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Went to breeder. In love with senegals!

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Re: Went to breeder. In love with senegals!

Postby SlaveToAParrot » Wed Aug 01, 2012 2:16 pm

Michael wrote:Senegal Parrots don't have to be hormonal to be vicious. They are that way without being hormonal. When they hit a certain age, they become aggressive toward anything that hasn't proved itself worthy otherwise. If you're lucky, it's everyone but you. If you're unlucky, then it will even turn on you and you'll be attacked as much as anyone. Senegal Parrots aren't just defensive, they are actually aggressive. They are the kind of bird that will make an intentional effort to go attack another bird (or person, to them it's all just competition). I have encountered countless stories of Senegal Parrots attacking (and maiming or killing) other birds. One, actually snuck out of its cage and climbed onto another birds cage and killed it through the bars while the owner was gone. It is in their nature to intentionally and maliciously attack others.


Michael wrote:If I'm dwelling on the aggression too much, it's because it is the biggest problem with Senegals and not spoken enough about. People don't see it in the baby and are in no way prepared for what's to come. Worse yet, when the sweet baby becomes aggressive, they deal with it the wrong way and really set it up for further failure. The bird becomes aggressive, so people get scared (or think it just doesn't want to come out). So they leave it in the cage which just makes it more territorial and aggressive. And before you know it either they get rid of it, or just leave it condemned to the cage 24/7 for life without parole.


^This is very very true as I am experiencing it myself.

I have a Senegal who I got when it was a baby, hand-fed. Sweetest bird ever and my family and I could handle him with no issues until a couple years past and it has been a struggle ever since. I wasn't consistent with the taming, training and socializing due to life circumstances over time. He's got more 'wild' as I could say with us and biting is the main issue in my situation. He has become a one person bird, and that one person doesn't even care to correct the problems associated with our Senegal. I have to deal with the majority of the aggression side of it and it does really intimidate me. I know the bird picks up on that, we've (I've) unknowingly reinforced over the years that he can control us with lunging and biting. It has got to the point that he's become very territorial of his cage and anything near him he likes, and has food aggression. The biting is not just small nips. He gives you the beak grinding and draws blood pretty much every single time he succeeds in biting you. My mom has developed a phobia of him biting her that she no longer feels able to handle him with her hands and has to have a towel with her at all times. I don't allow him on our shoulders because of the unpredictable biting, but the person who is Cody's favourite does it anyway. :roll:

My Senegal also screams a lot and it doesn't appear to have any pattern to it that I can see, mostly screams when I enter the room, but he will do it whenever and I know part of that is because he is bored and wants us to interact with him more. I do give him 'projects' to do inside his cage as much as possible. His biting has scared most of my family off. If I am not around or busy with something - he will spend most of his time in his cage. I've found it very challenging even for myself at the same time because I am afraid of the malicious biting and have great anxiety with dealing with this one thing about him. On several occasions I have considered rehoming him since not everybody is entirely on board with me with 'taming' him as any time I make even tiny bit of progress - it gets destroyed the following day by the other people in the home. It is depressing to be in this situation with my Senegal. Cody is 11 years old and I've had him all his life and despite the aggression issues. I haven't rehomed him because I am determined to work through this situation I am in. I don't want to give up on him at all.

A large part of why this has happened is because the trust has been broken between us. The unpredictable biting doesn't make me want to trust him when I'm trying to handle him. Although I am rather fearful of it, I do still try to handle him without any towel from time to time and usually I get bitten when I do. I'm the only one(other than Cody's favourite person) who has the guts to handle him with bare hands(albeit sparingly) right now. Since he has got aggressive and territorial a lot, I keep him flighted so he at least he is able to get some exercise outside of his cage without anyone handling him. I would one day love to be able to hold him in my hands, take him outside with a flight harness on and just be around us more and socialize. I don't want him to be like this forever, and I don't want to fear the biting either.

I just wanted to post my story because I was not given such in-depth explanations about how the Senegal Parrot really is like when I was looking into adopting one. I was told they are a great bird for a first time parrot owner and they can adapt to a lot of changes. They are very resilient parrots - unfortunately I didn't know the extent of that until I adopted one and brought it home and had him in my home for 3+ years. I am not letting Cody be caged 24/7, but that I am not able to get past the biting issue with him and as result doesn't get a lot of 'out' time as much as I wish he could have. We end up talking to each other mostly and I do things that don't require too much hands-on bird interaction. He still has fun, but it isn't the life I want him to have with me. It could be way better than that. I am openly admitting on here how much of a 'horror' movie they can be when you aren't consistent with taming, training and socializing them.

This was the reason I came here in the first place - for support and help to work through it. I've been soaking up as much knowledge as I can and applying it to my situation as best as I can to reduce some of the aggression. I only have managed to get him to station himself on his perch when I feed him so he doesn't attack the dishes or me. He makes sure to stay on that perch when he wants any treats too lol

I know it is possible, but it is very challenging for me. Good luck in whatever you end up deciding on though.
Owned by:
Cody the 17-year-old male :senegal: / Birdie the 20-year-old female :greycockatiel:
SlaveToAParrot
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Re: Went to breeder. In love with senegals!

Postby Nir » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:38 pm

SlaveToAParrot wrote:
Michael wrote:Senegal Parrots don't have to be hormonal to be vicious. They are that way without being hormonal. When they hit a certain age, they become aggressive toward anything that hasn't proved itself worthy otherwise. If you're lucky, it's everyone but you. If you're unlucky, then it will even turn on you and you'll be attacked as much as anyone. Senegal Parrots aren't just defensive, they are actually aggressive. They are the kind of bird that will make an intentional effort to go attack another bird (or person, to them it's all just competition). I have encountered countless stories of Senegal Parrots attacking (and maiming or killing) other birds. One, actually snuck out of its cage and climbed onto another birds cage and killed it through the bars while the owner was gone. It is in their nature to intentionally and maliciously attack others.


Michael wrote:If I'm dwelling on the aggression too much, it's because it is the biggest problem with Senegals and not spoken enough about. People don't see it in the baby and are in no way prepared for what's to come. Worse yet, when the sweet baby becomes aggressive, they deal with it the wrong way and really set it up for further failure. The bird becomes aggressive, so people get scared (or think it just doesn't want to come out). So they leave it in the cage which just makes it more territorial and aggressive. And before you know it either they get rid of it, or just leave it condemned to the cage 24/7 for life without parole.


^This is very very true as I am experiencing it myself.

I have a Senegal who I got when it was a baby, hand-fed. Sweetest bird ever and my family and I could handle him with no issues until a couple years past and it has been a struggle ever since. I wasn't consistent with the taming, training and socializing due to life circumstances over time.



can you eloboarate on this a bit. How often did you interact with him during the life circumstances ? How often did you spend time with him during those times?
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Re: Went to breeder. In love with senegals!

Postby Eurycerus » Wed Aug 01, 2012 11:54 pm

Everyone i know is intimidated by my Senegal due to the biting. She doesn't bite me anymore so i know it goes away but that is difficult for people to handle....

I did adopt her and she's six so there's that. However a lot of what i read indicates you really have to stay on top of senegals or their behavior spirals or of control.

I know you weren't asking me but my Senegal seems pretty tame (allows touching without me desensitizing her and knew step up) and well handled yet she still scares people after a bite
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Re: Went to breeder. In love with senegals!

Postby Nir » Thu Aug 02, 2012 1:24 am

Eurycerus wrote:Everyone i know is intimidated by my Senegal due to the biting. She doesn't bite me anymore so i know it goes away but that is difficult for people to handle....

I did adopt her and she's six so there's that. However a lot of what i read indicates you really have to stay on top of senegals or their behavior spirals or of control.

I know you weren't asking me but my Senegal seems pretty tame (allows touching without me desensitizing her and knew step up) and well handled yet she still scares people after a bite


are you able to put him on his back and pet him? Do you think that if people tried to get him to know them that he would eventually be ok with them?

I have a question. The Senegal i saw in the store was 5 months and knew to step up and he was able to lay on his back on someones hand and be petted. What % of the times do you think a baby sennie like that would grow up to be a aggressive biter and stop being cuddly with the person he loves and possibly stop tolerating other people from handling him? Please give me an honest % you think it would happen since if the % was 1% it would be more or less negligible (exaggeration but you get my point). And this is assuming that you do most things right with the bird as in spend time with him just about every day (perhaps you were in hospital for a day or went on a mini weekend vacation and didn't see him for a day or 2) , teach him bird tricks more or less every day, try to socialize him a decent amount with whoever is near, stop his bad habits such as screaming/biting and basically like i said do MOST things right. And keep reinforcing good behaviors as you go a decent amount.

i need to picture how often this can happen that you do most things right and the bird still turns out to be a monster not only to others but to you. So two % numbers would be great. What % he would not even be loyal to you and bite you frequently (once in a while is fine ), and another % for how often he would not let others handle him. This is all when he goes through hormonal phases and grows up so not when he is still a baby. Since in all honesty, if the chances of certain things happening is VERY VERY low then it SHOULD be negligible when buying a parrot.(Don't confuse negligible with forgetting and understanding the risks).

ps: i understand putting a % is hard but an educated guess would be great since you guys have experience with senegals and probably know a lot about them then i do from your own experience or knowing others experiences.

if i had to guess on the numbers with no experience myself but just research, my educated guess would be 5% for the bird attacking its owner frequently and 20% for the bird not letting anyone else handle him besides its owner.

just want to know what others think.

also by frequently i would mean get bitten hard enough to draw blood at least once a week or at least attempt to.
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Re: Went to breeder. In love with senegals!

Postby Michael » Thu Aug 02, 2012 9:40 am

Nir wrote:Do you think that if people tried to get him to know them that he would eventually be ok with them?


That's not the way it usually works with Senegals. If they have a bad impression of someone and bite them from the start it almost never goes away. Even if they get a good impression and don't bite at first, they may later but it's less likely. Sometimes it takes a few days/weeks to get the courage up to bite someone when they haven't up front. But "getting to know him" actually doesn't seem to work or help with a Senegal at all.

They either respect someone or they don't is how I'd put it. And they have no respect for anyone who is scared of them. And most people that get bit, do get really scared of them so it's all downhill from there.

Nir wrote:I have a question. The Senegal i saw in the store was 5 months and knew to step up and he was able to lay on his back on someones hand and be petted.


They're all like that as babies! This is the poorest indicator of anything cause they aren't like this when they grow up. When they are a baby, they're just sitting cuddled against their mama in the nest. So when you grab them and hold them, they just feel like it's their parents moving them around the nest and preening them. It's not long until this is over and they become independent. You cannot gauge any of your understanding of Senegal Parrots by this because this kind of interaction is most deceptive.

Nir wrote:What % of the times do you think a baby sennie like that would grow up to be a aggressive biter and stop being cuddly with the person he loves and possibly stop tolerating other people from handling him? Please give me an honest % you think it would happen since if the % was 1% it would be more or less negligible (exaggeration but you get my point).


I don't know... the same percent as there are biting, intolerant Senegals out there. They are all like that as babies. I've barely ever come across a baby Senegal that isn't easy, cute, and cuddly. Yet the adults are nothing like that. I really don't know how many become vicious toward everyone including their owners but I'd have to guess 50-90%. Biting at least someone other than owners, more like 80-95%.

Nir wrote:And this is assuming that you do most things right with the bird as in spend time with him just about every day (perhaps you were in hospital for a day or went on a mini weekend vacation and didn't see him for a day or 2) , teach him bird tricks more or less every day, try to socialize him a decent amount with whoever is near, stop his bad habits such as screaming/biting and basically like i said do MOST things right. And keep reinforcing good behaviors as you go a decent amount.


This improves your chances drastically but is still not a guarantee. If you do the stuff mentioned above but still clip the wings, you'll probably still have a biter at least some of the time. When Kili was starting to become a one person bird and biting others, no amount of training and socialization was helping until she became flighted. Proper training, socialization, and flight probably cure 90% of biting but the hormonal/jealous/aggressive components still remain. There are some alternative methods of working with them but they can never be entirely eliminated. With all the flight, training, and socialization, you do pretty much get to the point of a well behaved and desirable pet. However, it is a ton of work and not an absolute guarantee. Especially if it's not done right but even done right you could still end up with the super aggressive one that can't be tamed.

Nir wrote:i need to picture how often this can happen that you do most things right and the bird still turns out to be a monster not only to others but to you.


I know tons and tons of cases where this has happened. Most often it's that they flip allegiances. First the bird like the wife then turned on her and started biting her while preferring the husband. Could just as well be another bird or no one at all. This definitely does happen, especially around the terrible twos. Many people don't come out of that still owning the bird cause they can't handle it.

Nir wrote:So two % numbers would be great. What % he would not even be loyal to you and bite you frequently (once in a while is fine ), and another % for how often he would not let others handle him. This is all when he goes through hormonal phases and grows up so not when he is still a baby. Since in all honesty, if the chances of certain things happening is VERY VERY low then it SHOULD be negligible when buying a parrot.(Don't confuse negligible with forgetting and understanding the risks).


It's not negligible. It's very likely. It can be managed and minimized through training, but it really is in their nature which is the whole point of this. They have a drive to chase other birds out of their territory so they are naturally very pugnacious and aggressive.

People don't understand this when they meet the cute, cuddly, handleable, easy going baby. But this is not what they naturally end up like as adults. Clipping the wings is a near guarantee that the bird will be a biter. Keeping them flighted will greatly reduce the fear biting but you still risk having intentional aggression and flight as the means of delivery.

The pros of Senegals are that they are really smart, fun, mellow, quiet, etc. The cons almost entirely fall into the realm of biting/aggression. They aren't loud, particularly messy, prone to plucking, or problematic. Instead, all of that "negative stuff" is channeled into one place, biting.

Nir wrote:ps: i understand putting a % is hard but an educated guess would be great since you guys have experience with senegals and probably know a lot about them then i do from your own experience or knowing others experiences.


I don't think anyone can give you a realistic % based on the population cause none of us have sampled that many. Even folks who work in rescues, stores, or vet offices only see the birds that come in and never even hear about the birds that were so problematic that people just leave them in the cage for life (unless something happens and they get rid of them).

Nir wrote:if i had to guess on the numbers with no experience myself but just research, my educated guess would be 5% for the bird attacking its owner frequently and 20% for the bird not letting anyone else handle him besides its owner.


ROFLMAO :lol:
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Michael
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Re: Went to breeder. In love with senegals!

Postby Nir » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:09 am

Hah I guess my guess was way off lol.

Man I guess timnehs might be the better fit in the future. The studies I read indicates that they don't have the same phobic, feather plucking, loyalty switching issues as the Congo. And in general I doubt any bird is more agressive then Senegal. Only thing I don't like is that they are not that cuddly but who knows... I might get lucky through training and earning its trust. But damnit, why could they have that bright red tail as the Congo and be as cuddly as the Senegal lol.
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Re: Went to breeder. In love with senegals!

Postby Michael » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:24 am

Just because we micro-analyzed Senegal Parrot problems very thoroughly doesn't mean Greys don't have their fair share (and then some). You can't compare the in-depth owner perspective of one species to the happy/naive perspective of a store advertisement or something.

Just cause Senegals can be bitey/aggressive birds does not mean they can't make awesome pets. It's just that there are people who understand them, know how to work with them, and can accept what they can't change about them so it works out.

I prefer the Senegal biting to the internal phobias and neurotic behavior of the greys because it is far more obvious what they are worked up about and how to deal with it. If you'd have met some adult Senegals, you'd have a better understanding what we love about them. These things help us overcome some of their difficulties.
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Re: Went to breeder. In love with senegals!

Postby laducockatiel » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:28 am

So...much...writing...... :shock:
My blog: http://the-buzz-online.weebly.com


"If we don't stand for something, we may fall for anything."
- Malcolm X"
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Re: Went to breeder. In love with senegals!

Postby Eurycerus » Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:37 am

laducockatiel wrote:So...much...writing...... :shock:


Haha you're a crack up ^_^

It's actually pretty helpful to read as a Senegal owner. Saddening though. I expected biting but I didn't expect it to be as big of a problem as it's become. I'm going to print out Michael's socializing tips and bring them to my mom. I was just on the phone with her and she said she basically never wants to handle my parrot again. She was bit twice. Once because Nika fell and was scared and my mom probably picked her up too quickly to allow her to calm down. (would've been avoided if she wasn't clipped when I got her but whatever) Second time mom had her step up and was presumably setting her on top of her perch and got nailed after she stepped up. I understand the confusion and suckiness but wish she'd give it another shot.

People seem to have a misconception about parrots that they SHOULD never bite. To me it makes sense. They are prey animals, territorial, may be attempting to display a certain mood or dislike to you, or are just testing you. I am EXTREMELY frustrated by the instant dislike my mom and boyfriend feel towards Nika. It's because they don't understand and aren't willing to take the time. So I'm here with a bird that no one but me will socialize with. Something I did not anticipate.

Even more frustrating is I know that she's pretty tame too. She's quirky and funny and easy to be with once she realizes that biting is pointless.
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Re: Went to breeder. In love with senegals!

Postby Wayne361 » Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:06 pm

I fumbled along with senegal ownership the best I could through reading forums, etc. What made a HUGE difference was when I started training Oscar (my :senegal: ). I think most people dont see the benefits of training unless they have already started, or have been doing. It has helped enormously in building trust between us, provides out-of-cage stimulation, builds confidence, sets up boundries, etc etc. I think some people think training will only serve as a way of showing off to friends. I cant stress the importance of training enough. Thanks Micheal. The reason for this is to address biting issues....I rarely (if ever) get bit by Oscar anymore. If/when I do get bit it is prob 100 percent fear related biting....eg. I was picking up Oscar the other day to hold him on his back to be scratched. JUST as I put my hands around him my wife opens the door right next to us...this caused him to bite out of the sudden noise. Wasnt a huge bite....but a bite non-the-less. Long story short....training will help reduce biting issues that sennies are prone to.

Wayne
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