Nir wrote:After talking to ginger, i am now also considering a timneh. i would like some inputs from owners who have owned a Senegal and one of the African greys (since both are very similar in temperament. How do they differ? Which is more aggressive/bity?
Nir wrote:I already know a ton about both birds since i had researched on timnehs as well.
Michael wrote:Nir wrote:After talking to ginger, i am now also considering a timneh. i would like some inputs from owners who have owned a Senegal and one of the African greys (since both are very similar in temperament. How do they differ? Which is more aggressive/bity?
Grey Parrots and Senegal Parrots have somewhat differing biting. Greys are much more prone to fear biting. They may be scared of something you completely don't think about (could be something silly like just wearing a different shirt or something) and bite you "out of nowhere" but really cause they are scared.
I would say the fear biting is actually a more difficult but less dangerous but more unexpected form of biting to solve. It's more difficult because you have to slowly, patiently, diligently, and carefully desensitize the parrot to literally everything and everyone. It's important to avoid stress cause Grey's aren't good at handling it. They end up plucking. So a Grey kind of needs to be treated like a big scared baby that is afraid of everything and needs help getting past it. Kind of like being afraid of the dark. Except I think they actually are afraid of the dark!
The Senegal Parrot biting tends to be more related to territory, jealousy, rivalry, displaced, and just bullying. Senegals can bite out of fear but they seem to be more fearless than Greys so it's less the issue. They're really bold so they are less likely to be driven by fear. Instead, they can be driven by aggression and intentionally pick fights. For some people this is less tolerable, for others (like me) it is more tolerable. I would rather work on reducing rivalry, desensitizing toward territory, and socializing than waiting for weeks for the bird to stop being afraid of something. To me, the fear bite is more unexpected than the jealousy/territory bite because I have no idea what crazy new idea the bird gets to be afraid of.
As for Senegals bullying owners, this is probably the more common/serious problem. This requires a certain balance of fearlessness but without cockiness. Like you need to be tough but at the same time not overbearing. You can't back down or be affected by fear, but you can't piss them off or trigger fear/aggression either. It's a certain balance but it seems that once you get it, it's the key to this species. I've been able to handle loads of Senegals without getting bit with pretty much the same approach.
Now, I think in both cases flight DOES reduce a lot of this biting. In the case of the Grey it can fly away when it's scared and the Senegal can fly to its favorite person to avoid competitors. The Senegal can also avoid jealous aggression by getting what it wants rather than biting for it. So let's say Kili is jealous that Truman is hanging out with me and wants to instead, she can fly over to me and hang out too rather than boiling with frustration and then biting when she gets an opportunity. On the flip side having an aggressive bird be able to fly and attack can be a downside too but having a super fearful bird constantly fly away is it's own problem.
So when we say, "socialization, socialization, socialization..." for Senegals it's more about other people but for Greys it's more about places, objects, and people too.
I seriously contemplated a Grey but ended up going with a Cape Parrot instead. I suggest going back through those discussions to see some owner perspectives about Greys that was advised to me and why I opted for another Poicephalus instead:
Timneh vs Congo African Grey
Male vs Female African Greys
More Cape vs Grey
Owning Truman now, and guessing that he is more like a Grey than a Senegal is, I would say that it's difficult more in subtle ways. The Senegal problems are bold, obvious, and clear. Whereas with a Cape/Grey, they get more moody over things we can't even begin to guess. They hold grudges longer. Your mistakes are more greatly amplified. This is one of the big reasons they're not considered "beginner birds." To me the, most of the Senegal Parrot problems are more solvable and quicker to solve. Plucking may never get solved whereas biting other people can at least be reduced through late in life socialization. That's the thing, biting other people is a clear problem and you know what you're tackling. Plucking could be caused by anything! It could be genetic, physiological, neurotic, boredom, fear, etc. If it's psychology induced plucking, good luck figuring out what things are triggering it (if changing them could even solve it). So even if a Senegal isn't necessarily easier, I'd say the signs are more obvious.
Also it is a LOT easier to READ a Senegal. Their body language is anything but subtle. They are very expressive and you can tell a lot from their eyes. On the Cape and similar on a Grey (but not as much I think, could someone comment on this?) you can't see the eyes well and it's harder to tell. Again, with more experience the Grey is probably readable but I think with the Senegal it's easier to spot.Nir wrote:I already know a ton about both birds since i had researched on timnehs as well.
It is this kind of thinking that I think is making a lot of people cautious about your qualifications to get a parrot. I'm not just saying not to say this out loud (but it definitely isn't helping) but not to even think it. Even after reading countless books, watching dvds, talking to tons and tons of owners, working with my birds and others, I am still learning. Just over my recent trip to Phoenix and training Ginger's birds I learned so much more new stuff (or solidified opinions I already developed). Parrots are so intelligent and complex that there is much more to learn than you can even fathom. So when a beginner thinks they know "a ton about birds," it just sounds like major ignorance of not even knowing just how much they don't know. I have tons of gaps in my knowledge of parrots. I don't know much about many other species except what I've read/heard. I don't know a lot about outdoor freeflight, teaching talking, working with problematic rescue birds, etc. These things may not directly affect me, but I am perfectly willing to accept that there is much to be learned. So if you want people to take you seriously, I'd suggest taming your expectations and realize the complexity you are getting into. On paper, theses "problems" we as owners deal with may not sound so bad. But wait till it's happening to you and you're experiencing it. Suddenly it's not just a story you heard about.
pchela wrote:I do still have my Timneh Michael... you're thinking of my Jardine's who I gave to an excellent home - he now has an outdoor aviary, a giant indoor play area and cage and is spoiled rotten (even more than he was with me) - but, yes, my Senegal terrorizes my Timneh to the point that I have wondered is she wouldn't be better off in a new home as well. Not that I plan on giving her up but if it gets to the point that she can't have a happy, secure home here because of the bully Senegal... I'll have to do what's best for her. So, yeah, Senegals and other birds often do not mix. My male Senegal is absolutely amazing with people. He'll step up for anybody and loves to rub his head on people's cheeks and generally be charming - so much so that I have 4 different people telling me that if he ever needs a home, they want him. But, as you can see from what I've just posted, he is terrible with other birds. He literally follows my Timneh around where ever she goes and she is never at ease when he is out of his cage at the same time she is. If she comes to me for scratches, he runs her off and then follows her to where ever she fled to. She always acts jittery and nervous when he's out. And if he's out and she's in her cage, you can bet he'll go to her cage and bully her there. She will retreat to the bottom of her cage and cower in the corner - and she's twice his size! He's terrible with her. So, I don't know if you have any other birds, but that is definitely something to consider. The Timneh is atypical from all of read and from knowing several Timnehs that I hand raised or who belonged to friends/customers. She is the sweetest Timneh I've ever met - she loves to be cuddled and talked to and scratched and she'll also step up for anybody, which most Greys I've met will not do. She'll sit with you for hours and let you hug her. She's also the messiest of my birds when it comes to her cage and the area around her cage or any area where she's been eating. She's way more active than my other birds as well... if she's not getting one on one attention, she is getting into everything she can. She is the one who has to be watched constantly and who I have to get up and remove from whatever she's found about 30 times a day. The other two can be out of their cages and will just hang out and not get into too much trouble. She also responds to training more eagerly than the other two. (the third is a Red Belly). She does not really talk - she has about 5 words that she will repeat. My Red Belly is actually the best talker. The Senegal doesn't really talk either. As far as intelligence, I know Greys are supposed to be smarter, but I really can't tell much difference between the Sennie and Grey. The Grey comes across as a kind of bumbling clutz in her movements.
I can't really say what I'd do if I had it to do over again - I love my Senegal - he was my first bird and has a special place in my heart - and he adores me. We have a special relationship. I also love my Timneh. She's so sweet and loving but she is more of a pain in the rear than the Sennie as far as getting into stuff she shouldn't goes. The bullying of other birds by the Sennie is definitely a minus if you plan on having more than one bird - there's a reason they are known as mate killers. If something happened to both of them and I could only have one more bird, I'd probably get a Grey - but each bird has their own personality. As you read earlier, if I end up having to find a home for one of them due to the bullying problem, it will be the Grey that gets a new home. Not because I don't love her, but because Pippin was my first bird and he stays with me no matter what. As Michael mentioned, if Pippin were to turn his bullying towards me or one of my family, we'd have a problem as he is very determined and not easily swayed from what he wants to do. I've been lucky so far that he is extremely loyal to me and is good with other people as well but this is not typical Senegal behavior. They are not supposed to be as social as mine is with strangers. So, I have no clue if this was helpful... I hope it is!
BTW - between the Senegal and Red Belly, my Jardines had to go to the emergency vet twice with tongue lacerations and was so bullied by the Senegal that he would sit shivering in the corner of his cage if Pippin came near. It hasn't gotten that bad with Isabeau and hopefully it won't but just be aware that this can happen and I don't believe my Senegal is an isolated case.
Grey_Moon wrote:WHOA. PUT ON THE BRAKES. Please!
I have no direct experience with senegals. BUT, as I've mentioned before the timnehs are what I know like the back of my hand. My girl just turned thirteen and I've had her now 7-8 years.
I'm telling you right now, considering the qualities you want (ESPECIALLY with being good with other birds and not being a one-person bird) you're barking up the wrong tree.
I love my timneh dearly, I do.
BUT, if you trade stocks and spend a lot of time at the gym etc or plan on settling down in the future/having children etc, RUN from the timnehs and any sort of grey.
I would not say that greys vs senegals are any less aggressive, if anything they are more work and more unpredictable than the senegals. For what you are looking for I would stay away from the big birds and go smaller than the senegals. Really, completely honestly, stay AWAY from all the old world bird species if you want a bird who is not intrinsically going to a one-person bird---for the old world birds its in their genes.
Old world birds (so all the african birds, australian birds etc) are single-species flock birds---thus they have a keen sense of 'us' vs 'them' and do not co-mingle or want to share space with another bird (or strangers, other pets etc).
New world birds are not due to the limited resources....thus a huge group of macaws, amazons, conures etc will descend on a single site to feed/drink. THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS, however, like parrotlets who are known for aggression and jealousy.
Senegals are more bold than greys, but greys are still aggressive and opinionated in that cunning and cautious sort of way. Greys are also extremely sensitive and prone to self-destruction (mental and physical) if something isn't to their liking. They're a lot like having a gifted very sensitive child in the house---not a pet. Again, if you're looking to be a parent---get a grey. Want a pet, stay away.
Greys are known for jealousy and being very cliquish---my own grey had no mercy with a cockatiel I ultimately rehomed for his health and safety. Depending on time and space you can FORGET ever letting your budgie out or interacting with him again if you get a grey, and be prepared to always be on guard so the budgie doesn't get bitten/killed or maimed (my cockatiel ended up with nerve damage in both feel and a torn out toenail).
Of course, when the budgie does get to come out you could be confronted by an angry, screaming or in this case not much screaming as self-directed anger like plucking or self-chewing grey or one that frustration bites, rattles the cage bars or toys and is very upset and nippy with you after.
Greys are, like was mentioned very moody and very much scaredy cats. They are easily stressed and require time to think about things and decide how they feel. Greys are bigger thinkers and feelers than most other birds, very introverted even if well socialized. They are not go with the flow birds.
IF you're their person---they can be very sweet and cuddly. HOWEVER, even if you are their person THEY will dictate---and no matter how sweet they may be if you mess up you WILL be told in no uncertain terms (through fear-behaviours, disciplinary bites or nips or threats or self-destructive behaviour) that you are in the doghouse (even if they let/wanted you to do the same thing five minutes ago).
A grey will let you know what it feels like doing---and you deal with it.
In terms of other birds and pets---they will reign supreme in your household and terrorize/discipline/kill any other---if not they will turn into little neurotic stress balls of anger.
SOME people get lucky. But never take their situation as the 'oh so this is what its really like!'. Because its not. And you best be prepared for the absolute worst case scenario and if you're lucky you will get a better one than that.
Michael might sound like he is saying all parrots are terrible pets---THEY ARE!!! These guys are not domesticated, not equipped to live in captivity and it is stressful on them. Conversely, it is extremely stressful and unrealistic for their caregivers to provide them with a life that would not be!
So really there's always a level of tension. IF parrots were good at being pets---there wouldn't be so many of them with behavioural issues despite 'good care' or in rescues or being abandoned because they're too loud or bite or are jealous or mutilate.
Look at your local craigslist---how many parrots are for sale in the following description 'XYZ parrot for sale i have no time/he's jealous/bites/plucks/doesn't like my baby/dogs/partner'? How many of these are young non-sexually mature birds? Remember, it only gets worse as they grow. A baby bird is a walk in the park in comparison---but don't fool yourself into thinking oh well if I get a baby bird and do 'everything right' and train it and it won't end up like that! It will, why? Because its a sexually mature parrot and thats how they roll. You can take them out of the jungle---can't take the jungle out of them.
Please don't brush me off as ignorant or judgemental--its a warning from someone who has been there. Like parenthood you don't really 'get it' despite all the research/books/shows until you've actually done it. Its one thing to say 'oh yeah I'm prepped for this baby, I read all the books and researched!' and another to be up all night feeding, soothing and cleaning when you're sleep deprived and knee deep in the quagmire so to speak. Parrot owners generally earn their stripes as the years go on---much like how rookie parents become pros as they have more kids/time goes on and they get more experience under their belts.
pchela wrote:She is the one who has to be watched constantly and who I have to get up and remove from whatever she's found about 30 times a day. The other two can be out of their cages and will just hang out and not get into too much trouble
...As far as intelligence, I know Greys are supposed to be smarter, but I really can't tell much difference between the Sennie and Grey. The Grey comes across as a kind of bumbling clutz in her movements.
...She's so sweet and loving but she is more of a pain in the rear than the Sennie as far as getting into stuff she shouldn't goes. The bullying of other birds by the Sennie is definitely a minus if you plan on having more than one bird - there's a reason they are known as mate killers.
Grey_Moon wrote:Greys are known for jealousy and being very cliquish---my own grey had no mercy with a cockatiel I ultimately rehomed for his health and safety. Depending on time and space you can FORGET ever letting your budgie out or interacting with him again if you get a grey, and be prepared to always be on guard so the budgie doesn't get bitten/killed or maimed (my cockatiel ended up with nerve damage in both feel and a torn out toenail).
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