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Thread: odd behavior

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    odd behavior

    My female is behaving very strangely. She has been singing literally constantly for hours and hours at a time, barely stopping for a breath. a lot of the time she seems to point at the christmas tree when she does this. She's also started to scratch in the food dish like a chicken, thus i have bird seed near and far in my living room. She also sings into the food dish now. The singing sounds like outside birds and regular budgie babble, but she also makes angry noises periodically while she's just sitting there by herself. What is up? There's no "heat" for birds like cats is there? Reminds me of a female cat meowing when she's in heat, CONSTANTLY!!! Any other ideas? Is she in love with my christmas tree? Is this some kind of bizzar mating ritual?

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    Re: odd behavior

    Sounds like shes just having fun.
    I think the mating call is a long "squeky gate" sound.

    She may be on her food pot because its highest perch, she wants it as a nest box or just playing.

    Im not that helpful am i ? She sounds cute though and playful

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    Re: odd behavior

    You should be glad! She seems happy about her surroundings! (she probably is complimenting you on your christmas tree decorations).

    You should only become concerned if she is constantly screeching... this can mean anything from you're not giving her enough attention to she doesn't like her cage.

    But if she's chirping sweetly that's an excellent sign.

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    Re: odd behavior

    She is really a funny bird. You can almost see the wheels spinning in her head when she looks at something.

    But when i got home this morning she was laying in her food dish. EEEKS!!! Could she be trying to lay an egg???

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    Re: odd behavior

    If shes always in the dish or on cgae floor squashed up then she could be egg bound so take her to vet.

    She may be in the food dish cos
    She sees it as a nest box
    Highest perch in cage
    Just simply likes to sit in it
    or trying to lay a egg

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    Re: odd behavior

    Hi Inging!

    I have to say that when I read your initial post, I thought that she may have an egg. When Jo is in budgie 'heat' , she gets very over-excited about everything. She chats away excessively to toys that she never even noticed before, she chats like MAD! So funny to watch, and she seems really happy. She also has periods in between of sitting on the floor, which she never used to do, so I know now when an egg, or something like dreaded peritonitis is on the way.

    Watch out for any toys that may stimulate her. I had to take out certain toys that were encouraging Jo to be 'excited'.

    Pick your bird up and gently feel around the cloaca. You can sometimes feel a sweeling there. Have a look at her droppings. Are they less frequent and larger than normal? Is she panting at any time, after play, or whilst at rest? Does she stand with her wings slightly drooped?

    It takes approximately 3 weeks from ovulation until the egg is ready to come out. Keep a close eye on her. If she is sitting in her food bowl too much, and you notice straing or contractions, she may be egg bound.

    Increase the amount of calcium in her diet at this time, as she will have used up her own supply to make the egg shell, and calcium is needed to halp the muscle action that releases the egg. Use a supplement like Zolcal.

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    Re: odd behavior

    Oh i'm so scared now!!!! Her droppings are normal and she doesn't appear to be panting at all...

    She DID NOT like me feeling around her vent area, and i must confess i did feel like a molester. This budgie love is tough business. Anyway, it feels soft and squishy there, but i've never felt it before so i don't really have anything to compare it to...I could feel up my other budgie too (they will hate me!!!) but he's a male so i would assume they would feel differently there anyway...wouldn't hers feel harder if there was an egg coming???

    I will have to have a closer look at her in play when i get home from work tonight...

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    Re: odd behavior

    Don't be too scared! Some hens lay eggs all the time with no problem at all. Just keep an eye on her. If she's eggbound you'll be able to tell... she'd be squating, panting, and look very strained and most likely be sitting at the bottom of her cage. If she gets to a stage like that then you'd definately need to call your vet.

    My hen Ollie used to sleep in her food dish... it must've seemed comfy to her!

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    Re: odd behavior

    Ok, i won't worry too much. I think i would be able to tell if there was something seriously wrong. I like to think that i am pretty in tune to my pets.

    She is pretty normal except for the extra singing, and laying in the food dish. She was also chewing on it today which is something i've never seen her do...

    Thanks for all the info!!! I'll keep an eye out for panting, straining, sitting on the floor of her cage, drooping feathers, and big poops. Cross your fingers for my girl, i've heard such horror stories about leanne's jo...

    Thanks so much guys!

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    Re: odd behavior

    The chewing is another sign of an egg on the way. I didn't know any of this either when Jo started with the egg problems, but I noticed that she was shredding up the paper on the bottom of her cage, and also the wallpaper .

    What do people think about the possibility of Inging putting some nesting materials in for her bird? I have always been advised against it for Jo, as she can't lay the eggs she makes, and so nesting materials will only encourage her to lay. But in Inging's case, would it be a good idea to do this, as it may help her bird to lay comfortably?

    Also Inging - don't worry! Most birds lay plenty of eggs with no problems at all. If you do have problems however, feel free to E-mail me/send a message to my Ezinbox, as I feel like the 'queen of egg-binding' at the moment due to my ongoing Jo problems .

    I would say that, egg bound or not, the extra calcium in the diet is a must at this time.

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    Re: odd behavior

    any high calcium foods out there to give her? she has cuttle bone, but i doubt thats enough right now...

    don't worry i would consider you the queen of egg binding too!!! you deserve it!!!

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    Re: odd behavior



    I think watercress is high in calcium, & crushed egg shell if she eats it. Avoid spinach & apricots as I have read that vitamin A can interfere with calcium absorbtion.

    Zolcal is the best supplement in my opinion.

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    Re: odd behavior

    I'll have to call around for it. THanks so much you've been so so so much help!!! 2 From me and petey!!! ping

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    Re: odd behavior

    I can't find zolcal at any of my local pet stores...is there any place you know of online that i can buy it at?

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    Re: odd behavior

    Try asking at your closest veterinary surgery. If they don't have it, it should be something that they can order in especially for you. It is made by Vetark.

    If they can't get it (which will suprise me), ask them for a good liquid calcium/D3 supplement to help your bird's calcium levels during egg laying.

    Don't panic too much. I think your bird should be fine.

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    Re: odd behavior

    Ok i think i am a serious birdie hypocondriac. Not that i actually know how to spell that...

    I'm over here just fretting about Petey, the swelling seems to have grown larger since i checked the first time. Everything else seems normal though. I'm crossing my fingers!

    She seems very insistant to make the food dish her nest. I have put a paper plate/bowl/boat type thing in the cage and some paper towling. she seems to enjoy the paper towlning but isn't paying much attention to the paper plate/bowl/boat type thing. (like when you go to the fair, it is what your hot dog comes on...or if you get a basket of fries to go, thats what they come on...so hard to explain!)

    anyways...would it help her if i got a nest for the cage??? Will she try not to have it if there is no place for her to sit on it? Or do they just come out when its time?

    Also, she refuses to let any seed stay in the seed dish, so i'm forever refilling it for her to scratch it onto the carpet. Any ideas on how to get her to just EAT from the seed dish? Is that too much to ask? or will she just do what she wants no matter what anyone tells her to do? (if so, she must take after her mommy )

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    Re: odd behavior

    Any ideas on how to get her to just EAT from the seed dish? Is that too much to ask?
    So, it sounds like the dish is her nest and that she has her heart set on it!! Maybe you could try putting the paper towelling into the current dish you use for food, and introduce a new food dish for the time being?

    She still sounds like she is preparing to lay an egg, especially with all the nesting behaviour that is going on. The difficulty is deciding what is normal, and at what point you think she may be egg bound. What you don't want to do is cause her the stress of a visit to the vet when she is fine, and interrupt her from laying. On the other hand, you don't want to leave it too long if there is a problem.

    The key thing at this stage is to watch her very carefully. Observe all her behaviour all the time, so that you know if something changes. I am certainly no expert (or egg-xpert) in breeding, but I have for sure seen an egg-bound bird.

    Here are the things that I suggest you keep an eye on:

    - Droppings. If there is an egg sitting in the cloaca, it's presence can make the act of passing any motions more difficult for the bird, so they go less often. When they do go, it is usually very large. Not all the time, but the first poop of the day is usually a big one! If the poops become bigger all the time, and you notice her really straining to pass one, that could be a sign that something is wrong, just because if the egg is causing such an obstruction, it should be in just the right place before coming out. If she is straining very badly each time there is a poop, it could be that the egg is stuck. What I saw was straining to the extent that I though my bird's inside's were going to prolapse & it looked so sore!

    - Breathing. Her breathing may seem generally a little heavier if she has an egg sitting in there, but not always. If her breathing becomes laboured and she is panting a lot, especially during resting, then that sounds too like there is something wrong.

    - Behaviour. All the nesting behaviour is already happening, so no need to describe that. She may also get very stroppy, and will take to you handling her a lot less. That is normal if she has an egg. She will spends a fair bit of time trying to lay, with periods of rest in between, where she will come up to the perch, go for food/play, & she will seem to play more excessively, as if really happy. If she gets to a stage where she is permanently sitting on the floor and straining, not moving even for food, take her straight to an avain vet. My vet described to me the contractions to look for if she is trying to lay, which I never saw because my bird was so incapable of laying, I don't think she even had the muscle action there. He said that the area where the swelling is, around the cloaca, will contract simultaneously on both sides if she is ready to lay. An egg should follow soon after that has started.

    A little word of warning here. If an egg is in the cloaca for too long, the biggest risk is damage to the surrounding organs. Liver damage especially, which can prove fatal. The pressure from the egg can stop organs working properly. Jo's first egg (it was about 4 times the size of a normal egg) killed off some of the nerves leading to her left leg, and she can no longer use the foot properly. This is where you really have to watch the breating, and any large obstruction there will also put pressure on her lungs too. Please try not to be too paranoid about this, as the egg will show up as a swelling anyway, but the breathing should show you if she is in distress. Check the droppings too, as sometimes they can get a little watery with the stress, and possibly pressure on other organs.

    The other thing that it could be, if not an egg, is egg peritonitis. You will still get the swelling, the laboured breathing & the nesting behaviour. The droppings can go off colour here, and get paler. Where it is green, it may look slightly yellow & watery. Egg peritonitis needs veterinary attention quickly.

    An egg takes approximately 3 weeks before it is ready to come out. How long has it been since you noticed all these symptoms?

    The best thing to do for now is watch her. As long as she is eating and drinking okay, is bright & active, and looks well, ie, no puffiness of feathers and respiratory distress, it is safe to assume that everything is going well. Keep up her increased calcium over this time, and perhaps use a probiotic in the water to help her with stress symptoms in the digestive system.

    Keep an emergency avain veterinarian telephone number and address on standby just incase you notice anything changing that worries you. Please don't hesitate to call them if you need to. I will check this post often, but please don't wait for a reply before you call the vet if anything worrying happens.

    Good luck with her, and I'm sure she will produce a little egg for you soon. From what you describe, I really don't think that there is anything for you to worry about. I just wanted to make you aware of what to look for if it does all go wrong. Please remember that most birds will lay eggs regularly without a problem.

    Keep us posted!!

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    Re: odd behavior

    Whew! I love it. Thanks again. What a wonderful birdie mommy you are!!! I am lucky that the avain vet's office is just down the street from me, especially considering some drive for hours to get to one...

    i will be aware of what you are describing. I started noticing this stuff maybe a week before i posted first about it. So if 3 weeks hasn't passed, then there is no way she could be egg bound yet anyway, right?

    I'm probably just being a nervous nelly as i tend to be but better safe than sorry!!!

    ps petey is enjoying her watercress. too bad the other two won't eat it! she refuses egg shells though. i'm wondering if i should crunch it up really fine and just put it on top of her food?

    Thanks so much for answering all of my questions you are the best!!!

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    Re: odd behavior

    I am lucky that the avain vet's office is just down the street from me
    That really is lucky. Some people are quite a distance from even a regular vet, let alone a specialist.

    I started noticing this stuff maybe a week before i posted first about it. So if 3 weeks hasn't passed, then there is no way she could be egg bound yet anyway, right?
    I very much doubt it. Although until the egg forms properly, shell & all, I am guessing that physical symptoms may not show up until it is solid enough in the cloaca. The behavioural symptoms that are present all support her readiness to lay an egg.

    Here is an interesting fact: according to my avain vet, birds can experience the equivalent of our 'phantom' pregnancy. They feel ready to lay, and will show all the signs, but actually they don't have an egg present. I don't know what causes this, but have wished & wished for that to be the case many a time with my bird!

    If you are noticing physical symptoms though, such as a swelling, as well as the behaviour, I do suspect an egg on the way. Keep an eye out for more of those physical symptoms. They will tell us more about what is going on than just the behaviour alone, especially with the existence of 'phantom' eggs - if that is what they are called.

    Has anyone else ever experienced a bird exhibiting a 'phantom' egg syndrome? I would be really interested to know how the bird behaved & what happened.

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    what age do they lay eggs

    Hi What age do they lay eggs. I believe my girl is about 2 1/2 or 3. Do some females never lay eggs?
    She is a funny little bird. She has never tried to fly and haven't clipped her wings since I got her. Was told she was 8 weeks old??? The other day she flew out of the cage and around the house as if she had been flying her whole life. I guess I will have to clip her wings now. Don't want her to get hurt. ping She looks like this little bird but more patches of yellow. Thanks

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    Re: what age do they lay eggs

    Some females never lay eggs, some do. There really is not way to tell .

    They are able to lay eggs at around 8mo or so- however, that is like a dog having puppies at 6m. The animal is not domne growing and maturing yet, although they are sexually mature. Usually it is suggested for budgies to wait until they are at least two years old. Often if they are very young when they have chicks, they don't take good care of them, and/of the chicks can be weak or sickly since the bird is not just producing eggs, but still growing itself as well

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    Thanks

    I won't worry about *****y then. She is happy and healthy. She is so funny. Still can't pet her as she will bite the heck out of you. She does let me stroke her with my chin. My boy friend and her thumb wrestle. She seeks him out and and chirps he makes a fist and puts his thumb out and trys to touch her with it. She trys to bite it. They will do this for 15 minutes. Then when she is done she walks away sometimes coming back a bit later to try again. She is a crack up. She also has a cat ball with a bell in it on the bottom of her cage. She beats it up and chases it around her cage. She is a funny bird. She is best buddies with Phoenix my cockatiel. She does not like Violet however? I wonder if it is because she is a female?? Could she be jealous? She follows Phoenix the male around but will screech and jump at Violet? We rescued Violet and think it is a female?? Have a Happy New year. Thanks again for all the info, it is greatly appreciated.

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    she had an egg!!!

    When i got home today i found petey laying on an egg!!!! Just wanted to let you know leanne!!! Thanks for all of your help!!!

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    Re: Thanks

    Oh WOW!! That's great news Inging.

    Petey's first egg! Now you know for sure that she has not got a problem with binding, as she laid easily. I would still keep the calcium going to support the amount she will have used to make the egg she has just laid, plus now she has started, there may be more coming for a while. If she does produce lots of them quickly, this is where she will drain her own calcium supply and will need to rely on supplements just to ensure that she doesn't become egg bound in the future, and that she doesn't become hypocalcaemic (I think that's how you spell it! ) & weak.

    What is happening now? Is she sitting on it and getting stroppy if you go near? Is she really protective, or is she ignoring it?

    Congratulations on Petey & her egg!

    To Flower:

    I won't worry about *****y then....he makes a fist and puts his thumb out and trys to touch her with it. She trys to bite it.
    I love the name *****y!! I wondered how she got the name, & figured it was because of her biting. Female budgies do crack me up with their evil streak, mine is just the same. She seems to play games that involve her getting to bite when not expecting, & I'm sure she finds it funny, as she chips with a mad excitememnt and does it all over again. I call her 'bit ch bag' when she plays evil games. She looks like this most of the time when she is stroppy or playing evil games.

    She used to amuse herself by sneaking up on my other budgie Harold when he was eating. She would go to the floor & slowly sneak up on him, watching carefully with her beady little eyes. When near enough she would yank his tail so hard he would scream. She used to sneak up & bite his toes too if he was resting on top of the cage & she was inside. She always runs of afterwards with a sparkle in her eye, & her evil smiling face.

    Here is a photo of Jo being her classic Madame Jo Jo, threatening Harold with her evil face because she didn't want him to enter her cage! Notice how her face looks like . :haha

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    Re: Thanks

    Thats a funny pic of jo. I've seen that look before!

    just an update: petey ended up laying 3 eggs total, and thankfully none of them were fertile. she is done laying on them now and is back to her normal *****y self!!! Very appropriate name, i should have thought of that!

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