Nanday Conure Frequently Asked Questions
Does my Nanday need a Happy Hut?

The short answer is no. Happy Huts and other sleep nests are marketed toward bird owners, not the birds.

Happy Huts can actually bring about undesirable behavior, particularly aggression. To understand why the Nanday life cycle in the wild has to be considered. For much of the year Nandays live in cooperative flocks. This flocking instinct is why our birds make excellent pets.

But for a few weeks out of the year, during breeding season, Nandays turn anti-social. The birds will defend the nest against any perceived threat even including other Nandays. So when we duplicate a nest in the form of the Happy Hut we're triggering the defensive posture in our birds.

Then there's the matter of the bird's sense of security. All birds on a nest in the wild are at risk of predation, much much more so than when on the communal night roost. That's the reason why birds only use nests during the breeding cycle, survival can depend on abandoning the nest as soon as possibly. Yet in our desire for our birds to have a proper bed, so to speak, we circumvent their instincts. Not really a formula for a truly happy bird.

New entry - I disagree. I've not noticed any aggressive behavior or guarding of his cage more. We live in Kansas in an old farm house that gets cool in the Winter. Even with his cage covered at night that is his preferred place. He loves his green Happy Hut.

Outside opinion - I also disagree. I don't believe a Happy Hut signals any type of breeding behavior. I also found my Nandays to prefer laying down rather than perching and they have been very happy and mellow doing so, which is no surprise being cliff dwellers in South America. My female loved her Happy Hut for her entire life and used it for comfort, not nesting. There has never been a gentler or more loving pet than she was - she cuddled me beyond belief and never exhibited nesting behaviors until she was 11 years old. At that time, she was intent on nesting whether there was a nest or not, and not in her Happy Hut. A bird CAN'T nest in the thing. She was going to make a nest out of something else regardless so I finally got her a nest box before she turned my furniture into one. She laid her eggs in the box and then returned to her Happy Hut for comfort and never acted aggressive at all. Perhaps she was never aggressive because she had bonded with me first and I have always given her lots of love. She slept in her Happy Hut and perched on it much of the time, especially when she wanted comfort, like when she was left alone. I later got a male to keep her company, but it didn't draw her away from the Happy Hut for comfort. He also liked to perch on it, but didn't sleep in it. He had a separate cage and loved his little stuffed toy that he cuddled much like my female cuddled her Happy Hut. It is like a child cuddling their teddy bear. The male is now alone and I had also given him a nest box which he loves to sleep in, not as a breeding box. It seems to mellow him out. I think there are too many presumptive theories out there that are wrong - you just need to get to know your bird and gage what they can have as accessories for yourself, as long as it is safe and nontoxic.

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