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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all! Right now I have two budgies. I have been visiting an amazing local bird store and handling some of the birds. I have fallen in love with a Senegal (Zazu) but I have a few questions. Firstly, the owners of the store say Zazu is about 9 months old but he already has a really light rim of yellow around his pupil. What time do they start to develop this ring? Also, he has started to bond with me and is super smart, but he likes to bite and seems a little phobic. Is this a personality thing or can he get over it? Zazu is also having issues getting on a pellet diet. Can someone give me a link to a good cage if he will be spending the majority of his time in it? He can be out of his cage for about 4 hours a day. Any other suggestions for a small parrot? Thanks for the advice!
 

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Animalrie,

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.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the advice! I would welcome any tips you can give me. Also, what is a fair price for a Senegal?
 

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What country do you live in, Animalrie?
 

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A juvenile senegal in a bird store with a few personality quirks should be less than a weanling senegal in the same bird store. Roni had been weaned for a while and not really played with much, so she was discounted from the "baby" price by 22%. She was younger than this bird is and did not have as many issues as you discribe this bird having. They typically discount birds anywhere from 15%-25% once they reach that stage and have not yet found a home. Even older birds, returned birds, and the like are discounted even further and sometimes even "placed" under special circumstances, on a totally individual basis.

Can you find out what the price for a hand-fed, weanling senegal normally is? You should expect to get a discount from that price of at least 15%.

I forgot to say this earlier, but hand-fed, weanling senegals in this area of the USA go for $400.00 - $500.00.
 
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I wanted to say that my Sennie Kiwi doesn't have his eye ring yet either & he's about 8 months old..

I teach my birds "gentle beak". They really get it expecially Kiwi. If he bites too hard, or shall I say beaks to hard again, he goes to his cage. No more playtime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Zazu doesn't really bite hard. I think he is just testing what he can and can't get away with. He is a sweetie, but I don't think he's been handled as much as he could have been. He hates leaving his cage but once he's out he becomes a model citizen. :) I plan to visit him quite a bit and bond with him some more before I make any decisions. I also plan to ask if the store can order just weaned Meyer's parrots, as I hear they are less likely to become one person birds. I think Zazu is priced at about $425 or something around there, which is why I asked. Any other suggestions will be very helpful. The cage I was looking at is similar to this: http://www.allpetfurniture.com/asp/show_detail.asp?sku=AEC1001&PiID=3277794
 

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It does sound like Zazu is just learning what he can do. He should come around with consistent handling.

I have also heard that Meyers are less likely to become one person birds. That seems to be true. The bird store has handfed several senegals and several meyers since I have been visiting regularly, and the meyers have consistently been a bit more laid back and less phobic. At this particular store, the Meyers cost about $50.00 more than the senegals. I really had wanted a meyers, but I fell in love with Roni while I was waiting for a meyers and the rest is history. I have never regretted my decision. Both are great birds for those of us who want this size bird.

The cage looks good. I personally went with a deeper cage as opposed to a longer cage because I was told that, with senegals especially, having a deep cage is very important because of their phobias. I do not know if that is true or not. It was something I read, and the square cage fit my space better, so it just made sense for me. I think either style of cage would be good for a senegal or a meyers.

Apple has both, so perhaps she can share her personal comparisons of the two species.
 

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Almost looks like a young adult to me, but I'm no expert... Does s/he have a band? If it's a closed band, it may have the hatch year on it
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
He doesn't have a band, so we can only really guess at the age I guess. The people at the store said 9 months but I'm skeptical. Yes, Zazu is very sweet, he's like a little toddler. :)
 

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Looks like a good size - plenty of space, and a good price. I like that the play top has a banana hook for toys :thumbsup: It also has the 7 day guarantee, so I would build it ASAP and see how your bird does with it, so you can return it if necessary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I visited Zazu again today and he has already improved. He has step up down to a T now. :) However, I also spent some time with a Quaker and fell in love with him too. I will be in an apartment though in a couple of years and hear they can be screamers. Any thoughts? I just want to make the most educated decision based on my lifestyle.
 

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I would err on the side of caution and not get a Quaker parrot until you are in a living situation that might be more suitable, such as a house.
 

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Quakers are very noisy birds - not always loud, but always making noise. I would not get one in an apartment, personally
 

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My senegal does actually make several noises, and she makes her contact call a lot. However, I can't even hear her two rooms away if the door is closed. If you are in the same room, and especially if the bird is on your shoulder, the noise is piercing, kind of like nails on a chalk board. That doesn't sound pleasant at all, but, nevertheless, it doesn't carry with that intensity for very far. I think a neighbor might be able to hear the bird through the walls of an apartment, but I don't think it would be so bad that you would be asked to leave.

Actually, my linneolated parakeet's contact call is LOUDER than my senegal's contact call. It is a bit lower in pitch, so some people, my son being one of them, don't mind it as much, but it is a little bit louder.

I don't know anything about quaker noises. I'm only able to describe senegal noises.
 
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