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Adopting a Senegal

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Adopting a Senegal

Postby Sarita2665 » Fri Mar 13, 2020 5:24 pm

Hello everyone! I am inquiring about adopting a 3 year old senegal parrot tomorrow. Any advice on how to pick up on his personality? This will be my first bird and have decided adopting over a baby as there are soo many birds that need homes. After long research a Senegal is my pick. Any advise on owning/adopting is much appreciated!
Sarita2665
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 3
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Cockatiel
Flight: No

Re: Adopting a Senegal

Postby Pajarita » Sat Mar 14, 2020 9:39 am

Hi, Sarita and thank you so much for adopting instead of buying a baby! Senegals are fabulous birds! The males can be a little difficult, especially if they are hormonal but the females are super affectionate and docile -well, also if they are not hormonal, of course.

As to advice... ask what kind of light schedule, diet and routine it has been getting -this way you will know what to expect in terms of health (because the wrong diet affects their livers and kidneys), in terms of temperament (because if it has been kept at a human light schedule for years, the bird will be hormonal and hormones can mean aggression) and to make its transition easier (keeping it at, more or less, the same routine at the beginning while slowly and gradually changing it to one that works for you makes the transition easier on them). Age is important as well as prior medical care (ask if it has been taken to the vet for a completely physical within the last six months because, if it hasn't, you need to take it to the vet asap so you know exactly what you are dealing with).

Aside from that, leave the bird alone in its cage for a couple of weeks so it can get used to its new home and new human without feeling imposed on. Do NOT stare at it (it makes them nervous when they don't know you). Talk, sing, whistle to it and every now and then offer it a nice treat but, if it doesn't take it from your hand, leave it where it can reach it and walk away (this is NOT a reward or a bribe, it's a gift, a token of your desire to be its friend). If it's very scared of you, cover the back of the cage with a material (the 'blind wall' makes them feel safe). Make sure the cage is placed in the same spot it will remain (if at all possible, against a wall but in front of a window and where there is an overhead light fixture) and that is of an adequate size and bar gauge. Put adequate perching in it (NOT dowels, natural tree branches and a nice sweetfeet perch for roosting - and make sure this perch is at your eye level when you are standing up), stainless steel bowls both for food and water (please do not use a bottle, use a bowl large enough for it to be able to bathe in it -and make sure there are no perches right above it or it will end up with poop in it). Do in-depth research about and plan the diet. Acquire everything you will need for it and prepare it (like gloop) in advance.

Do not change the bird's name unless the bird does not respond to it at all. Parrots understand and use proper names to identify themselves with it all their lives so changing it is not only super confusing for them, it's also quite disrespectful of its individuality.

Always use the same words prior an action so it learns what it means - like, when you are serving the food, use a word or a phrase for it, same with the water, a treat, toys, etc. A parrot does not need to learn how to say the word to understand what it means so, even if it doesn't talk (females seldom do while males can be very good at it), it can follow instructions or be prepared for the action. For example, whenever I have to move something inside their cages or clean it and they are in it, I always say: "Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me" My birds all know what this means and always move away from the spot (like when you want to change a bowl and they are perching on its side, for example) when I say this. Parrots are like little people, they like to make their own decisions and not to be imposed upon or forced to do something they don't agree with so using the same common courtesy we use with humans goes a long way with them.

Also, take into consideration that all rehomed parrots go through a honeymoon period where they are at their best behavior (out of wariness and prudence when faced with a strange situation and human) so do not take it for granted that the parrot has accepted you and/or bonded with you because it will not. It might look that way, but it's not real. Easy does it with parrots... Remember that what you do during the honeymoon period will become the foundation of your future relationship with it so you want to have a strong foundation based on respect and trust.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 17446
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

Re: Adopting a Senegal

Postby Sarita2665 » Sat Mar 14, 2020 11:10 am

What a great read! Thank you so much for the wonderful advise and helpful tips! Zeus came home this morning. He bit my finger at his old residence. I'm thinking it was due to me being a stranger. He is in is cage at his new home and hasn't stopped with his "vocalizing" his vet appointment is scheduled for next week. I'm not planning off really working with him for a week or two. Hopefully that's a smart decision. Thank you again!
Sarita2665
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 3
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Cockatiel
Flight: No

Re: Adopting a Senegal

Postby Pajarita » Sun Mar 15, 2020 9:24 am

No 'working' for longer than 2 weeks, my dear. That is not enough time for him to start trusting you and one should never train a bird that is not bonded to us. It's counterproductive because although it works at the beginning (remember the honeymoon period when they don't want to rock the boat at all?) but it will backfire sure as the sun will rise tomorrow. Wait 2 or 3 months instead but no training does not mean he won't be learning because he will. He will learn the routine, his new place in the family group, the layout of his new home, the words you will be using all the time and, most importantly, he will learn to trust you. See, the thing about training parrots is that they are not programmed to obey or to understand subservience at all because they did not evolve to live in a hierarchical society where they follow leaders or alpha figures. In a flock, all parrots are the same and each one of them makes its own decision of what to do, when and how. And that's why we need rewards for training. BUT, when the parrot is bonded to you (and it takes much longer with an adult than it does with a baby), it wants to please you (and this is programmed into them because they bond with their mates for life and always try to please them out of love) and praise and love go a long way toward convincing them to do something they might not want to do 100%. I don't train my parrots but they know and obey a lot of commands I teach them as we go along by repetition, persistence and, most of all, consistency in routine, words and actions. They get no food reward when they do something right but they do get A LOT of praise and some scratches in the right spot :D
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 17446
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

Re: Adopting a Senegal

Postby Sarita2665 » Sun Mar 15, 2020 1:01 pm

Thank you so much. I would have started if not for your lovely information. I did get him new toys today as the ones here came with we're old and broken. He is so busy exploring. I will wait to start the training process for 2-3 months. Question tho. Can he come out of his cage and explore?
Sarita2665
Parakeet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 3
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Cockatiel
Flight: No

Re: Adopting a Senegal

Postby Pajarita » Sun Mar 15, 2020 7:27 pm

Wait at least one whole week. It's best that he comes out when he is already sure of the routine and beginning to learn about its new home. I know it's hard to wait (I have to talk myself into it all the time when I get a new bird -all of my birds are rehomes, adoptions or rescues, none came to me as a baby) but believe me when I tell you that, in the long run, it really really pays to do it. Parrots have their own timetables... The thing is that we need to re-educate ourselves into what they mean as a 'pet' because we tend to treat all pets as if they were dogs or cats, animals that have been domesticated for thousands and thousands of years and which have not only adapted to sharing our own lifestyle but have also been bred for thousands of generations to be people-oriented so the bonding process with them is super fast. But parrots, even the ones that were born in captivity and imprinted to people are all identical genetically to their wild counterparts and the combination of the 'wild' genetic print, plus the fact that they are prey and not predators (like dogs and cats are) making them much more careful about accepting a stranger AND the fact that they, unlike dogs and cats, possess high and complex intelligence, makes it so they need time to make their own 'research' and deductions (check the articles I post here - there is a recent study on how parrots actually figure possibilities and remember and apply the knowledged acquired to new situations which means they, like some great apes and people, actually use something called 'domain-intelligence' which means they make decisions based on different sources of information). So, as hard as it will be, please be patient and wait a bit. Senegals are incredibly intelligent birds! They've done studies with grays, cockatoos, macaws, conures but, in truth, they should do one with senegals because, in my personal opinion, they are one of the smartest species of parrot! My male, Sweetpea Senegal, not only talks up a storm, he actually uses cognitive speech. He knows what he is saying, understand the replies (as long as you use the words he knows, of course) and is capable (and often does) have conversations with me. He truly communicates and even makes jokes! I used to have a bird rescue and cared for, literally, hundreds of parrots belonging to many different species and will admit he is the only one I have found with the capacity to do this but I firmly believe it's because most people don't know how to teach them correctly and, of course, they are like people and he might very well be the Albert Einstein of the parrots (do I sound bias, maybe? :lol: ).

But, seriously, give him time to figure things out and observe him (but don't stare at him - only predators do that). If you see that he is settling down nicely to the routine (you will see that he starts to anticipate what is coming - always use the same words for each different action), that he is beginning to trust you and actually looks forward to your interactions (he will move to the side of the cage where you are and might even grab the bars), that he is relaxed and at ease with you (he will preen, eat, nap, vocalize, etc), you can start letting him out about two hours before dinner at dusk (because, if you feed right -meaning no free-feeding protein food, he will be eager for his dinner -protein!- and it will be easier to get him to come back into his cage for the night -make sure the artificial lights are off so he starts to produce melatonin).
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 17446
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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