How to Deal with a Fearful or Stressed Senegal Parrot
Dealing with a stressed or fearful Senegal parrot can be difficult for everyone involved, including you. One of the easiest things you can do to reduce your bird’s stress and fear levels is to move its cage to another location. Speak to your Senegal parrot in a calm and gentle way, and take care not to startle it. If your bird gets stressed during travel, keep its cover over its carrier cage, and keep the cage level.
Moving and Managing Your Parrot’s Cage
Move your Senegal parrot’s cage away from the window.If your Senegal parrot is near some perceived threat visible through the window (other birds, for instance), it might become anxious. Proximity to a window might also make the bird feel exposed and vulnerable. To reduce your Senegal parrot’s stress and fear levels, move its cage away from all windows.
- Alternately, place your parrot’s cage in a position where only part of the cage is visible from the window. This will allow your Senegal parrot to retreat behind a wall if it feels fearful or stressed.
- Avoid placing the cage under a ceiling fan. If the fan is moving above the bird's head, it may perceive it as a bird of prey swooping down on it.
Move the cage to a high-traffic area if your bird seems lonely.The most common symptom associated with lonely parrots is feather-plucking. If your parrot compulsively pulls out its own feathers, move it to your living room or another central location where it can get more stimulation.
Place your parrot’s cage in a corner.Another way to deal with a stressed or fearful Senegal parrot is by placing its cage in a corner, preferably one opposite a doorway. The corner location provides your parrot with two walls at its back, which will help it feel safe.
Drape a sheet over your Senegal parrot’s cage.Placing a sheet over the cage -- or even over part of the cage -- will increase your pet’s sense of safety. You could use an old sheet of your own or a slip cover that may have been included with your cage.
Interacting With Your Parrot
Approach your parrot’s cage slowly.Visiting and observing your Senegal parrot is great fun. But don’t run or rush up to your parrot’s cage. This could cause it to feel even more stressed and anxious than it already is. Instead, approach cautiously, keeping your chin tucked a little and aimed slightly away from the cage.
Spend more time with your Senegal parrot.If Senegal parrots are left alone all the time, they might become stressed. To help your parrot get enough socialization and interaction, talk to it as you walk around the house. You might also want to read out loud to it, or take it for a drive in the car.
- You should spend at least an hour each day interacting with your bird.
Use clicker training to teach your bird calm behavior.Clicker training rewards your parrot's relaxed, calm behavior. You will teach the bird to associate the sound of a clicker with a tasty snack. When the bird shows good behavior, you give it a click and then a treat. This teaches the bird good behavior.
- Clicker training provides mental stimulation for the bird and is a valuable retraining tool.
Develop a regular schedule with your Senegal parrot.If your bird’s schedule suddenly changes, it might get confused or stressed. To prevent this, feed your Senegal parrot at the same time daily. Remove it from the cage for playtime about the same time each day. Turn out the lights at the same time each night, too.
- Incorporate some variation into the schedule on a weekly basis. For instance, instead of taking your bird out for play at 4:00, take it out at 5:00. This will help your bird learn to adapt when you can’t adhere to the schedule strictly.
Take your bird out of its cage.Like people, Senegal parrots might be able to de-stress by engaging in a bit of physical activity. Take your bird out of its cage for some flight time each day.
- If it doesn’t want to fly, that’s okay. Its mood might be improved simply by being able to hop around outside its cage.
- Before letting your Senegal parrot loose, close all doors and windows to the room it will be flying or playing in. Keep other pets away, too.
Play music for your Senegal parrot.Some birds enjoy the sound of soothing music. For instance, you might play some light jazz or easy listening for your Senegal parrot. Alternately, you could play some recordings of natural landscapes like rivers, waterfalls, and forests.
- The first time you play music or nature sounds for your stressed or fearful parrot, supervise your bird. If it seems alarmed or starts screaming, turn the audio off.
Do activities that lower your stress level.Birds can often pick up on their owners’ emotional state. If you’re constantly worried and anxious, your Senegal parrot is more likely to be stressed or fearful. Have dinner with a friend, talk to a trusted family member, or exercise for 30-60 minutes. If you have hobbies apart from raising a Senegal parrot, engage in them to help you relieve stress.
Desensitizing Your Bird
Place a chair a few feet from your bird.The best chair will probably be a foldable metal chair or beach chair. The chair can be in any color you like. A small stool might work, too.
- This method is ideal for a new bird coming into your home for the first time, but it works for birds you’ve had for a long while, too.
Gradually move the chair closer to your Senegal parrot.Once or twice daily, move the chair closer to your bird. Move it by only three inches (six centimeters) or less.
Sit in the chair.Once you’ve moved the chair to within two or three feet (about a meter) of the cage, take a seat. Face slightly away from the Senegal parrot when you do so.
Read to your Senegal parrot.Open the door to your Senegal parrot’s cage. Read aloud from a book or magazine in a calm, friendly voice. This will help your stressed or fearful Senegal parrot relax.
- Read aloud for 10 minutes or so, then close your bird’s cage.
- If your Senegal parrot seems tense -- for instance, if it chatters, tweets, or seems otherwise alarmed -- scoot the chair back a ways and continue reading aloud when it relaxes.
Preventing Travel Stress
Create a positive association for your bird with its carrier.Use the carrier as a “treat space” by giving it treats only when it enters the carrier. Over time, this will make your bird think of the carrier as a fun and happy place.
Close the door briefly.While your bird snacks on its treats, close the door. Verbally praise your bird while it’s enclosed in the carrier, using phrases like, “Wow! You’re a great bird!” or “You’re my favorite Senegal parrot!”
- When your Senegal parrot is done with its treat, release it by opening the door again.
Keep the door shut for longer periods.After your Senegal parrot has enjoyed snacks inside the carrier for several days, extend the length of time it spends in the carrier with the door closed. Increase the time it spends gradually and steadily over the coming days.
Cover the carrier cage.If your bird is traveling in a carrier cage, it will likely be exposed to lots of new faces and scenes. To prevent your bird from getting stressed, drape a sheet over the cage as you move it. If your carrier cage came with a cover, use that instead.
- If your Senegal parrot seems to be relaxed, peel the cover back a bit and allow it to see you. The sight of a friendly face might help it relax.
Keep the carrier level.If you swing carrier from side to side, your Senegal parrot will get jostled and will probably grow upset. Minimize your parrot’s stress and fear by keeping the carrier level as you move it.
QuestionIt's been 3 days, and our parrots are so scared. Whenever we go near them they start to panic. What do we do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe process will take longer than 3 days. You need to let them warm up to you and get used to you. Try quietly speaking to them, whistling, or gently offering them food. They will get used to you over time, you just have to be patient.Thanks!
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