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Thread: Kakariki calls only in the evening for hours on end?

  1. #1
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    Kakariki calls only in the evening for hours on end?

    Hi, I have a 5 month old hen kakariki named Maia. She is for the most part very sweet, very loving and, being a kakariki, very active! However recently I've been having a few issues with her, especially in the evenings.

    Due to the current situation I've been working from home since late March, so I've been in all day to spend time with her. She's out of her cage all day, she doesn't play with her toys but she does entertain herself with exploring as well as getting plenty of interaction with me. We do have a very strong bond, to the point where I can't leave the room without her or she just calls for me non-stop, I even have to shower with her!

    The main issues happen in the evening, right around when I finish work at 5pm and can go all the way until I put her to bed (putting a stubborn kakariki in her cage is not an easy task!) For the last couple of weeks, every evening she will just sit and continuously call out for hours on end. It's not chattering, it sounds like calling out, like the noises this kaki is making at the start of the video except even louder and continuous for hours - it's nearly impossible to distract her and quiet her down and even if I do, she just starts back up again. When she's in this mood, she will generally fly away if I go near her so it's nearly impossible to even put her back in her cage for her to chill out. It's driving me mad, and being on my own there's not enough background noise going on to even start to drown it out!

    I wondered at first if she was after another companion, especially as she likes to sit in windows and call out to the birds outside. However we tried introducing my mum's hen kakariki (from the same clutch) to see if she would accept another bird, but Maia would become really territorial and just chase her around everywhere so she didn't accept her at all.

    She has also taken to waking me up very early in the morning. She usually goes to bed around 10:30pm and her cage is fully covered, but is now waking me up at around 6:30am. This morning when she woke up, as soon as I let her out of her cage she went flying round the room doing the screaming call again - my poor neighbours!

    Another strange thing she does is with my hand. She will perch on my hand and pace around on it, she'll hang off my hand and kind of pull herself back up trying to rub the underside of her tail on me? This is something she has done since she was around 2 and a half months old. I do try and discourage this when it happens by putting her in her cage but if a kaki doesn't want to go in her cage, she ain't going in! She also absolutely hates my mobile phone, and will fly across the room to attack it if she sees me pick it up - this is something she has done for months as well. She's never intentionally bitten me but when she's attacking my phone, she has caught my fingers quite a few times.

    I did wonder if maybe hormones are to blame but I don't know how early female kakis start with hormones - it's hard to find much info on them online, especially in relation to pet kakis as it seems most are kept in aviaries. She's also never been aggressive with me, she's an absolute gentle sweetheart with me, it's just the screeching and calling out every evening that's getting to be a problem.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Re: Kakariki calls only in the evening for hours on end?

    Hi, and welcome to the community. I do think it is her hormones. She is beginning to have those feelings, and quite honestly, especially the first time, it is difficult for them because they have not experienced it before. The constant screaming in the evening is a mating call. It is very normal behavior. In the wild this happens all the time. If you were to go to a forest, where many parrots live, you would hear these sounds in early evening until dusk.

    It is difficult to stop the calling. My thought would be to put her to bed, and cover her cage about 5 pm each night. During hormone time hens need alot more sleep hours each night. 10-12 hours is a good night. And feed no soft foods, or, eggs or egg food. The hand thing you describe is homonal behavior. They like to rub rub the tail area on your hand, as though it was their male partner. It is important you do not touch her body any place but the top of her head. Touching other places upticks the hormones.

    At first, she may still scream after you cover her for the night, but you will need to ignore her. And anytime she trys the hand thing, distract her, with a new toy, a treat, or, put her in her cage.

    It is a difficult time for her and for you. I do not think right now is the time to get her a mate. I think she would be very dominate, controlling, and aggressive with a new bird in the home or cage.

    I think she is a little too young to lay eggs as yet, but do watch her carefully for nesting behavior. They can get egg bound, especially the first time laying eggs. So feed plenty of fresh green veggies, and cuttlebone/calcium to her, beginning immediately. The next few months will be challenging. At about a year old they have a first hard molt. That signals they are an adult bird. And, for awhile, the hormones should be in better control. Hens do not need a mate to lay eggs. Many single caged hens do lay eggs. Once egg laying starts it cannot be stopped. And it is much better for her, if she does not begin laying eggs. So, all that I wrote above, to give her longer hours of sleep, etc., are very important. Do not provide her with a nest box, or any happy huts or tents either. Your goal now is to discourage egg laying, and get her through this first hormone experience.

    Attacking your phone is also hormone behavior, as well as dive bombing your head, biting you, being aggressive, etc. She probably thinks the phone is a bird. And considers you to be her mate. Hormones change their personality, there is no doubt about it. Time and patience are on your side, but the next few weeks will be challenging. I hope this info is of help to you. Please keep us posted.
    Last edited by maxollie; 05-21-2020 at 06:16 AM.

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    Re: Kakariki calls only in the evening for hours on end?

    Hi Ellen, thanks for the response!

    Fingers crossed I don't jinx it but she seems to have calmed down a lot in the past week. She still calls out occasionally as every bird does but there's only been one evening since I posted that it was constant - I just put her in her cage and covered her up for the night which helped massively. Hopefully she's over the worst of it now!

    I have always been worried about her laying eggs as I know she doesn't need a mate to do this. Pretty much since I got her from 2 months old she's been very into burrowing under pillows, blankets, bed covers, and sometimes even tries to get under the settee. This really worried me because it seems like nesting behaviour (there's absolutely nothing in her cage she could use to nest) but she was way too young to be nesting. I've since read somewhere that hen kakarikis like to burrow, so I'm hoping it's just that and not nesting behaviour.

    I try my hardest not to do anything that could spike her hormones - she doesn't like being touched anywhere on her body, even her head, so that's not an issue, and she doesn't have any objects in her cage that could encourage the behaviour. She's also getting plenty of fresh greens in her diet, so hopefully this is just a natural wave of hormones and there's not much to make it worse. The worst thing is the hand thing she does as it's hard to get her off my hand as she's super persistent and clingy when she does this so I'm not sure if that almost encourages her in a way. I'll try as you suggest and just see if I can distract her - I've definitely noticed her doing this less now as well so that seems better.

    Like I said the only aggression she ever shows is with my phone so I assumed this had something to do with jealousy, thinking it's another bird. She has always attacked my phone but she's never been aggressive to me at all, even through the hormones, so I'm thinking I'm quite lucky that she's only being loud and not aggressive as well!

    Thanks again for the advice, I'll let you know how she is in a couple of weeks - hopefully it's a more peaceful ride from now on (until the next wave!)

  4. #4
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    Re: Kakariki calls only in the evening for hours on end?

    Hi, Abbie, and thanks for the response. It sounds to me that she is doing much better. Hens are very loving birds. I have only had cockatiel and budgie hens in all the years I have homed birds. But I think all species hens have similar behaviors. Hens very quickly bond with us, and do consider us their mate. And I feel they do "fall in love" with the caregiver. I once had a cockatiel hen whom I purchased at a petshop. I named her Ollie. Ollie loved me almost instantly after I brought her home. I did not know her age, and estimated it to be about 3 months old. Three months later, I found Ollie setting in the corner of her cage floor one morning when she was about what I thought was 6 months old at that time. I had never seen her setting like that before. I really was afraid something had happened to her in the night. This happened about 8 o'clock one morning. I reached for her to pick her up, and out popped the first egg she ever laid. I was totally shocked to see the egg, and put her back on the cage floor, with her egg. She was proud as a peacock having that egg with her. She only laid one egg that first time, and took care of that egg perfectly. I increased her cuttlebone, and also bought some fresh kale for her to eat with her favorite fresh veggies.

    Ollie sat with her egg for several weeks, until she instinctly realized the egg would not hatch, and then she just abandoned the egg and paid no more attention to it. I then removed the egg from the cage, and she went back to playing and being just as she always was, singing, chattering, and waiting for another day to try nesting again. She always was very loving to me, when she laid eggs. Never biting me, or defending and protecting her egg. She started laying very young, and I do think it was because she loved me, and wanted to show me her love for me by laying eggs. It is best to never use nests of any kind when a single hen lays eggs. No tents, happy huts or wooden next boxes. Just fold up a piece of paper towel and place it in a cage corner.

    Ideally, the hormones happen in Spring and Fall. And the hen will lay 1-4 eggs at the time. But with caged birds, that often does not happen. Sometimes it is every few months, but also can happen once a month or at 6 weeks. Then, we consider the egg laying to be chronic, and that can be a difficult journey. So, not touching them, or feeding soft foods, including eggs or egg food, no nests, ever, and giving them at least 10 hours of sleep at night will help to prevent chronic egg laying.It is important you do not encourage egg laying.

    It is good that your little hen is healthy and happy, and is loving you and her new home. We will watch for updates!! (((((((((((hugs))))))) to you and your precious Maia!! I love that name!
    Last edited by maxollie; 05-29-2020 at 05:03 PM.

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