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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Any insight mighty appreciated.

Our two indoor, rescued racing pij have been through two nesting cycles together -- with fake eggs. All behavior seemed to follow "normal."

Now, they are on their third nest, but with this cycle our male, Clive, went a little nuts with the nest building. (Clive is 2 years old, Chauncey the lady is 10+)

We've provided him with a variety of nest building materials, including his favorite -- wooden, coffee stir sticks -- and he built for days and days and days until he accumulated a pile of hundreds of sticks in his nest box. A friend compared him to Richard Dreyfuss in "Close Encounters" . . . where he starts building a mud mountain in his living room.

** I went out of town and Clive's caretaker gave him unlimited amounts of stir sticks and he refused to use any of the other nesting materials. I'll be balancing the building materials better next time, just because I don't think they make for the most comfortable nest. :) **

The photos you can link to here show that pile of sticks in progress. Our girl is like the princess and the pea on top of that pile. (Sorry -- can't get my photos to upload to Pigeon Talk albums so have to link out. I've put in a note to the webmaster for help.)

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/Zg6KBqVJq2CfGjnsBGmD7w?feat=directlink

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/WWok0Ssg4pBDa240uvm_Mg?feat=directlink

Since he built the nest (10 days ago) he hasn't been on the eggs once. In previous nesting cycles, they have shared the duties equally. Our girl has only been off the nest for seconds at a time. Clive goes in and cuddles with her from time to time, but when she leaves to go eat, get a stretch, he leaves with her. In the past, he'd move onto the eggs and give her a break.

I was thinking he might be frustrated by a lack of stimulation, a flock, an outdoor aviary. Or could it have something to do with a the previous "failed" nests? He spends time in front of one of his mirrors in the room, to the exclusion of almost everything else.

What do you think? Normal or Abby-normal? Lonely? Frustrated? Just a change in routine?

I'd very much like for our pij to be happy and healthy and wonder if you know what this behavior might indicate -- if anything at all.

Many thanks!
 

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Cute piggies--try some strips of index cards cut up thinner sort of--just for a change of routiene for them--they might not even like them...You have a construction engineer that a designer of chaos (sp) c.hert
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks. I've cut up cards, papers, paper towels, cotton t-shirts -- added Timothy hay. Will give him those tobacco twigs to the next nesting cycle. I think poor Clive might be bored, with all his young energy. I'm trying to find ways to enrich his environment for more stimulation. I've been hiding food around the room, other things. If we had room and an aviary, we'd definitely adopt a few more rescues for company. Right now, trying to figure out how to make their indoor lives a bit better. Will stay on it . . .
 

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I wouldn't consider his behavior abby-normal (love "Young Frankenstein"!). One of my birds tends to be like that - rather spend time with his mate than on the nest. Thinner, softer nest material might make a difference...or it might not. I think you are doing an awesome job of offering your birds appropriate options!
 

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I think he is bored. When she is sitting eggs, she is not normally going to mate. When I have hens sitting eggs, many of the males eventually get bored, and they start chasing and harrassing the other females in the loft. They normally don't get anywhere with them, as most are already mated, but this activity gives them something to do. So when she is being "all mother", he gets bored. So he spends more time flirting with his mirror. Yes, with others around, it does give them more stimulation. So what he is doing is normal. If he had other birds around, he would be flirting with them, and then probably more apt to go back and take his turn on the nest.
 

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I think...just guessing, he is worried about the "intruder" in the mirror, and is protecting his mate and box from "him"...I would cover up the mirror..
 

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I think...just guessing, he is worried about the "intruder" in the mirror, and is protecting his mate and box from "him"...I would cover up the mirror..
That's possible, but I just think he's bored and is flirting with it. Don't your birds get bored when their mate is only interested in hatching the eggs. Mine can't be the only ones. But in a loft, they have lots more stimulation. Places to go and other females to harass. LOL.:p
 

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That's possible, but I just think he's bored and is flirting with it. Don't your birds get bored when their mate is only interested in hatching the eggs. Mine can't be the only ones. But in a loft, they have lots more stimulation. Places to go and other females to harass. LOL.:p
thats true, he changed his behavior... either way flirting or fight the mirror needs to go IMO. being obssesed with it does not seem healthy as it has changed his normal natural behavior.. but, if the eggs are just dummies..what does it matter.. ... unless I guess he really is bored of his domestic duties...lol.. but he's not talking so it would only be a guess..
 

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thats true, he changed his behavior... either way flirting or fight the mirror needs to go IMO. being obssesed with it does not seem healthy as it has changed his normal natural behavior.. but, if the eggs are just dummies..what does it matter.. ... unless I guess he really is bored of his domestic duties...lol.. but he's not talking so it would only be a guess..
I guess the reason it does matter is that the hen doesn't get a break from sitting the eggs fake or not. She only gets off the nest for a few minutes at a time. That isn't fair to her. She needs to get out to. When I have a male who won't take his turn, and won't let his mate out, I lock him in and take her out for a while each day. She needs to be able to get some exercise too. I had a male who would never let her out and take his turn. So I did this each day for a couple of hours. Now he takes his turn.
 

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I guess the reason it does matter is that the hen doesn't get a break from sitting the eggs fake or not. She only gets off the nest for a few minutes at a time. That isn't fair to her. She needs to get out to. When I have a male who won't take his turn, and won't let his mate out, I lock him in and take her out for a while each day. She needs to be able to get some exercise too. I had a male who would never let her out and take his turn. So I did this each day for a couple of hours. Now he takes his turn.
well sitting is'nt exactly hard work...lol.. but they do need to expell that big nest poop which needs to be... well...expelled. I have cock birds that do not sit for very long, but they make it up to her with feeding babies, while the hen is looking for another nest for the next round.....:)
 

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well sitting is'nt exactly hard work...lol.. but they do need to expell that big nest poop which needs to be... well...expelled. I have cock birds that do not sit for very long, but they make it up to her with feeding babies, while the hen is looking for another nest for the next round.....:)
No, it's not hard work, but I think she needs exercise, like walking or flying around. If this happens every month for 18 days, she won't get much. She'll become a fat couch potato.:eek::p
 

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Yeh, me too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Too funny, this exchange. Thanks, guys. Okay, now I'm torn -- to keep or take the mirror? He has a nice mirror in his cage and he likes that. He sits in front of it. That one has never interfered with his parental duties. If he's enjoying the flirtation with the additional mirror, I'd love to keep it. But if it's a protective instinct, I'll take it away. Maybe I'll remove it for a few days to see what happens. I originally put it in the room because he was so over-the-top with the nest building (as compared to the last two cycles), I thought it might be a bored response as well.

Jay, I haven't seen Young Frankenstein in quite a few years now. I'm overdue. But I've never been able to think of the word "abnormal" without that reference.
 

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LOL. Well let us know how it goes with the mirror gone. Maybe he'll start using the one in the cage more. I'll be curious to see what happens. Never a dull moment, is there? Pigeons are something else.:)
 

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Haha! I loved reading this thread. Jay and Spirit wings you crack me up!

I don't know too much about nesting as Stanley gave up on me laying an egg the ONE time he attempted it. It sounds like he is bored as well, if this is his third clutch of eggs and none have hatched he is probably wondering "why put all my energy into these eggs, the same thing will happen as before". Thats what I would be thinking :D

BTW, the pictures of the nest are too cute!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I know, StanelyPidge. I've wondered about that. He's a lot younger than Chauncey and obviously more spirited. A bird bred to race, living indoors is probably not the recipe for total, unadulterated happiness. But . . . I have to keep remembering what his fate would have been had we not stepped in. And remind myself that he does have room to fly -- and a home with a companion he seems to love. I wish I could watch them cut loose and go full throttle in the sky. Even once. I don't imagine they will ever be able to do that, given the many dangers inherent in homers who can't go home. Not to mention, we have a hungry Cooper's Hawk who roosts outside our window.

** Removed the room mirror today to see if it makes a difference. He's cooing a lot, he seems very restless. He's looking for his "friends" but the mirror is gone. The record still stands for this nesting cycle: not one minute on the nest by Mr. Clive. Little knucklehead! Still, I caught him and Chauncey kissing, so she's not holding it against him. I think he's still super-stud Clive to her. :) **
 

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Poor thing, you took his friends away.:(
If it doesn't change anything, I'd bring them back. Don't think it will change his nesting behavior, but I know you have to try. Good luck.
 

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Chauncey and Clive are VERY lucky to have a safe and loving home! I don't mean that he is bored with his lifestyle or mate at all. I think he is just bored of nesting :)
 
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