January 12, 2020 8 min read 1 Comment


What is Parrot Hormonal Season?

There's a lot of talk about getting ready for parrot hormonal season. But, what about being wary of the common culprits that throw parrot hormones out of whack, and yet so much about parrot hormones remains a mystery. We know that hormones can be the cause of many behavioral problems in birds from mood swings and aggression, to the destruction of furnishings, to health issues. But, keep in mind, when hormones are in balance, they keep your bird's body functioning properly.

Parrot hormonal season

Springtime is Parrot Hormonal Season

What Does That Mean For You?

Parrots have completely different hormone cycles than mammals. Most caretakers don't realize that wild parrots become hormonal and capable of rearing young only once or twice a year. In the wild parrot hormonal season happens in Spring when food is abundant, the weather is more temperate, and days are a little longer. Most parrot species are from tropical areas near the equator where there is very little difference between temperature and daylight throughout the year. However, a parrot's body has become highly attuned to the small changes in food availability, lighting, nesting site availability, and weather. Their bodies respond accordingly when the conditions are just right for mating and rearing young.

Otherwise, a wild parrots sexual hormones go into a dormant stage for the remainder of the year allowing their body to recuperate from the taxing experience everbearing and feeding chicks and getting chicks time to mature before winter sets in. Simply put, a parrot’s body is not designed to withstand being in a who's winning the year-round sexual hormonal state.

Parrot Hormonal Season

Domestic parrots tend to have completely different environmental and lifestyle experiences than their wild cousins, resulting in physical and behavioral problems.  Caretakers innocently make decisions that mess with the birds’ sexual hormones. Case in point: expecting your parrot to adapt to your sleep cycle when parrots actually need 10-12 hours of sleep. Couple lack of sleep with other lifestyle and environmental stressors (diet, improper petting, a sedentary lifestyle, or access to nesting materials) and the effect on their body and behavior can be major.  We call this a chronically hormonal state and it has unhealthy consequences for your pet.

The good news is you can reset your bird’s body from the inside out by identifying certain factors and incorporating the right supplements to help you balance their hormones.  So let's take a deep dive into learning why parrot hormones become so imbalanced resulting in health and behavioral issues.

Domestic parrots tend to have completely different environmental and lifestyle experiences than their wild cousins, resulting in physical and behavioral problems. Caretakers innocently make decisions that mess with the birds’ sexual hormones. Case in point: expecting your parrot to adapt to your sleep cycle when parrots actually need 10-12 hours of sleep. Couple lack of sleep with other lifestyle and environmental stressors (diet, improper petting, a sedentary lifestyle, or access to nesting materials) and the effect on their body and behavior can be major. We call this a chronically hormonal state and it has unhealthy consequences for your pet.

The good news is you can reset your bird’s body from the inside out by identifying certain factors and incorporating the right supplements to help you balance their hormones. So let's take a deep dive into learning why parrot hormones become so imbalanced resulting in health and behavioral issues.

Parrot Hormone Q & A

1. Typically, when is parrot hormonal season?

As described above, parrot hormonal season kicks off as Spring approaches. Typically, the days are getting longer and longer, fresh, new growth protein and fatty foods become more available, and the weather gets a little warmer. A number of factors come into play causing hormonal surges that result in the sexual organs to enlarging, nest seeking and territorial behavior and the like.

2. What controls parrot hormone levels?

Your birds’ endocrine system makes and releases hormones within the brain itself and releases them throughout the body. This includes the brain, lungs, heart, kidneys, liver, and skin. Hormones are the messengers of the body—they send chemical messages and affect processes of metabolism, mood, growth and development, sexual function, and reproduction. When I’m talking about parrot hormonal season, I’m, of course, referring to hormones related to sexual function and reproduction, but keep in mind that the entire endocrine system is synchronized.

3.  What are the most common causes of hormone imbalances in birds?

The most common causes of hormone imbalances in parrots include the following:
    Diet, changes in the balance of nutrient-rich foods
  1. Mate availability (or a perceived mate in the birds' human companion)
  2. Physical contact of the erogenous zones
  3. Access to nesting sites and nesting materials
  4. Longer daylight hours
  5. Less sleep
  6. Learn more here: https://tinyurl.com/sgjdv7s

4.  How can I tell if my bird has an "out of season" hormone imbalance? What are the signs?

There are many symptoms of a parrot being in a chronically hormonal state. Simply put, the bird displays hormonal behavior year-round. Here are signs that your bird is hot to trot.
  • Strutting with feathers fanned
  • Flat backing
  • Displaying feathers
  • Increase in territorial behavior
  • Nest making and shredding
  • Feather picking
  • Regurgitation of food in your presence
  • Panting
  • Masturbation
  • Louder and more frequent vocalizations
  • Increase in biting & lunging
  • More aggressive play

5.  What can I do to balance parrot hormones so that it isn’t seasonal at the wrong time of year?

Photoperiod.  Make sure that your bird gets 10-12 hours of total darkness and quiet sleep per night.

Shredding.  Remove shredding toys and opportunities. The sheer act of shredding things as if getting a nest ready throws parrot hormones into overdrive.  Observe what your parrot is shredding and remove the objects. At the same time vigorously reward your bird for all other natural parrot behaviors such as chewing wood, proper preening, and bathing, foraging, singing, etc.

Cavity Seeking.  A hormonal parrot is driven to find confined dark areas to raise young.  It could be anything from a shoe for small birds, up to a closet or under furniture and cushions.  It may seem cute at the time but it is no laughing matter, as this activity makes your bird oversexed, and when it can’t satisfy its biological needs, it turns its angst toward outward aggression or self-harm behaviors.  Once again, remove cavity seeking opportunities and reward natural parrot behaviors. Encourage exercise and foraging behaviors. Offer up fun, positive training sessions.

Heavy Petting.  Most of a parrots body is an erogenous zone, so petting your bird anywhere but on the head or feet is a huge turn on. Even though your parrot is driven toward heavy petting, just like a teenage boy, it will only cause problems in the long run. Just know that your exotic pet needs you to show your love in a different way.  Rather than petting your bird or letting it ride around on your shoulder making your hair into its nest, show your love by time out of the cage and bird training or by allowing it to exercise and forage.

Feeding.  Limit high calorie and high-fat foods that trigger hormone production. Avoid grapes, corn, meats, and sweet potatoes.  Also, avoid feeding soft, warm foods that remind your bird of the mating ritual of regurgitating into their mate’s mouth.  Instead, supplement your bird's diet with more fresh veggies and lower sugar content fruits.

Supplements for parrot hormonal season

6  What health supplements do you recommend to balance parrot hormones?

Probiotics.There is a link between gut health and hormone balance. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that can improve the production and regulation of key hormones. Purchase a reputable parrot probiotic and feed it as directed. Unfortunately, there are few natural dietary options in the form of grains, fruits, or vegetables that will deliver probiotics.

Magnesium.  Many parrots are magnesium-deficient. The trouble is that stress can increase the amount of magnesium that is dumped from the body leading to a magnesium deficiency. Consider a good Supplement such as UnRuffledRx Calcium, Magnesium +D3. Your bird needs to replenish magnesium to keep its central nervous system calm and prevent an oversupply of cortisol. When these nutrients are regulated, other hormones will also be better regulated. Magnesium also improves sleep and reduces inflammation, both of which are needed for hormone balance.

Omega-3s.  One function of omega-3s  is the construction of hormones which is why Omega - 3 are recommended to eases hormone disorders. Omega-3s also reduce the inflammatory damage that interferes with hormone balance. 

Adaptogens:   Adaptogens are herbs that help the body handle stress and support the adrenals.  They are healthy and natural ways to help birds experience hormone balance. Not all adaptogens are the same.  Always opt for fresh, organic herbs when looking for a way to support your parrots’ elevated mood. Safe, nutritious and healthy adaptogens for parrots include:

  1. Chamomile
  2.  Lavender
  3.  Lemon Balm
  4.  Red Clover
  5.  Rose Petals
  6.  Kava Kava Root
  7.  Passionflower
  8.  Valerian

Try UnRuffledRx Parrot Calming Herbs to help curb hormone-related screaming, aggression, anxiety, and feather plucking in parrots.

Coconut Oil:   Nourishing coconut oil has been used for centuries due to its numerous health benefits. But, it's not just for humans. Coconut oil has great health benefits for parrots, as well.  Here are just a few of the health benefits that you're hormonal parrot may experience:

  • Moisturize and nourish skin: Coconut oil is great for the skin. Its natural antioxidant properties help soothe dry, itchy and irritated and skin. 
    • Digestive help: Coconut oil’s concentration of beneficial fats helps it support the digestion process. Its antimicrobial properties can help fight irritation and infection in the gut from candida.  
    • Great source of healthy fats: Over 50% of the fat in coconut oil is from lauric acid, a healthy fat.  Lauric acid has a ton of health benefits including antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and anti-cancer properties which help induce a” feel good” state. Lauric acid is a medium-chain saturated fatty acid that is rich in MCTs. 
    • Hormone support: Getting the wrong kinds of fats can create havoc on parrot hormones and induce a chronic hormone state. Coconut oil is a healthy oil that contains specific fats that support the body’s natural hormone production.
      • Immune support: The MCTs (including lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid) have antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties that make it beneficial for immune support. 

      For these reasons, Coconut Oil is amazing for hormone health. It provides the necessary building blocks for hormone production, can assist weight loss, reduce inflammation, and it even has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.

      Vitamin D3. Research shows that when taken, vitamin D3 acts like a hormone inside the body and can help to reduce inflammation levels. Sunshine is the best way to supplement this, but not all of us can get enough of it. If you can't, taking 5000 IU of vitamin D3 daily is a general recommendation. 

       

      7.  In addition to taking supplements, what habits should parrot caretakers adopt for improved hormone balance?

      Get good sleep. Without adequate sleep, hormonal balance doesn't stand a chance. Your parrot needs between 10 to 12 hours of sleep a night to cleanse its body, recharge, and balance hormones.   Obviously, parrot sleep needs don't fit in well with our work schedule, but nevertheless, the consequences of lack of sleep for parrot pose a health risk.

      Feed for hormone balance.  If your bird doesn't eat nutrient-dense foods,  it's body simply cannot do its job properly—that includes producing the right hormones at the right time and staying balanced.  If your parrots’ diet is contributing to hormone imbalance, change it. Your bird needs a balance of premium pellets, leafy green vegetables, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. 

      Learn more about a healthy parrot diet here.

      Exercise is amazing for balancing hormones.  It reduces inflammation, lowers stress, and aids sleep. So, make it a point to get your parrot out of the cage on a daily basis. A play stand is a necessity, not a luxury when it comes to your parrots’ health. a lot of people think that the best way to show their parent love is to let it write about on their shoulders or to pet their bird and give it a nice massage. But, these activities can actually induce hormonal State and birds and wow unintended they are harmful.  Show your parrot “the love” by allowing it to vigorously exercise every day.


      1 Response

      John
      John

      March 09, 2020

      This was very informative and a great help to me thanks

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