Can Light Therapy Solve These 3 Birds Hormonal Problems?

Can Light Therapy Solve These 3 Birds Hormonal Problems?

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

Drugs like Lupron, Haldol, and Prozac were designed and tested by the FDA on humans.


Zero long-term testing of these drugs has been performed on any bird ~ ever.


The next time a veterinarian tells you “these are safe for your bird.”


Your response should be “please provide the data that backs up your statement.”


Do I really need to stop and ‘splain the difference between the single mammal species called human versus 11,000 avian species? 


With the goal of respecting your self-isolation downtime, we’ve consolidated 3 questions that can be answered with a single solution.


We’ll be sure to answer ancillary inquiries as well.


Good morning Mitch and Catherine.


I have two Jenday Conures and my female (both will be 20 in July) started pulling out feathers a year ago during the breeding season now she has no feather under her wings, on her back all the way to the top on the tail feather and now on her chest.


The vet put her on Prozac but it made her sick. I read a post from another pet owner of a picker and she used Red Palm oil, Flax Oil and Hemp Oil. 

She said the Red Palm Oil worked better.

She posted a picture of her bird and the down feathers were really growing.


Any suggestions?


I trust you guys so much.

Our good Avian Vet quit and the one I have to take mine to, I just don’t have a lot of trust in.


Any suggestions you could give me would be so appreciated.


Thank you,

Sarah A

Editors note: Haldol is another psychotropic drug veterinarians force upon our birds to compensate for their lack of answers.


Hi Sara,


This is a post we wrote on plucking that may be helpful


10 Plucking Triggers Your Vet Never Talks About


I’ve included your question in this post because we always start with light therapy for all bird species.


New question


Thanks so much for talking with me today about lighting, vitamin D, play stands, and pellets!


I have a couple of questions that I was hoping you can help me with:


1. Green Bean spends most of his time right now in his cage or on his cage play top (he doesn’t fly). 


Once I get a play stand, it’s easy enough to use a standing lamp over the play stand. 


Additionally, I could get a light that goes on the cage top. 


Will that work, though, if he is spending a lot of time on top of the cage? 


I’m not sure how they hook on.


Also, I usually cover his cage with a sheet at night.  Would that be a fire hazard? 


If so, I guess I could stop doing that gradually.


2. I am usually very careful with giving him any kind of fortified food or vitamin because I have read Eclectus parrots are very sensitive to them.


According to this well-known vet, feeding vitamins to eclectus parrots is a nonsequitur


However, I am concerned about vitamin D since he does not go out much at all due to the generally chilly weather here in San Francisco.


Please LMK if you recommend any particular vitamin D supplement. 


I am careful to give him a lot of different types of veggies, including ones with calcium like bok choy and broccoli.


BTW, my vet does not think he needs lighting and he also does not think that parrots need Vit D to allow for absorption of calcium but I figured a little bit won’t hurt him if you have had a good experience with any of your supplements. 


Thank you, and nice talking with you!


Victoria (view our response below)


Editor’s note: Ask your vet what he/she recommends nutritionally for a broody egg-laying hen in spring who is molting. If the response is Lupron ~ flee! Endnote


Laura Ann J asks:


I left a question about hormones and light.


I can’t believe what an exceptional service you provide I get stuff from you whenever I can and I hate to bother you but I’m typing with 7 fingers because I am really HAVING A PROBLEM with my male umbrella cockatoo who was a doll baby for 8 months and now is acting like a monster. 



I’ve never experienced biting like this,  NEVER! I’ve already done the light thing you suggested and now have been reading the opposite!! 


That it may be too much light!!?!??!


I’d already been to the emergency room when he bit me between my nostrils.


I mean he bit, CHEWED, and then PULLED down !!! 


It seems purposely malicious if I thought it could be possible to be possessed, I would think that is what has happened to my poor baby!! 


I’ve read your article about Lupron but may have no other option– 


Please forgive typos, my bandages are getting in the way!


Best always to you and yours and please let me know how to find your reply. Do I need to go to your website?






Hi Laurie,


I’m sorry about the problems you’re having.


It’s spring which is a natural time for birds to act out hormonally

It’s also important to not let the bird near your face and probably handle the bird on a “friendly stick” like the dowel perch that came with your cage or even a broomstick.


In that there are several components to the “lighting thing” I suggested I’m not sure what you did but it sounds as though the bird needs another week of light therapy or the first dose.


That’s 168 hours locked in the cage with a light covering the cage (over the light) for each night.


This is not speculation.


I got the original idea from a long phone call with Dr. Gregory Harrison, a well-regarded veterinarian the creator, and maker of Harrison’s bird food.

We actually learned about it from a customer.

At the time Harrison’s whitelisted a supplement named “Releeves for prolific egg layers.”

The box came with a pamphlet with usage directions and dosing.

She called because aside from providing the supplement to the animal, a paragraph read “It should be used in conjunction with 72-hour light therapy.”

If it didn’t come from a company founded and run by an avian veterinarian, I’d write it off as quickly as Tinnitus remedies.

I called the Harrisons customer service number and told the woman who answered that “I was seeking information on releeves and light therapy and oh, I’m with Windy City Parrot a retailer of Harrison’s.”

She replied, “Got it, let me find someone.”

The next voice I heard boomed out “Greg Harrison.”

I was dumbfounded and quite frankly taken off my game for a moment.

But, I recovered swiftly, exchanged niceties, and jumped into this new-fangled 72-hour therapy to cure prolific egg-laying thing.

Turned out it wasn’t “new” or “fangled, the good doctor had been using it since his Iowa State University days (earned his degree in 1967).

At the end of the almost one-hour conversation, I was sold.

Ironically we soon needed to place this “technique” as 




He recommended 72 hours of light.


By the way, dummy eggs just make it worse.


We have found through research done at HARI (Hagen Avicultural Research Institute) in conjunction with the Ontario Veterinary College that sometimes a second dose of light (168 hours of)  may be necessary to reset your bird’s circadian rhythms.


5 hours of light and 19 hours of darkness stimulate hormones.


Ask yourself, when a parrot (no parrots except for Quakers build nests) wants to have babies in the wild why does she occupy a DARK hole in a tree?

In our homes, because we don’t offer tree hollows, we provide DARK nest boxes.


Why do birds hide under furniture and blankets ~ for darkness to feel more like having babies?


When hormones are raging, parrots seek out darkness which why only 5 hours of light is a negative behavioral trigger.


Lupron solves nothing.


Why are Veterinarians Injecting this Poison into our Birds?


It is the equivalent of giving opioids your bird and has severely damaged the lives of more than 10,000 women nationwide.


I would also advocate clicker training.


Building Trust With Your Bird With Clicker Training Video


When offering the treat use a dish so the bird will not peck at your fingers.


Let us know how lighting works out for all your birds.


Written by Mitch Rezman
Approved by Catherine Tobsing

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