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by Diane Burroughs July 20, 2021 3 min read

A lot of bird people wonder about how to stop a hormonal bird. After all, hormonal birds can have both physical health problems and they can become aggressive when they get in a chronically hormonal state. 

What makes a bird hormonal?

Most of us dread the onset of hormonal behavior in our birds. But, keep in mind,  your bird is just as distressed as you are.

But, did you know that some of the things that we feed our birds can actually bring on hormonal behavior?  That's right!  There are several conditions that a bird's body requires in order to turn the hormones on. 

You may have noticed that bird hormonal season starts in the spring for our birds. 

Spring is associated with longer, warmer days and an abundance of new plant growth.  More access to light coupled with the availability of protein-rich, fatty foods triggers a hormonal response in our birds.

So, if you don’t want to trigger a hormone response in your bird - or if you want to tone the hormones down fast - take a look at your bird's diet. 

What foods are bad for birds?

Here is a list of 5 food types that can turn your bird's hormones on.

Fatty treats and goodies.
Crackers, chips, & sweets can trigger a hormone response in your bird.  Fats  and proteins prepare the body to breed and we're young.

Think about it.  Momma birds spend 20 to 30 days incubating the eggs so they need to fatten up first.  And, papa birds are often the ones responsible for feeding the entire brood. They also need to fatten up during the breeding season.  Feeding fatty foods just tricks your bird's body into thinking that breeding season has arrived.

Starchy foods.
Starchy foods are an important source of energy. The body breaks down starchy food into glucose, providing the body with fuel.  When you feed your bird foods like bread rice pasta and casseroles it makes the hormone surge.

Breads & Grains.
Baked goods like bread are full of starch and fat.  So are some grains.  In fact some of these baked foods are empty calories. They fill your bird up but don't provide much in the way of nutritional content.
Now, that can't be said for some of the grains. Grains in moderation are excellent for our birds. However, if your bird is starting to show the signs of being hormonal back off on protein-rich grains for a while.

Sweet veggies & fruits.
Fruits and veggies are great for our birds. but, you'll want to back off produce that is high in sugar.Sugar is digested and broken down by the small intestineinto glucose. From there, glucose is released into the bloodstream and delivered to the rest of your bird’s body, where the muscles, organs and other tissues convert it into energy.  Too much sugar makes your bird hormonal. Instead opt for leafy greens and other nutrients dense produce

Warm, soft, wet foods.
Many of our parrots have a unique mating ritual. They vomit warm, wet food into their lovers' mouth during mating rituals.  Feeding your bird warm wet foods is like foreplay! 

If you notice that your bird is getting hormonal, back off on the warm, wet foods.  Feeding your bird fresh foods at room temperature is just as good. 
In fact, we know that heating up vegetables and fruits cooks the vitamins right out of them. There is no reason to cook up that bird chop.

So there you have it. If you want to stop bird hormones, watch the diet.


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