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Anyone here owned a Senegal AND a african grey?

Macaws, Cockatoos, Greys, Poicephalus, Conures, Lovebirds, Parrotlets, Parakeets etc. Discuss topics related to specific species of parrots and their characteristics, mutations, pros, and cons.

Re: Anyone here owned a Senegal AND a african grey?

Postby marie83 » Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:59 pm

Nir, are there any bird rescues near you? Maybe you could vounteer for a bit to get some more experience of the bigger birds. I have heard of many people who absolutely wanted a parrot but then were terrified of it once they were alone with it. If there isn't one near you maybe in the future you could take a holiday near one (arrange it in advance) and help out for 2 weeks.

Also if you really wish to expand your flock I would seriously consider a cockatiel. They can and do have the same problems as bigger species, they can learn to bite, scream, pull their own feathers out and all the other negative points of bird ownership. They also have a tendancy to be more nervous than other species.
They do have a lot of positives going for them too though, they tend to be more affectionate than budgies, you can train them like you can the other species, they tend to be quieter, be more laid back and much less likely to attack others but if they do then they won't do as much damage as a bigger species. Their laid back nature also makes them more tolerant to other birds (although there is still alot of danger so always supervise).
Of course none of this is a given, you will still need to spend alot of time training and socialising them.


Tbh I'm still not sure you are ready for a new bird, whatever species it may be but I can see now you are more willing to listen and not feel like you are being jumped on with people trying to put you off for no good reason. I hope you realise we are trying to help you rather than ruin your life.

What Michael and other have told you is not an exaggeration, it is a worst case scenario, it may not happen but unfortunately too many see it as a rare thing that the worst case will happen. Unfortunately the worst case scenario is much much more common than people imagine it to be. This is why we want to prepare you for the worst, for you, your family and for the parrot- just in case.

Ollie is my green cheek conure, he is a small bird and not capable of inflicting much damage but my boyfriend usually gets bitten several times a day, my bf is now scared of Ollie and Ollie knows it. The nightmare bird people are describing is Ollie from my boyfriends perspective but smaller. My boyfriend still lets him out his cage but will not handle him, use the phone or have a drink around him as he gets attacked. Ollie slightly favours my bf over me despite the attacks. To me Ollie tried to be a nightmare until he realised I wasn't intimidated by him, he was more testing the water and he still does from time to time. Today I recieved a bite which took a good chunk out of my finger, to be fair I deserved it as I was messing with his cage trying to coax him out but I cannot remember the last time he drew blood on me. Ollie is fine with the kids that visit at weekends but the risk was always there that they could be their worst nightmare too.
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Re: Anyone here owned a Senegal AND a african grey?

Postby Michael » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:00 pm

Nir wrote:I would obviously train him but what if something goes wrong? How serious would it be?


Well exactly, I'd say it's best you find out for yourself. The best that can be verbally explained is that I have never heard a Senegal bite take an appendage off or leave any permanent damage. Otherwise it can hurt like hell.

There are a few items you can use to improve your odds with other people (not necessarily with other birds though):

-Give a home to an older parrot that is already socialized (then you know what you get, minor risks still exist but good place to start)
-Guide human interaction. For example hold the bird in your hands and set it up so that if anyone gets bit its you while the guest interacts.
-Hands off guest interaction (especially involving treats and training) are great
-Introductions on neutral territory are usually safer (less prone to territorial aggression issues)
-Keep it flighted, it will fly from fear before biting from fear unless cornered
-Maintain socialization and don't get into a situation like Eurycerus where the bird just becomes so used to not being around others that when it is, it behaves the wrong way

You should see not just how social Kili is but exactly how I go about controlling interactions. Not only do I divert/protect from bites but I also protect bird from unwanted interaction, set up predictable scenarios, and ensure that it is rewarding for the bird to put up with.

No one can give you a guarantee that the bird won't bite you or other people but there are ways to reduce it. However, you cannot get involved in ownership if under the worst case scenario you'd get rid of the bird. If biting people can get bad enough to become a keep or rehome issue, then you should not get involved in the first place. If being a biter would be disappointing but you'd love/care for the bird anyway, then you can take all steps in your power to overcome that and take that chance.

The bigger and less foreseeable variable is bird to bird interaction. However, like previously stated you really can't mix anything other than a Cockatiel with a budgie anyway. Luckily it can be solved by keeping the two entirely apart and treating them as completely separate and unmixable pets if that appeals to you. I'm glad at least that you've seen all the different perspectives and getting a more meaningful concept of what is involved.
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Re: Anyone here owned a Senegal AND a african grey?

Postby Eurycerus » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:07 pm

Michael wrote:-Give a home to an older parrot that is already socialized (then you know what you get, minor risks still exist but good place to start).....

-Maintain socialization and don't get into a situation like Eurycerus where the bird just becomes so used to not being around others that when it is, it behaves the wrong way


A note: I got an older parrot (six), and I've only had her for a month maybe. So her behavior is likely from her previous situation. She is pretty tame thanks to her previous people but definitely a biter when first meeting someone (always the second time interacting, not the first... which is how I got tricked). I'm hoping that I can find some people to help me socialize her. The lady didn't give me much information so it was unexpected. Although I support adoption you never know with adopting.
Last edited by Eurycerus on Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Anyone here owned a Senegal AND a african grey?

Postby Mona » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:10 pm

I would teach the bird to wave on cue. I would not ask the bird to be touched by other people. The only exception to this would be some species that like to be touched (some eclectus, some cockatoos) but in general, for most parrots - you can teach a wave on cue. It's friendly. People are flattered by it. It comes off like a dog wagging a tail. The bird does not have to be touched. I did this for years in the retirement homes that I visited and it has always, always, always been a good experience for both the birds and the oldsters.
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Re: Anyone here owned a Senegal AND a african grey?

Postby Mona » Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:28 pm

Hi...I'm running through looking at the posts today but somebody asked how I handled the aggressive flying issues with my Senegals. Short answer: I can't be sure because some of this is subjective from my perspective and I can't read their little minds (grin) but my best guess would be:
A) Be aware that this is a possibility and if you see a tendency, get ahead of it. For example: I noticed when Babylon was a baby, she had a tendency to swoop at my husband in the kitchen around water....so, I took her in another room away from him if he was in the kitchen around water. The tendency extinguished. If you don't reinforce a behavior and the animal doesn't get any "payoff" from it, undesirable behaviors (like aggression) often just extinguish
B) All of my birds are flighted. All have a lot of freedom so they can fly away from each other if another bird is aggressive. Right now, they are all in the birdroom together playing as a flock. Every once in a while, I hear a SCREECHHH....and flutter, flutter, flutter....so, they probably do chase each other around every once in a while but then they just go back to whatever they are doing. They are a little bit like a bunch of kids. They play, squabble, fly off, complain, forget about it and go back to doing whatever they want to do.
C) Lots of toys. Lots of boxes and things to chew so there is NO competition for resources. I knew somebody who kept flocks of birds together in aviaries and her answer to minimize aggression was to have lots and lots of perches so they didn't fight over them. She kept same species flocks. I have same continent (greys and Senegals) so they seem to be similar enough to work things out.
D) Old time breeder advice for birds was to cage them close together for weeks to see how they react together when they are first introduced. Of course, I've probably done that since mine are all caged in the same room together most of the time. They get to know each other without inviting conflict.
E) I flew Babylon for eight years in a fly building with other birds. She likes flying with other birds as an activity. It's almost like the way you train a dog to play with other dogs....that's how she views flying rather than as an aggressive act. Most of the time when she's flying, she's going somewhere.
F) When I was training Babylon, she was a highly motivated and focused little bird so I knew I didn't need to do anything to "up" her energy levels. I didn't use food management with her at all. I did use food management with Phinney for a while to train flight but Phinney's energy level was a lot lower so it was okay to "up the motivation level" for her for training. At the time, I could see a propensity to aggression and I didn't want that in Babylon so we didn't go there.
G) I got Phinney (TAG) first so Phinney was well established and confident in my home. Phinney is also the bigger bird so if Babylon flew at her, Phinney simply stood her ground. Phinney is not aggressive in any way, shape or form but she is also not a pushover. All Phinney ever needed to do was stand up to Babylon and my Senegal hen backed away. She won't pursue aggression if the bird is equal to her physically and mentally.
H) For Jack, I use a ladder most of the time to move him around. I don't really carry him around because he is a fear biter and I'd rather he bit the ladder rather than me. He gets "skritches" through his cage bars and loves people.....but doesn't really need to be handled. Not every bird needs to be held and handled. Oh...I also trick train Jack so I target fly him in and out of his cage, get him to do a turnaround for me every morning and he scratches his head
I) Doug and I are careful to give equal attention to all five birds so nobody gets their beak to out-of- joint or feels that they are inferior to the other birds. Parrots DO have emotions. Nobody will convince me otherwise...it is so clear when you live with them. I find the best way to work with them is to have integrity (if you say you are going to do something, if you cue a trick, if you normally offer a treat - DO IT!), be sensitive, enjoy them, play with them, love them....the longer they are part of your household - like good wine - they get better and better and better
Finally.....Greys really are incredible companions too...just more complex in some ways than the senegals....Both species are smart, smart, smart....just different smarts. Senegals are more smart like a terrier dog...quick to learn, loyal and fierce. Greys are more smart like a collie dog...they watch everything, learn and figure out how to manipulate to get what they want. The trick with a grey is to let them manipulate by reinforcing the behaviors that you DO want and don't let them manipulate you with undesirable behaviors (like biting) but basically, a baby grey is EASY, EASY, EASY. You just need to commit to them as a lifetime companion.
Mona in Seattle
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Re: Anyone here owned a Senegal AND a african grey?

Postby Wayne361 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:37 pm

I have read this entire thread and others regarding concerns/questions of the OP. I think the most decisive matter to take into account is your current situation. If I read correctly you are 27, single, and living by yourself. This is NOT a stable situation....i.e. you will have a girl friend(s), probably get married,.....kids often follow. Also you are new to your career. Even though you sound dedicated etc life has a way of throwing change in the mix and change WILL occur. I am not saying it is impossible to make things work with a Senegal or AG (or any other parrot you might choose) but your life WILL change many times at this stage of the game and IF the new love of your life and/or child is not compatible with said bird than it is most always the bird that will be rehomed. I am 41 and got my first (and only) parrot a :senegal: when I was 40. You guessed it, I am settled down, wife, kids, home etc. I am not saying life events will never get in the way of our long term relationship/commitment BUT I can tell you that I doubt I would have been able to do the same at 27.

Again, I am not trying to discourage you but throwing out what I think is the most important factor to consider. All other points are valid and yes you have to be able to take a bite. The fun bites are the ones where you can see both sides of his beak penetrating the flesh and touch. :) I could also install an ear ring where he peirced an ear lobe. The neat thing about it was I could actually hear (and feel) him peirce the cartlidge. One last thing.....dont take this the wrong way but I have noticed in some of your replies that you were quick to anger.....parrots will test your patience like a two year old child. You can get angry but you cant EVER take it out on the bird or you jeapardize any lasting relationship going forward. If you have temper issues.....maybe a bird is the last thing you should consider. My appologies if this is not the case.

Hope this helps,

Wayne
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Re: Anyone here owned a Senegal AND a african grey?

Postby Eurycerus » Wed Aug 01, 2012 1:59 pm

Wayne361 wrote:I think the most decisive matter to take into account is your current situation. If I read correctly you are 27, single, and living by yourself. This is NOT a stable situation....i.e. you will have a girl friend(s), probably get married,.....kids often follow. Also you are new to your career.


I see what you are saying but if we all waited till we were completely settled into life to do anything then nothing would ever happen. Life changes, frequently, even for older people. Often times unexpected things happened. I think it is unfair to say that just because you aren't older and feel like you've accomplished everything you want in life that you should not have a parrot (apparently your definition of stable). People that want to make it work will. Just like for some people children are important. They might not be making $100,000 a year, or own a house yet but those people choose to make it work. If I waited till I was "stable" I would never get a bird, or get married, or buy a house. Life is risky. We make risky choices and you just have to choose to make it work.

I expect my life to change every few years until the day I die. I figure it makes life interesting. That's life for ya!
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Re: Anyone here owned a Senegal AND a african grey?

Postby Wayne361 » Wed Aug 01, 2012 3:22 pm

Eurycerus wrote:
Wayne361 wrote:I think the most decisive matter to take into account is your current situation. If I read correctly you are 27, single, and living by yourself. This is NOT a stable situation....i.e. you will have a girl friend(s), probably get married,.....kids often follow. Also you are new to your career.


I see what you are saying but if we all waited till we were completely settled into life to do anything then nothing would ever happen. Life changes, frequently, even for older people. Often times unexpected things happened. I think it is unfair to say that just because you aren't older and feel like you've accomplished everything you want in life that you should not have a parrot (apparently your definition of stable). People that want to make it work will. Just like for some people children are important. They might not be making $100,000 a year, or own a house yet but those people choose to make it work. If I waited till I was "stable" I would never get a bird, or get married, or buy a house. Life is risky. We make risky choices and you just have to choose to make it work.

I expect my life to change every few years until the day I die. I figure it makes life interesting. That's life for ya!



Here is the part of my reply that you either failed to read or chose to ignore: I am not saying it is impossible to make things work with a Senegal or AG (or any other parrot you might choose) but your life WILL change many times at this stage of the game and IF the new love of your life and/or child is not compatible with said bird than it is most always the bird that will be rehomed. I am 41 and got my first (and only) parrot a when I was 40. You guessed it, I am settled down, wife, kids, home etc. I am not saying life events will never get in the way of our long term relationship/commitment BUT I can tell you that I doubt I would have been able to do the same at 27.

Pls take note of the spot where I state ""I am not saying life events will never get in the way of our long term relationship/commitment" I think my statement is "fair" and addresses most situations....obviously not all. I am saying to mitigate risk if you can. No where did I state that I have achieved everything in life. I do agree that life changes all the time....but would not advocate a parrot for all age groups. All opinions are "fair"....but it is just an opinion....I dont know the OP nor do I control his purchasing decisions...
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Re: Anyone here owned a Senegal AND a african grey?

Postby Nir » Wed Aug 01, 2012 6:01 pm

Wayne361 wrote: One last thing.....dont take this the wrong way but I have noticed in some of your replies that you were quick to anger.....parrots will test your patience like a two year old child. You can get angry but you cant EVER take it out on the bird or you jeapardize any lasting relationship going forward. If you have temper issues.....maybe a bird is the last thing you should consider. My appologies if this is not the case.

Hope this helps,

Wayne


Hey thanks for the reply. Well your right about the changes that might and will come but who doesn't have changes. I am sure there are many who are also young and have a parrot and I will be willing to bet that most make it out fine.

Also I am definitely not an angry person. Try playing poker for a living while being angry. I guarantee you will go broke. If my emotions ever dictated the decisions i make, i would probably choose a different career. Same goes for trading options and equities. 1 quality you need to have is patience . Without having more patience then anyone I know in my life, I probably wouldn't be doing what I am and would probably be working a 9-5. And I think patience is a good character trait to have for a parrot. Sometimes I question some opinions only because some other opinions I was given differs from there's (from this site and others). It certainly is not me being mad or anything. If I question someone, they usually elaborate more and I am able to learn more in the process.

Right now for the time being I am not looking into buying a parrot anymore. However I definitely won't stop learning about them since it really is something I want to do. . I am also trying to find a bird rescue so I can volunteer currently.
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Re: Anyone here owned a Senegal AND a african grey?

Postby Wayne361 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:14 pm

Volunteering at a bird rescue is a very good idea IMO for you to make the ultimate decision. Glad you dont have any anger issues....I did when I was your age and being involved in martial arts for over a decade definitely helped me tame that. I think what everyone must realize that we are all here to help....sometimes it is easier to see something from a distance, and sometimes we are just plain wrong. Have fun and good luck with your decision.

Wayne
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Types of Birds Owned: Senegal Parrot
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