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New Grey - Afraid of Humans - Help

Discussion in 'Behavior Byway' started by Novagrey8, 8/29/18.

  1. Novagrey8

    Novagrey8 Moving in

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    Hello, I am new to these forms and am hoping that you all can help me with my recent rescue. I am a African Grey owner and have had a Grey for the past twelve years. Both my current Grey and my previous Grey, who passed away, were purchased as a baby from breeders. Three days ago I rescued a male adult African Grey and I am requesting some guidance on how to deal with his behavior and taming him.
    The household I got him from were first time parrot owners that got him from a pet shop as a birthday present for one of the family members. He is reportedly two years old; but I believe that he is older based on his eyes and the skin around his eyes and nose. They only had him for three months. He was never bathed, had a nail trim or given any type of fresh food except for grapes in this home. He was being feed a seed mix full of sunflower seeds.
    Upon bringing him home I offered him some of the pellets that my Grey eats ( tropimix ) and fed him chop twice a day when feeding my other Grey. He does eat some vegetables and prefered the pellets to the seed he was eating. He left all of the sunflower seeds in his bowl untouched and ate all of the pellets and other seeds. The people I got him from did not want to get rid of the cage that he was in so he is currently in a smaller parrot cage that I already had stored. I would have rather keep him in the cage he knew. He will be getting a bigger cage soon as I can get him one.
    The problem is that he is not hand tame and will not come out of the cage by himself. Only one of the family members in the other household were reported to be able to hold him but I did not see this happen. I was told that he was hand tame before going to meet him but that changed once I was there. The rest of the family seemed to be scared of him. Since the night I got him I have left the cage door open and ignored him while my other Grey was out on her stand in his view and he will not come out. I understand that it will take time for him to trust me but I don’t want him to be cagebound until I can hold him. How do I gain his trust? How do I get him out of the cage?
    He is going to the vets tomorrow for blood tests and a majorly needed nail trim. I am concerned that he may be sick due to his excessive sneezing and thirst. I can not tell his body condition since I can not touch him but he appears to be thinner than I would like. I also want to ensure that he is not contagious in any way before I stop washing my hands after touching anything to do with him. In order to get him in the crate I am going to need to towel him which is bound to make him even more scared of me than he already is. Any advice?
     
  2. expressmailtome

    expressmailtome Ripping up the road Administrator Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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  3. Hankmacaw

    Hankmacaw Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Well, he definitely needs to go to the vet and that will set his becoming more gentle back somewhat, but that is how it is. Hopefully you won't need to give him medications - but if you do it must be done.

    Grey's can be quite sensitive and it may take a long, long time to get your new boy's trust. Especially if he was mistreated in his prior home - sounds like he may have been. You will need to be very PATIENT AND GENTLE with him. Find out what his favorite treat is and give him many of those while talking to him gently.

    I'm no behavior expert but hopefully some of the Grey owner's will come on soon to help you.
    @ncGreyBirdLady

    @Nikomania
     
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  4. sunnysmom

    sunnysmom Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran I Can't Stop Posting!

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    Welcome to the forum. To me it sounds like you are doing everything right. As you said, 3 days isn't very long. I would just keep leaving the cage door open and sitting quietly with him or even reading to him. Can you hand feed him treats? I had a rehomed cockatiel and it took almost 3 weeks before he would leave his cage. Some birds just take longer than others.

    @BirdGuy21 ? @DQTimnehs ?
     
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  5. Chopper

    Chopper Rollerblading along the road Avenue Spotlight Award

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    Give it more time. I have two greys. One came out the day I brought him home.
    Awesome bird. BUT I let him give me the clues. Some days he does not want to come out of this cage.
    The other one...I've had her since Memorial Day weekend 2018 and she still doesn't come out of her cage.
    I talk to her and she knows her name. But I'm not pushing her.
    It takes time. Your grey may never want to come out of the cage. Is that really a big deal?
    If you know that you are doing the best you can let them be happy where they are.
    Good luck at the vet and please keep us posted.
     
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  6. hrafn

    hrafn Rollerblading along the road

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    I have a recent rescue CAG, Kamara, with an unknown past and a severe mistrust and fear of humans. She's been with me for two and a half months, and so far she has decided that it's okay to play with her toys while I'm in the room, and to occasionally talk to me. We have made next to no progress so far regarding her hatred of hands, and frankly I'm not surprised. I'm astounded she's come as far as she has.
    Two months is nothing to a bird.
    Three days is like a second.

    Patience is your most valuable tool when it comes to helping an abused bird regain their confidence, as well as the acceptance that he may never want anything to do with you. Don't focus on "taming" him, but on building a bond of trust and mutual respect with him.

    If he'll tolerate sticks, try teaching him to step up on a T-perch. That way you can transport him as necessary without having to towel him.
    You reeeeally don't want to try to make him come out of his cage. The cage is his safe space, his territory, and he'll come out when he's ready.

    Also, it sounds (though I may be wrong) like your greys are in the same room? Quarantine him! If he is sick, that's a recipe for tragedy.
     
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  7. Novagrey8

    Novagrey8 Moving in

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    Hi, I know that it may take a lot of time to be able to hold him but I really don’t want him to be cagebound. I think of a bird being stuck in a cage as if I were to be stuck in one room of my home for the rest of my life. I would like to stick train him if possible but can’t really find any good information on how to do this. If anyone has experience with this type of training please advise me on how to go about this training.
    Currently if I open his cage door he retreats to the back of his cage for awhile and eventually comes back to the front and will even eat out of his bowl. He will take a treat from my hand if the cage door is closed but he will try to bite me if the treat is small. He does talk back and forth with me if the door is closed also. If I get to close to his cage when the door is closed he will do angry clicking, puff up, bang his beak on the bars and sometimes stand up really tall. However other times he is fine with me coming close and talking to him.
     
  8. Novagrey8

    Novagrey8 Moving in

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    hrafn, my greys are not housed in the same room. My current Grey has a cage on the other side of the house. But the room that my Grey has her playstand in is in view of the new greys cage through the doorway. I have attached a photo of my new boy. He will be getting a bigger cage soon. The stand in the corner of the photo is not my other Greys. I put the stand close to try to lure him out of his cage onto it. He used a stand at his old house. I also want to mention that when we brought him home we let him come out of the crate and he stepped up onto my hand from the floor for a minute before I started walking with him and he flung himself onto the floor again.
     

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  9. finchly

    finchly Biking along the boulevard Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Vendor

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    Just keep that door open and k,eep encouraging him. You are doing the right things. Time and patience are your friends. Birds measure time in months, not days like us.

    Maybe you could let him see you placing a food that he likes on the stand, or somewhere else outside the cage. That might lure him out. But honestly..... more time. :)

    I rescued a very old cockatiel three weeks ago, he is just now starting to get comfortable. He’s come out of the cage twice. And I think CAGs are more sensitive than tiels.
     
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  10. ncGreyBirdLady

    ncGreyBirdLady They call Me crazy like its a bad thing! Administrator Celebirdy of the Month Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Welcome to the Avenue! You have been given good advice.I would just keep the door open,it might take weeks or even months for him to feel comfortable enough to come out.I have 2 rehomes that will now come out and play on top of their cage.Can I touch/handle either of them---NO and I have had them for years now.One will give kisses and let you pet his beak.The other only wants to see how much he can make me bleed:sad7:I have not pushed either of them for more then they are comfortable with.They are happy,not cage bound and I'm happy too.Give him time lots and lots of time.Every grey is different,try not to compare him with your other Grey. Good luck and keep us posted!
     
  11. Novagrey8

    Novagrey8 Moving in

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    Hi all, I took Chewy (my new boy)to the vets yesterday and he did fairly well. The vet guessed that he was around fifteen years old. She said that he visually looks good and his chest and gut both sounded good as well. She took a gram stain and blood for a liver panel and a infectious disease panel. She was able to get his nails to a third of their previous size which I find amazing. She said that she believes that he has been tame before due to how well he did during the whole process and how he knows how to step up from the floor. She believes that he has lost his trust in humans over time. He is skinnier than he should be and could stand to gain about 50 grams. Overall he is a smaller Grey when it comes to his body size. I should know about the gram stain in a couple of days and about the rest of the bloodwork in about a week. She is worried about his liver due to his excessive drinking but also thinks that he may just be excited to have fresh water daily and be relishing in the taste. I guess we will see soon.
    We were able to open up the carrier and let him climb back into his cage from the edge of the bottom section. But we did end up needing to towel him to get him into the carrier to begin with. He is a feather chewer and overgroomer but I have not seen him pull any feathers out. Hopefully we can make him more comfortable soon so he doesn’t feel the need to overgroom himself.
     

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  12. Hankmacaw

    Hankmacaw Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Good news from the vet and some hope that he will learn that he is once again in a good place.

    If he does have liver issues (unless it is something extreme) it is rather easy to take care of with a good diet and supportive medications.
     
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  13. Novagrey8

    Novagrey8 Moving in

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    My standard chop is made up of carrot, red bell pepper ( they seem to like red the best), sweet peppers, butternut squash, acorn squash, spaghetti squash, broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas, turnip, parsnips and radish. They also get collard greens, Swiss chard, mustard greens and turnip greens. In each bowl they also get one grape and half a cherry, minus the seeds and cores and one blueberry. Is there some type of food that is good for the liver that I should add in?
     
  14. Tiel Feathers

    Tiel Feathers Cruising the avenue Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award

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    I’m glad the vet visit went well! I know milk thistle is very good for the liver. I’m sure @Hankmacaw will be back, she has a wealth of information when it comes to parrot health.
     
  15. finchly

    finchly Biking along the boulevard Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Vendor

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    Milk thistle.

    Glad you had a good vet report. Chewy is in good hands now!
     
  16. Hankmacaw

    Hankmacaw Biking along the boulevard Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Actually your diet is great for liver issues - low fat and not horribly high in proteins. Milk Thistle Extract is the go to medication for supporting the liver. It is non-prscription and can be bought on Amazon. This is the extract I have used for years on my Jasper and my vet approved it - Amazon.com: Nature's Answer Alcohol-Free Milk Thistle Extract, 2-Fluid Ounces: Health & Personal Care

    It is almost impossible to overdose and there are no detrimental side effects. I give Jasper .3ml per day and she weighs about 1100 gm, so go from there. It can be put in their water, but you would need to put more in their water.
     
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  17. Novagrey8

    Novagrey8 Moving in

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    I just heard back from the vet and the gram stain came back clear. Now I am just waiting on his liver profile and the infectious disease test.
     
  18. Novagrey8

    Novagrey8 Moving in

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    Thanks for your recommendation Hankmacaw, I will definitely buy some of that milk thistle if it is found that he has liver issues. Is it something that should be given as a supportive item? I add calcium and probiotic powder on Nova and Chewy’s pellets every day. Should I put some milk thistle in their water every day too or would that be unneccessary? Sorry, I didn’t see if Jasper had liver issues or if it was only supportive in your case.
    On another topic I think that Chewy is moving along a lot faster than I previously expected. Late Monday night he asked me to scratch his head and I was able to do so without being bit. He was watching me from the corner of his eye the whole time though. He did the same thing every night until last night when he closed his eyes while I scratched his head. Tonight he let himself out of his cage and climbed onto the stand I had right next to his cage. He was only out for about ten minutes before he got scared and flew off the stand and landed on the floor. I was able to get him to step up from the floor onto my hand and put him back in the cage.
    He seems more willing to interact with me after his cage door has been open for a hour or so. Every time he has asked for scratches he has had the door open for at least a hour prior. If I try to interact with him before this timeframe he gets agitated and acts aggressively. I don’t try to touch him if he doesn’t indicate that he wants to be touched first by offering his head. Twice now he has continuously picked his foot up at me like he wanted to be picked up. However both times I have offered my hand in response he has bit me just hard enough to break the skin and make me bleed. Should I not offer my hand? He is giving me all the signs that my other bird gives when she wants up. I think that he may be cage aggressive. He gets very angry when I change his food and water bowls. They swing out so I’m not putting my hands in the cage but he try’s to attack through the bars. Does anyone have advice for dealing with a cage aggressive bird?
     
  19. Chopper

    Chopper Rollerblading along the road Avenue Spotlight Award

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    He just needs time.
    The grey I got Memorial Day weekend now lets me put food into her bowl without trying to bite me.
    She still bites the cup but she doesn't fight it like she used to.
     
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