Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: New Jersey, USA
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There is a difference between sexually mature and sexually frustrated.
A bird matures sexually when he becomes able to produce offspring, same as humans, but this also does not mean that the bird would be receptive to breeding -for example, macaws become sexually mature at 2 years of age and some breeders have bred them as young as 1.5 years of age but they hardly ever want to do it so early, they usually wait until they are 4 or 5. Then you have sexual frustration which is when a bird is kept at a human light schedule and fed rich food all year round year after year -this is what brings moodiness, aggression, screaming, plucking, etc. The reason for this is that nature did not mean for birds to produce sexual hormones all year round but only during breeding season which is brought on by environmental triggers (photoperiodism, food availability and weather). When the triggers are right, the bird starts producing sexual hormones which make their sexual organs (called gonads) start to grow and become active, the bird breeds, raises one or two clutches and then stops producing sexual hormones (this is also triggered by their environment) which makes the gonads shrink and become dormant. The time between this and the breeding season is called the resting season.
But, when you keep them at long days (turning on the artificial lights after sunset) and feed them high protein all year round, they never stop producing sexual hormones and their gonads become overly large, sometimes displacing other organs. This is not only physically and psychologically uncomfortable (imagine been super aroused all the time and having no relief!), it can also be quite painful (I've known of two male birds that had blood in their urine because of their gonads having displaced other internal organs). And this is when the trouble starts...