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Senegal Parrot Biting and Aggression Issues

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Re: Senegal Parrot Biting and Aggression Issues

Postby Eurycerus » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:48 pm

Target training is with a chop stick. I did it with nika only in her cage for a week to avoid her bites. It is carefully laid out in Michaels guide but it involves getting the parrot to gently nip or touch the chop stick for a treat so you can target them wherever you like. Very helpful. I would say touch training should come later.

A word of caution. Parrots are very susceptible to aspergillus which can grow on peanuts and not necessarily visible to the naked eye. I don't use them and instead use almonds, banana chips, sunflower seeds, or something else tasty chopped up into small pieces so they don't get full too quickly. Also make sure they aren't salted, sweetened, etc. just not necessary. If you must, get human grade unsalted peanuts.
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Re: Senegal Parrot Biting and Aggression Issues

Postby socal_sarah » Thu Mar 07, 2013 2:13 pm

Oops, I meant target training when I said touch. I had read the same info about peanuts too. Are human-grade peanuts less likely to have aspergillus? Can I just get unshelled (& unsalted) peanuts for him?

I also read on another part of the forum that you can feed parrots twice daily instead of them being free-fed. That would really help me out because he doesn't seem to be hungry when I try to treat him. Best way I've gotten him hungry was to shoulder him for a few hours, then try treating.
~Sarah~

:senegal: - Cracker (18 y/o)
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Re: Senegal Parrot Biting and Aggression Issues

Postby Andromeda » Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:04 pm

socal_sarah wrote:Are human-grade peanuts less likely to have aspergillus? Can I just get unshelled (& unsalted) peanuts for him?


Honestly I am not sure. All I know is that aspergillus is very difficult to treat and can cause death in a parrot so to be safe I just don't feed peanuts at all. Maybe human-grade peanuts are "okay" but to me it's not worth the risk.

On top of that peanuts are kind of junky in the sense that there are other nuts that contain better oils and nutrients, such as walnuts (omega-3) and almonds (vitamin E and calcium).

socal_sarah wrote:I also read on another part of the forum that you can feed parrots twice daily instead of them being free-fed. That would really help me out because he doesn't seem to be hungry when I try to treat him. Best way I've gotten him hungry was to shoulder him for a few hours, then try treating.


A hungry parrot is a motivated parrot so your bird needs to be at least hungry enough to want treats, otherwise it doesn't have a motivation to train. Since your bird is an adult you can feed in the morning and in the evening. Mine are awake ~12 - 13 hours per day and go ~6 - 7 hours without access to food during which time I do a few short training sessions. I weigh them every day to make sure they are maintaining their weight (and also as a precaution because one of the first indicators your bird is sick is sudden weight loss).
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Re: Senegal Parrot Biting and Aggression Issues

Postby socal_sarah » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:44 pm

Great! I'll pick up his food in the morning & set it aside so he can get good & hungry. :)
~Sarah~

:senegal: - Cracker (18 y/o)
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Re: Senegal Parrot Biting and Aggression Issues

Postby Tor » Sun Mar 10, 2013 2:48 pm

I have to post without having had time to read all the post under this topic, I hope you will be able to understand why. I suddenly ended up having a Senegal parrot when my daughter all of a sudden decided she would probably be living with me most of the time, since she has almost disappeared and the parrot instantly fell in love with me.
Now this has turned into being a problem, I am studying at technological university at this time, having to change my career mid-life. And I honestly dont have all the time this creature demands. As today, I was trying to do some digital signal processing problems, and after listening to the parrot shouting for a bit, I decided to try having it on my shoulder while doing schoolwork again. It took like 15-20 minutes, then it first bit my aerobe, half hard, then rapidly went on to bite my lip hard, drawing blood. Ive had this happen once before trying to do homework.
Ive also seen similar behavior when trying to watch TV, but then its been lighter, just "marking" my lip, as if to remind me to not divide my attention with all kind of insignificancies (anything but Pipp).

Now this would not have been much of a problem if Pipp only would have cared for anyone else at all. My girlfriend gets any offerings she makes turned down, the same with my daughter when she is by. As long as I am home, Pipp will do whatever possible to sit on my shoulder. Putting Pipp in the cage and locking it up will only case a lot of loud parrot sounds. The only time Pipp isnt glued to my shoulder, is when Im in the kitchen making food. Usually the Pipp want down on the floor (contrary to what I read in some posts here), Pipp actually loves the kitchen floor and any door or drawer we open, he/she will run underneath, pushing up his/her wings and ruffling up his/her feathers making kurring noises (mating ritual?????). And Pipp recently started climbing the wine bottle holes between the doors in our kitchen furniture. So Pipp is definitively not scared of being on the floor, but a few times Pipp has started biting when I put my arm on the floor for Pipp to step up on... And often pipp steps onto it, then starts biting. I have a feeling its just some pent up excitement, because then I ask sternly "What the .... are you doing?", maybe even tap Pipp lightly on the beak, the biting stops and he/she walks kinda embarrassed up onto my shoulder.
I have to post without having had time to read all the post under this topic, I hope you will be able to understand why. I suddenly ended up having a Senegal parrot when my daughter all of a sudden decided she would probably be living with me most of the time, since she has almost disappeared and the parrot instantly fell in love with me.
Now this has turned into being a problem, I am studying at technological university at this time, having to change my career mid-life. And I honestly dont have all the time this creature demands. As today, I was trying to do some digital signal processing problems, and after listening to the parrot shouting for a bit, I decided to try having it on my shoulder while doing schoolwork again. It took like 15-20 minutes, then it first bit my aerobe, half hard, then rapidly went on to bite my lip hard, drawing blood. Ive had this happen once before trying to do homework.
Ive also seen similar behavior when trying to watch TV, but then its been lighter, just "marking" my lip, as if to remind me to not divide my attention with all kind of insignificancies (anything but Pipp).

Now this would not have been much of a problem if Pipp only would have cared for anyone else at all. My girlfriend gets any offerings she makes turned down, the same with my daughter when she is by. As long as I am home, Pipp will do whatever possible to sit on my shoulder. Putting Pipp in the cage and locking it up will only case a lot of loud parrot sounds. The only time Pipp isnt glued to my shoulder, is when Im in the kitchen making food. Usually the Pipp want down on the floor (contrary to what I read in some posts here), Pipp actually loves the kitchen floor and any door or drawer we open, he/she will run underneath, pushing up his/her wings and ruffling up his/her feathers making kurring noises (mating ritual?????). And Pipp recently started climbing the wine bottle holes between the doors in our kitchen furniture. So Pipp is definitively not scared of being on the floor, but a few times Pipp has started biting when I put my arm on the floor for Pipp to step up on... And often pipp steps onto it, then starts biting. I have a feeling its just some pent up excitement, because then I ask sternly "What the .... are you doing?", maybe even tap Pipp lightly on the beak, the biting stops and he/she walks kinda embarrassed up onto my shoulder.

For now, its the biting for attention Id really like some advice on. But this is a pre owned bird, my daughter got it from her drug addict neighbor, it had a friend that died being fed cheeseburger, and it probably smoked more pot than most people, then it was institutionalized and sobered up with my daughter. So I dont think its life has been that great. I have no clue on the sex, they say they believe its a girl. And they say you should be able to see indicators on their chest feather color patterns. But this one have plucked most its chest feathers before coming into my life, it seems to be regaining some now tho. Ive just had it here almost two months, and I really dont have time to teach it much at this time, not mid semester. I probably have a million questions and advice to ask, but this was what was most pressing and fit the topic here. And I also felt it was good to explain a bit about the background.
For now, its the biting for attention Id really like some advice on. But this is a pre owned bird, my daughter got it from her drug addict neighbor, it had a friend that died being fed cheeseburger, and it probably smoked more pot than most people, then it was institutionalized and sobered up with my daughter. So I dont think its life has been that great. I have no clue on the sex, they say they believe its a girl. And they say you should be able to see indicators on their chest feather color patterns. But this one have plucked most its chest feathers before coming into my life, it seems to be regaining some now tho. Ive just had it here almost two months, and I really dont have time to teach it much at this time, not mid semester. I probably have a million questions and advice to ask, but this was what was most pressing and fit the topic here. And I also felt it was good to explain a bit about the background.
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Re: Senegal Parrot Biting and Aggression Issues

Postby Rebellious » Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:35 pm

Many years ago, I used to have a Senegal that would bite whenever any unfamiliar person tried to get him to step up. It began very annoying, because my sister would always leave my house with chewed up fingers and sometimes multiple Band-Aids. To make the effect of this even more impressive, my sister is a very skilled parrot keeper who has owned :macaw: , :amazon: , :irn: , and of course a :gcc: . The biting problem became so unbearable that I had to meet with a parrot behaviorist. Even though sennies are small little birds, their bites can sure pack a punch!
:senegal: Sissy
:senegal: Sammi
:cockatoo: Rebel
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Re: Senegal Parrot Biting and Aggression Issues

Postby seagoatdeb » Sat Sep 24, 2016 7:36 pm

I have always got along really well with the small Pois, and its rare I ever get bit by one, but when you have one that decides to nip strangers they are such a strong willed type of parrot that it is hard to break them of it. With my Red Belly, I tell her to step up on the stranger instead of the stranger saying it and then she will never bite them. My Meyers will bite any stranger, and he is such a one person parrot that I do not let strangers handle him, I only let strangers handle my Red Belly with me close. Senegals do tend to be very much one person parrots. My daughters Senegal is a one person parrot, but I have been determined to have a realtionship with that Senegal, since I will be the one to look after her if they go on a trip. She can be frightened of people so i am very gentle, slow moving, and speak sweetly to her. I only attempt to be able to step her up to take her out of the cage and step her up to go back in the cage. Anything else is a bonus. With my daughters Meyers, he tends to like most people, so he is easy that way. He is not afraid of people.

\you can get a Senegal that is agressive to some people to become less agressive with consistent training methods if it is worth it to you. You need to train the people to understand the parrot better too for better success.
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Re: Senegal Parrot Biting and Aggression Issues

Postby CookiesDad » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:24 pm

I could use some insights on this.

We have 2 Senegals, one a recent foster who has been through a very rough patch (was surrendered to a vet pretty close to death's door). We'll call her "Bird". She is doing much better now, visibly in terms of health and energy. She loves music, which ties in to the general problem, as I am a musician. She gets very excited when I play music, and now that she's feeling well, loves to dance. (She's really cute).

Her behaviors *seem* to indicate that she wants contact and attention from me. The one time she has flown, it was to me. When I sit in my chair (which is by her cage) she comes to the side of the cage watching me. She "dances" with me - in particular a rocking from one foot to the other, with her body going side to side. She seems to love when I mirror this dance with her.

She allows me to scritch her head. She will lift her foot in an apparent "want to step up" manner, but if I offer my finger and say "step up" she immediately (no body language prelude) bites my finger hard and hangs on. It seems completely counter to her other body language. This behavior has been consistent. She goes back in her cage (often having to be pulled off of my finger) when this happens, which does not seem to be the outcome she wants. Saying "ack ack ack" or "no bite" has no impact on her behavior. I don't jerk my hand away or make any entertaining noises when she bites.

My wife can pick her up and mostly does not get bitten - and when Bird does start to bite my wife can say "no bite" and she stops.

Right now Bird and I have a "no step ups" relationship. I still give her scritches when her body language says that's OK. She's delighted to take treats from me, and as I said, displays a fascination with me that *seems* affectionate (although with Senegals, it may be "I'm carefully watching for an opening to keeeeel you!" - kidding, I'm just kidding).

I'm wondering if her behaviors (the dancing and fascination) are courtship behaviors, and if the biting is some Senegal courtship thing? I haven't really heard of that. Or that "I" am OK and my finger coming above her head to scritch her head is OK, but my finger coming at "step up" level (slowly, gently) is a threat? Or if she gets overexcited? Or ????

Oh, and she is a female, and she DOES bite hard and hangs on.

Senegal insights welcome.
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Re: Senegal Parrot Biting and Aggression Issues

Postby Pajarita » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:23 am

Hi, Dad, and welcome to the forum! Well, senegals are one-person birds [most parrots are] and, apparently, Bird chose your wife as her human. I have two senegals, a male and female. Sweetpea, the male and the most intel nigent parrot I have and have ever had, hated me with a passion for 3.5 years and attacked me as often as he could every single day. It took over 5 years for him to become people friendly [he actually hated everybody, not only me]. Zoey, on the other hand, loved me from day one even though her previous human was a man and she hated his wife -that's why she was rehomed. Occasionally, they switch their allegiance from one human to another if the original choice does not work out but they usually stick to it. Now, this doesn't mean you cannot have a good relationship with her! Zoey hated my husband to the point that she would fly to his shoulders and back just to bite him - hard! He was so afraid of her, he used to walk around the house with a long-sleeved hoodie and with the hood on and the 'string' tied tight around his face even on real hot days :lol: But she slowly learned to accept him and, although he cannot get her to step up to his hand, he uses a stick and end of problem! Which is what I would recommend to you. You see, the thing with parrots aggression is that we create it. Parrots are not aggressive animals. They are not predators or live in a hierarchical society so the trait is not really hard-wired into their brain and it's only use for protection and defense. The problem is that a lot of people who keep parrots think of them as dogs with feathers and mess them up by actually teaching them to use bites -aggression- as a way of getting their point across when people don't 'listen' to them and, sometimes, they get into the habit and use it even when they are approached by people who do listen to them. So the key to eradicate this behavior is to break the cycle by not giving them a single opportunity to bite. I know it sounds kind of stupid but it's the truth! Discontinue the behavior and, eventually, the habit will disappear. So, don't ask her to step up to your hand. Try, as much as possible, not to ask her for anything, and, if you need to move her from point A to point B, use a stick and, in time, she will forget about this habit and stop biting.

As to her 'dance'... well, that's not the way senegals dance. In my personal experience, only the males do it and it is a courtship behavior addressed only to the females which might accept the male or not. Females don't really have courtship behaviors because, in nature, it's always the males who woo and the only thing females have to do is to accept him or not. And the males dance is different than what you describe, they separate their wings from their bodies, curving them around their sides and half-fluffing up, go round and round and round, one way and then the other. It's actually quite cute! :D What you describe is what most of my parrots do when they want something - usually, to be picked up or to be let out of the cage so. in a way, it's a sign of excitement, too. But it could very well be that she enjoys the music! I've never seen this in my senegals but I've seen it in my grays and cockatoos.
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