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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone! I'm new and have a couple of questions about my parrotlet. His name is Puck, he is 2 years old.

Ever since he turned 2, he started having these aggressive "ticks" where he'll squeek and then bite very hard. Sometimes it's triggered by an object, which I'll remove. However he seems to do it randomly sometimes.
Besides that, he started to regurgitate (not vomiting) a lot on objects. I removed them (tissues), but he finds new things to do this on. Is this harmful? If so, how can I stop/lessen it?

The last thing is: the lil dude accidentally brazed against the ceiling. He isn't hurt, he only has a bald spot on his head now. There wasn't any bleeding, except for 2 little red dots from where, i assume, he brazed it the hardest. It is a little bumpy, but not itchy. What should i do? Is it a good idea to put vaseline on it, or should I just let it be and if it doesn't grow back, take him to an aviary vet?

I hope I can get some insights here. Sorry if the post is long, I'm worried about the little fellow.
 

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Hello and welcome to the forum! Please don't apologize! Your post is not long! You should read some of mine sometime! lol So, you are fine. Don't worry about it. A lot of times, the more you tell us, the easier it helps us to answer your questions! So no worries, okay? Lovely to have you and Puck join our flock! :)

Oh, yes! Regurgitation and biting are classic signs of hormonal behaviors. There are things you can do. One is to ensure that Puck is getting at least 12 hours of darkness every night. I would suggest you even give him an extra hour or two of sleep every night until the hormonal behavior has stopped. It tricks them into believing it is wintertime and not a good time to reproduce. The other thing is to watch his diet. Avoid foods that are high in fat, carbs and calories. No human snacks. These will trigger your bird into thinking that food is in abundance, and it is a good time to have baby birdies. Stick to good quality seeds, veggies and leafy greens. Give fruit and nuts occasionally during this time. Cut back on the protein too. Avoid soft foods like oatmeal. They are too much like regurgitated food a mate would give him.

If you can, distract Puck by getting him to exercise. Encourage him to fly – it is really good for burning off all that excess energy he is experiencing right now. Maybe provide him a foraging toy, or anything you can think of to keep him occupied. You can also try some target/clicker training, if he is up to it.

It is also best to ease off on the cuddling and scritches during hormonal periods, and no inappropriate touching below the neck. You do not want Puck thinking that you want to be his mate.

That is a shame Puck scrapped his head on the ceiling. Poor little guy. We are not experts on this forum, but if it were me and he seemed fine, then I would just keep an eye on it. The feathers should grow back in time, if they don’t, then you may want to check with your vet. Do not use Vaseline. If Puck ingests it, it can make him sick. And you don’t want Vaseline getting on his feathers.

Hormonal periods are hard on our birds and us. Hopefully, he snaps out of it soon. Let us know how he is doing. Hope he starts feeling better soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much! I'll make sure I adjust his diet appropriately and will give him an extra hour (or two) in the dark. Puck is doing fine now, he does scratch the spot more often but I'm checking if he doesn't scratch his head open every everytime and try to distract him when he does it.

I'll keep updating on him every once in a while. Thank you so much for these tips!
 

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Hello and welcome to the forum! “Puck” is an interesting name - care to share how you can up with that one? Your post was great in my view - lots of detail to help us understand the situation.

Anya has given you some great advice there and I can’t think of anything to add. I would second her advice not to apply Vaseline but ti just keep an eye on it. It doesn’t sound like he damaged the skin or bumped his head so the feathers should grow back. You can attach a photo if you want to give us a better idea…not to mention we love seeing photos of new birds!!

Anya mentioned no inappropriate touching below the neck - that literally means no petting or stroking. It seems harmless to humans - or simply a sign of affection - but In the bird world, it is a different story.

Keep us posted on his little head feathers!
 
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Thanks, Jackie, for clarifying what I meant by inappropriate touching. (y)The reason why you should not touch your bird below the neck is because in nature, birds only display this type of affection when they are courting, or wanting to reproduce. Touching them below the neck will get them hormonal and seeing you as a mate.

Also, what I mentioned about changing Pucks diet, applies mainly to when he is hormonal. It is okay to give you bird stuff like oatmeal, corn ,wheat spaghetti and bread occasionally. Parrotlets love carbs, so no need to stop them from eating them entirely. It is just when they are hormonal you want to avoid them. They are high energy foods – and the last thing a hormonal bird needs is more energy! :oops:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you so much for the replies! In terms of touching: i have never touched him below his neck, as I know from experience it makes them hormonal (I fostered a Sun conure and a different parrotlet called Jack- Jack) and I have read up on them a lot.

His name is Puck, because in Dutch (I'm from the Netherlands), "ukkie pukkie" means very tiny. I rescued Puck when i fostered the much larger Sun conure (named Stinki), and he was so tiny compared to him! So Puck comes from pukkie :). He says his name as Pookie though.

His hormonal behaviour has lessened ever since I followed the tip about dark hours. He (voluntarily now) stays in his dark sleeping cage for 2 extra hours. He is less cranky and comes to me for attention. He snaps less often and eats his own food and veggies. He still feeds everything, but i make sure to stop him when I catch him in the act. He gets upset with me when I do that, but I try to distract him, which usually works.

As for his head: his feathers are getting through and I couldn't be happier. I couldn't get a good picture of his head, but its looking healthy and his skin is normal. He finally decided to take a shower and it has helped his skin and feathers. He used to shower more often (I leave him a bowl of fresh water to shower in, in which he can stand), but now he kind of hates it. I don't force him to shower, but it does make me wonder how to encourage it again.

All in all, little guy is doing great with his crankyness aside. He is very active and I think his head will be fully covered in feathers in about a week or 2.

Here's a dry Puck and a slightly wet, post-shower Puck!
Bird Eye Vertebrate Macaw Beak

Head Bird Eye Dress Beak


Again, thanks for the tips and the warm welcome to this forum. It helped a lot 💕
 

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What great news! Hormonal periods can be so tough on them (and us!). I am glad you are finding solutions that make it a little easier in you both. Great job!!

Thank you for the fun explanation for his name! That’s super cute, just like him. The photos are great! There’s nothing like a spiky, wet ukkie pukkie Parrotlet!

Keep us posted on his progress. Quality sleep is so important for them and people often don’t realize how much sleep birds need. It is helpful for other Parrotlet owners to see that some of these strategies actually work.
 

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That is really good new! Puck is gorgeous! Great pics! Once the hormonal period is over, you can gradually return Puck back to his normal sleeping cycle. I found out with my bird that she liked to sleep more than 12 hours. She was very active and mostly slept 14 every night. I noticed a big difference when I let her sleep as long as she wanted.
 

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Oh well done King Puck!! He looks so regal sitting there on your knee! What an incredible shade of blue he is! Well done to you too! It is so important to celebrate these little victories! How has his behaviour been? Are you still seeing improvements?
 
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I am so glad that Puck is completely back to his beautiful and fluffy self again! 💙 Thanks for updating us on how he is doing! Love the pic! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
His behaviour has improved! He decides to demand attention whenever he wants, but also enjoys his moments independently. He likes to sleep an extra two hours. Showers are still hated, so I'm trying to find ways to stimulate it, but to no avail yet. He is way less snippy and grumpy and his biting "ticks" have lessened a lot. Recently, he started doing started his mating dance again, but whenever he does it, I'll distract him.

He loves his own food and I'm practicing recall training and other tricks. He'll get the zoomies sometimes, but also takes little naps here and there.

Overall, his behaviour has improved a lot. I feel like he is happier and more comfortable. Which makes me happier as well. Thanks again for all the great tips, they really helped ❤
 

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That is such great news! You are a wonderful person for putting in so much effort. He is very lucky to have you. That good sleep really helps - it is awesome you have discovered that an extra 2 hours suits him better. Keep up the great work - both of you!
 
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It is amazing how some added sleep can really help, isn't it? It is true when they say that a tired bird is a grumpy bird. Love hearing that Puck is doing so well. So, he doesn't like baths? Have you tried misting him? You probably know this already, but just make sure not point the spray directly at him. Point and spray the bottle up above his head so it comes down like a shower. You can also try giving him some wet lettuce leaves - some birds like to roll on them.
 
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