Speaking of Hormones: Part 1

We don't fix their hormones, we fix their lifestyle.

Speaking of Hormones: Part 1

Real life in the wild and what that means to parrots, their hormones and their nesting drives does not exist inside the human dynamic. At all. These are two very distinct and very powerful lifestyles. I say this because when the subject of hormones comes up there is a general tendency to discuss companion parrots and those issues as if they were experiencing the influences felt by wild parrots. They aren't.

In the wild, parrots experience the sun, wind, barometric pressures, weather patterns, seasonal UVA/UVB influences, seasonal food source changes, seasonal location changes and seasonal available materials changes. In the wild water sources change location, quality and abundance. Every element for a wild parrot is in flux at all times. It is the flux of these things, and the meanings behind the sum of the whole that sends the messages that affect the hormones of parrots. Wild parrots do literally have hormonal seasons. Companion parrots have a different hormonal flux, not necessarily related to seasons. Because our controlled environments, limited unnatural outdoor settings, controlled food and water sources send no strong synergistic messages of flux.

The companion parrot lives in abundance of food, water, materials and controlled temperatures and weather. They are not influenced by nature's messaging. Outdoor aviary living may deliver the sun, but not the changing environmentals. In the wild flocks setup in their locations with outreach distances for foraging and safety perimeters. Their daily support and care of their two perimeters delivers messages of changes via fellow migrating animals. Companion parrots live in controlled, consistent, abundant, limited environments that send fewer and weaker messages. Their hormonal seasons are rather wacky due to this lifestyle.

A companion parrot's hormones are influenced strongly by diet, darkness/sound at night, materials, age and their fellow flock members. Every parrot has their own genetic makeup for these tendencies as well. Our companions are not domesticated and bring forward instinctual drives. These drives they may not recognize. They will not fully or successfully practice (as their wild cousins) these tendencies since there is no natural context to support their actions, or need to act.

It's a complicated and simple problem. They have drives that are not supported or explained by their environments. We think we can influence these drives by applying wild parrot principles to a companion parrot's world. Which is akin to speaking Spanish in Germany. Someone is going to misunderstand some intentions.

Companion parrots need 12 hours of dark, year round. How a lifestyle is managed by the human in the room to get that done varies. Making sure companion parrots get their other 12 hours in the best of the day's sunlight is mandatory. Balance. It's all about balance. In the wild Spring and Fall tend to be the seasons of breeding. Why? Because these are the two seasons least balanced. Spring is bursting at the seems in all directions with food, light, weather and rains. Fall is bursting at the seems in all directions with food changes, light changes, weather and rain changes. These two seasons in parrot native geography offer huge flux and change. Balance is off and hormones switch on.

Our companions will express their frustrated instincts inside a consistent abundant lifestyle through aggressive, sexual and nesting actions that seem inappropriate. It's always Spring in a house. But it's abundant, consistent and balanced. Our companions do not engage in the physical activity they would in the wild. Clipped wings, limited room and the controls put in place to keep them safe rarely offer the two tier distances parrots look for instinctively. I've allowed Kirby to create that inside our two story home. He has become quite the brilliant parrot.

This isn't about hormones, this is about the messages being sent to our parrots in a companion's lifestyle. This is about context and a parrot's ability to express their instinctual drives inside a new set of rules.

The words we use to discuss the challenges for our companion parrots affects how we perceive the cure. We aren't trying to fix their hormones, those are fine if they are healthy. We need to fix the messages they are receiving and the context they are allowed to use to express those instincts.

I'll share our flock experiences and how we handle messages inside our companion parrot lifestyle over the next few days. I can't write about this in one article. Suffice it to say, fixing our parrot's hormones is not the goal. Their hormones are fine. We need to improve our context, response and environmental messages.

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