I get a lot of readers who write inquiries to me on a pretty regular basis. If I don’t know the answer, then I will find someone who will. I love being stumped by a situation or problem and then learning something new along the way. I think that’s a humans lot in life, constantly learning and getting better. The world of aviculture is continually evolving and things that once were “THE BE ALL END ALL” items and ideas, have actually become outdated and antiquated. It’s okay, that’s life, as long as we get better and not bitter.
“Our new bird is extremely cage aggressive and won’t let us come near their cage, but is fine when they are away from their cage.” is a line I have seen in many a message and email. My first question is, does your bird have a birdie hut/tent/cozy/snuggie of any kind? Nine times out of ten, the answer is, “yes”. I fostered a Lovebird years ago who had snuggie tent is her cage, it made her the meanest bird that I think I have ever seen. She quickly got the nickname “devil bird” from friends that would come over and visit. At the time I thought her little birdie hut was adorable and didn’t have the faintest idea that could be the root of her “evil” behavior.
Cleo, our newest grey came with a snuggie tube sort of thing, and she was what? You guessed it, cage AGGRESSIVE! You couldn’t stick your hand in to get her if your tried. When her cage came into the house I immediately knew we were going to have trouble. I got rid of that thing as quick as someone would hold open the garbage can lid. Within a couple of hours, her demeanor and body language began to relax. Granted, she was still territorial but she would allow you to touch her cage doors and change her water dish or even adjust toys. Within three or four days her aggression was almost gone.
So, why will my bird snuggie tent cause this behavior? Simple, nesting behavior. Birds do not have sleeping bags or a tent in the wild. They are “cavity nesters” and dark enclosed spaced give them that little tinge of hormones that say “let’s have babies”. Giving a bird any sort of nesting material, which would be a warm, dark enclosed space says “let’s get territorial because there will eventually be eggs here and they must be protected”. As bird owners dealing with mood shifts and other external factors, why give them something that could potentially be mood altering and also extremely dangerous.
Bird snuggie tents are made of fabric, personally I don’t like anything fabric because it is incredibly hard to clean and keep sterile. Not to mention those little pieces of fabric that after being chewed on can be ingested causing a crop impaction. It could also become a danger by strangling your little companion and even possibly getting a foot caught and breaking it. A few years ago a reader’s sweet Sun Conure got her foot stuck and pulled out a toe and bled to death while she was at work, what a horrible thing to come home to.
I know that as parrot owners we want to make the best environment and make it the most comfortable for our little feathered companions, but when it really comes down to brass tacks, why give them something they wouldn’t get in the wild? Why put your bird in danger for That Cozy Feeling?
Copyright – 2015 – Parrot Earth – That Cozy Feeling