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What is this behaviour? Begging? (video)

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What is this behaviour? Begging? (video)

Postby Rick » Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:17 pm

Hello. I have had my hand reared Senegal since the 20th October and so far things are mostly great but I do have a couple of questions and want to make sure I am not making mistakes.

Firstly what would you say this behaviour is?

https://youtu.be/hr0m7dqA1Qg

He has done this from day one. Yes in the video I am enticing the behaviour because he loves my phone and finds it fascinating so i did induce it this time. However he will do this to my finger almost every time it's near him and if he is on my shoulder will do the same to my ear sometimes whilst squeaking. I don't encourage it with food nor discourage it as I thought it was a juvenile begging behaviour he would just stop doing. He uses no pressure at all and hasn't bitten me or hurt me even once and he is flighted can easily get away if he wanted to, but he seems really happy and doesn't mind me touching him anywhere so I don't think it's anything fear related.
He gets treats during training sessions or for solving a puzzle like the clear box you can see in the video and he isn't vocal during these times apart from when eating which I have assumed is a happy victory chirp.

Any advice would be good.

My only other 'concern' is that he used to like sitting on my shoulder when I on my armchair and preened my face and generally chilled out and fell asleep. Now he prefers the top of his cage and flies there pretty much straight away. He doesn't leave apart from a few times when I have left the room and he has tried to follow me, so when I come back in I find him on the windowsill or hanging from a coat hook on the door. I don't kind this at all I decided when I got a parrot I would let them do what made them happy as long as it wasn't harmful, I just wonder if I have annoyed him during socialising where I got him used to being touched and his harness. As in he now associates the cage top with peace and the chair with being bothered by new things. He hasn't really shown any real joy from being stroked on the head like most parrots I have seen so should I just give up on this?

Sorry for the omg questions.
Rick
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Gender: This parrot forum member is male
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Re: What is this behaviour? Begging? (video)

Postby Pajarita » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:44 am

My dear, that's what babies do when they are hungry! Are you handfeeding him or, at the very least, providing two different kinds of soft food served fresh and warm twice a day? Because the same way that you would not sit a toddler in front of a cheeseburger with fries and call it a day, baby birds cannot be left to their own devices by just putting a bowl with adult food in their cage. They need soft, warm food that is easily digestible resembling the food the parents would still be feeding them in the wild. Breeders wean them way too early so they can move out more 'merchandise' but it's really not good for the bird or the owner because birds that are not fed correctly or sufficiently during their 'childhood' end up with eating disorders [and there are actual studies that prove this]. And I would not be surprised if his flying to his cage instead of choosing to be with you doesn't have something to do with that because baby birds regard us as their parents and parents are supposed to feed them when they ask for it. The fact that you are ignoring this has to be extremely confusing to him... I mean, I bet he feels all alone and vulnerable as well as lonely because feeding in its beak to a baby is the same as a human mother breastfeeding her baby, it provides more than just food. It's safety, warmth, closeness... it's love!
Pajarita
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Re: What is this behaviour? Begging? (video)

Postby Rick » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:21 pm

OK I understand, now I feel bad. I didn't think begging was to be encouraged as I thought it might lead to an adult bird that screamed for food like it does with birds of prey. However I don't think he was weaned early, the breeder has kept birds for 25 years and he told me he was weaned around 14 weeks old and I collected him when he was 16 weeks, although I don't have the exact dates. I will try offering him soft foods next time he does this as you suggest.
He certainly has a good appetite though and the fact he did this behaviour after seemingly having his fill confused me a bit.

Thanks for the help
Rick
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
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Types of Birds Owned: Senegal parrot
Flight: Yes

Re: What is this behaviour? Begging? (video)

Postby Rick » Wed Nov 08, 2017 7:21 pm

Quick update. He was hatched on the 12th July making him 17 weeks old. I cooked some cauliflower and broccoli and lightly mashed it and offered it warm and he did eat some but still preferred his 'adult food' as you call it but I fed him a lot more by hand than I did before. I have fed him a lot by hand to associate everything new with something positive and he has had a great appetite so far. However even after eating as much warm food and his fill of his normal food he still does the same thing to my fingers and he doesnt take the food when offered (well he took some but didn't actually eat any). I have trusted the breeder as he didn't seem to be in it for profit and doesn't raise many birds...but I suppose I can never know if he weaned too soon for greed or by error.

He seems a very happy bird, he is very playful and is always happy to see me and always runs over to me and seems to trust me a great deal. He is full of chirps and strange little sounds when he is feeling sleepy or just generally smug and I think he is adorable, he also does this when I talk to him which is more often than I think is considered sane by most people. Really wish I had fed him warm food earlier though I hope no harm has been done by my ignorance.
Rick
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Gender: This parrot forum member is male
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Types of Birds Owned: Senegal parrot
Flight: Yes

Re: What is this behaviour? Begging? (video)

Postby liz » Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:59 am

That movement is how a little bird gets food from a parent. Kind of like showing you he want to swallow something. He will also use the wing flipping like a baby begging for something. Rainbow is 32 and still does the wing flip when he wants something.
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Re: What is this behaviour? Begging? (video)

Postby Pajarita » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:34 am

Rick wrote:Quick update. He was hatched on the 12th July making him 17 weeks old. I cooked some cauliflower and broccoli and lightly mashed it and offered it warm and he did eat some but still preferred his 'adult food' as you call it but I fed him a lot more by hand than I did before. I have fed him a lot by hand to associate everything new with something positive and he has had a great appetite so far. However even after eating as much warm food and his fill of his normal food he still does the same thing to my fingers and he doesnt take the food when offered (well he took some but didn't actually eat any). I have trusted the breeder as he didn't seem to be in it for profit and doesn't raise many birds...but I suppose I can never know if he weaned too soon for greed or by error.

He seems a very happy bird, he is very playful and is always happy to see me and always runs over to me and seems to trust me a great deal. He is full of chirps and strange little sounds when he is feeling sleepy or just generally smug and I think he is adorable, he also does this when I talk to him which is more often than I think is considered sane by most people. Really wish I had fed him warm food earlier though I hope no harm has been done by my ignorance.


Well, baby birds that were not weaned properly retain that begging behavior all their lives and they use it not only for food but for love/attention [I call it the 'pretty please with sugar on top']. Try putting soft food in his cage as well as the adult food. Soft food is anything that, as the word indicates, is soft but it also means warm and easily digestible - only make sure that the food contains protein [the cauliflower and broccoli mash would not qualify this way although it's VERY nutritious]. Things like polenta, oatmeal or steel-cut oats [aka Irish oatmeal], cooked pastina [the teeny tiny noodles used for soup] or whole grain couscous mixed with baby food [the little jars of pureed veggies or fruits, especially yellow and orange ones]. But don't use any baby cereal because they are all fortified with iron and meant for human nutrition and not birds [humans need A LOT of iron in their diet but birds get sick on it -they develop hemochromatosis].
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