African Grey Parrot
African Grey parrots are famous for their amazing talking ability. These birds are able to remember and mimic hundreds of words. I was surprised with one African Grey Parrot we had in store that not only spoke beautifully, but also mimicked local birds from where it grew up in the Blue Mountains; such as Currawongs and Bell Birds – and did so with perfect clarity. Like most parrots they usually don’t start talking untill they reach at least 9 months of age.
African Grey Parrots, like most parrots, because of their high intelligence, need things like behavioural enrichment swings to give them a form of exercise.
African Grey Parrots are a very large birds and require a large cage for many toys, perches, food/water dishes, as well as sufficient space for them to move around and spread they wings. This eliminates boredom while caged.
Toys are very important for entertainment; choose thing that will make them think, things they can chew and destroy and some strong durable toys for longevity.
Don’t be afraid to take them out of the cage and simply spend time with them, as this will result in a much happier bird. African Greys need to have plenty of time daily outside their cage as well. It would be a good idea to look into a specially designated play area that provides them a change of scenery from their cage or a stand that can be moved around the house as the family moves. Any play area must be baby proofed. They will go after your power cords; they will chew your wooden furniture and anything that is within their grasp.
Cages, toys, stands and everything you need for you macaws are available at Birdsville.
African Grey Parrots actually have a specially formulated pellet diet made particularly for their species, which should make up half their diet. 25% of good seed mix and the rest should be a good mix of fresh fruit and vegetables. It is also a great idea in addition to this diet to add vitamins and calcium in powder form to their water. With all of this your African Grey should be in perfect health!
Introducing your new bird to existing birds
Once you take your bird home you should keep it in a separate cage and allow the bird to adjust accordingly. Always allow at least 2 weeks before introducing the bird to an existing bird.
The cage requires regulars cleaning and old food shouldn’t ‘be allowed to accumulate in the cage, on perches or in feeders. Water should be changed daily basics.
Your bird will need to be wormed in a few weeks to two month after being taken home (check with the stafffrom Birdsville, when purchasing). Worming will need to be done every 6 month.
Lice & Mites
These are the two most common parasites of cage birds and their environment, but are easily controlled with a Mite and Lice spray, available at Birdsville. When using spray, spray bird, entire cage, perches, nesting box and toys, remember to remove all water and feed and avoid spraying in birds’ eyes.
This is an important factor of having a well behaved hand raised bird. The bird need
to be handle in a quiet, relaxed situation, but don’t over stress your bird in the first few weeks of taking it home. The more time you spend with your bird, the better your bird will become.
African Grey’s will happily breed in an aviary, two feet wide by three feet deep and six feet high, they surprisingly feel very comfortable and breed well in cages of this size or larger. Like many birds it is best to breed them one pair per cage so as to avoid territorial disputes.
Feeding your breeding birds a healthy diet is essential to the breeding cycle, as they will be feeding their babies the same food. I reccomend lots of fresh fruit and vegtables with a pellet diet, as they will usually fill up on seed which is not advisable. If you decide on hand rearing your baby African Greys it is best to start at about four weeks of age.