Becker Animal Hospital | Masturbation
9331
page-template-default,page,page-id-9331,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-theme-ver-9.4,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.2,vc_responsive

Masturbation

 There are many different behaviors witnessed by owners of birds that are associated with sexual maturity and hormone fluctuations. At certain times of the year birds are under the powerful influence of sex hormones and will behave instinctively in distinct ways you have not witnessed before.  Sexual behavior may be induced by many factors such as seasonal changes in daylight hours, environmental influences, diet and interactions with owners or favorite toys and objects.  The behaviors will vary with species and individuals.  They are not necessarily seen with every bird. 

Masturbation occurs in small birds (budgies and cockatiels) and larger birds. They may be seen rubbing their cloaca or vent (underneath the tail) on a favorite toy, mirror, shoes, or on the hands, arms, or shoulders of a person..   Although this behavior is relatively harmless, it should be ignored rather than encouraged. Discourage the practice by distraction and redirection. Physical hugging and scratching around the head is fine but scratching around the back, rump, and hind end may cause sexual stimulation.  Redirect your bird’s attention towards toys and healthy interactive play with you, the owner. If you can’t distract or redirect the bird, then quietly return him to his cage or play gym.

 Your pet should never be punished or disciplined for masturbation under any circumstances.


  This client information sheet is based on material written by Rick Axelson, DVM & Shawn Messonnier, DVM

© Copyright 2005 Lifelearn Inc. Used with permission under license. December 12, 2011