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Aggression towards cat

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Aggression towards cat

Postby TheEquestrian » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:28 pm

I have a senegal named Maxi that I rescued almost 3 years ago, now. I recently moved (about a month ago) and brought Maxi and my cat, Honey, with me. I currently go to school full-time, and work two part-time jobs, but I still have plenty of time at home with my "kids", and Maxi gets to basically be free whenever I'm home, which usually comes to several hours a day (with a couple of exceptions). Recently, though, Maxi has started becoming VERY aggressive towards Honey, such as tonight. I had Maxi on my shoulder while I got Honey her dinner. Maxi was getting puffy towards Honey, but otherwise was fine. Mind you, Honey was completely ignoring Maxi. I put Honey's food down and walked away, but Maxi decided to fly off my shoulder and dive bomb Honey while she ate. This has been the most recent aggression, but it's been getting worse lately. Is there any suggestions to what I can do? Thanks in advance!

PS. If I'm going to be gone longer than an hour or two, I put on either music or youtube videos for the "kids".
TheEquestrian
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Re: Aggression towards cat

Postby liz » Thu Sep 12, 2019 5:20 am

Rainbow rules the house. She will attack anything that goes into the space she is in. She does not bite but scares the heck out of dogs and cats. She is starting to do it to Myrtle too. Myrtle is not allowed to play where she is playing.
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liz
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Re: Aggression towards cat

Postby Pajarita » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:31 am

Welcome to the forum. Your senegal is overly hormonal due to the human light schedule you are keeping him under. This, plus the fact that he is alone all day long (and in acute physical discomfort) is making him very aggressive in his jealousy of the cat.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Re: Aggression towards cat

Postby TheEquestrian » Thu Sep 12, 2019 9:19 am

Pajarita wrote:Welcome to the forum. Your senegal is overly hormonal due to the human light schedule you are keeping him under. This, plus the fact that he is alone all day long (and in acute physical discomfort) is making him very aggressive in his jealousy of the cat.


What do you mean human light schedule and acute physical discomfort?
TheEquestrian
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal
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Re: Aggression towards cat

Postby Pajarita » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:32 am

well, you state that you are a full time student and hold two part time jobs so I don't see how you could possibly keep your bird at a strict solar schedule and have four hours to spend with it every day. I mean, there are only so many hours of daylight during the day and, during the winter, the days are VERY short. Ergo, the conclusion to this is that your bird is kept at a human light schedule (please correct me if I am wrong) which means his endocrine system is not attuned to the seasons and is producing sexual hormones all year round, non-stop. An overly hormonal bird is going to be aggressive to anything it perceives as competition for the only company it has (you) because too many sexual hormones added to the physical discomfort (and, possibly, even chronic pain) of overgrown gonads always adds up to aggression. There are no two ways about it - especially with male senegals which tend to be quite aggressive when things don't go their way... and, if he is not already aggressive to other people, it won't be long before he is.
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Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Re: Aggression towards cat

Postby TheEquestrian » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:09 pm

Except, Maxi is a girl. Sorry, I thought I had clarified that in my original post.
TheEquestrian
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Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Types of Birds Owned: Senegal
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Re: Aggression towards cat

Postby Pajarita » Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:03 am

It makes no difference which gender the bird is... Well, it does in the sense that female sennies tend to be super sweet while males are a bit more... how can I put it? assertive? not so patient? when things don't go exactly their way. Birds don't have, like mammals, external sexual organs, both males and females have them internally so whether it's a boy or a girl, sexual organs that are chronically super swollen are, at the very least, very uncomfortable and, at most, painful.

Birds are photoperiodic and if you research avian photoperiodism, avian endocrine system and avian reproductive system you will see that birds bodies know which season it is (the period part of the long word) by the length of daylight (the photo part of the word - which means light in greek). Different species have different point of photorefractoriness (the exact number of daylight hours that their endocrine system reacts to by starting or stopping sexual hormone production) which have been all fine-tuned through evolution so the bird breeds only during the time that is the most favorable for reproduction. There are three triggers to it: length of daylight, food availability and weather. These work perfectly in the wild so they only produce sexual hormones during their breeding season (birds are not like mammals which produce sexual hormones all the time, only at different levels) but, in captivity, every day is perfect weather and food is rich and abundant every day so the ONLY thing we have to make them start and stop producing sexual hormones is light. BUT, the thing about light is that it's not just a matter of turning on or off artificial lights, they need exposure to dawn and dusk because it is the different light that happens at these two daily events that sets the internal clock. Think of it as a stop watch and you are trying to measure the number of hours of sunlight during the day - dawn starts the clock and dusk stops it and the number of hours in between is what tells their bodies if it's time for breeding, molting, migrating, resting, etc. When you eliminate the internal clock, their endocrine system has no guidelines and gets all screwed up so they produce sexual hormones all the time non-stop which makes their gonads become huge (their sexual organs are tiny and dormant until the breeding season starts when they become active and start growing, preparing for reproduction). I keep my birds not only at a super strict solar schedule, I actually reduce the temperature in the winter and change their diet so as to mark the seasons as best as possible inside a human home. You need to remember that parrots, with the exception of the English Budgie, are undomesticated animals and need to live under the same environmental conditions as they would if they were in their natural habitat so the same way we would not expose a tropical bird to cold or feed them animal protein, we need to keep them at a solar schedule so their endocrine system stays healthy - don't forget that the endocrine system affects the immune system as well as mood, appetite, sleep, cell regeneration, etc. A bird that has a screwed up endocrine system is not a healthy bird even if all the blood values come back within a normal range...
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
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Re: Aggression towards cat

Postby TheEquestrian » Mon Sep 16, 2019 2:13 pm

While this is all great information, this doesn't tell me how I can discourage the aggression, other than changing her sleep patterns.
TheEquestrian
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 4
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal
Flight: Yes

Re: Aggression towards cat

Postby Pajarita » Tue Sep 17, 2019 9:13 am

The aggression is not really a behavioral problem so there are no behavioral modification techniques that would work (you can't teach a parrot not to be in pain or super horny all the time). It's a consequence (jealousy - possessiveness) of an abnormal physical condition (overly hormonal). If you correct the physical condition, the aggression will disappear. It''s as simple as that. Keep the bird at a strict solar schedule with 2 hours of twilight (both dawn and dusk), do not free-feed protein food (seeds, nuts, pellets, avicakes, nutriberries, etc), do not feed any animal protein, allow for 4 hours of flight every day (to dissipate sexual hormones from bloodstream) and, in time (the longer the endocrine system has been screwed up, the longer it will take to go back on track), the aggression will disappear.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 15220
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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