Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Indiana, USA
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My senegal is a bit over a year old and hasn't started to develop yellow eyes yet, but I think the development of the eye color varies.
He can learn not to nip with consistent handling. The only thing that works with Roni, my senegal, is to put her in her cage and ignore her every time she bites down too hard. You will have to figure out what works for Zazu. Once you find something, be very, very consistent. Respond with what works immediately each time he bites down too hard. Do expect him to learn to mouth you a lot without hurting you. They are mouthy birds but can learn not to hurt.
Phobia is every senegals middle name. He can learn to trust you further, and you can learn to read his fears and respond in ways that are less likely to establish further issues. I use the advice from a book about poicephalus by Mattie Sue Athen. (I should look at the name of the book one of these days since I am constantly recommending it.) The advice works very well for me.
Roni started out in a 24" X 24" cage. It is actually a nice size for her. I am currently in the process of getting her a 24" X 27" cage that also has much more inside cage heighth than the first cage. I know that isn't much larger, but I believe she will enjoy the extra space, and I don't have room for anything larger. However, the 24" X 24" cage is actually adequate for her needs. I'm just getting a new, less active bird and took the opportunity to get a larger cage for Roni since I had to get a new cage, anyway.
Change the toys and perches in your birds cage around often. This will help the bird get used to changes and go a long way in helping it be less phobic. You can also move the cage to a new spot or just put it in a new orientation right where it is. This will also help your bird overcome phobias.
My other suggestion is to ignore any annoying contact calling so the bird doesn't start to do it all the time. Also, let the bird learn to entertain itself with toys and such on a playstand some of the time while it is out of its cage.
Also explore foraging and give the bird opportunities to forage. Give the bird a variety of toys, and include both hard and soft woods. They love to destroy soft woods as well as spend long hours working on harder woods. Roni also loves toys that make noise.