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Poicephalus Senegals, Meyers, Red Bellied, Jardines, Capes, etc.

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Old 08-16-2016, 05:00 AM
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Aggression in newly rescued Senegal

Hi everyone. I collected a middle aged Senegal on Sunday. His previous owner ( an elderly lady) had died and he'd been dumped in a pet shop. I think he's been there a while. He is lunging at the bars and I know if I gave him the chance, I'd get a nasty bite. I have given him his space and not tried to touch him in any way. He will take peanuts/apple slices from my hand and seems pretty content in the main ( grinding his beak and saying a few words). I opened the top of his cage and he clearly liked that but did not attempt to come out. I would appreciate any suggestions on how to develop my relationship with Captain, who I feel has had rather a tough time. Eventually, the ability to handle him would be great and useful, but I'm not sure what steps to take. I have had a Senegal in the past and an African Grey but they were both cuddly from babies. Thank you.
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Old 08-16-2016, 08:52 PM
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Re: Aggression in newly rescued Senegal

Well, I have a rescued Senegal in my Sidney but I don't think I have too much that I can offer because he was friendly with me right from the start. Though he does have his Mr. Hyde moments. I have a deep hole in my left middle finger from him unexpectedly latching onto it this past Saturday. I actually had to pry him off. He had a hold of me for probably more than 10 seconds. Only the 2nd time he has done that in about 4 years now and I have no idea what set him off.

If your previous Senegal was a snuggle bird and you never got the business end of an aggressive beak, I will caution you about the power these guys have. Their bite is powerful for their size and can do real damage. My stinging finger can attest to that.

About the only thing that I can offer is the "usual" advice. Slow and gentle. Give the bird plenty of time to get used to you. Talk a lot to him and reply when he makes noises. Offer good treats. But it sounds as if you have already started off doing that with him. Hopefully he will take to you soon and the aggression will go away once he realizes that you are a friend and he can put the poor treatment of his recent life aside. Best of luck with him.
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Old 08-16-2016, 09:33 PM
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Re: Aggression in newly rescued Senegal

Senegal's can be real bullies. They're awesome, but they're high strung and aggressive at times. Even now Leo can have days where it's just best to leave him alone.

I second the "usual advise". Take it slow. Stay in the room at a safe distance and talk to him. Work him up gradually.
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Old 08-16-2016, 09:46 PM
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Re: Aggression in newly rescued Senegal

You seem to know the drill already. CHair next to the cage, but not too close, read to him and only inch closer a Lil bit every day. Plenty of treats, a small bit at a time. If he comes close to you reward that. Praise him when he does good stuff, ignore the bad. Thank you for rescuing him. Love the name... Captain. Cap for short? That's what my crew calls me . My buddy had a Senigal, a real cuddly guy with the right person, a terror with the wrong one, and he knew in 2 seconds which was which. Do you know more about his history?
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Old 08-16-2016, 09:48 PM
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Re: Aggression in newly rescued Senegal

Sennies are notoriously one person birds. If he just lost his beloved person thru death, he is mourning and angry (not that the bird understands death, only that his person who he may have loved and been bonded to is suddenly gone). Then he is sent to a store with other birds and not sure what happened there... then you come along to give him a new loving home, but for him, all he knows is that you're not his person.

Adult sennies will pick their person. We have adopted quite a few sennies at the shelter and actually I live with a male Senegal from the shelter (Mali was about 25 when my husband met him). Mali had been at the shelter for some time, he was generally friendly, but when he met my husband, it was clear he very much adored my husband. Love my hubby but he's a guy who enjoys the fun stuff but doesn't like cleaning cages and such, so he just enjoyed visiting Mali at the shelter, but never asked about adopting him. So for almost a year, we continued to introduce Mali to potential adopters and everytime after meeting Byron, Mali end each meeting with a potential new home with the adopter bleeding. After a year of this, the decision was made that I had to suck it up and accept I had another bird cage to clean And while Mali loves my husband does pretty well with my brother, he hates me and I do mean hates me. He'll let me scratch his head when he's in the mood for a head massage, but if I ask him to step up, there will be bloodshed. He'll step up on a towel and I put him on a java stand to hang out, but going back to the cage, he does his best to get past the towel and to flesh.

He came home Valentine's 2015 and I have tried every training suggestion from every professional, every trick and bribery, but it simply comes down to the fact, the bird does not like me. End of discussion...

So, the point of my babble... one, you need to give this poor guy time to realize that his life has changed. Second, you may need to accept that you are not the guys chosen person. Doesn't mean you can't come to a mutual agreement, maybe do stick training for taking him in / out of the cage. Head scratches on his terms, accepting treats, things like that. But you may never have that hands on relationship.

For now, give him time. Its a huge change for him and no way to know his path between losing his person and ending up in your home, exactly what happened.

Thank you for giving the guy a chance at a new life and I hope it turns around for you, or at least you can find a way to enjoy a peace treaty with him!!
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Old 08-16-2016, 09:52 PM
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Re: Aggression in newly rescued Senegal

Welcome to the forum and thank you for bringing Captain home with you.
I agree with all the above suggestions, and wish you the best of luck with him. It may tale some time, but the payoff is going to be so worth it for both of you

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Old 09-24-2016, 01:37 AM
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Re: Aggression in newly rescued Senegal

Good luck.

Never push a senegal. Take it really slow. These birds demand respect. I think that's why mine picked me over my brother,dad, and mom. Kiwi was to be a family bird. She ended up being mine.

I never pushed her. I never tried to make her do anything. I never messed with her if it was clear she was not having it. I gave her lots of space when needed. I worked with her at her speed. It took years for kiwi and I to have a strong bond. They are the kind of bird you have to play hard to get with. Let them come to you. It takes time. Or sometimes nothing works and the bird just will never love you. That's what happen to my poor mom.
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Last edited by snowflake311; 09-24-2016 at 01:39 AM. Reason: Spelling
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