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African Grey Parrot

 
BOWMAN (OP)

User ID: 17865384
United States
06/13/2012 10:55 PM

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Re: African Grey Parrot
Awww...sorry to hear about the dog...and in that case I'd typically recommend to wait at least a year before you take on another pet...sometimes the loss of one pet makes people make bad pet decisions in the wake of that...

You've got a good head on your shoulders though...you'll do whats right for you.

hf
 Quoting: ArunaLuna


Well to be honest it depends on what day it is with me.. grinning

You, as always, make exceptional points.

Thanks.

hf


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Debauchery

User ID: 15455863
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06/13/2012 10:59 PM

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Re: African Grey Parrot
We had one for years but he had a bit of an attitude problem.

He was anti-social and mean, I think the previous owners probably hurt him.

He was smart though. He would whistle bridge over the river kwai constantly.

We've had a few others, they make good pets, interesting little creatures.
 Quoting: Debauchery


Hey DB!

I think it would help if I started off with a young one as far as establishing a good attitude. Plus although the kitten I have is a bit on the feisty side he is only playful and very curious at this point. I've read that cats can get along with birds if they sorta bond when they are younger.


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 Quoting: BOWMAN


Yes :) We had a couple kittens that grew up around him and they got along reasonably well considering his personality.

They are big birds so they can be intimidating even to cats but of course you never know when a kitty will turn on them. Still, the birds pack a hell of a bite.
And the LORD spake, saying, "First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin, then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it." Amen.
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06/13/2012 11:03 PM

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Re: African Grey Parrot
I had one back in the early 80's...it was wild and didn't say shit, mean to most everyone...I guess he was just misunderstood? Had a green and yellow amazon something or other, too. Actually, the talkingest damn bird I ever had was a Quaker parrot. It had to be an old bird, it just talked too well.
So... the cheapest costing bird turned out to be the brightest and best one I ever had...I was sad when he fell over dead with a heart attack! We were gone like a month and when we returned he got so excited he croaked!
anyways...

Last Edited by SPUD on 06/13/2012 11:07 PM
"Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most"
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SuperManny

User ID: 14599357
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06/13/2012 11:07 PM

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Re: African Grey Parrot
Usually when I take vacations I don't travel too far and if I were than arranging care for the bird while I was away wouldn't be a problem. It's more my normal day to day routine that I'm somewhat concerned with as far as absences go. The radio/TV option sounds like it works for many owners here.
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 Quoting: BOWMAN


Leaving the TV/Radio on may be better than nothing, but it's far from ideal, because they really thrive in interaction. It would be kinda like using the TV as a substitute babysitter for your children.

Because they're so smart they do get bored easily and that can create problems. They also have a destructive streak in them, so give him something to tear up. Mine likes colorful magazines, and he'll rip em into shreds. Very messy but it helps keep him entertained. A phone book lasts a bit longer, but it'll be totally gone in a month or so. He'll carve out a piece of paper shaped like a hook and use it to scratch his back. It's hilarious, but every time I go for the camera he stops.

They're very sociable but they don't like to be touched, so it takes a while to get used to how they think. For instance if he does something wrong and you start yelling at him he'll think it's the greatest thing ever, cause they like loud noises. They like all noises and they'll imitate literally every sound they hear.

I throw an old towel over the back of my recliner for him to sit on and he really loves that. He'll just sit there (balanced on one leg) while I'm on the web or reading or watching tv. I let him out of his cage in the evening and as soon as I sit down he'll come flying over to perch on the back of the chair behind me.
The greatest gift you can give anyone is the example of your own life working. -Orin
IRQ_1

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06/13/2012 11:10 PM
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Re: African Grey Parrot
 Quoting: BOWMAN


hf

I do not imply anything other then a personal vow to talk others out of owning one of them every time I get the chance.

A parrot's bill of rights

Stewart A. Metz, M.D.

1. GET TO KNOW ABOUT PARROTS BEFORE YOU BRING ME HOME - I am not a domesticated pet like a dog or cat. I still have the spirit of the jungle in me. I have special needs which you may find it hard to fill. Please don't learn these too late for my well-being. And please don't acquire one of my cousins wild from the jungle—it will jeopardize his survival and well-being, and that won't be a party for you either!

2. GIVE ME THE LARGEST HOME POSSIBLE - I am used to flying through rainforests or savannas. I have given up this great gift for your pleasure. At the very least, give me enough room to flap my wings and exercise. And, I need toys for my amusement and wood to chew. Otherwise, I might confuse your home with the forest and its trees.

3. GIVE ME A NUTRITIOUS DIET - I need a wide variety of fresh and nutritious foods, even if they take time to prepare. I cannot survive on seeds alone and be healthy. Take time to learn what my needs and preferences are.

4. LET ME HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE - I am a gregarious flock animal, but I am not one of you. I need lots of socialization to learn how to interact with you as well as my siblings. I also need to have adequate quality time with you every day—no matter what your schedule or other needs are. I am a living, feeling creature. Above all, I need to be able to have complete trust in you and count on your predictability in looking after me—every day.


Less then 50%

[link to www.oldworldaviaries.com]
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We are all the result of our past choices meeting the future.
"shall not be infringed."
SuperManny

User ID: 14599357
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06/13/2012 11:13 PM

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Re: African Grey Parrot
Oh and another thing... when they learn their name use it a lot. They'll know you're talking to/about them and they'll per right up. Read somewhere once that you can read to them inserting their name in about every sentence and they really like that. I haven't tried that because I just talk to him, but I do use his name a lot cause I can tell he likes it. :)
The greatest gift you can give anyone is the example of your own life working. -Orin
dirty.d

User ID: 11681984
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06/13/2012 11:24 PM
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Re: African Grey Parrot
I am a slave to 2 conures and 2 indian rignecks. I also help at a rescue and have seen so many people giving up their greys is very sad.
A grey won't be a good choice if you travel heck almost no bird is a good choice if you travel or are gone for periods of 1 day or more. I have know parrots that start plucking cuz they have been alone a few days.

Greys can be very nervous and usually 1 person birds.

Do you own a house? have a stable life?

Parrots are very messy. Mine have their own room in my house yet I have to clean every single day. I spend around $200 a month in high quality food I also cook for them. I have to saw 100's of tiny wood blocks a week to refill their toys. That saves me a lot of money before I invested in a power saw and drill I was spending more $$$$ just buying toys.

Sound like you are doing research so that is good. Like I said I am literally a slave for my 4 small parrots. If I had known I had probably not got them but I love them to death they are the light of my life.

You have to buy the biggest cage possible. I build my own playstands and gyms with pvc tube. that saves a lot too.

I have to work nights only. I go to work usually around 4pm during the day I have to interact/feed/make toys for the birds aka be a slave.

I know you heard this before but don't get the bird expecting it will talk.

-Tons of patience
-Tons of money even if you diy
-Tons of time
-patience patience patience
 Quoting: dirty.d


Well I would only be interested in 1 bird. 4 would be too, too much for me. I know some birds like love birds really need their own companion to flurish but from what I've read of the African Grey's they sound like they can be content with just the owner.

Using PVC is a great idea, I'm always using that stuff so it's readily available. Thanks for the tips dirty.d!


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 Quoting: BOWMAN


Well my birds are small 4 small birds = african grey LOL
Yeah greys do good as an only bird. I am lucky all mine get along so they keep each other company as well and they play/have fun together.

Be careful feeding your bird food from your own plate they will beg and everything but is better to first put some of your food in a separate plate for them only and teach them your plate is yours only. Vet bills can be expensive.


Please buy the biggest cage you can afford. Also different size and material perches. but a bunch of toys and find out what your bird likes, wood to chip ,paper to shred, bells, leather to chew. After you find out what he likes best you can find a way to provide cheaper toys if you diy.


find out about foraging toys. Mine go crazy for them. Like litte cardboard boxes or things you can hide food and make them work for it keeps them busy. Busy bird is a happy bird.

If you can afford nice tree stands that is great I would love to buy some but I settle for pvc.

training is also important they love it.

[link to img535.imageshack.us]

[link to img802.imageshack.us]

[link to img256.imageshack.us]

foraging toys [link to img819.imageshack.us]

[link to img31.imageshack.us]
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 15152757
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06/13/2012 11:33 PM
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Re: African Grey Parrot
You should also check the book " Alex and Me " if you haven't already.

[link to www.amazon.com]

Good luck with your search Bowman !
 Quoting: !saac


!saac, I was actually watching some vids last night about Alex and Einstein. Was sad to read that they both have since passed away. :(

[link to www.youtube.com]




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 Quoting: BOWMAN


Aww, I didn't know Einstein passed too.

You never can tell with birds, I've seen them live for a long time, I've seen them die from a broken heart after losing a mate.

Just out of curiosity, why not try a bird that's less demanding for your first, instead of the most difficult ?

Greys, they are literally like this

beavis
dirty.d

User ID: 11681984
United States
06/13/2012 11:46 PM
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Re: African Grey Parrot

I am a slave to 2 conures and 2 indian rignecks. I also Using PVC is a great idea, I'm always using that stuff so it's readily available. Thanks for the tips dirty.d!


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 Quoting: dirty.d


If your going to use PVC rough it up a little with a grinder to give the talons something to grab into, like natural bark. But don't forget the ever needy beak! They need natural untreated wood to chew on. Much like our nails and hair their talons and beaks never stop growing. Unlike puppies, they NEVER OUTGROW the chewing stage because to a parrot it's not a stage but a survival trait for them.
 Quoting: BOWMAN


I wrap the pvc on vet wrap. It also makes it look nicer; I buy klin dried 8 foot pine lumber from lowes. It is safe and cutting it myself I pay no more than 20 bucks for a full month supply of wood chips for my birds to have fun with.

Last Edited by dirty.d on 06/13/2012 11:49 PM
Anonymous Coward
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06/14/2012 01:51 AM
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Re: African Grey Parrot
best to research it first... greys can be handled and touched...i reccomend finding a bird seller who is hand feeding babies and get one right after weaned or buy it while being weaned...a trustworthy seller.
BOWMAN (OP)

User ID: 11286122
United States
06/14/2012 09:10 AM

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Re: African Grey Parrot
I am a slave to 2 conures and 2 indian rignecks. I also help at a rescue and have seen so many people giving up their greys is very sad.
A grey won't be a good choice if you travel heck almost no bird is a good choice if you travel or are gone for periods of 1 day or more. I have know parrots that start plucking cuz they have been alone a few days.

Greys can be very nervous and usually 1 person birds.

Do you own a house? have a stable life?

Parrots are very messy. Mine have their own room in my house yet I have to clean every single day. I spend around $200 a month in high quality food I also cook for them. I have to saw 100's of tiny wood blocks a week to refill their toys. That saves me a lot of money before I invested in a power saw and drill I was spending more $$$$ just buying toys.

Sound like you are doing research so that is good. Like I said I am literally a slave for my 4 small parrots. If I had known I had probably not got them but I love them to death they are the light of my life.

You have to buy the biggest cage possible. I build my own playstands and gyms with pvc tube. that saves a lot too.

I have to work nights only. I go to work usually around 4pm during the day I have to interact/feed/make toys for the birds aka be a slave.

I know you heard this before but don't get the bird expecting it will talk.

-Tons of patience
-Tons of money even if you diy
-Tons of time
-patience patience patience
 Quoting: dirty.d


Well I would only be interested in 1 bird. 4 would be too, too much for me. I know some birds like love birds really need their own companion to flurish but from what I've read of the African Grey's they sound like they can be content with just the owner.

Using PVC is a great idea, I'm always using that stuff so it's readily available. Thanks for the tips dirty.d!


------
 Quoting: BOWMAN


If your going to use PVC rough it up a little with a grinder to give the talons something to grab into, like natural bark. But don't forget the ever needy beak! They need natural untreated wood to chew on. Much like our nails and hair their talons and beaks never stop growing. Unlike puppies, they NEVER OUTGROW the chewing stage because to a parrot it's not a stage but a survival trait for them.
 Quoting: IRQ_1


Good to know this. I wonder if any type of specific wood is better than the other. Because there's always tons of pallets and crates on the job that are made of untreated wood. I think those are usually made from pine.


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BOWMAN (OP)

User ID: 11306429
United States
06/14/2012 09:25 AM

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Re: African Grey Parrot
We had one for years but he had a bit of an attitude problem.

He was anti-social and mean, I think the previous owners probably hurt him.

He was smart though. He would whistle bridge over the river kwai constantly.

We've had a few others, they make good pets, interesting little creatures.
 Quoting: Debauchery


Hey DB!

I think it would help if I started off with a young one as far as establishing a good attitude. Plus although the kitten I have is a bit on the feisty side he is only playful and very curious at this point. I've read that cats can get along with birds if they sorta bond when they are younger.


------
 Quoting: BOWMAN


Yes :) We had a couple kittens that grew up around him and they got along reasonably well considering his personality.

They are big birds so they can be intimidating even to cats but of course you never know when a kitty will turn on them. Still, the birds pack a hell of a bite.
 Quoting: Debauchery


That's good to hear Db. It's why I wouldn't want to wait too long because kitty is starting to get big, lol. It's a nice kitty overall and he's great with my daughter who tends to play a bit rough with him but he gives her the kid gloves treatment. Not for papa though, he likes to claw his way up my legs so I've been keeping those nails trimmed.

I really don't see much of an issue as any outside the cage time would be supervised. I haven't read of any cats being able to make their way into cages.. 1dunno1


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Anonymous Coward
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06/14/2012 09:37 AM
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Re: African Grey Parrot
Long story short. I used to work for a swimming pool company that serviced multi million dollar homes with large swimming pools. One day I was sent to a service call of a Mr Potato head being stuck in the skimmer line. It was a wooded area,
about an hour into my service call I hear from the woods in a really LOUD voice, FUCK YOU, FUCK YOU, FUCK YOU and then a pause and then a really crazy long laugh. This repeated through out the day. The owner of the home said the voice in the woods was an African Gray parrot the stoner neighbor kids raised and released. It took 8 hrs to dislodge Mr. potato head.
BOWMAN (OP)

User ID: 11306737
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06/14/2012 09:42 AM

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Re: African Grey Parrot
I had one back in the early 80's...it was wild and didn't say shit, mean to most everyone...I guess he was just misunderstood? Had a green and yellow amazon something or other, too. Actually, the talkingest damn bird I ever had was a Quaker parrot. It had to be an old bird, it just talked too well.
So... the cheapest costing bird turned out to be the brightest and best one I ever had...I was sad when he fell over dead with a heart attack! We were gone like a month and when we returned he got so excited he croaked!
anyways...
 Quoting: SPUD


Hey Spud. Yeah, I was looking up other threads onthe topic and saw that you were experienced with these types of birds. When I first looked up talking birds it was the African Grey that was at the top of the list as far as abilities with speech were concerned. It seems to me so far like it's not so much a question of training them as it is just the individuals birds natural ability to pick up sounds and repeat them.

That has to be the saddest bird story I've read though...poor guy. : (


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BOWMAN (OP)

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06/14/2012 09:51 AM

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Re: African Grey Parrot
Usually when I take vacations I don't travel too far and if I were than arranging care for the bird while I was away wouldn't be a problem. It's more my normal day to day routine that I'm somewhat concerned with as far as absences go. The radio/TV option sounds like it works for many owners here.
------
 Quoting: BOWMAN


Leaving the TV/Radio on may be better than nothing, but it's far from ideal, because they really thrive in interaction. It would be kinda like using the TV as a substitute babysitter for your children.

Because they're so smart they do get bored easily and that can create problems. They also have a destructive streak in them, so give him something to tear up. Mine likes colorful magazines, and he'll rip em into shreds. Very messy but it helps keep him entertained. A phone book lasts a bit longer, but it'll be totally gone in a month or so. He'll carve out a piece of paper shaped like a hook and use it to scratch his back. It's hilarious, but every time I go for the camera he stops.

They're very sociable but they don't like to be touched, so it takes a while to get used to how they think. For instance if he does something wrong and you start yelling at him he'll think it's the greatest thing ever, cause they like loud noises. They like all noises and they'll imitate literally every sound they hear.

I throw an old towel over the back of my recliner for him to sit on and he really loves that. He'll just sit there (balanced on one leg) while I'm on the web or reading or watching tv. I let him out of his cage in the evening and as soon as I sit down he'll come flying over to perch on the back of the chair behind me.
 Quoting: SuperManny


Thanks SuperManny. Now I'm wondering if there is maybe some form of artificial intelligence type of toy that may be able to interact with the bird during absences that would be more unpredictable in order to keep the bird occupied. You know, I imagine the radio or TV would be okay once in a while but you would think they would get use to that, maybe bored with it? I do have one of those robot vacuums that is scheduled to run daily while I'm out. I wonder what it would think of that, lol.


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birdVSworm

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06/14/2012 09:56 AM

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Re: African Grey Parrot
Love these birds!

We got one when I was younger. It was a hatch-ling so we had to feed it with a tube thing many times a day. Most the time I would help or be the one doing the feeding. He grew up a happy bird who loved to talk!

I used to run to answer the phone as a teen only to realize it was the bird. The dogs would bark when it made the door bell noise. Also would say 'god damn it' cause my dad said it all the time. It was smart as a whip, you could just see it when he looked at you with his head all sideways, listening to you. He got sprayed with a water bottle to clean and would pick through his food and leave some things he didn't like.

Unfortunately one year he flew into the Christmas tree and got stuck. He screamed and screamed when they all were untangling him. I was away at my aunts for the summer so I wasn't there when this happened.

It took me months to get him to even kind of come out of his cage, lots of sweet talking and treats. I was the only one he even allowed near him, most likely because I had not been around for the tree thing. I think he felt like it was their fault, he was very smart (well kinda) but he associated them with the fear he had felt.

Later he was moved to the basement with me because he started aiming his poo at my dad. Literally shooting it at him. He hated my dad lol.

Eventually they got tired of him and gave him to some lady breeding them in TX. Still talk about him to my husband sometimes, I miss him. We were like the outcast that lived in the basement. Many great memories :)

When I worked at a pet store with one it took MONTHS for him to warm up to me and still got pissy when it was time for him to go back in his cage. Loved those red chili pepper things that are dried out. Only way to get him back in without getting bit! But he was still very interesting to watch.

Anyways they are great pets! Just get it when it's younger, but not a hatch-ling cause that is a pain. Or if you find a nice old one that isn't picking at itself. They live a long time though, so be prepared to leave it in your will!! hf
IRQ_1

User ID: 1157608
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06/14/2012 10:14 AM
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Re: African Grey Parrot
Love these birds!

We got one when I was younger. It was a hatch-ling so we had to feed it with a tube thing many times a day. Most the time I would help or be the one doing the feeding. He grew up a happy bird who loved to talk!

I used to run to answer the phone as a teen only to realize it was the bird. The dogs would bark when it made the door bell noise. Also would say 'god damn it' cause my dad said it all the time. It was smart as a whip, you could just see it when he looked at you with his head all sideways, listening to you. He got sprayed with a water bottle to clean and would pick through his food and leave some things he didn't like.

Unfortunately one year he flew into the Christmas tree and got stuck. He screamed and screamed when they all were untangling him. I was away at my aunts for the summer so I wasn't there when this happened.

It took me months to get him to even kind of come out of his cage, lots of sweet talking and treats. I was the only one he even allowed near him, most likely because I had not been around for the tree thing. I think he felt like it was their fault, he was very smart (well kinda) but he associated them with the fear he had felt.

Later he was moved to the basement with me because he started aiming his poo at my dad. Literally shooting it at him. He hated my dad lol.

Eventually they got tired of him and gave him to some lady breeding them in TX. Still talk about him to my husband sometimes, I miss him. We were like the outcast that lived in the basement. Many great memories :)

When I worked at a pet store with one it took MONTHS for him to warm up to me and still got pissy when it was time for him to go back in his cage. Loved those red chili pepper things that are dried out. Only way to get him back in without getting bit! But he was still very interesting to watch.

Anyways they are great pets! Just get it when it's younger, but not a hatch-ling cause that is a pain. Or if you find a nice old one that isn't picking at itself. They live a long time though, so be prepared to leave it in your will!! hf
 Quoting: birdVSworm


It's a feedback cycle with them. Every time that bird would poop his way he (your dad) would no doubt sing profanities and dance around flapping his wings thus celebrating a new found ritual and since birds are all about dancing and song, well 1+1=2.
Jack of all trades, master of none.
We are all the result of our past choices meeting the future.
"shall not be infringed."
birdVSworm

User ID: 17791686
United States
06/14/2012 10:27 AM

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Re: African Grey Parrot
Love these birds!

We got one when I was younger. It was a hatch-ling so we had to feed it with a tube thing many times a day. Most the time I would help or be the one doing the feeding. He grew up a happy bird who loved to talk!

I used to run to answer the phone as a teen only to realize it was the bird. The dogs would bark when it made the door bell noise. Also would say 'god damn it' cause my dad said it all the time. It was smart as a whip, you could just see it when he looked at you with his head all sideways, listening to you. He got sprayed with a water bottle to clean and would pick through his food and leave some things he didn't like.

Unfortunately one year he flew into the Christmas tree and got stuck. He screamed and screamed when they all were untangling him. I was away at my aunts for the summer so I wasn't there when this happened.

It took me months to get him to even kind of come out of his cage, lots of sweet talking and treats. I was the only one he even allowed near him, most likely because I had not been around for the tree thing. I think he felt like it was their fault, he was very smart (well kinda) but he associated them with the fear he had felt.

Later he was moved to the basement with me because he started aiming his poo at my dad. Literally shooting it at him. He hated my dad lol.

Eventually they got tired of him and gave him to some lady breeding them in TX. Still talk about him to my husband sometimes, I miss him. We were like the outcast that lived in the basement. Many great memories :)

When I worked at a pet store with one it took MONTHS for him to warm up to me and still got pissy when it was time for him to go back in his cage. Loved those red chili pepper things that are dried out. Only way to get him back in without getting bit! But he was still very interesting to watch.

Anyways they are great pets! Just get it when it's younger, but not a hatch-ling cause that is a pain. Or if you find a nice old one that isn't picking at itself. They live a long time though, so be prepared to leave it in your will!! hf
 Quoting: birdVSworm


It's a feedback cycle with them. Every time that bird would poop his way he (your dad) would no doubt sing profanities and dance around flapping his wings thus celebrating a new found ritual and since birds are all about dancing and song, well 1+1=2.
 Quoting: IRQ_1


Exactly! That coupled with the fact that we all laughed about it didn't help. He never liked my dad though, he had bonded with me when he was still being fed.

We had a Scarlet Macaw around the same time that we had got from the pet store because he was just sooooo cool with the guy there. The sales guy would flip him around him arm and they would talk together. We got him home and he hated everyone.. Used to clink his beak over the bars and growl at us. One day my mom was moving the cage and he bit her finger open. Had to get stitches it was so bad.

Also had a Severe Macaw and a Umbrella Cockatoo at the same time as the others. The cockatoo was the only one that was friendly with everyone, he didn't know a stranger. Used to nuzzle into your neck while you scratched him. Didn't ever get him to talk, and he was older. Would whistle songs though, and make a god awful screeching noise, FAR worse than the grey.

African Grey was around the longest though. The other were sold or given away. My mom didn't know what she was getting herself into. Like PP had said birds are a MESS. We had those guard things on their cages, and that didn't do shit to keep anything in. They screamed at each other at night. It was a little nutty, even my mom admits that now. Live and learn I guess..
SuperManny

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06/14/2012 11:33 AM

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Re: African Grey Parrot
Usually when I take vacations I don't travel too far and if I were than arranging care for the bird while I was away wouldn't be a problem. It's more my normal day to day routine that I'm somewhat concerned with as far as absences go. The radio/TV option sounds like it works for many owners here.
------
 Quoting: BOWMAN


Leaving the TV/Radio on may be better than nothing, but it's far from ideal, because they really thrive in interaction. It would be kinda like using the TV as a substitute babysitter for your children.

Because they're so smart they do get bored easily and that can create problems. They also have a destructive streak in them, so give him something to tear up. Mine likes colorful magazines, and he'll rip em into shreds. Very messy but it helps keep him entertained. A phone book lasts a bit longer, but it'll be totally gone in a month or so. He'll carve out a piece of paper shaped like a hook and use it to scratch his back. It's hilarious, but every time I go for the camera he stops.

They're very sociable but they don't like to be touched, so it takes a while to get used to how they think. For instance if he does something wrong and you start yelling at him he'll think it's the greatest thing ever, cause they like loud noises. They like all noises and they'll imitate literally every sound they hear.

I throw an old towel over the back of my recliner for him to sit on and he really loves that. He'll just sit there (balanced on one leg) while I'm on the web or reading or watching tv. I let him out of his cage in the evening and as soon as I sit down he'll come flying over to perch on the back of the chair behind me.
 Quoting: SuperManny


Thanks SuperManny. Now I'm wondering if there is maybe some form of artificial intelligence type of toy that may be able to interact with the bird during absences that would be more unpredictable in order to keep the bird occupied. You know, I imagine the radio or TV would be okay once in a while but you would think they would get use to that, maybe bored with it? I do have one of those robot vacuums that is scheduled to run daily while I'm out. I wonder what it would think of that, lol.


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 Quoting: BOWMAN


Yeah like I said TV/radio is probably better than nothing, but if I was playing anything I'd make a recording of all the sounds/words and phrases that you want him to learn and just put it on a loop and let it play all day. Great way to teach them new phrases.

I've been able to teach mine everything I've tried except for one. He can't say Tennessee. :) I was trying to get him to say "Touchdown Tennessee!" and he learnt 'touchdown' pretty quick. He tried to say it for a while but gave up, so now he just says, "Touchdown Pepper!" No idea where he got 'pepper' from, but I didn't teach it to him.

They really are entertaining! When I clap my hands in a rythm, he immediately starts dancing! So funny!

EDIT: BTW, be prepared to change your ringtone a lot, because once he learns it you won't know if it's the phone or the bird!

Last Edited by SuperManny on 06/14/2012 11:39 AM
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Copernica

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06/14/2012 12:23 PM
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Re: African Grey Parrot
One important thing - do NOT use any teflon cookware if you have a bird, especially parrots. The fumes are toxic and will kill them.
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06/14/2012 12:55 PM

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Re: African Grey Parrot
Do you guys clip there wings?
I don't know that I would do that on the next one.
It's like a plane coming down and they end up getting hurt eventually. I had one bird that flew right out the window(why was it open?) to a tree next door...it was so damn cold out, he decided he would let us take him back home! Got lucky.
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Re: African Grey Parrot
Do you guys clip there wings?
I don't know that I would do that on the next one.
It's like a plane coming down and they end up getting hurt eventually. I had one bird that flew right out the window(why was it open?) to a tree next door...it was so damn cold out, he decided he would let us take him back home! Got lucky.
 Quoting: SPUD


I think I misread the top of the GLP homepage, I thought it said UFO and AVIAN conspiracies.
chuckle

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When wings are clipped what we're really talking about here is clipping the ends of the "Primary Flight Feathers". After the next molting season they've replaced them with new ones but by then the damage is already done. To me clipping at this critical age is akin to putting a chain on a toddler and making them learn to walk in a strange way only with parrots it happens much faster.

In the jungle a bird that can't figure out how to fly is helped by the parents for a little while but after a few hours they will cut their losses for the good of the rest of their family. To all birds being in that scenario early in life is about the worst thing that can happen. Fledgling is their "trial by fire" either you fly or die. Their brains really aren't wired for it. After all nearly all Greys that couldn't figure out flying died off, their parents and predators made sure of that.

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I have two Greys, one was clipped, the other not. The one that wasn't has X10 the level of confidence then the one that was clipped at that critical age (fledgling) and he never hits the ground hard but just "helicopter hovers" to a good spot, usually window blinds :)

So no, I wouldn't. Just be diligent when you let them out of their cage (which all parrots should be out of for a few hours a day) making sure the LARGER cage (your home or room their in) is secure and locked down.
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06/14/2012 08:08 PM
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Re: African Grey Parrot
My sister had one call Benny, he kept pulling out his feathers, and he didnt like fingers or people, except one person. He couldnt flying so he just walked along the floor and he like biting feet and ears. He used to watch me as I walked by waiting for the ideal moment to attack. Oh yes I remember him all right. He died about 6 months ago.
Never believe what you see, never believe what you hear. Both can be fooled.
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Re: African Grey Parrot
Do you guys clip there wings?
I don't know that I would do that on the next one.
It's like a plane coming down and they end up getting hurt eventually. I had one bird that flew right out the window(why was it open?) to a tree next door...it was so damn cold out, he decided he would let us take him back home! Got lucky.
 Quoting: SPUD


I never did on mine. He was pretty good about going back to his cage to poop. Never trained him on it though. This is a great thread.
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06/14/2012 08:19 PM

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Re: African Grey Parrot
....

Last Edited by Carrie-Me on 06/14/2012 09:40 PM
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06/14/2012 08:48 PM

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Re: African Grey Parrot
Best bird you can have imho OP. Very smart birds and if you hand feed it personally while it is a baby you will have a very close and personal relationship. Not that if you don't hand feed him you won't but it def increases the affection you and the animal feel for each other. You have to keep him happy at any cost though. Seen some unhappy grey ones and it is a very heartbreaking sight.

You have to realize that you are about to undertake a massive responsibility though. Depending your age this bird could outlive you. We have one in our family for about 14-15 years now. When i moved out of the parents home to go for studies the bird was in a terrible mood and losing feathers for almost a year. I thought he was going to die. After great effort and hard work me parents managed to make him happy again. He still remembers me and calls me mama though whenever i have the chance to go there and going all crazy when i visit him coz he grew up in me hand. Our relationship doesn't change. It's like you having a 3 year old baby that is never growing up.

They are birds of habit and don't like it much when you change things. They need a consistent diet, lots of toys and a big cage etc. Lots of good books about the greys with good info. If you don't have that much time to train him and be there for him it would probably be a good idea to buy two of them so it can have constant company. Parrots hate to be alone. They can die from loneliness. They tend to be more smart though if they socialize mostly with humans though, but that needs a good amount of time and commitment.

Hoping you get one soon OP. You won't regret it, they are amazing creatures. Best wishes from Greecehf

P.S. Since we are talking about greys i thought i share a vid with an English one suffering from tourettes just for the laughs. lolsign


BOWMAN (OP)

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06/15/2012 05:43 AM

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Re: African Grey Parrot
Just catching up with the thread. Thanks for the laughs and the great insights here guys. Much appreciated. : )

hf


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IRQ_1

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06/15/2012 09:30 AM
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Re: African Grey Parrot
:happy_rescue_bir:

This was his first time outside in the fresh air and sun after 7+ years of living in the back of a store.

When I found him he had stopped preening his feathers and was pretty much waiting for death. I'm just glad he hadn't starting pulling out his feathers due to madness.

DO NOT get one of these birds without an understanding that you will need to make a provision (literally) in your will for their care.

If your willing to give them what they need then get a rescue bird, NOT one from a breeder. I deep down hope all the Grey breeders go out of business. These birds belong in the jungle not cages or homes.
Jack of all trades, master of none.
We are all the result of our past choices meeting the future.
"shall not be infringed."
BOWMAN (OP)

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06/15/2012 12:13 PM

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Re: African Grey Parrot
 Quoting: BOWMAN


hf

I do not imply anything other then a personal vow to talk others out of owning one of them every time I get the chance.

A parrot's bill of rights

Stewart A. Metz, M.D.

1. GET TO KNOW ABOUT PARROTS BEFORE YOU BRING ME HOME - I am not a domesticated pet like a dog or cat. I still have the spirit of the jungle in me. I have special needs which you may find it hard to fill. Please don't learn these too late for my well-being. And please don't acquire one of my cousins wild from the jungle—it will jeopardize his survival and well-being, and that won't be a party for you either!

2. GIVE ME THE LARGEST HOME POSSIBLE - I am used to flying through rainforests or savannas. I have given up this great gift for your pleasure. At the very least, give me enough room to flap my wings and exercise. And, I need toys for my amusement and wood to chew. Otherwise, I might confuse your home with the forest and its trees.

3. GIVE ME A NUTRITIOUS DIET - I need a wide variety of fresh and nutritious foods, even if they take time to prepare. I cannot survive on seeds alone and be healthy. Take time to learn what my needs and preferences are.

4. LET ME HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE - I am a gregarious flock animal, but I am not one of you. I need lots of socialization to learn how to interact with you as well as my siblings. I also need to have adequate quality time with you every day—no matter what your schedule or other needs are. I am a living, feeling creature. Above all, I need to be able to have complete trust in you and count on your predictability in looking after me—every day.


Less then 50%

[link to www.oldworldaviaries.com]
 Quoting: IRQ_1


This was a good way to sum it up...


11. YOUR RIGHTS - You have lots of rights, but I can only assure one. And that is, if you treat me the way I described above, I will reward you with unwavering love, humor, knowledge, beauty, dedication, and a sense of wonder and awe you haven't felt since you were a child. When you took me home, you became my Flock Leader, indeed, my entire universe—for life. I would hang the moon and stars for you if I could. We are one in Heart and Soul.


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BOWMAN (OP)

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06/15/2012 12:40 PM

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Re: African Grey Parrot
I am a slave to 2 conures and 2 indian rignecks. I also help at a rescue and have seen so many people giving up their greys is very sad.
A grey won't be a good choice if you travel heck almost no bird is a good choice if you travel or are gone for periods of 1 day or more. I have know parrots that start plucking cuz they have been alone a few days.

Greys can be very nervous and usually 1 person birds.

Do you own a house? have a stable life?

Parrots are very messy. Mine have their own room in my house yet I have to clean every single day. I spend around $200 a month in high quality food I also cook for them. I have to saw 100's of tiny wood blocks a week to refill their toys. That saves me a lot of money before I invested in a power saw and drill I was spending more $$$$ just buying toys.

Sound like you are doing research so that is good. Like I said I am literally a slave for my 4 small parrots. If I had known I had probably not got them but I love them to death they are the light of my life.

You have to buy the biggest cage possible. I build my own playstands and gyms with pvc tube. that saves a lot too.

I have to work nights only. I go to work usually around 4pm during the day I have to interact/feed/make toys for the birds aka be a slave.

I know you heard this before but don't get the bird expecting it will talk.

-Tons of patience
-Tons of money even if you diy
-Tons of time
-patience patience patience
 Quoting: dirty.d


Well I would only be interested in 1 bird. 4 would be too, too much for me. I know some birds like love birds really need their own companion to flurish but from what I've read of the African Grey's they sound like they can be content with just the owner.

Using PVC is a great idea, I'm always using that stuff so it's readily available. Thanks for the tips dirty.d!


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 Quoting: BOWMAN


Well my birds are small 4 small birds = african grey LOL
Yeah greys do good as an only bird. I am lucky all mine get along so they keep each other company as well and they play/have fun together.

Be careful feeding your bird food from your own plate they will beg and everything but is better to first put some of your food in a separate plate for them only and teach them your plate is yours only. Vet bills can be expensive.


Please buy the biggest cage you can afford. Also different size and material perches. but a bunch of toys and find out what your bird likes, wood to chip ,paper to shred, bells, leather to chew. After you find out what he likes best you can find a way to provide cheaper toys if you diy.


find out about foraging toys. Mine go crazy for them. Like litte cardboard boxes or things you can hide food and make them work for it keeps them busy. Busy bird is a happy bird.

If you can afford nice tree stands that is great I would love to buy some but I settle for pvc.

training is also important they love it.

[link to img535.imageshack.us]

[link to img802.imageshack.us]

[link to img256.imageshack.us]

foraging toys [link to img819.imageshack.us]

[link to img31.imageshack.us]
 Quoting: dirty.d


Thanks for the links man!

Well as far as space there's plenty of it for a bird. So having a larger cage and a perch, and even an outdoor cage is possible. Usually in the evenings I have plenty of downtime, so spending a few hours with the bird out of its cage is possible as well. Plus the place has high ceilings and is very open so flying a bit indoors might be possible as well. There are no ceiling fans or any hazards like that.


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