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7 month old Senegal chewing!

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7 month old Senegal chewing!

Postby Laurie Feldman » Wed Nov 20, 2019 5:41 am

Mimi, our 7 month old female Senegal, is happy, healthy, thriving, loving, playful, and learning things every day. She has begun chewing, on our clothes, on skin imperfections (little dermatologist!), on anything fabric she can get her beak into. Any suggestions for directing her chewing attentions to other places than our clothes and skin? She does have fabric items in her cage, but she doesn't seem interested in those, and anyway she's out of her cage a lot of the day. :senegal:
Laurie Feldman
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 23
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal parrot
Flight: Yes

Re: 7 month old Senegal chewing!

Postby Pajarita » Wed Nov 20, 2019 9:31 am

Hi, Laurie and Mimi (what a wonderful name!). What she is doing is perfectly normal - it even has a name: beaking. She will outgrow it in time but if it really bothers you, simply push her beak away very gently and say "No beaking" or whatever other term you would like to use. The word itself doesn't really matter although I, personally, like to use the correct one so they learn it in a cognitive way.

But, also personally, I would not prevent her from doing it unless it hurts -and this is also very common because, when they are young, they still do not know their own beak strength (in this case, I say: "Be gentle" and, when the bird decreases the pressure it applies, I praise, praise, praise). See, this beaking is just their way of preening you, a sign of affection. Your clothes are your plumage and that's why she does it on you but not on the toys made out of material in her cage (they know they are not alive and they do not love the toys the way they love their human). Do you have children? If you do or are familiar with little ones, you know that when they are babies/toddlers and they are trying to caress or pat you, they would, instead, smack you - and sometimes, they do it hard :lol: Well, it's the same thing with them with the added 'extenuating circumstance' that we are such inadequate 'birds' because, if we were real birds, this would not bother us at all. But, sometimes and under certain circumstances, one needs to eliminate a behavior that although it is normal, it's too painful for us. For example, I have had to teach some of my birds not to 'preen' my hands. I have an autoimmune condition that attacks my joints and my hands not only have age spots on them, they are a bit deformed and, because I have scrubbed so many cages, bathed so many dogs, washed so many floors, etc, my veins stick out much more than what is normal. They, apparently, think that these 'weird things' need to go so all the new ones are always trying to 'preen' the 'blemish' off my otherwise perfect plumage :D So, whenever they go for them, I gently tell them: "No, don't touch" (which all my birds know and obey) and praise, praise, praise when they do. Parrots are extremely intelligent and so very eager to show us their love and make us happy that, in reality, it doesn't take very long to teach them not to do something if we are gentle, persistent and consistent about it.

Let us know how it goes but remember that this is a normal behavior (so it will take a bit long for her to stop), and that it actually means Mimi loves you.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 15519
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: 7 month old Senegal chewing!

Postby Laurie Feldman » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:23 am

Thanks Pajarita. Indeed I do know what preening behavior is (we also live with You-You, a 13 year old Sennie). I've been able to turn the hard nipping around simply by giving her neck scritches whenever she starts chewing too hard, or digging into my shirt fabric. It calms her immediately and makes her happy. So you see, she had a plan all along!! I am, however, adopting your idea of teaching the "gentle" command. Since we are in Italy, she is learning the word "Dolce" which doesn't exactly mean gentle, it means "sweet", but it's short and easy for her. All her important learning and behavior words are in Italian, as my husband doesn't speak English, nor do the friends we have arranged for her and You-You will go to if/when we pass on. She is so bright, so funny, and gives us immense joy, as does her big brother, who completely adores her. They are bonding more and more every day (still separate cages for now, but they spend a great deal of time together). :senegal:
Laurie Feldman
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 23
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal parrot
Flight: Yes

Re: 7 month old Senegal chewing!

Postby Pajarita » Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:23 am

Dolce is a good word for it! But, if I were you, I would not give her scritches when she does it because, although I am guessing you were trying to distract her, in reality, what you are doing is rewarding a behavior that is unacceptable to you and teaching her that this is the way to ask for scritches. Not a good idea.
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 15519
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: 7 month old Senegal chewing!

Postby Laurie Feldman » Wed Nov 27, 2019 11:37 am

She has actually already stopped the too-hard gnawing... and doesn't do it even if I don't give her scritches.... so maybe our "dolce" system has already worked!!
Laurie Feldman
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 23
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal parrot
Flight: Yes

Re: 7 month old Senegal chewing!

Postby Pajarita » Fri Nov 29, 2019 9:59 am

Great! But, most likely, she is ouetgrowing it. Not that telling them Gently or Dolce is not useful for them to learn but I think we tend to give ourselves more credit than it's due when it comes to teaching them things... I think the real credit should go more go to their smarts and love for us than to our methods. :D
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 15519
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: 7 month old Senegal chewing!

Postby Laurie Feldman » Sat Nov 30, 2019 12:03 pm

Well, she's smart as a whip and a very, very good girl, too... learns every day, and teaches me as well!
Laurie Feldman
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 23
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal parrot
Flight: Yes

Re: 7 month old Senegal chewing!

Postby Pajarita » Sun Dec 01, 2019 9:20 am

Yes, parrots that are treated right (with love, patience, respect and good husbandry) are always good - even when they don't start out that way. We really don't deserve them...
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 15519
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: 7 month old Senegal chewing!

Postby Laurie Feldman » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:54 am

Another small question, since you are so kind always to answer. Mimi sleeps a good 12 hours uninterrupted every night. She is healthy, happy, cheerful, playful... but she falls asleep a LOT during the day for mini-naps. I'm assuming this is quite normal, especially in this dark winter season....Am I right?
Laurie Feldman
Parrotlet
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 23
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: Senegal parrot
Flight: Yes

Re: 7 month old Senegal chewing!

Postby Pajarita » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:09 am

Well, my parrots are actually sleeping more than 12 hours at night right now because they are asleep by 5 pm and do not wake up until a bit after 6 am when I come downstairs with the dogs (but the lights stay off until after the sun is streaking into the rooms OR it's 8:30 am) and do not really sleep much during the day except for around noon when they all rest and some take a short nap. Watch her closely and make a note every time you see her sleeping and, if she is sleeping a lot, take her to the vet for a check up. Better safe than sorry...
Pajarita
Norwegian Blue
 
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 15519
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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