aggressive behavior of my senegal

by Gale
(El Dorado, KS)

I have a 15 month old senegal male and a 2 year old female sun conure.

I was removing him from the playpen as he was chasing and chasing her around and she wanted nothing to do with him. He got mad at me and wanted nothing to do with me whatsoever. He actually ran from me and screamed. I thought it was just me or some reason, but the other day my daughter got the same reaction when she tried to remove him from her cage.

Normally, he is my best friend, but I am thinking it may be a mating thing? If so, how long does this last?

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Apr 05, 2013
aggressive behavior of my senegal
by: Linda

Gale, it is a pleasure to hear from you again. Both birds should become sexually mature at around 2 years old, so the Senegal is getting there. Hopefully, you have them in separate cages because once they both sexually mature, they will pair bond (they cannot breed because they are different species). Their behavior changes once the pair bond is made whether they can breed or not. What happens is the birds will become difficult to handle in that they will have less need for their emotional ties with humans if that makes any sense. People sometimes buy birds in pairs of the same species and then wonder why they cannot tame and train them. It is because of the pair bonding which supercedes any other kind of bond with anyone else.

So, if you can get another cage for one of them, that would be great. Their cages can sit close to each other or at least in seeing distance of one another. They can also continue to play out together though I'd keep an eye on them to make sure the male does not become more aggressive. He may very well be feeling his "oats" so to speak since he's getting close to breeding age.

You also do not have to run out and get them mates either. Sexually mature birds never have to breed and we highly recommend they not be in most cases. Breeding is expensive and you would have to apprentice with a breeder to learn how to handfeed babies using a syringe plus get cages that are made for breeding with flaps that can open up for the nest boxes. Basically, breeding birds is not a money making venture because of all the expense of keeping birds healthy. Breeders who take their birds to avian vet, keep a close watch on babies, feed high quality pellets and so forth do not make any money. In fact, this type of breeder normally goes into the hole financially. People who do not really love their birds can make a little by feeding low quality, unhealty diets, no trips to avian vets and allowing sick birds and babies to suffer until they die and then are tossed in the trash. Sounds horrible, doesn't it? It IS horrible for the poor birds involved in this kind of situation.

So, I took from your reply that you will have male checked out with avian vet. Have wings clipped too--the first 4-6 Primary Flight feathers which are the long ones at the ends of each wing. This will keep him from flying into your face, and it settles them down some. Also, get another cage for one of them and use a stick to get him in/out of his cage. If he is getting sick, his aggressive behavior may be from that. If any changes have been made in household, it could be a part of it. Birds like the same old same old, so there may be a bit of upset about two cages, and this will pass quickly as they realize how much more room they have to themselves.

If I can be of further help, I'm a letter away and enjoy hearing from people who obviously love their birds like you all do.

Linda

Apr 05, 2013
Another question
by: Gale

Thank you for your fast response and I will get right on this. One last question.......how old are the birds when they do start the mating period and do I have anything to worry about with the senegal and sun conure?

Thank you again!

Apr 04, 2013
aggressive behavior of my senegal
by: Linda

Actually, he is probably not old enough for mating behavior. It could be jealousy behavior if she appears to get more attention.

When we see sudden changes in behavior in our parrots, it is sometimes the first sign of illness. Birds cover their illnesses and injuries until they are too sick or hurt too much to stand. The reason for this is in the wild, an injured or sick bird is either driven from the flock or killed on the spot. Injured and sick bring predators because they smell different.

I suggest you have him checked out by an Avian Vet ONLY in your driving area. Have a throat swab done to check for bacterial infections and have basic bloodwork done to check for viral infection or a problem with organ functioning. If your birds are eating all seed diets, know that it is a diet very poor in proteins, vitamins and minerals. We recommend yearly exams with Avian Vet and parrots need to be eating an organic, high quality diet like Harrisons pellets. Junk pellets like ZuPreem and Lafaebers are loaded with chemicals of all kinds and are very unhealthy diets for birds. It takes time to change birds over to the pellets and below is how to go about it. Make no changes until bird(s) have been examined and given a clean bill of health.

Switching Birds To Pellets article

Also note that if the male Senegal is found to have an infection, the other bird will also need to be tested as infections are highly contageous.

Once he or both of them have a clean bill of health, you can begin to change them over to a 100% complete diet. Write back in for more information or take a look at training materials here. Parrot Training page

Linda

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