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Caretaking a parrot

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Caretaking a parrot

Postby krypt » Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:08 pm

Hello!

My girlfriend has a male senegal parrot. He's been with us for 4 months now. He's always with my girlfriend and sees me 3-4 days a week. My girlfriend will be out of town for a week and I'm gladly going to take care of the birdie. We are not all muchy muchy yet, he is still quite distanced from us. And he is an easily scared, fragile bird. So, I'm not sure what the best approach would be. I see two options:

1) Go to my girlfriends house everyday for a couple of hours to let him some out of cage time etc. But it will mean he will interact with somebody far less than he is used to. We always wake him up with kisses and such and I just feel bad about leaving him all alone in the home.

2) I can take him and his cage to my place. And since I spend most of my time in my house he won't be alone. But, would a new environment be too frusturating for him? I'm not sure if I can let him out of his cage in my place. Because he tends to bash into walls when he is scared. There will also be other people in the house. I'm not sure if all this would be too stressing.

What are your thoughts?
krypt
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Gender: This parrot forum member is male
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Types of Birds Owned: Senegal parrot
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Re: Caretaking a parrot

Postby liz » Sat Jun 24, 2017 5:26 am

If you move him he will not only miss his human, he will also miss his world. It would be like rehoming and that is always confusing.

Rainbow is the only bird that I know who likes to go visit. Years before I got him I birdy sat with him. He had seen me but we had no interaction. She somehow knew she was just visiting and accepted it like a vacation. Rainbow is the exception to the rules.
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Re: Caretaking a parrot

Postby Pajarita » Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:50 pm

Couldn't you move into your girlfriend's apartment or house of whatever, instead? It would be much easier on the bird.

But why is the bird so insecure and nervous/anxious? Senegals are one of the most assertive, self-assured parrots there are... I mean, these little things are fearless and would take on a much bigger bird or a person without hesitation - and males tend to be holy terrors so there has to be some reason why the bird is like that.
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Re: Caretaking a parrot

Postby krypt » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:49 am

Unfortunately it's not possible pajarita. Anyway, I listened to liz's advice and I spend 4-5 hours in my gf's apartment to keep company to him. Thank you! :senegal:

As for why he is like he is I really don't know. He has been a real challange for us. 1st month was all about him growling at us. He still growls sometimes, especially in the mornings and just before bed. 2nd month he began to let us a little bit closer but we had a biting issue. Real bites that make you bleed. Now he bites to warn us, but little bites that don't hurt much. We thought him a couple of tricks like target training but he seems extremely unwilling to interact with us. He does the trick a couple of times if he is in a good mod then just files away. Same thing with the step up. He steps up to a perch (finger is a big no no) and immediately flies away. If I try to push him he keeps flying away, but if I don't he just perches somewhere and chills there all day long. He has lots of toys that he doesn't seem to be interested in. He also has a playstand. Though he doesn't care about the "play" part, he is much more interested in "standing" there.

When we first took him home he was a sunflower seed addict and was very scared of humans. Now he has a good diet and only eats sunflower seeds as treats. He seems to be tolerating us but still very cautious of new people. He is absolutely scared of some colors like pink, and also clothes like dotted ones. My girlfriend's been dressing up to meet little birds requirements. Because if he gets scared he randomly flies somewhere and he bashed into the wall a couple of times.

Well, we have been very patient up till now. We absolutely love him, no questions there. We will keep loving him forever. It's only that sometimes my gf feels a bit sad. She just wants her little boy to love him back even for just a little. Because, the way he is acting, she thinks he is unhappy and that in turn makes her unhappy. I think patience is the key but I am open to suggestions.
krypt
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Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 3
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal parrot
Flight: Yes

Re: Caretaking a parrot

Postby Bird woman » Mon Jun 26, 2017 4:41 pm

Welcome, do you have any idea what we're the circumstances this little guy came from before you two got him? The things that birds go through previously in there lives will directly effect your birds mannerisms and length of bonding and trust. I run a rescue and it has taken me as much as a year or more to gain a very abused or neglected birds trust or get where I can even handle them . Patients and a routine is very important. 2 months in a parrots life big or small is no time at all. I always let a new bird get comfortable with there surroundings on there own and show interest in being with me before I ever start hands on training. BW
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Re: Caretaking a parrot

Postby liz » Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:14 am

In my refugee flock I have learned that hands are a no no. They do like to tweet to faces and touch me as long as my hands are busy doing something ells. It warms my heart when a handicapped bird who should never trust a human again will land on me.
Phoenix has a chopped wing and cannot fly. I was really surprised when he started not only coming to me but walked over the back of my hand while I was changing their meals.
Gimpy can fly but not walk since he only has one leg. He will tweet to me from about 6 inches away.
They all respond when I call their names. It warms my heart that they really want to be close to me even when they are scared.
They have a cage in their room with no doors on it. Many like to perch in there especially to sleep. When cleaning their cage I will talk to them but not look at them. They will tweet to me while I am working as long as I do not look at them but just do what I have to do.

This is why I suggest that they have a perch at face level.
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liz
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Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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BF Amazon Myrtle
Cockatiels: Shadow Tammy Tommy Maggie Lacy Flutter Phoenix Jackie Andy Gimpy Louise
Flight: Yes

Re: Caretaking a parrot

Postby krypt » Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:43 am

I am a long time bird lover. I also have masters in ornithology. However it's mostly ecological rather than behavioral. I basically grew up with a budgie. He was the smartest budgie I've ever seen and the most loving. He lived happily with us for 12 years. Even after 15 years of his death, thinking about him brings tears to my eyes. I never got around the thought of having another bird in the house. But I regularly visit an avian pet shop in the city. They seem to care for their birds. They usually end up loving their birds too much and can't sell them. My girlfriend never really cared for any pet before so pets were strange to her. I took her once to this pet shop and she was in love with the birds there. So we go home, I tell her the good and hard parts of caring for a bird, the incredible amount of responsibility that it takes etc. The day after we go there again thinking about taking a cockatiel with us back home. However that same day, 2 little fellas arrived from the breeder. 2 senegal parrots. One of them was taken by somebody, and the other one just perching in the cage looking kinda scared. At that moment we both knew he was the one we're taking home. I don't know. I just felt like I wanted to show that little bird what love and care is. So here we stand. My guess is he was never hand-fed in the breeder, he grew up in a cage and were treated as a source of income, and he has never been loved. I think this is the reason why he is like this. Well my gf and I are determined to give him the best life that we can. We don't force him to do anything. And I hope that gradually we will gain his trust.
krypt
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Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 3
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal parrot
Flight: Yes

Re: Caretaking a parrot

Postby Pajarita » Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:37 am

You will! I can guarantee you that and I'll tell you why. I used to ran a bird rescue in Pa and a couple brought a male Senegal to me - they said he was the Senegal from hell and they were right! He was 11 years old, his name was supposed to have been Sabu but he never even looked at you when you said it (he calls himself Sweetpea, mostly, but sometimes he uses Sweet) and he came in one of those old-fashioned, table-top squarish parrot cages (kind of like this one but with gold bars: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Prevue-Pet-Prod ... rkt%3D1%26). It had a single thick dowel perch in the middle and nothing else. No toys, no nothing. All the bird could do was just perch there. And he had spent the best part of his eleven years in it. Needless to say, he hated all humans. To make matters worse, he fell head over heels in love at first sight with a sweet Senegal hen, Tobita, which adored me so he hated me with a passion because I was not only a monster-human but also the love of the love of his life! This bird relentlessly attacked me at every opportunity every single day for 3.5 years. I had scars all over my body from his bites - my feet and ankles were so bad, I actually had to tell the pedicurists that I did not have any weird pox, that the scars were from a parrot's bites! :lol: I learned to keep my eye on him at all times while I was in the birdroom and to duck or run whenever he came after me but he figured out what I was doing and started attacking me from behind - he would fly to my head, grab my hair with his claws and, bending over, bite my face from above. I've had this bird hanging from my right eyebrow, me grabbing his body with both my hands, pulling him away while blood was running down my face trying to make him let go and he would not do it! Completely fearless little thing! But, as time went by, he started to realize that I was not THAT bad and the attacks were less and less frequent while he started to perch on my shoulder whenever Tobita was there. Needless to say, my heart was in my throat the whole time he was there and, on occasion, he would bite my ears (I have a notch missing from the cartilage in one and a bump of too much scar cartilage in the other one from his 'attentions'). But he calmed down and he no longer bites me -well, he still bites my feet if I don't watch where I am going and he is on the floor but only once in a blue moon. He steps up to a stick for me without a problem and even flies to perch on my head, my shoulder or hang on from my clothes as I do my chores. He takes treats from my fingers without chomping on them and he is the smartest parrot I have. This bird does not only have a very large vocabulary, he actually knows what he is saying and uses human language cognitively. He even makes jokes! He is my little genius parrot!

So, hang in there. Be very careful about keeping him at a solar schedule and using a good quality full spectrum light for during the daylight hours (because a hormonal parrot is an aggressive parrot), give him a good fresh food diet (free-feeding protein food is never recommended -well, except for the manufacturers of said food who want to sell you more and more of it :D ), be patient and interact as much as possible with him because being without somebody to love is really terrible for them and he will surprise you one day soon!
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 11986
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes


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