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Thread: Untame Senegal Parrot

  1. #1
    Wendy Brand New Egg Ganiggle's Avatar
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    Red face Untame Senegal Parrot

    A week ago I adopted a 4 year old Male Senegal parrot from a woman who informed me that his previous owner had only ever handled him with huge black gloves on, and he never became tame, and wasn't socialized at all. What's worse is his major fear of humans, especially their hands.

    I've named him "Captain Jack" and I have given him a week to get used to my house, and his new surroundings. Now I just need some advice on how to go about taming him. I've got high hopes for this little guy!

    With how it is right now, as soon as I enter the room he visibly becomes tense and quickly moves to the back of the cage and hangs from the side bars near the top of the cage. For as long as I'm in the room he remains tense for about 45 minutes before he seems to kind of calm down a little bit.

    He is not agressive, I can put my hand in the cage and even pet his head a little bit, and he wont attack or anything, I just have to be careful because he does make the motions that he's going to bite it's just really slowly, kind of like a warning so I'll stop.

    I've tried to offer him food from my hand, but because he's so fearful he either wont even try to take it, or he'll grab onto it really lightly and then drop it to the bottom of the cage.

    I'd like anyone's help or advice on how I can get this beautiful little guy to warm up to humans.

    Thanks so much in advance

  2. #2
    Teenager Rainforest Adventures's Avatar
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    Re: Untame Senegal Parrot

    Senegals, Red bellies, Meyers, etc tend to be phobic birds if something has scared them, they tend to hold onto the fear. I would start by sitting in the room and watching TV and not paying any attention to him. If you do this for a while he'll start to learn that you're not going to hurt him. After he seems to stop being so tense start to leave the cage door open while you're in the room. Let me know if this works, and I'll continue from there.

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    Re: Untame Senegal Parrot

    Can I just say concratulations on your new little sennie, but a week is no where near long enough to get this little fellow accustomed to your ways it is going to take patience and time. We adopted a cherry head conure last October he is around 20yrs old and had never been handled, we have always let him have free run[flight] of the house when we are home and its is just these last few weeks he has started hitching lifts on our shoulders, he will never be hand tame but Ive got him stick trained and hes certainly come on a long way from when we got him, what I am trying to say is that it will take time and letyour little sennie do it in his time. Please dont rush him he will just be terrified.
    Wish you lots of luck and happiness with your baby.
    Regards Dorrie

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    Egg's Cracking...
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    Re: Untame Senegal Parrot

    I don't know how to tame a Sennie, but I wish you lots of good luck. Let us know how it goes.

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    Re: Untame Senegal Parrot

    Yeah, it's going to take quite a bit longer than a week. Don't make eye contact with him yet, move slowly and speak softly while you work near him. Try to place him where he can watch you going about your daily activities but where he's not right in the middle of things. Also, try to develop a daily routine for him so that he can know when he gets fed, when his cage gets cleaned, etc. That alone will start to give him some feelings of security. Watch his body language and once he is able to relax in your presence, let us know and we can work on taking the next step. Good luck with him!
    - Aviennda, Bunji and Henry (Meyer's and Senegal)


  6. #6
    Parrot Owner Teenager Katana's Avatar
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    Re: Untame Senegal Parrot

    wow.... lucky...at least yours isn't aggressive.... we have a 'merry go round' sennie, about 17 years old.... only likes big guys... she was supposed to be my bird, but takes chunks out of me whenever she can...

    Good luck! LOL I'm glad yours is not aggressive, those sennies have very strong, sharp beaks, ours twists, pulls and gnaws at the same time, getting you with the little 'tooth' on the size of her beak.... LOL

    -Jaden

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    Wendy Brand New Egg Ganiggle's Avatar
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    Re: Untame Senegal Parrot

    Thank you all so much for you advice. I have placed his cage right next to my computer so he can watch me go about my daily routine He still gets tense when I come into the room, but now within a few minutes he seems calmer.

    I was wondering if anyone here has tried this method of training
    Taming the wild bird
    Has anyone had success with this method?

  8. #8
    Four More Babies Hatched! Jojo's zoo's Avatar
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    Re: Untame Senegal Parrot

    Congrats on your new baby. You're doing a wonderful thing. It'll take an immense amount of patience, but the rewards will be all the more wonderful for your hard work!

    I have never used this method, and never would. There's something called "learned helplessness/submission" in which the animal just "gives up" because he has no choice. He appears tame, but really he's just kind of "checked out." That is what this training method teaches. Don't use it! Think of it from his perspective: you're big and scary and may at any point eat him. Now you are coming at him with a large black object and he's caught in it and he can't get free! Now he's in a totally unfamiliar place, and in order to not attract predators, he must remain very, very still.... He does what he needs to to stay alive. Now, do you want him to only do the minimum to stay alive, or do you want him to truly enjoy life and your company?

    You need to do some counter-conditioning to make him enjoy your hands, or atleast not mind them. Terrorizing him into shutting down so that you can handle him isn't fair to him (or you- you'll never have the loving, funny little pet that you could have).

    I'm sorry to be so blunt... I'm usually not like this, I swear! It just makes me angry to know that there are people out there using these archaic methods, when there are so many better, safer and more effective ones to use! I know it's tempting to look for a quick fix (no one's more allured by quick fixes than I am!) but they just don't work, and can cause more damage than good. I see it constantly in my job. It breaks my heart. Good luck!

    P.S. for a really good resource, check out Sally Blanchard's web page: www.companionparrot.com. It's pretty useful, especially when it comes to behavior.
    Last edited by Jojo's zoo; 03-11-2007 at 02:12 PM. Reason: add webpage referral

  9. #9
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    Re: Untame Senegal Parrot

    I have mixed emotions on the process outlined in that article. It did say that this method worked well on wild caught birds, which I sincerely doubt is the case with you. I do think that for your bird to show that much fear, just with you entring a room, there was more to what went on before than just the use of gloves.

    If he is already showing signs of relaxing, as you have mentioned, you are already making progress with him. I would hold off on the process in the article and give him a little more time to adjust. You can never be sure what really happened to him with his previous owner, and he may have good reason to be terrified of a human presence. Chasing him around with a stick, at this point would only serve to strengthen his belief that humans are not to be trusted.

    Don't be offended by his reluctance to take food from your hand. My 15 yr old Cockatoo, who I swear, is part Golden Retriever when it comes to craving attention, does this nearly everytime I offer her something to eat. Then she later goes back to retrieve it and eat it. It just part of her personality. (unless it's cheese or peanuts)

    Good Luck

  10. #10
    Wendy Brand New Egg Ganiggle's Avatar
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    Re: Untame Senegal Parrot

    Thanks for your input everyone! Jack seems to be doing pretty well. He actually fell asleep while I was beside him at the computer the other day. And today he let me pet his little head without showing any fear. This is going better than I expected!

    Wendy

  11. #11
    Four More Babies Hatched! Jojo's zoo's Avatar
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    Re: Untame Senegal Parrot

    Awesome! So glad to hear it! Keep us updated, we love stories like these! And pics would be great, too *ahem!*

  12. #12
    Wendy Brand New Egg Ganiggle's Avatar
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    Re: Untame Senegal Parrot

    I'll definately work on some pics soon! I'd love to share my handsome little fella with all of you. I'm just a little scared of putting a big camera in his face right now hehe. Sometime this week though I'll try to get some pictures up. Maybe I'll just use my camera phone so it isn't as big and invasive for him... plus no flash.

    Wendy

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    Re: Untame Senegal Parrot

    keep up the good work. And dont feel discouraged any bird takes time to get used to its new home and 'slaves' you will get there and when you do it will be great for you. my new birds had been hand tamed then placed in a aviry to breed now i have them i have to retame them.

    Welcome to messmate aviaries
    Birds we have, three tiels, 2 gcc's, 1 budgie, 1 pf lovie, and 1 lorikeet

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