African Grey Parrot(6 Posts)
Hi. Just wanted to share my excitement really. I’m getting an african grey at the end of the month. I have a big birthday coming up so DH asked what I most wanted. I’m really looking forward to getting my little guy home. He’s at the breeders still being hand reared. He’ll come to me at about 11-12 weeks old.
Anybody want to share their experiences of parrot keeping?
Very exciting news! I used to have grey who had had a bad life til we bought her. We left her in her cage to relax and get used to us. I spent a long time sitting beside her and chatting quietly to her. After a day or so, she started making noises back. We took everything at her pace and didn't force anything (unlike yours she wasn't handreared) and eventually she was ok to sit out of her cage, walk about the house (fly too) and sit on my shoulder or head. I had her 25 years then she died of heart failure. They are one of the family. We thought she was male but after about 5 years she laid an egg! Beware they will chew anything so don't leave out unsupervised. Also all parrots will bite you (often hard) from time to time. Learn to read your bird's body language to avoid this happening if poss. They will bite if nervous or territorial. Most don't like you putting your hand in the cage for instance as that is their territory. Parrots are great, have an excellent sense of humour and are very affectionate. Suggest you join birdline uk which is a parrot rescue charity and lots of other members can give you advice. My current parrot (senegal) is fostered from them. Lastly, please don't let anyone smoke in same room/house as your bird. Chocolate, tea, coffee, garlic, onion and loads of other things are toxic to parrots. Non-stick pans when heated,burned will kill parrots in moments, also aerosols used in same room, plug in air fresheners and "stick" or liquid air fresheners,scented candles, nail varnish remover etc. Don't do your ironing in same room (cloth cover and iron can emit toxic fumes). Sorry this is so v long. Please post picture and update. You will never look back. My boy Lupin is sitting on my shoulder as I write this.
@mrsjoyful thank you so much for your post. I’ve read loads online and watched a ton of videos and I’m getting so excited now. I’ve always wanted an African grey ever since I was little. Can you think of any good names? We don’t use aerosols, plug-ins, Teflon, we don’t have plants in the house, I do like a scented candle though but only in the lounge and only for about an hour or so every now and then. We have a two-year-old so I’m very wary of candles. Do you have any other tips to share?
Probably loads more tips - I'll let you know as they occur to me. Re: name - I think you'll just have to decide after your parrot comes home - don't be in a rush - just wait until inspiration strikes. My current bird is named after Lupin Pooter from The Diary of a Nobody. The last one just looked like a Bertie but, as previously stated, later turned out to be female.
Parrots are very sociable creatures and get depressed if alone too long. If you are leaving your parrot alone for a while, leave the radio on for it - mine likes Classic FM but has to listen to Radio 2 if my brother is boarding him when I'm on holiday. Also, they need a good 12 hours' sleep a night so do make sure your bird has a quiet place or you keep the telly/conversation volume down so it can sleep after about 9.00 pm. They often like a bit of quiet during the day so they can have a snooze/siesta. They are at their most ear-splitting on waking in the morning and have their own "dawn chorus". Carry on reading parrot forums as you can learn a lot from parrot owners and they are happy to advise. It is a good idea to get your parrot microchipped at some point as they are very stealable and however vigilant you are, there is always a possibility of your parrot getting out (be very careful about this - also, if it is walking about on the carpet , mind no-one accidentally treads on it or opens/closes a door on it). Source your nearest AVIAN VET - most vets know less than the owners about treating birds but there are specific vets that specialise in parrots (usually costs quite a lot). You can insure your parrot - mine belongs to Birdline (https://birdline.co.uk/) and I am his (lifetime) fosterer and one of their stipulations is that he has to be insured - this is with Exotic Direct but I expect there are some others that insure birds. Have a look at Birdline (they are also on Facebook but I'm not) as it is a very good source of information on caring for birds and advice about vets, bird ailments etc - lots of exchange between people - you can join for a fee (thus helping them rescue and rehome many and various birds) thereby accessing more forums and everyone is very happy to advise you and exchange information, anecdotes, etc about their birds. Be aware that not all parrots learn human speech - Greys are very clever, as we all know, but some just don't take to human speech and will be more drawn to mimic other sounds - bird song, car alarms, burglar alarms, telephone ringtones, etc. My Grey and the current parrot both prefer(red) non-human sounds but both learned Hallo. The Grey would mostly only say hallo if she was under her cover and could hear someone in the same room and wanted to be uncovered - it was very disarming. Lupin will only say it if I or someone he knows with me is in the next room and he wants us to come and see him - no-one can resist his winning Hallo .
My best friend's family had an African Grey when we were growing up and he lived to a ripe old age. He spoke fluent human in various people's voices and you could not tell if it was the parrot or the family member you could hear. I always thought I'd be disappointed if my parrot didn't learn to speak but ultimately I've come to the conclusion that you love them for loads of other aspects and if they learn to mimic a sound or word it is just the icing on the cake.
I expect the breeder will advise you but we didn't find out the correct food to give a parrot for YEARS (when our Grey was poorly and we found an avian vet who advised me). The best food you can give them is (mainly) sprouting or cooked pulses. This is really important food for parrots and many people don't realise and just feed seed. The vet used to import birds many years ago and he said they always had a bucket of sprouting pulses (lentils/peas, etc) for their many birds to be fed when they were ready. I don't bother with that (I tried it at first but life is too busy) and I've never got a parrot to like lentils so with my current bird I cook up frozen peas and frozen sweetcorn each morning and add a handful of defrosted cooked split yellow peas and mung beans when the peas/corn are cooked, for a few minutes - I store them in small bags in the freezer. This food has to be taken away by lunchtime before it starts growing bacteria. I then put in a dish of good quality parrot seed mix (I use something called AS45 - buy online) and add a scoopful of a special mix called Xtravital. Lupin also has a metal kabob/kebab on which I put half a banana and a peeled section of apple (sometimes also some carrot) every day. Green vegetables too are good but Lupin won't eat them, sadly (apart from the peas). Sorry - another great saga but I hope it helps.
Which room will you keep him in? (Sounds like not the lounge from your post). They need to be in whichever room you spend most time in as the6 get very miserable and stressed without human company and stimulation. Bear in mind too that they’re like dogs in the sense that you can’t leave them on their own all day.
That's right. You are not supposed to keep them in the kitchen because of danger of toxic fumes from cooking/cookware, etc. (though mine has been into the kitchen on my shoulder when I have been out there with him briefly and it was safe enough).
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