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Went to breeder. In love with senegals!

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Re: Went to breeder. In love with senegals!

Postby Eurycerus » Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:14 pm

Wayne361 wrote:What made a HUGE difference was when I started training Oscar (my :senegal: ).


I train every day with her but I haven't had her long enough to know for sure how helpful it is for socialization with people that aren't me (another reason I'm annoyed with people disdain for her, I haven't had her long enough for their snap judgements to be true necessarily). Although I'm hopeful that as others have suggested people can cue her to do tricks and therefore interact without handling her/getting bit. She pretty much hasn't full on bit me since the first week she was with me. She'll give tiny bites (non-painful) of annoyance which I ignore.

Does your Senegal interact okay with people that aren't you and your wife?
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Re: Went to breeder. In love with senegals!

Postby Wayne361 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:32 pm

Eurycerus wrote:
Wayne361 wrote:What made a HUGE difference was when I started training Oscar (my :senegal: ).


I train every day with her but I haven't had her long enough to know for sure how helpful it is for socialization with people that aren't me (another reason I'm annoyed with people disdain for her, I haven't had her long enough for their snap judgements to be true necessarily). Although I'm hopeful that as others have suggested people can cue her to do tricks and therefore interact without handling her/getting bit. She pretty much hasn't full on bit me since the first week she was with me. She'll give tiny bites (non-painful) of annoyance which I ignore.

Does your Senegal interact okay with people that aren't you and your wife?


As a bit of a background, I have a 7 year old daughter and a daughter who is 21 months. My 7 year old is too timid to hold oscar. Since she is nervous I wont allow her to try. She does participate in training, feeding, and Oscar shows no agression towards her. My youngest is WAY too young to even attempt the above. I think Oscar is not your typical senegal as he doesnt show agression based out of jealousy etc. If I am holding my daughter, playing etc....he willl patiently stay on his perch till we are done and will only fly to me when "the coast is clear". He has landed on both daughters (twice on my oldest, once on my youngest)....both times no aggression....just a landing. I KNOW this is dangerous and will not have oscar out of his cage when the youngest is in same room now. I am socializiing with my oldest daughter and things are going well. Now in regards to others I dont encourage or promote them handling him. Kind of a look but dont touch policy. The reasons are twofold 1) i dont want a guest to get bitten 2) I dont want to re-introduce biting, as it took me a long time to rectify this behaviour. That being said, I have a buddy who came over before I got home with his wife who opened oscars cage reached right in and Oscar stepped up and let him scratch his head. He then put him back in.....no issues. I was shocked as I dont even reach into his cage (territory). This friend has an umbrella cockatoo and I think his confidence prevented a bite.

Hope I helped answer your question.

Wayne
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Re: Went to breeder. In love with senegals!

Postby Mona » Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:55 pm

Love the training comments....So spot on...

Another suggestion that I found EXTREMELY helpful with socializing my hen and other people is:

I don't believe other people need to pick up my birds or handle them. I honestly don't think it's natural. Instead, I taught my birds to wave on cue. This has become almost a "begging behavior" they do it so frequently but it WORKS. It charms people. The bird gets reinforced for interacting but NOT biting. The bird has fun. It's a win-win. Babylon will actually wave and say, "Hi Baby" over and over. That's another dimension to the charm. (She does it with other birds but that's another story). It comes off friendly, like a dog wagging a tail. Honestly, unless the bird really WANTS to be handled by other people, I just don't do it very often and if I do, I ONLY do it when I'm confident they won't bite - and that means fearbiters (like Jack) don't get handled.

Another solution is to train to step up on a stick. Then if the bird "fear bites" so what? I can't always trust my boys not to bite so I use a stick. On the other hand, my hen Babylon, won't step up on a stick. I think a birdsitter might have chased her with it once (because I DID have her trained) PLUS she's a pretty terrific flyer so it's aversive to her now...but not for the boys. The boys view the stick entirely positive. I tell them, "Step up on your perch"...step them up, then say, "Go to your perch" and carefully step them onto their perches in their cage. Never make this an aversive situation by forcing the bird to step up or step on a perch...instead, reinforce the behavior with treats and praise - the same as you would teach any trick or behavior. It absolutely saves the day in many, many situations
Mona in Seattle
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Re: Went to breeder. In love with senegals!

Postby Eurycerus » Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:58 pm

Mona wrote:Another solution is to train to step up on a stick.


Good call. I need to do that. I was hoping that my mother could bird sit for me when I go on vacations and can't bring her but not if my little bugger bites her! So I'll just find a way around the issue. It sounds like I'll focus on non-touching/step up interaction even though it pains me...
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Re: Went to breeder. In love with senegals!

Postby Mona » Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:02 pm

Finally, on the subject of biting....

I have three Senegals so I watch how they interact and even my bonded pair, squabble frequently. They nip at each other and fly off. Nobody gets hurt but it's just a natural behavior for them. Take that natural behavior and put the animal on your hand or arm...add the fact that as people, we don't read their subtle cues....and our hand gets in the way of a nip. Think about it: Parrot bites parrot and gets - FEATHERS! No harm done....somebody screaches and flies off. Now, Parrot bites arm and gets - FLESH! Lots of harm done...screaming, yelling, flinging....(It's really hard to tolerate a bite)

So, you either have to really step up on reading subtle cues (and that really takes being a good study and honestly, isn't easy) or learn to set up the environment BEFORE handling them to prevent the bite (i.e. if you have a fear biter, don't handle them in a chaotic environment. If you have a snuggle biter, keep them off the couch,...if you have a jealous biter, don't have them on you when you are doing something with another bird...etc.). In other words, learn your bird and avoid circumstances that could trigger a bite.

One of the laws of behavior is that if a behavior isn't reinforced, it will extinguished. It is almost impossible NOT to reinforce a bite so my motto is: AVOID BITES AT ALL COSTS.....Learn where you can trust your bird and where you cannot. If they bite ask: What happened that preceded the bite that might have triggered it? Avoid that for a while - maybe even a year if necessary...but if you figure it out, the behavior often extinguishes.

That is the only way I know how to solve/prevent biting problems with Senegals. Greys are COMPLETELY different.
Mona in Seattle
Phinneous Fowl (aka Phinney) TAG
Babylon Sengal
Doug (spousal unit)
Jack and Bailey (Gremlins)
Kiri (CAG)
http://www.flyingparrotsinside.com

youtube: Avian Flyers
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Re: Went to breeder. In love with senegals!

Postby Eurycerus » Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:10 pm

There are a few bites that she's done that I can't figure out what went wrong. The closest I can come is insecure footing may have caused a fear bite. Not really sure.

Like with my mom, she stepped up easily, and then my mom was setting her on top of her travel cage (which she is pretty comfortable with) and she got a nasty bite. My thoughts are either my mom didn't provide clear instructions and she got confused, or my mom didn't angle properly and she felt like her footing was insecure. She is currently growing her feathers so she can't fly, which could be the problem.

Do the above possibilities make sense for reasons for a bite? Or could there be something else I'm missing?

She did similar things to me at first and the above reasons are the only ones I can come up with. I thought I was doing a great job but obviously not and she informed me. Also I ensure all my fingers except step up finger are not available for easy biting. :] The thumb is her favorite if she's angry. So she only nips me now or nothing at all. Even when she got frightened recently she didn't piece the skin.
Last edited by Eurycerus on Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Went to breeder. In love with senegals!

Postby Mona » Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:10 pm

Grey biting is usually manipulative in nature. They study what is going on and try to control the flock and/or their surroundings. It is their nature. Senegals act. Greys study....

So, knowing that greys manipulate, my strategy has always been to set it up so that they are manipulating me using behaviors that I enjoy or find appropriate...for example: reinforcing talking. I try to reinforce when I hear my grey say something I enjoy. I try NOT to reinforce behaviors I don't want (including loud, obnoxious noises or biting)

Secondly, with greys....tell them everything. Basically, for the first year, I walked Phinney around and showed her objects and told her what they were. Before I do anything with Phinney, I tell her what I'm going to do. For example: Shower time. I say "Phinney, do you want to go get a shower?" - she steps right up to me because she LOVES showers. If I didn't ask, she wouldn't step up.

Greys really aren't neurotic or phobic unless you make them that way. In my experience, they socialize pretty well. They just don't like other animals or people "in their space". I've seen videos of wild greys and they always keep a proper "social space" between them, even in a flock. It's just their nature so I respect that. I reinforce any time Phinney allows unknown people "inside her social space". Other than that, I talk to her an awful lot and I am rewarded by that a great deal. Greys seem to have a much better ability to process sounds and language and use it to their advantage. Senegals tend to DO....Greys tend to study.
Mona in Seattle
Phinneous Fowl (aka Phinney) TAG
Babylon Sengal
Doug (spousal unit)
Jack and Bailey (Gremlins)
Kiri (CAG)
http://www.flyingparrotsinside.com

youtube: Avian Flyers
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Mona
Poicephalus
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 271
Number of Birds Owned: 5
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrots, Congo African Grey, Timneh African Grey
Flight: Yes

Re: Went to breeder. In love with senegals!

Postby Eurycerus » Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:14 pm

Mona wrote:Secondly, with greys....tell them everything. Basically, for the first year, I walked Phinney around and showed her objects and told her what they were. Before I do anything with Phinney, I tell her what I'm going to do. For example: Shower time. I say "Phinney, do you want to go get a shower?" - she steps right up to me because she LOVES showers. If I didn't ask, she wouldn't step up.


I do this with Nika. It's sort of second nature. Is it helpful to do that with Senegals? I was at my parent's and my dad (presumably jokingly) said I had been talking to my parrot more than to them!
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Re: Went to breeder. In love with senegals!

Postby Mona » Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:16 pm

From what you write....I would say she didn't want to go on the travel cage for some reason.

Either she was afraid of it or she really just wanted to stay with your Mom. Sometimes, a bird can get entrenched on a person and not want to leave them so when you try to make them leave, they nip.

It doesn't sound like you really have a problem. It just sounds like the bird didn't want to go on the travel cage for some reason that day and your mom just took it personal. Maybe you could explain that to your mom.

If that's the case, you have to reinforce when they leave the person...which can be done the same way you reinforce a trick. You ask them to step up...they step up....you treat them. Constantly reinforce LEAVING the person....by giving the bird something they WANT when they leave the person. It doesn't have to be a treat. For example: My hen is nesty these days and really, really is interested in a particular oven mitt that we have. It's black inside....so, I use that oven mitt all of the time as reinforcement. Get her to step up and immediately take her to the oven mitt.....she's happy.

It kindof depends on the bird...but I think it sounds pretty simple from what you write that the bird didn't want to either leave your mom or go to the travel cage. I'd take the travel cage away and see what happens
Mona in Seattle
Phinneous Fowl (aka Phinney) TAG
Babylon Sengal
Doug (spousal unit)
Jack and Bailey (Gremlins)
Kiri (CAG)
http://www.flyingparrotsinside.com

youtube: Avian Flyers
User avatar
Mona
Poicephalus
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 271
Number of Birds Owned: 5
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrots, Congo African Grey, Timneh African Grey
Flight: Yes

Re: Went to breeder. In love with senegals!

Postby Mona » Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:19 pm

Eurycerus asked: " I do this with Nika. It's sort of second nature. Is it helpful to do that with Senegals? I was at my parent's and my dad (presumably jokingly) said I had been talking to my parrot more than to them!"

Some....not as much as the greys though. I think Senegals tend to be a little more stubborn (hard headed). I've never been able to talk a Senegal into doing something they didn't want to do. I talk my grey into doing stuff all of the time......Anyway, it never hurts to talk to them so they have an idea what to expect before it happens. I do know the Senegals will learn verbal cues because I see that a lot....so simple verbal cues can be taught (like "To the perch!")

Have fun..thx

Mona
Mona in Seattle
Phinneous Fowl (aka Phinney) TAG
Babylon Sengal
Doug (spousal unit)
Jack and Bailey (Gremlins)
Kiri (CAG)
http://www.flyingparrotsinside.com

youtube: Avian Flyers
User avatar
Mona
Poicephalus
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 271
Number of Birds Owned: 5
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrots, Congo African Grey, Timneh African Grey
Flight: Yes

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