Maturity age? - Talk Parrots Forums

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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 03:14 PM Thread Starter


 
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Maturity age?

I have read a lot about larger parrots getting hormonal/behavioral problems once they mature and then continue to have them for a few years. I was wondering if anyone can tell me what age greys, macaws, mini macaws, cockatoos, and lesser cockatoos are in their maturing stage. Right now someones is selling a 5 year old severe macaw. I would never skip from parakeets to macaws, but it is nice to think about future birds. And it's sad because looking at the picture, this macaw has no toys for sure and there only seems to be one perch I know I would spoil any birds that is mine

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 03:53 PM



 
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People usually assume that it's around 2-3 years old but they don't actually reach maturity until about 5 years. I learnt that with my orange winged Amazon Depending on the mini macaw it would be earlier, the Hahn's macaw probably being around 2-3 and larger macaws 5+. You've mentioned lesser cockatoos before and I'm unsure what you mean Do you mean lesser sulphur crested or just smaller cockatoo species? My sulphur crested was 18 so he had gone way past it (still a brat though). I think that Amazons have got to be the WORST bird ever for hormonal changes, every year too!

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 05:25 PM Thread Starter


 
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so technically this mini macaw would just be starting to mature?

i think i misunderstood the "lesser" cockatoos, i thought lesser cockatoos were just the smaller sized cockatoos. i didn't know that there were lesser and smaller toos

this is the poor severe with no toys i was talking about


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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 03:10 PM


 
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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...
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 04:11 PM


 
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I agree with Bibi, but I prefer to call sexual maturity, bird puberty. It has the same effects on birds as it does on humans, hormones rage. Each species reaches puberty at different times depending on the size of the bird and their life span. For example a Zebra Finch will reach puberty at about 10 weeks. Also reaching puberty can differ between birds in a particular species. For example I have had Alexandrine males reach puberty at 10 to 12 months and others that did not get there until they were nearly 4, but they started going through puberty at around 18 months and did not finish until over 3.

At the moment I only have one bird inside, all my other birds are outside and live in normal temperatures and light. I also only give my birds a basic diet until just before the time for their natural breeding cycle and then boost up the protein levels and variety. You will find that most parrot breeders do this. Finch, Canary and Budgie breeders who breed indoors will often try to fool the birds into thinking it is breeding cycle earlier than what it normally is in the wild. They may have climate control in the birdroom and they will have lighting on a timer to increase the hours of daylight.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 05:00 PM Thread Starter


 
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So is their anyway to make sure that they don't develop bad behaviors when they are sexually mature? How do you prevent them from becoming sexually frustrated?

Right now i couldn't fit a large parrot cage in my room, but my room would be ideal because when it gets dark I only have one string of Xmas lights and a fish tank light on so it stays pretty dim. I haven't had an actuall lamp in my room for years! Even in the morning when I get ready for school, I just get dressed with the light of my small nightlight and whatever daylight there is.

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for my other pets: cat, rabbit, 6 fish tanks, 2 fire belly newts, 2 african dwarf frogs, 22+ crayfish, fish
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