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Advice About Getting an African Grey

Lajarox

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Hi everybody, I am currently doing research on adding an African Grey to my family. I am a homebody with a husband and 20yr old son in my household. This will actually be my first parrot. I have heard everything from don't get a Grey as your first bird to it is fine as long as I am committed to the care and research required. My research has become my daily obsession. I was planning on volunteering at a rescue, but am having difficulty doing that at this "Covid" time, as most rescues are limiting new volunteers at this time. So I have found a bird store near my home that has been very helpful as far as me coming in to hang out with their birds. I have been told that I will have more success with a baby as opposed to a rescue and feel that that is the route I would like to go. Any opinions to the affirmative or the negative would be greatly appreciated.
 

Monaco

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I love a rescue!
@scott199 has a recent rescue and first time bird (cag) and I love following their progress. Bert!!! ... Burt?!!! He's lovely.
@Mizzely will tell you about the glory of the older (post puberty) birdies.

A few of us didn't have much in the way of previous bird experience.
 

scott199

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@Monaco @Lajarox
Thanks Monaco

I’m on my phone and will post more when on the laptop But yes complete first time bird owner, by all means have a look through my posts, I’ve asked plenty of questions and some updates, Bert Or any CAG was never really on our radar, we was thinking smaller, but he came to us needing a temp home until he could be fostered out.

COVID made it very difficult to find him a home so he stayed a lot longer than usual which also gave us time to get to him know.

I’ll leave it there for now, have a look at some of my posts, it’s not been all roses and sweetness but it’s been an easy ride compared to some.

just remember a baby doesn’t guarantee a good bird, it does (Almost) guarantee a easy and fun/cuddly first year.
 

Mizzely

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I believe you should get the bird you want, not get another bird to get "experience". Working with a rescue or similar to get bird experience will help a lot more than reading (though that is definitely good also!)

I started with a baby Quaker and I'll never do a baby again. I've had two birds now that I adopted as adults and they were /are my best birds ever. In many ways, I think babies are best with experienced people. Older birds are through the worst of puberty, and are more set in their ways vs a blank canvas - so instead of you having to do all the teaching, they do fair amount of their own teaching ;)
 

jh81

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What @Mizzely says is very true :)

With a rescue, you will most likely get an adult bird who will basicly be “What You See Is What You Get” where as with a baby, this might change in the months to come. Also, you might get a baby that falls totally in love with you, then puberty hits and he decides you are not his friend anymore and he will be friends with your husband.

i never understand why people say “a baby is easier” because its simply not true. It all depends on the time and care you are willing to spend. I had a rescue that was abused too much to handle, but i also had a rescue that was sweet as pie. They both are in my heart forever, as they both had their charm!

Its all about your attitude towards the new bird, young or old has nothing to do with it :)

i do think however, that giving a rescue a golden home, is one of the most rewarding things ever :)
 

Ali

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What @Mizzely says is very true :)

With a rescue, you will most likely get an adult bird who will basicly be “What You See Is What You Get” where as with a baby, this might change in the months to come. Also, you might get a baby that falls totally in love with you, then puberty hits and he decides you are not his friend anymore and he will be friends with your husband.

i never understand why people say “a baby is easier” because its simply not true. It all depends on the time and care you are willing to spend. I had a rescue that was abused too much to handle, but i also had a rescue that was sweet as pie. They both are in my heart forever, as they both had their charm!

Its all about your attitude towards the new bird, young or old has nothing to do with it :)

i do think however, that giving a rescue a golden home, is one of the most rewarding things ever :)
Are you feeling ok? I was expecting the pionus sales person to come out in this thread... :roflmao:
 

Snowghost

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My mom gave me her parakeet, I moved up to love birds and cockatiels. A friend gave me a wild caught adult White Front Amazon and she was my best bud for 25 years and I now have Paco a 20 year old CAG. All of my birds were given to me, bought the cockatiels. I never have had a baby. Even though my big birds were adults with issues, I wouldn't trade them for the world. Not sure if I would be as successful with them without my prior experience with the smaller ones, ie, injuries, illness and daily care and diet. I guess I'll never know. I can honestly say that having prior knowledge with parrots did give me the experience and knowledge on what to do in certain situations, ie broken blood feathers, what tail bobbing meant etc.

I think its an individual choice based on what YOU feel comfortable with. I never grew up saying I wanted to be a beak freak, I do love birds and always found parrots fascinating. I never dreamed I would have an Amazon or a CAG. It is heart breaking when they pass, you worry yourself crazy when they are sick and their behavior will drive you insane. Just look at my posts on Paco's issues.

I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

Keep us posted on what you decide, this is a super wonderful group and lots of support here!
 

Lajarox

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@Monaco @Lajarox
Thanks Monaco

I’m on my phone and will post more when on the laptop But yes complete first time bird owner, by all means have a look through my posts, I’ve asked plenty of questions and some updates, Bert Or any CAG was never really on our radar, we was thinking smaller, but he came to us needing a temp home until he could be fostered out.

COVID made it very difficult to find him a home so he stayed a lot longer than usual which also gave us time to get to him know.

I’ll leave it there for now, have a look at some of my posts, it’s not been all roses and sweetness but it’s been an easy ride compared to some.

just remember a baby doesn’t guarantee a good bird, it does (Almost) guarantee a easy and fun/cuddly first year.
Thank you so much for your reply. I will be sure to look at some of your posts. I believe I am going to go with a CAG. As I said before, I will not get one until 2021 and will take the time until then to research and acquire supplies he will need. So excited!! This just feels right, I am looking forward to the journey.
 

Lajarox

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40
I love a rescue!
@scott199 has a recent rescue and first time bird (cag) and I love following their progress. Bert!!! ... Burt?!!! He's lovely.
@Mizzely will tell you about the glory of the older (post puberty) birdies.

A few of us didn't have much in the way of previous bird experience.
Thanks for your reply, I will definitely explore the rescue route also.
 

Lajarox

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Messages
40
I believe you should get the bird you want, not get another bird to get "experience". Working with a rescue or similar to get bird experience will help a lot more than reading (though that is definitely good also!)

I started with a baby Quaker and I'll never do a baby again. I've had two birds now that I adopted as adults and they were /are my best birds ever. In many ways, I think babies are best with experienced people. Older birds are through the worst of puberty, and are more set in their ways vs a blank canvas - so instead of you having to do all the teaching, they do fair amount of their own teaching ;)
That's an intriguing perspective...will explore... and yes, I have been spending time at my local bird store and they have been great with me...will keep all posted
 

Lajarox

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Messages
40
What @Mizzely says is very true :)

With a rescue, you will most likely get an adult bird who will basicly be “What You See Is What You Get” where as with a baby, this might change in the months to come. Also, you might get a baby that falls totally in love with you, then puberty hits and he decides you are not his friend anymore and he will be friends with your husband.

i never understand why people say “a baby is easier” because its simply not true. It all depends on the time and care you are willing to spend. I had a rescue that was abused too much to handle, but i also had a rescue that was sweet as pie. They both are in my heart forever, as they both had their charm!

Its all about your attitude towards the new bird, young or old has nothing to do with it :)

i do think however, that giving a rescue a golden home, is one of the most rewarding things ever :)
Thanks for your input...I also feel giving a rescue a good home can be rewarding. I was under the impression that rescues were best with experienced bird owners...good to know.
 

Lajarox

Meeting neighbors
Joined
6/24/20
Messages
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My mom gave me her parakeet, I moved up to love birds and cockatiels. A friend gave me a wild caught adult White Front Amazon and she was my best bud for 25 years and I now have Paco a 20 year old CAG. All of my birds were given to me, bought the cockatiels. I never have had a baby. Even though my big birds were adults with issues, I wouldn't trade them for the world. Not sure if I would be as successful with them without my prior experience with the smaller ones, ie, injuries, illness and daily care and diet. I guess I'll never know. I can honestly say that having prior knowledge with parrots did give me the experience and knowledge on what to do in certain situations, ie broken blood feathers, what tail bobbing meant etc.

I think its an individual choice based on what YOU feel comfortable with. I never grew up saying I wanted to be a beak freak, I do love birds and always found parrots fascinating. I never dreamed I would have an Amazon or a CAG. It is heart breaking when they pass, you worry yourself crazy when they are sick and their behavior will drive you insane. Just look at my posts on Paco's issues.

I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

Keep us posted on what you decide, this is a super wonderful group and lots of support here!
Thank you...I will keep you all posted. My initial thought was that prior experience would be best in reference to getting a rescue...not so sure about that now...
 

sunnysmom

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I am a big believer in getting the bird you want from the get go as long as you know what you're getting into and have a support system. I also volunteer at a rescue so am a bit biased but there are SO many really good birds out there in need of good homes. (You're not in Canada are you? Because we have a member here who has to rehome her Grey.) I think often people think "rescue" birds are "problem" birds. And sometimes they do have issues. But often it is more like- the owner died, the kid whose bird it was left for college, a family member has allergies, they got a new dog and now don't want the bird, a bird is actually work- so they don't want him anymore, etc. I have never come across a bird who was rehomed because it was the bird's fault. Always the owner's.... Okay, off my rescue soap box now. :)
 

dollfish

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Here is Astro stretching out a grand wing as we speak.

20200805_201002.jpg

Astro is unfortunately a baby rescue. You get a lot of experience as you go through with everything. A rescue is hard, a baby is harder, especially if not weaned properly so even if you were to get a baby, look for:

-never having been clipped
-abundance weaned, preferably raised by parent birds
-having completed the first 8 months or so in the same place, without being rehomed.
 

scott199

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a bird is actually work-
this is all true, but especially this part, even though i "thought" i new it, in reality its actually a lot more than you think, the routine, routine and more routine.

the endless worry, not always, but going out for the day ? who feeds him, be back for his 7/8pm bedtime or you could have a stroppy little kid on your hands, have a lay in one day, nope not happening, feel sick and want to rest, nope he doesn't understand this, holidays also are difficult.

ive been working for home since March and had to go back to work last monday, its now Thursday 10 days later and he's only just started to talk to me again, the first 3/4 days when i came home he just turned his back on me, wouldn't take a treat, he was properly sulking that id left im, no idea what he be like if i went on holiday for a week or two and he's not even truly bonded to me as he's not really handleable.

So all these little life changes, all very minor but as a whole its quite a consideration, now im lucky holiday wise as i haven't been away in 4/5 years.

All these little things are the bits your don't realise or fully understand, now i am a little neurotic about him so this may not be your experience but its a constant thought, if im out im checking my watch to make sure i can be home for his supper or bedtime ( id dont always make it but still think about it)

Certainly not trying to put you off, just a little bit to think about.
 

Imogena

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I took Edgar when he was 6 month old. No previous experience with birds. Nothing. I was reading a lot and asking questions here before I made final decision to get him. It took me half a year to get ready, but now I don't regret a thing. I put a lot of time and a lot of effort in Edgar and now I'm doing the same with Akira. It is very satisfying to train and teach the bird and see the results.
Not everytning was and is great. As always and as with everything there are ups and downs. But I would never want to go back in time and change my decision both about Edgar and Akira. I would do the same even though sometimes I really have enough.
And most probably you will feel the same from time to time. You will feel exhausted, frustrated, scared (when Akira had her accident I was really nervous - now it is almost ok), tired and so on. But those feelings pass and again you look at your bird and think: I wouldn't want it any other way.
I don't have opinion whether it is better to take a rescue or a baby. In my case there was only one way because in Poland we don't have rescues for birds. Baby was my only option. Whan I know for sure is that training from the very beginnig is very important. Edgar is now two years old (hormonal and so on) and training really helps. This and Akira.
 
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