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Sometimes He's a Flying Can Opener

Discuss the methods and techniques of clicker training, target training and bonding. These are usually the first steps in training a young parrot.

Sometimes He's a Flying Can Opener

Postby psitta » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:39 pm

Hello! First time posting!

My 2 year old sennie, Booker is a fantastically sweet and trusting bird! :senegal:
He steps up nicely most of the time, doesn't bite without being provoked, and allows lots of chin tickles and even lets me hold him on his back or pick him up without objection. He's friendly to new people and takes treats nicely. What luck!!!

But his one issue is that every so often, he lands on us inappropriately. Sometimes it's fine and makes sense, like when I'm getting the bag of carrots out of (his own personal) minifridge. Or I'm walking out of the room without him and he wants to catch up. Recently he's taken to it while I'm just sitting at my desk with my back turned. He lands on anything he can: shirts, hair, heads, and worst of all: shoulders. Once he's grappled on, he's bound to start biting.

He's taken chomps at my ears, hands, arms, and puts holes in clothing. :mad:

The way I'm currently dealing with it: I don't respond, just shimmy my shoulders until I (gently) shake him off. He then flies back to his tree. If he persists, I either try to get him targeted back in his cage, or I resort to wearing a towel shawl. That scares him off. Trying to target him off/pick him up results in an angry bite. If I turn around and raise a hand quick enough, sometimes he'll peacefully perch there. But my family and friends don't have those parront reflexes.

Hats, hoods, and different hair/clothing doesn't deter him. He has a 6ft tree, a large flight cage with play top, a play gym, and lots of toys to play with!!! How can I teach him that it is NOT an appropriate way to get my attention? It's starting to HURT!
psitta
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Gender: This parrot forum member is male
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Re: Sometimes He's a Flying Can Opener

Postby liz » Thu Apr 20, 2017 6:13 am

The only suggestion I can make is to buy untreated shims and create a thing that he can chew on.

They have to chew to keep their beaks healthy.


When in doubt - distract.
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liz
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Re: Sometimes He's a Flying Can Opener

Postby Pajarita » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:01 am

Well, how many hours is your one-on-one with him and what does it entail? Diet? Light schedule? Routines? Is it possible that he is not getting enough of the right interaction?
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Re: Sometimes He's a Flying Can Opener

Postby psitta » Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:38 pm

Pajarita wrote:Well, how many hours is your one-on-one with him and what does it entail? Diet? Light schedule? Routines? Is it possible that he is not getting enough of the right interaction?


We have anywhere between 3-8 hours of one-on-one interaction every day, during which I am in the room with him, he has free flight between his 6ft tree, cage, playstand, and a chair near me. He's well-exercised. He has a full view of the outdoors through a gigantic window we keep uncovered all the time. The window does not receive any direct sunlight (my apartment building blocks all of it), but anything that can get through can certainly get to him. (He does have places to perch that are out of range of the window, if he doesn't want to be directly in front of it.) When I'm not home, a radio runs quiet music and the occasional talk show.

I haven't been covering his cage. I really don't feel it would be very doable for me. My schedule more or less follows daylight, and he isn't really a hormonal monster (yet?) I am sometimes away for weekends, during which my attentive family cares for him-- he loves them very much! But they would most certainly do a poor job of maintaining a light schedule. I fear this would ruin it entirely.

His diet consists of primarily Goldenfeast Golden'obles pellets, with daily supplements of greens, fresh vegetables, and fruits. We try to have at least one session of social eating a day, usually during which we share an apple or a salad. He gets one nut in-shell a day, usually either a walnut or almond. I do my best to refill a foraging toy in his cage each morning, and rotate others bi-monthly. I'd like to think he doesn't get lonely or bored but... maybe liz is right and I should get more destructible toys.

I can certainly try adding daily training sessions (instead of whenever i get around to them lol) and getting some of that balsa wood!

Any other input? :D
psitta
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Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 3
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: African Senegal Parrot
Flight: Yes

Re: Sometimes He's a Flying Can Opener

Postby Pajarita » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:16 am

Well, I might be misunderstanding or, perhaps, there might be a terminology problem here... him flying around in the same room you are is not 'one-on-one', it's 'out-of-cage' time. One-on-one implies you spending time with the bird and doing nothing else for a couple of hours. But, because some parrots can be happy just chilling with us, this one-on-one doesn't necessarily have to mean playing or training, it could be the bird sitting on your shoulder and cuddling or it could mean him sitting on your shoulder while you do chores (they love to 'supervise' us :lol: ). Senegals (all parrots, actually) love spending time with their owners and that means being on your shoulder. It's really hard with the large ones so some people just walk around with the bird perching on their arm but senegals are not satisfied with this, they want shoulder time so I think the problem with yours is that he is no longer a baby and is now beginning to assert himself firmly as to what he wants.

Yours is at the age when the problems begin. They are no longer babies that put up with anything without complaining much, they are now teenagers and they rebel just like human teenagers do. I would be very careful about not covering his cage at night if there is any light at all reaching his cage as well as not keeping him to a strict solar schedule because I've had many different species of parrots that came to me with aggression issues, from little ones to macaws, and the worst one BY FAR was a male Senegal (I still have him but he is fine now). This is the ONLY bird I have clipped in my life (something I regretted immediately after doing it) and it was done out of sheer desperation because I dreaded going into the birdroom with him attacking me relentlessly all the time that I was in there.

Senegals are not easy birds... they might be small but they are fearless and very stubborn, and can get terribly aggressive when overly hormonal so I suggest you start spending a good two hours a day with him (cuddling, scritching, playing, etc), keep him at a strict solar schedule with full exposure to dawn and dusk for, at least, 1.5 hours and stop free-feeding protein food.

Also, from my personal experience with them, they only chew when they are hormonal so I doubt that getting more chewing toys will help with the biting but, of course, it can't hurt either.
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Flight: Yes

Re: Sometimes He's a Flying Can Opener

Postby psitta » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:51 am

Pajarita,

Ahh sure! Only about an hour and a half or so is me being in very close contact with him. I'll do my best to fulfill his attention needs!

I can look into a cage cover, I suppose, I'm just wary is all.

Thank you for the advice!
psitta
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Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 3
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: African Senegal Parrot
Flight: Yes

Re: Sometimes He's a Flying Can Opener

Postby liz » Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:14 am

Mine chew my house at any time of year.
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Re: Sometimes He's a Flying Can Opener

Postby Navre » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:35 am

Once when I said that I didn't quite trust our big, loud, wild-caught Moluccan, Wolf said that I shouldn't feel bad, he was essentially a flying bolt cutter. I still laugh and call that bird by that name today.
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Re: Sometimes He's a Flying Can Opener

Postby Bird woman » Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:57 am

Having many years experience with flying bolt cutters I'll have to agree , my body and house are proof enough of that. Wolf was not exaggerating. :lol: :lol:
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Re: Sometimes He's a Flying Can Opener

Postby alienlady » Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:15 am

Navre wrote:Once when I said that I didn't quite trust our big, loud, wild-caught Moluccan, Wolf said that I shouldn't feel bad, he was essentially a flying bolt cutter. I still laugh and call that bird by that name today.

Any chance I could borrow him please , my wire cutters aren't strong enough for the job I'm doing :lol:
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