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Advice About Getting an African Grey

Monaco

Rollerblading along the road
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Hey, I went to your profile and didn't see any of your posts...what am I doing wrong?
Click on the name, and a box will pop up, then click the name within the box. Once that page opens, along the bottom you can choose postings, and there you will find a list.
 

JLcribber

@cockatoojohn
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. 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.
Whoever told you that is clueless. Babies grow up and quite often change. Not for the better.
 

Ira

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My grey passed at 10 from egg binding. Broke my heart. Got her as a baby when she was just weaned, and I went to the breeder every day for two weeks to hand feed her before she came home.
She was a 1-person bird...me...but tolerated others.
My recently acquired Amazon is great too. Got her (or him, don’t know yet) at 15 months.
I never stuck to strict schedules with either of them, and they both do well like this.
 

Snowghost

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Paco is 21 he is my second rescue. I would envy people here with their stories of a baby bird. I have documented our trials, set backs and triumphs here and I wouldn't trade it for the world. I had a wild caught White Front Amazon, she was given to me as a friend. She was neglected and terrified of everything. I was busy with life raising my daughter and worked with her when I could. She never let me touch her but we had our own language, she loved to fly and she would fly to my shoulder for a peanut. I accepted her limitations, I didn't expect more and we were buddies for 25 years.

Now Paco is a whole new ball game, his intelligence freaks me out sometimes. We have a great bond and I am looking forward to a long life together.

As for schedules he seems to adapt pretty well, a little plucking we have going on right now but I think he will get over that. I keep the same routine, morning and even if the time is off. He didn't like the strawberry I offered him and he bit me. I think it was an accident. We have only been together a little more then a year and a half, so I'm pleased how far we have come.

A baby vs a rescue is a personal choice. Paco came into my life 2 weeks after I lost Bugsy my Amazon. He was neglected and I was heart broken, we needed each other and the timing was perfect.
 

Lajarox

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I understand how you feel. One of the best things I did was find a pet sitter. I don't know how easy that is or not in the UK. It took me quite awhile to find one here that I was comfortable with but it made life easier. And my bird loved her. I would even have her just come over in the afternoon for an hour or so once or twice a week while I was at work. I had her spend a lot of time with him before I actually went away. And she would send me pictures of my bird when she was there so I knew he was okay. And the nice thing about actually hiring someone was I felt like I could tell her what to do without feeling guilty. With a friend I would be like, well, he goes to bed around 7:30, so if you could be there by 6:30, that would be great. With an actual sitter- i would just say be there by 6:30. Something to think about maybe for you. It's a lot of pressure when you're the only one taking care of a parrot.
I feel like that type of responsibility has been my life since 2000 when I had my son. He's grown now, but I can still handle and still would like to handle a nurturing schedule.
 

Lajarox

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My grey passed at 10 from egg binding. Broke my heart. Got her as a baby when she was just weaned, and I went to the breeder every day for two weeks to hand feed her before she came home.
She was a 1-person bird...me...but tolerated others.
My recently acquired Amazon is great too. Got her (or him, don’t know yet) at 15 months.
I never stuck to strict schedules with either of them, and they both do well like this.
I am so sorry for your loss...I am glad you are happy with your Amazon. I like Amazons but they scare me, I feel like they require an experienced companion. As far as schedules are concerned, from what I've been hearing, it seems birds can be flexible depending on how they are raised.
 

Lajarox

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Edgar is aggresive during his hormonal phase but not as much as he could (I've read some stories that the owner couldn't even move without being attacked). Edgar bites, sometimes the bite is out of nowhere sometimes Edgar gives a warning. I read his body language carefully and try to avoid being bitten. For example when I want him to step up I put my hand much further than before so I have time to escape the bite. Then I wait for Edgar to lift his leg. When he does, I know it is safe to give him my hand to step up. Generally I'm now very carefull around him. There is no shoulder for him beause he might bite my ear. From the very beginning I was teaching him that my face is off limits so now he doesn't touch or attack my face (except of ears when on my shoulder - hence no shoulder time).
Sometimes Edgar flies to me to bite so I have now quite good reflex to dodge him.
I train with him. We do all the tricks he knows (those useful and those we do only for fun), and the training session redirects his energy. The thing is now he is much less focused so the session lasts much shorter.
Edgar is not so very bad during his hormonal phase. He is more excited now because he nas Akira (who is to young to be his mate). During previous hormones he was a little calmer, but also very excited, nervous and sometimes aggresive.
...very interesting. Would you say that his hormonal phases come around during a particular season like clockwork and/or is it triggered by something. The flying to you to nab you is wild...I see how you become adept to dodging...lol...yeah that's reallly freaky! I do plan on having a flighted bird, maybe even free flight train, been doing some research on that too. These birds go through so many personality changes throughout the course of their lives, seems never to be a dull moment. So the 2 of them get along, does he treat her as a little sibling? Like, teach her??
 

Lajarox

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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.
What made you get Akira? Do you think Edgar is better for having her around and how is the relationship dynamic between the 3 of u?
 

mochiballs

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Ben was 55 when we brought him into our home and every minute with him was an absolute joy. I don't have much experience with greys but he brought so much joy and happiness into our lives I would definitely recommend adopting a grey. I don't think there is such thing as a beginner bird, a lot of people go from a smaller 'easier' bird to a larger bird and end up ignoring the smaller one because it wasn't what they wanted. I don't have any advice about whether to get a baby or adopt so pick what you think would be best for you. It's possible to have a bond with a bird of any age of life :)
 

Lajarox

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Ben was 55 when we brought him into our home and every minute with him was an absolute joy. I don't have much experience with greys but he brought so much joy and happiness into our lives I would definitely recommend adopting a grey. I don't think there is such thing as a beginner bird, a lot of people go from a smaller 'easier' bird to a larger bird and end up ignoring the smaller one because it wasn't what they wanted. I don't have any advice about whether to get a baby or adopt so pick what you think would be best for you. It's possible to have a bond with a bird of any age of life :)
Wow, 55!! How old is he now? I totally agree about the beginner bird thing, scratched that idea a while ago. I can say that the more I dig into all of this, adoption is definitely on the table. So many birds out there needing homes, I finally am understanding the "what you see is what you get" thing. I do worry about a baby switching alliances 3 or 4 years down the line...we will see what happens. Thanks for the post!
 

Imogena

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...very interesting. Would you say that his hormonal phases come around during a particular season like clockwork and/or is it triggered by something. The flying to you to nab you is wild...I see how you become adept to dodging...lol...yeah that's reallly freaky! I do plan on having a flighted bird, maybe even free flight train, been doing some research on that too. These birds go through so many personality changes throughout the course of their lives, seems never to be a dull moment. So the 2 of them get along, does he treat her as a little sibling? Like, teach her??
Edgar's hormones appear during summer months. It is one a year for about two months. I found out that making days shorter {by putting him to sleep earlier and covering windows} helps a little with calming him down.
He treats Akira like mate which is the reason they argue. Akira is way too young to be his mate. But she manages him quite well. She knows what to do to let him know that he crossed the line.
They like each other and go along quite well except ocasional arguments. They play and preen each other.
As for teaching so far she tought him to eat veggies.
 

Imogena

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What made you get Akira? Do you think Edgar is better for having her around and how is the relationship dynamic between the 3 of u?
He is deffinitely better. He liked her from the start.
I got Akira because I felt really bad when I was coming home later and Edgar was alone all this time. Now he has someone to talk to.
The dynamics in the flock has changed. Edgar preferes Akira in some ways {like now I'm not allowed to scritch his head. He likes Akira to do it}. He also spends more time with her then with me. I mean I'm still in the room with them but Edgar is interacting with her more. But he was depending on me strongly. Wanted always be with me. Now I can do more when he is around. But he still likes our training session. Sometimes they train with me together. Now his hormones are almost over so he is back to his normal polite self. He loves to sit on my hand and listen to me praizing him. He listens with such intense attention when I go on with how good he is how beautiful and smart. It can go on for several minutes.
And it is a joy to watch how they like each other. First thing they do after I let them out is touch each other with their beaks. They are not feeding each other but the movement is the same.
Then they fly like crazy around the room and the aviary. Before Akira Edgar prefered to sit mostly in one place. Now he moves much more. He also rediscovered toys because Akira likes them very much.
But I'm still important in the flock. When they are in their cages and I'm in the room they keep quiet. But when I leave the room they call after me. They also call when they hear me coming back home. And they prefer when I'm in the aviary with them even though the aviary is attached to the room and I'm in the room. They have constant access to the aviary now when it is warm weather but usually if I want them to go to the aviary I have to go there myself and they wil follow.
 

mochiballs

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Wow, 55!! How old is he now? I totally agree about the beginner bird thing, scratched that idea a while ago. I can say that the more I dig into all of this, adoption is definitely on the table. So many birds out there needing homes, I finally am understanding the "what you see is what you get" thing. I do worry about a baby switching alliances 3 or 4 years down the line...we will see what happens. Thanks for the post!
Unfortunately Ben passed away a year ago a couple of days before his 61st 'birthday.' I definitely understand that about switching alliances. It would be quite upsetting if the baby you raised suddenly decided they were going to attack you. Whatever choice you decide will be the one meant to be though.
I love every letter of this sentence!!! :swoon: :swoon: :swoon: :swoon:

55!? Are you absolutely positively sure?

:faint:
Not 100% certain but he was around that age. It was wonderful to get to talk to all these people that had met Ben throughout the years and hear there stories of how he bit them lol.
It was surprising just how many people up and down the island knew him.
 

Ulis_Beast

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Unfortunately Ben passed away a year ago a couple of days before his 61st 'birthday.' I definitely understand that about switching alliances. It would be quite upsetting if the baby you raised suddenly decided they were going to attack you. Whatever choice you decide will be the one meant to be though.

Not 100% certain but he was around that age. It was wonderful to get to talk to all these people that had met Ben throughout the years and hear there stories of how he bit them lol.
It was surprising just how many people up and down the island knew him.
Days short of 61 is simply amazing. :jawdrop1:
Fly free Ben!
 

Lajarox

Meeting neighbors
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He is deffinitely better. He liked her from the start.
I got Akira because I felt really bad when I was coming home later and Edgar was alone all this time. Now he has someone to talk to.
The dynamics in the flock has changed. Edgar preferes Akira in some ways {like now I'm not allowed to scritch his head. He likes Akira to do it}. He also spends more time with her then with me. I mean I'm still in the room with them but Edgar is interacting with her more. But he was depending on me strongly. Wanted always be with me. Now I can do more when he is around. But he still likes our training session. Sometimes they train with me together. Now his hormones are almost over so he is back to his normal polite self. He loves to sit on my hand and listen to me praizing him. He listens with such intense attention when I go on with how good he is how beautiful and smart. It can go on for several minutes.
And it is a joy to watch how they like each other. First thing they do after I let them out is touch each other with their beaks. They are not feeding each other but the movement is the same.
Then they fly like crazy around the room and the aviary. Before Akira Edgar prefered to sit mostly in one place. Now he moves much more. He also rediscovered toys because Akira likes them very much.
But I'm still important in the flock. When they are in their cages and I'm in the room they keep quiet. But when I leave the room they call after me. They also call when they hear me coming back home. And they prefer when I'm in the aviary with them even though the aviary is attached to the room and I'm in the room. They have constant access to the aviary now when it is warm weather but usually if I want them to go to the aviary I have to go there myself and they wil follow.
That sounds like an awesome situation over there!! The thought of eventually adding another Grey, somewhere down the line, has definitely crossed my mind. Especially after reading how social they are in the wild...it just seems as more than one can contribute positively to their overall quality of life with us people. Thanks for sharing. When u can will u post a pic?
 

Ira

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Ira R.
Greys in the wild are prey, and they feed on the GROUND in flocks, even ingesting certain mineral rich soil.

There’s safety in numbers, so an individual bird blends in and feels safer from attack.

This is why when training my Tonto, I always wore a grey t-shirt.
 

Meerkat07

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115
I don't believe in getting a "Starter bird" or anything like that but I do think that the jump from nothing to African Grey seems a bit quick I would've said working at a shelter but obviously not. However I do think some shelters are still allowing people to foster birds, although i'm not too sure so someone correct me if i'm wrong there but thats a great way to get experience with birds.
 
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