That's what Cella and I have actually discovered.

Cella, pointed out above, is 24 and incubates 2-3 clutches a year. As soon as she's incubating she eggs, i ask she to paris or run ago to she nest due to the fact that other 보다 digging and shredding, she doesn't obtain much exercise during egg time. When she's not nesting, she exercises much more which us both enjoy. She privacy crate is a cardboard box fashioned to her liking and suspended in her huge macaw-sized cage; she incubates each clutch, during which she completely attends the eggs, cooing and clucking with absorptive attention. After around 32 days, she pipeline the box and also ignores the eggs, so I remove all in stimulate to give Cella a rest from nesting, i m sorry lasts a couple of months, and all is well.

During the break, Cella exercises, takes lots showers, chews up stalks and stalks of millet and also is in every method a delight. Till it's time to carry out the place-making again. When the break is over and she wants an additional box, Cella beginning pacing within her cage. Exterior it, she intently looks for out any kind of dark place in which come scratch and also hide. She's been known to scurry and also freeze deep inside the pantry, operation out of reach behind cabinets and also hide silently under the dishwasher.

As shortly as Cella it s okay a brand-new parrot-appropriate crate -- also if she cannot immediately get within it -- she stop pacing and also hiding and becomes will on place-making. As soon as I say package is fashioned to Cella's liking, that's partially true because some of the box is fashioned come ensure her health and safety. Due to the fact that Pickle and also Cella execute not gain to experience feeding and caring for chicks, which takes 10 - 12 weeks, they might cycle before their calcium and also other supplies adequately replenish. Too numerous eggs can diminish them. So, if Cella beginning signaling the she wants a box too shortly after finishing the last clutch, or by the year's 3rd clutch, ns make a crate that difficulties her. It can have a really teensy entry feet (1/2\") with which she'll peer before she chews it large enough because that entry. Plus as soon as she makes the hole, she finds the box stuffed with materials that have to be shredded and excavated. Then again, just as in the wild, part disturbance might occur through that website (think large storm, high winds) the necessitates Cella beginning again with another -- imagine this -- even much better site.

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If you want Pickle to continue in the dresser, you have the right to make that site more daunting for her to accessibility and more an imaginative once she gets there. For instance, will certainly she rise a ladder to acquire to valuable or go v a parrot-friendly agility course? The an ext action-packed, the an ext Pickle-appropriate materials that surround this collection of events, the more an imaginative your common flock setting becomes. Of course, if she lays and incubates, the flock will certainly ensure she has actually a serene and also stable environment with lot of of flock attention. Until, that is, she's ready for miscellaneous new.