foot fetish???

by Emily
(United States)

I have owned my 3 year old jenday conure for just over two years. All of a sudden, about 3 months ago, he became obsessed with my feet. Every time I sit with him, he immediately goes down to my feet, starts rubbing his beak on them, regurgitating, and eventually, if I don't stop him, he starts humping them. I don't understand why this started happening out of the blue. I always stop him immediately when this happens, I will put him in his cage or have him sit with my boyfriend so he (hopefully) will figure out that it's not something I condone. But why is he doing it in the first place?

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Dec 16, 2012
foot fetish???
by: Linda

Well, parrots are exotic wild animals, and they do what they do. At 3, your bird has reached or is reaching sexual maturity, and this behavior is natural. You are taking the correct action to help modify his behavior by putting him back in cage when he does the foot thing. Your bird, however, does not see anything wrong with it and is simply following his own little desires.

The fact that he does not do this with your boyfriend indicates that your bird is a male, and as he eases on into his sexually mature years will most likely stop the behavior especially if you continue to put him back in cage when he does it. You do not need to "breed" this bird because of this behavior and many people make this mistake. Just because he's maturing does not mean he needs a mate which will not fix the problem anyway. All pair bonding does is take away our pets so they can breed. Things will never be the same with a pet bird once a pair bonding occurs.

So, continue to handle this as you have been. Understand that your bird does not understand you not loving this behavior because he is, after all, offering you himself. He cannot think in abstracts, so in his little mind, you are the PURRFECT mate! He loves you and trusts you enough to offer you his most precious gift--HIMSELF, so respect what he is attempting to do as you continue to try and change this behavior to one more suitable to your tastes. You may want to get a special safe wood chew toy for him as parrots love toys they can chew on. This would be something he might like when you put him back in his cage. Make sure it is size appropriate for your bird. Since he does not see his mating behavior as wrong, try to have a a firm but softer reaction. Your parrot's mind works in the "now" so if he has a nice new toy in cage when you put him up, he will begin to find other interests besides your foot in his life. He does consider you the perfect mate, and I think this behavior will lessen as he gets past puberty. He sounds like a very sweet boy though somewhat misguided at the moment!

Thanks for writing, and it is wonderful to hear from people who love their birds and are loved back by them!


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