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Thread: Intro to Sprite and Scout!

  1. #46
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    Re: Intro to Sprite and Scout!

    Here is my opinion. As I always say, my thoughts are just my own, and it is up to the caregiiver to decide how to take care of their birds.

    In this particular time of global warming, it seems to me that lovebird hens and all bird hens are having an egg laying frenzy, so, in my view, I doubt it would be two whole years before a female will begin to lay eggs. We have a member here who lives in Australia or New Zealand, who has about 4 very young lovebirds, less than a year old, three of them have no mate, all are females, less than a year old, all had huts in their cages, and are considered single hens, and ALL of them already started laying eggs, due to the huts they had, in their cages. You never want to deal with a single hen laying eggs. It is a total nightmare, because once hens lay, there is never any way to stop them completely. I had a single cockatiel hen who laid eggs for 15 straight months, I could not stop her, even though I gave her a lot of calcium veggies, egg shells, cuttlebone, etc., the egg laying was too stressful for her and she died. It is a heartbreak for sure. So if it were me, I would take away the huts, and any papers they can get ahold of to shred. Both will encourage eggs, and mating, even if you have males only, a pair, or two females. A single male, or two males, will spend time in the hut for hormonal purpose as well. Males often use perches and other toys to pleasure themselves, and may also use a hut for that purpose.

    The reality is that all birds, are created by Nature to mate and lay eggs, and to have babies, over and over again. I think caged birds are more egg prone, than birds in the wild are these days.

    If you would like to try breeding, I would suggest to go on the web, search for..breeding lovebirds......and get all the education you can before attempting to do so. It may sound easy, but it is complicated, and many things can go wrong in the process.
    Last edited by maxollie; 08-23-2017 at 05:49 PM.

  2. #47
    Brand New Egg jenn4turtles's Avatar
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    Re: Intro to Sprite and Scout!

    Quote Originally Posted by maxollie View Post
    Here is my opinion. As I always say, my thoughts are just my own, and it is up to the caregiiver to decide how to take care of their birds.

    In this particular time of global warming, it seems to me that lovebird hens and all bird hens are having an egg laying frenzy, so, in my view, I doubt it would be two whole years before a female will begin to lay eggs. We have a member here who lives in Australia or New Zealand, who has about 4 very young lovebirds, less than a year old, three of them have no mate, all are females, less than a year old, all had huts in their cages, and are considered single hens, and ALL of them already started laying eggs, due to the huts they had, in their cages. You never want to deal with a single hen laying eggs. It is a total nightmare, because once hens lay, there is never any way to stop them completely. I had a single cockatiel hen who laid eggs for 15 straight months, I could not stop her, even though I gave her a lot of calcium veggies, egg shells, cuttlebone, etc., the egg laying was too stressful for her and she died. It is a heartbreak for sure. So if it were me, I would take away the huts, and any papers they can get ahold of to shred. Both will encourage eggs, and mating, even if you have males only, a pair, or two females. A single male, or two males, will spend time in the hut for hormonal purpose as well. Males often use perches and other toys to pleasure themselves, and may also use a hut for that purpose.

    The reality is that all birds, are created by Nature to mate and lay eggs, and to have babies, over and over again. I think caged birds are more egg prone, than birds in the wild are these days.

    If you would like to try breeding, I would suggest to go on the web, search for..breeding lovebirds......and get all the education you can before attempting to do so. It may sound easy, but it is complicated, and many things can go wrong in the process.

    Yes, I've done some research on breeding and quickly realized that "the birds and the bees" isn't simple at all.

    I definitely appreciate all the advice. I also have bearded dragons, which can lay infertile eggs whether a male is around or not. We just rescued Sydney (2 year old beardie) in June. Prior to taking her in, she had laid 2 clutches of infertile eggs. She was underweight when we got her, and the egg laying didn't help. By mid-July, she had finally gained a little weight ... And then laid 17 eggs. So she's too skinny again, and she could lay more soon. So I understand what you're saying. Like birds, egg laying depletes a beardie, physically and "emotionally", and the loss of calcium can lead to even bigger problems. (We put calcium powder on their food to boost their levels.) I don't want my birds to have to go thru something similar.

    Sprite is already hormonal (he's around 14 months old, while Scout is around 4 months) and he uses my hair bun for his pleasure. I haven't done the testing because my vet charges $55 a bird. At some point, I may do it anyway. I'll just have to see how things progress.
    Jennifer M.

    Mother to 1 human, Eric; 3 cats, Stormy, Sami, & Saint; 2 bearded dragons, Smauggie & Sydney, an assortment of fish, and 4 peach-faced lovebirds, Sprite, Scout, Skye & Jasper. I also have one Gouldian, Napoleon.

  3. #48
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    Re: Intro to Sprite and Scout!

    Quote Originally Posted by boomer girl View Post
    Huts are awful for a mating couple because they will lay eggs and they are not good nests at all. If it does end up they are male and female and you want babies a nesting box is the best thing. They keep the babies safe where huts get very nasty with poop and worse the babies fall out of them. If I were you I would DNA the birds so you know what sex they are. Both sexes shred like crazy but girls master tucking the strips into there feathers. DNA tests from Avian tech are cheap and the worst part of it is you have to pluck out 3 or 4 chest feathers. Lovebirds are hard to sex without a DNA test. Girls don't always lay eggs right away so it could be a couple years before a egg is laid. Boys are easy to raise and huts or beds for them are good. Boomer had a homemade box made out of a plastic chalk box. We cut out one side and added a perch and cotton cloth and he loved it. Girls would lay eggs constantly in a hut or box.

    If they are male and female, then I'll definitely get a box for laying instead.

    The hut is in Sprite's cage and (so far) he only uses it to sleep in; he's had it since December of last year and will not poop in it, which I thought was interesting.

    I have noticed that when I put Scout into Sprite's cage (short trials, supervised) Scout tends to hang out either on or in the hut.

    I'm thinking about buying a larger cage (but not the huge one that I want just yet) and using it as a "neutral" cage for them to spend time together in. Whenever I do a trial (putting Scout into Sprite's cage) Sprite spends the whole time chirping, chirping, chirping ... Very loudly ... And he's roaming everywhere in the cage except near her. I'm thinking that having her in his "space" - because he was the only bird in there for almost a year now - is too much for him. Maybe a neutral place, without a hut, would be better.
    Jennifer M.

    Mother to 1 human, Eric; 3 cats, Stormy, Sami, & Saint; 2 bearded dragons, Smauggie & Sydney, an assortment of fish, and 4 peach-faced lovebirds, Sprite, Scout, Skye & Jasper. I also have one Gouldian, Napoleon.

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    Re: Intro to Sprite and Scout!

    I think that member from Australia, is either me or someone else who had similar issues as me who is being referred to by Ellen. And its all true everything that Ellen has said and I recommend listening to her as she has helped me a lot with my egg laying troubles as she has experienced the heartbreak of it herself (again, thank you Ellen). But if its not me, I can still provide my recent experiences with huts and egg laying. I have 9 lovebirds in total, 4 pairs, and it appears most of them seem to be female even the ones who I originally thought were male. And I also got those happy huts for mine, thinking it would give them a warm place to sleep but it encouraged egg laying behaviour in them instead. The first time it happened it was with one of my lovebirds who is over a year old, and she's really strong, and at that time I thought I had a female and a male as I caught them mating in that hut, and then she laid an egg so I got her a nestbox to get it out of her system, but they would never hatched, she laid a total of 9 eggs I think it was, with 2 cycles, so I guess 4 the first time, and 5 the 2nd time. After awhile after observing their behaviour and her bonded friend's keen interest in one of the other lovebirds, I believed I had two females instead, who were acting like males and females and laying eggs. So when I had a sign that she was done sitting on her eggs (she was bathing and spending more time out of the box and keen to mate again) I removed the box, changed her toys etc., and since then she has not laid any eggs.

    With one of my younger lovebirds not a year old yet, one laid an egg in her hut, so I decided to leave it in there and let her finish her cycle and wait for the signs that she was done with them so that I could remove it again, but this time this one never gave me any signs. These were also two FEMALES, her bonded friend is DNA tested female, but yet the other one laid the eggs making her female too. The DNA tested one was taking the role of the "male" climbing on top of her wing for mating, and doing the male things. I was not sure what to do as too much time had passed and she wasn't abandoning her eggs, so I sought advice on this forum, and Ellen was really helpful, and at first we didn't fully do everything that we were advised to do, but then we decided to just be done, there were more cons than pros to leaving the hut and eggs in there, and were prepared to take out her hut and eggs and change everything over in her cage and be prepared for her to replace her lost eggs. Thank goodness, this was a month ago I believe, maybe a bit longer, and since then she has not laid eggs again. I've had to interrupt her mating a few times, as I've done with some of the other lovebirds, but its not occurring as often. When we removed her hut and eggs I think she was even in the middle of a second cycle as there were 8 eggs in total so I am really glad I removed everything when I did even though it possibly meant she would try to replace the eggs, which thankfully she hasn't yet. She was of more concern to me because she isn't a year old yet and too young, not to mention they were two females.

    I also do recommend removing the hut immediately and putting something else in the same spot instead, a toy perhaps or a swing or perch to perch on or rest on. Mine seem distracted with their swings they love them a lot, sitting and swinging and singing on them. Is it still hot over there right now? I gave mine huts as its cold here at the moment to keep them warm, but if its still hot where you are, they might not need the huts in the warm weather (but don't give it in the cold either, just provide extra blankets covering their cages). Mine also would chew the insides of the hut too and I started getting worried about where the material was going whether she swallowed it or just dropped it etc. I am glad I removed the huts. Two of my other pairs of lovebirds, had never ever tried to mate with each other ever, but after they got those huts, about a week later, they decided they wanted to mate. Straight away when I saw that, I removed those huts, and one of those pairs haven't tried to mate again, the other pair has tried a few times, but usually don't continue to the end as they have nowhere to lay eggs, for me this was proof enough that those huts turned on the egg laying hormones. Mine also started slowly by just sleeping in the huts, then slowly they would start spending more time in the huts than outside (guarding it as their territory I suppose for future nesting) then before I knew it, mating started and eggs appeared.

    On the positive side, I am really glad things have been going well with your little Sprite and Scout, and I'm glad Sprite's little feet are ok, lovebirds are notorious for feet biting. I used to keep mine altogether in one double cage, but due to too much bullying and attempted feet biting I had to seperate them into pairs instead. If you were wanting to breed in the future, the nest boxes are definitely more suitable than the huts, as they have more space in there, and the hen will usually go outside to poop I have noticed, but I'm not sure what happens when babies hatch. I would also wait until they are a year old minimum, for both of them. You will get great advice here on the forums with regards to breeding from the great breeder members on here. The neutral cage sounds like a great idea, when I first got my original lovebirds (3 of them) they were in a cage and a few days later I got Koko, and not knowing anything about quarantine, I put him in there with them too (thankfully all are healthy). Two of them since then have never liked Koko and became territorial about which perch was theirs, which food bowl was theirs and so on, only one of them tolerated him (and that one is now in a cage with him as bonded friends). When I give time out to mine, Asha, one of the younger ones, spends all that time at the highest place in the room (the curtain rod) and just chirps and chirps and chirps as well, sometimes I have to limit time out because she stays in the one spot chirping and not going down to eat like the others do (one of them can't fly so I arrange a small playground on the bed and scatter French millet around so that she has somewhere to play and not feed bad that everyone else is high above, and eventually the others come down and play there too, except Asha, but I think its because Asha herself is still learning to fly as her left flight feather developed slower than the other, and although she knows how to fly out of her cage to the highest point in the room, she doesn't know how to get back down properly yet. Also Sprite not pooping could be because she is interpreting the hut as a potential nest now, mine wouldn't poop in their huts either, at first they did poop, then soon after they stopped pooping in there, perhaps its a sign that she's now looking at the hut in a different way.

    Hopefully this information helps out!

  5. #50
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    Re: Intro to Sprite and Scout!

    I think Sprite is a all boy because he humps your hair bun. Boys love to hump to anything that fits between there legs. Girls also like to run on things but not as much as the boys do. The DNA test is 25.00 from Avitech and I never did it either because it is just too hard to think about plucking there feathers out. We were going to test my daughters conure but none of us had the guts to pluck his feathers. He is over two now and is very much loved on so if he was a girl I am sure he would have laid eggs by now. Conures do not rub on things as much as lovies do and really I have never knows birds to rub on things as much a male lovebird does. They are awful little horny birds.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

  6. #51
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    Re: Intro to Sprite and Scout!

    Thsnk you Laila for your great post, and yes, I was referring to you in my post. This info you provided will be perfect for Jennifer to consider.

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    Re: Intro to Sprite and Scout!

    I also agree and from the behaviours described it is possible that sprite is a boy, and scout a girl. I was re-reading the posts here, and noticed sprite has had the hut since December. I am wondering if sprite was a girl wouldn't she (or he) have laid eggs already due to the hut turning on the hormones? Thi is another thing making me think that sprite might be a boy instead. I am wondering if the hut made him hormonal and want to play in your hairbun too lol. Sometimes behaviours can be an indicator of what sex they are, but as you mentioned, its not solid evidence. But I think observing behaviour is a better indicator than checking tails, some say pointy tails means boy, and wide tails mean girl, but my Ashu's tail is not as wide as my Asha's tail, Ashu is the one who laid eggs and Asha is DNA'd a girl. I always thought to myself, looking at Ashu's tail she's a boy, but her behaviour (bossy, territorial, etc.) indicated girl, and behaviour won lol. Then she laid eggs so that just confirmed it for me. I think I still have one boy in the lovebird flock, who's more mellow than the others, still aggressive sometimes and will defend himself if someone is annoying him and he's still just more mellow than the others, and he's also the most afraid too, always goes and hides in the top corner when its time to change foods and water whereas the females just watch where my hands are going and only move away if my hands are too close to them. I don't have the heart to pull a feather for DNA testing either, Asha pulled out her own feathers that were poking out of her previously so thats how she was DNA'd. I used to think my Nala was a boy too, she used to seem mellow, but now, in her cage with Iki, she's so bossy and declares certain toys as hers and doesn't like when Iki goes near them, so I am now referring to her as a girl lol.

    Deanna is right, lovebirds are definitely too horny! But they are the cutest little angels ever, I love them too too much! Thanks Ellen for the kind words too! Jennifer I'm sure you know whats best for your little baby birds, and it does sound like they are doing well, just keep an eye on them and how their behaviours are with regards to the huts, and how territorial etc. they get.

  8. #53
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    Re: Intro to Sprite and Scout!

    Thanks for the advice! I appreciate it!

    I'll remove the hut when I clean their cages this weekend, probably tomorrow.
    Jennifer M.

    Mother to 1 human, Eric; 3 cats, Stormy, Sami, & Saint; 2 bearded dragons, Smauggie & Sydney, an assortment of fish, and 4 peach-faced lovebirds, Sprite, Scout, Skye & Jasper. I also have one Gouldian, Napoleon.

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    Re: Intro to Sprite and Scout!

    Yesterday, I brought them into the kitchen to clean their cages. I usually stick them both in one of the cages to clean the other cage; then switch them around to clean the 1st one. Before I put them both into Sprite's cage, I removed the hut and put it in another room, so that it was well out-of-sight. And guess what ... Scout was in Sprite's cage and Sprite didn't "yell" the whole time! Then I put them into Scout's smaller cage to clean Sprite's cage ... Again ... No yelling.

    After both cages were clean, I brought them back into the living room (where the cages stay) and I decided to put Scout into Sprite's cage, just to let them hang out for awhile longer while I supervised. They stayed there for almost 2 hours! After about an hour and a half, Sprite started fussing, so I figured that was enough togetherness for one day.

    I've cleaned the hut and hung it outside to dry, but he's not getting it back. It's also opened up some space inside the cage, so that's a bonus.

    I'm still getting bit by Scout. I was hoping that seeing my interactions with Sprite would encourage her to open up a bit, but not yet. I know that Scout will not be as close to us as Sprite is. She wasn't handfed and worked with as a baby bird, which we were able to do with Sprite. I'm not giving up; I will continue to work with her.
    Jennifer M.

    Mother to 1 human, Eric; 3 cats, Stormy, Sami, & Saint; 2 bearded dragons, Smauggie & Sydney, an assortment of fish, and 4 peach-faced lovebirds, Sprite, Scout, Skye & Jasper. I also have one Gouldian, Napoleon.

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    Re: Intro to Sprite and Scout!

    You just might be surprised in the future, and Scout will open up, especially if they can be caged together.

    Thank you for listening to Laila, Deanna, and me, and taking the hut out of the cage. You will never be sorry you made that decision. Like many who buy huts, you would have not known what they stir up in a bird's behavior. Please keep us posted. You had a great day with them!!!! Yaaaaaay!

  11. #56
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    Re: Intro to Sprite and Scout!

    I am happy taking the hut out helped them get along and hope Sprite don't miss it too much. My daughter had to take Tikki her conures hut out of his cage recently because he started to chew on it. They are super bad to chew because the fibers can impact there digestive track and kill them. I use to take the cloth out of Boomers bed in the day and only put it in there when he was going to bed for the night.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Intro to Sprite and Scout!

    I am really happy things went well and really happy the huts were taken out. That could be why Scout was yelling in the first place. I remember after a few days when I first put the huts in my birds cages, they started singing / chirping in a different way, and their eyes were so "googly" if thats the right way to put it. I assumed they were just in a good mood, but alas, the mating and egg laying started, so I guess it was a song they were singing to prepare for mating and egg laying!

    Deanna, I have read about the dangers of the fibres in the huts too, and its another reason why we decided to just take them out of our birds cages immediately instead of waiting for another egg laying cycle to pass. My Ashu was chewing the inside as well which disturbed me also. I am so glad the huts are done and gone!

    It's interesting, I wonder if those huts provoke nesting behaviour in conures too? At the local pet shop, the conures have huts, but I don't think they are mating or egg laying, and they have a different kind of hut, not with the same fleecy material.

    I agree with Ellen, Jennifer you made a good choice for your birds! They will be ok without the huts. Nowadays when I am looking for toys, I try to think like a bird and wonder would this be a place they would want to lay eggs in? Makes it harder to buy some toys lol but at the moment they seem happy with their current toys. I hope little Scout will open up to you eventually, and being really young its still a possibility. Even if she doesn't become completely tame, she will get used to you and realise you are not out to get her. Some of mine have somehow become more scared than when they first came (mostly my pure masked lovebirds ironically), but some of the others are not completely tame and are still alert if I am near them but they don't flap and run away as much as they used to they can sit on their perch calmly watching my hand changing their foods and water, and one of them (Ashu) sometimes wants to bite my finger, which I'm happy to see because she's not as afraid of my hand as before (well sometimes).

    I am keen to read more stories about your lovebirds soon!

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    Re: Intro to Sprite and Scout!

    Tikki does the rub rubbing on his hut in his sleep cage so no doubt they excite him. My daughter left the hut in his sleep cage because just like Boomer it makes them leap right into the cage and they hop right into bed. My daughter made her huts with a cotton baby blanket and put a piece of cardboard in the cloth pocket on the bottom. She won't let him get into the sleep cage unless its bedtime at night.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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    Re: Intro to Sprite and Scout!

    It does not matter the species of parrot. All are created with the same hormonal instincts from nature, and those huts will affect every male and every female bird. It is all about mating, !aging eggs for females and nesting, in all of them.

    Quite honestly, toymakers are only making them to sell because they are "cute"! And, for the $$$$! They could care less about the havoc those huts create for bird hormones. And I could bet few if any of those retailers in pet shops know anything about bird hormones either.

    Birds use toys for their pleasure, and the huts really stir up nesting hormonal activity. This year on the forum there have been caregivers of budgies that had the same problem.

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    Re: Intro to Sprite and Scout!

    I wished they quit selling the fluffy huts that are in all the pet and bird stores around here because the birds preen them and get the fluffy fibers in there crop which never goes away. When Boomer first developed his crop issues his vet did Xrays to make sure it was not full of fibers. Nothing would ever stop Boomer from rubbing his you know whats on everything. His vet didn't seem to mind that he did it because he was still a very people friendly happy bird. Lovebirds are known to be frisky little birds. I am just very thankful we only have all male birds in my family because all of them seem to like to rub-rub when they are feeling hormonal. Mango my sisters Amazon is brutally mean when he is feeling hormonal so we just don't touch him until he gets over it and becomes a nice bird again.
    Fly Free Boomer, we will forever love you.

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