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Lonely Shop African Grey


Checking out the neighborhood
Hi Avian Avenue Forums,

I’ve used the forum multiple times for questions with my Green Cheek Conure but this is my first time posting a question. The summary is that my husband and I aren’t sure if we should try to acquire an African Grey.

Background: We have an almost 6 year old flighted green cheek conure named Tiki that we have had for the past 5 years. We live in a ~1000 sq ft 2 bed apartment with a corgi (herding dog), the conure, and a reef tank. (In case you can’t tell we love animals.) When shopping for supplies for the reef tank we go to a fish store that has an African Grey in the store. Now the bird is the shop bird and does not appear to be for sale. However, he is in too small of a cage (2ft by 2ft but the curved corner design), the cage isn’t clean, never has fresh fruit or vegetables that we can see, has only a couple of toys, and worst of all the shop is only open 3 days a week. Every time we see this bird our hearts break and we spend the rest of the day worrying about him. According to the people who work on the weekends the owner does spend some time in the store during the week but we don’t know how much time. We have never seen the owner there so we couldn’t ask them. One good thing is that he does not appear to have any signs of feather plucking. We have also interacted with the bird and he is so sweet. Any gripping of our fingers with his beak has been gentle and he has stepped up with us several times, though he does seem pretty timid.

Now we are wondering if we should try to see if we can buy the bird from the owner. However, we don’t want to take him home only to find we also aren’t the right environment for him. We do work during the week and our jobs aren’t ones that we can really work from home. However, we do leave the radio on for Tiki and he would have another bird (Tiki) nearby and the dog for company. We do spend time with our pets in the evening after work though. I’ve been doing research and it says they require very predictable schedules but we also are planning on having a kid in the next couple years (which from what we’ve heard plays havoc with schedules for a bit). We keep agonizing over this and it may be a moot point if the owner isn’t willing to sell but we don’t want to “rescue” this bird only to also put him into not the right living situation. Thus we are asking for advice as to what people recommend. What do people recommend for dealing with this lonely fish store African Grey?

Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.
-Tiki’s person


Try to be a rainbow in somebody else´s cloud ❤️
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Welcome to the Avenue :)

Thankyou for caring about the Grey. Maybe you could start by contacting the owner and ask him about the birds living conditions, would he be willing to clean more frequently and offer veggies daily etc.
You could enquire as to whether he would be open to selling you the bird, however you my find he wants to keep his bird to ¨look nice in the shop¨. It is worth a try though, if you don´t ask you will never know.


Jogging around the block
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Parrots are capable of living in a busy household such as yours.

I had a flighted Amazon, when I first got her, I had a full time job, a toddler, a 15 year old daughter, 2 cockatiels, 2 love birds, and a dog, oh and a large fish tank. It is doable, I enjoy my critters. We relocated to a farm house in the country and acquired 2 cats. Live was never dull.

Paco is my first CAG and he is 19, and a big scardy cat for right now, (8 months together) I really can't offer any advice, other then its your personal decision on how much time you are willing to give to a CAG. I know from experience Paco takes more work and needs more attention, not that I don't mind, he is my only family member right now.

Hopefully other more experienced CAG owners will offer more sound advice.

Keep us posted and let us know what you decide.

I adore Paco, he is full of surprises and we are getting to know each other more and more every day. His diet was quite a challenge and he is not as tame as the bird you discussed. He hasn't had the best of life, but he steps up now without chomping on my arm and is eating better.


Checking out the neighborhood
Hi All,

Thanks for your input. We kept agonizing about what to do but didn't think that right now we were the right home for him given our long work hours and such.

However, GOOD NEWS! Turns out a few weeks ago (right before quarantine craziness hit) someone who already had an african grey adopted him. So he no longer lives in the store (especially great given stores are mostly closed right now) and he has a good home with a buddy. Initial reports were that he was doing great at his new place according to the store employees we talked to.

Thanks for your input. Someday maybe we will add another parrot to our flock but right now our conure is happy being queen of the house.

Hope you all are staying safe.
-Tiki's person