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Which Senegal do you think I should choose?

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Which Senegal do you think I should choose?

Postby Alexander » Thu May 13, 2010 5:02 am

So, today I visited the breeder who has three young Senegals (about 3 months old, handfed) one of which I am going to buy. Two of them are females and one is male. The male Senegal sat the whole time on my hand and thrice did he fly and sat on my shoulder and played a bit with my glasses. The two females were a bit reluctant, but after they saw that the male Senegal had no problem sitting on my hand they flew and sat on my hand, too (there was a short fight during that time. I think that the male started quarreling with the female that was sitting next to him and the other female flew and landed on my head). I decided to buy the male Senegal as soon as I receive the cage, but there was something that put me into thinking. The whole time the male Senegal was sitting on my hand he would try to bite me. He had no problem at all stepping on my finger, but as soon as he stepped up, he started biting me. I wasn't really afraid of his biting me and whenever he tried to bite me I shook a bit my hand so that he would lose his balance, but he didn't really stopped biting me (he did leave two tiny scratches on my thumb). Also, at some point he moved a bit higher up on my arm and he started biting the button of my jacket. :)

What do you think of his behaviour? Do you think I should reconsider and instead opt for one of the females even though they weren't as willing to sit on my hand as the male was (by the way none of the females bit me)? I am not very knowledgable regarding parrot behaviour and I cannot explain why the male Senegal bit me constantly even though he had no problem sitting on my hand or stepping on my finger or even going on his own to sit on my shoulder.... :?

Edit: Here is a photo of them:

Image


Alexander
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Re: Which Senegal do you think I should choose?

Postby Michael » Thu May 13, 2010 5:55 am

Male Senegals generally tend to be bolder and more aggressive but a lot also depends on individual personality. Senegals have a lot of "spunk" as it is, so if you'd like an extra helping of it, go with the male. If you prefer a slightly more easy going but still very bratty parrot then get a female.
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Re: Which Senegal do you think I should choose?

Postby Alexander » Thu May 13, 2010 6:04 am

Hello Michael!

I am only afraid of his developing a habit for biting, but I liked the fact that he stayed with me the whole time. I also petted him a bit and he didn't seem to have any problem because he didn't try to bite my other hand (he was busy biting my thumb that he was sitting on).

I guess it all has to do with the time one is willing to invest for his parrot. Bad habits can be learned and unlearned...

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Re: Which Senegal do you think I should choose?

Postby Michael » Thu May 13, 2010 6:14 am

I think you are overthinking it. Every parrot and especially Senegals will be nippy at first. I think the females are just too shy to get to that stage right now.

Image

Here is Kili chewing my thumb when I was trying to get a picture with her. I had only had her a few weeks or months at this point. Actually I was impressed that she sat on my finger and didn't try to bite at all when I was checking her out at the store. So I think it's a boldness issue and if the females aren't doing it now, they will do it later. But you can probably expect a bit more of this biting from the male and harder bites than from females. The difference is small but if there is a difference, that's what I've heard about them.

They key to overcoming this initial nippiness besides ignoring it as you mentioned, is also to keep track of your fingers. I wish I had a picture to demonstrate but basically I've learned to keep all finger tips tucked in when I stick finger out to hold parrot to give it less opportunities to chew. Actually the position is much like in the photo for the hand. I tuck my finger tips in and tuck the thumb down. She was biting the thicker part so it didn't hurt cause she could barely open her beak wide enough. It hurts much more if they get the sensitive finger tips or the loose skin between the thumb and index finger.
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Re: Which Senegal do you think I should choose?

Postby lzver » Thu May 13, 2010 6:54 am

Both my Red Belly and Senegal were very nippy as baby's. Neither one bit hard, but they were nippy. I just held a 5-month old Senegal at the local Parrot Club meeting last night and he was quite nippy. Every time he nipped his owners put him back in his carrier. He will quickly figure out that biting or nipping doesn't get him the attention he likes and will likely stop.

I find after a couple years, my two only bite when they are scared or when I've become careless and crossed the line with them. Getting to know your bird and reading their signals I find is the best way to avoid getting bitten. Remember, everything is on their terms. We've gotten to a very happy medium where I usually give them the choice if they want to do something - if I try to force the issue, then I'll usually get bitten. The only time I force something on them now is if I think they are in a situation where they might get hurt and to get them out of that situation I will always risk getting bitten over them getting hurt.

And one thing to keep in mind - if you have a bird(s), it is unrealistic to expect that you are never going to get bitten. Other than flying away from a situation, that is their only defence mechanism and its natural instinct for them.

Don't decide not to get the male Senegal just based on that. I'm pretty sure Jessie is a male because he's quite a bit bigger than some female Senegal's I've seen. He was a nippy baby, but he's a great bird now.
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Re: Which Senegal do you think I should choose?

Postby Alexander » Thu May 13, 2010 7:05 am

Your advice regarding finger position is very good, Michael. My skin also has a relative elasticity which I think works against getting wounded from bites.

Izver, thank you for your advice, too. I understand that there always is a possibility of getting bitten by your parrot and this is one of the reasons I am planning to start training my Senegal from day one. I cannot wait to welcome him home! :)

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Re: Which Senegal do you think I should choose?

Postby lzver » Thu May 13, 2010 7:16 am

No problem Alexander. Congrats on the new baby Senegal. They really are great little birds with BIG personalities and they are so much fun. I'd have a house full of Senegal's if I could.
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Jessie - Senegal
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Re: Which Senegal do you think I should choose?

Postby pchela » Thu May 13, 2010 1:17 pm

I'd go with the male but I'm biased because mine is male! He was also very nippy when we brought him home. It's just a baby parrot thing. They explore the world with their beaks much like a human toddler puts everything in their mouths to explore. Some are more aggressive about it than others. Pippin really went after our ears and hands for a few weeks at least after we brought him home. He grew out of it eventually. (Either that or we inadvertently trained him not to bite us) Really though, I'd just go with the one that you feel a connection to. It sounds like the male caught your attention first. I will say that Senegals are known to become one person birds. I picked the most social baby and he will go to anybody who puts their finger up to him. Sometimes he will even fly from my shoulder to a strangers to check them out. I really like that about him and I'm glad I got the more social male despite the bites I had to endure in the beginning. BTW- I love the photos! Baby Senegals are so cute! (and I'm glad to see their wings aren't clipped which means they are being allowed to fledge)
"I bet the sparrow looks at the parrot and thinks, yes, you can talk, but LISTEN TO YOURSELF!" ~ Jack Handy ~ Deep Thoughts
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Re: Which Senegal do you think I should choose?

Postby Alexander » Thu May 13, 2010 1:34 pm

Thank you, pchela! It is true that the male Senegal caught my attention and I believe they same happened to him. His bites also weren't aggressive or because of his being aggressive. It felt as if he was checking me out. I was also happy to see all of them fly and not having their wings clipped just as you noticed. The breeders also had 4 more young Sennies, but they weren't weaned. They were so cute, though! :)

Oh, I can't wait...

Thank you all again for your advice! :)

Alexander
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