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Trying to make friends with my husband's African Grey...

Cali

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Hi all,

I've talked about this in other threads, but thought I would give an update in here - where it's more on topic.

I have been trying for years, to make friends with my husband's African Grey [ Her name is Gregols ] .... and she is 28 years old and very bonded to my hubby.

Her old cage, you had to open the front door and half climb inside to change the food bowls and water. So, we finally got a new cage recently, with access to the food / water bowls from outside (swing out doors).

I will take some pictures this weekend - and post.

On Wednesday, she was really cool with me opening the new doors, putting food in and water - she seemed perfectly fine with it. Yesterday and today, not so much!

She pecks at me when I open the food bowl door, and then sometimes she will toss the food out of the bowl onto the floor of the cage after I close it back up. I think she is telling me to get lost. :lol:
Funny thing is, after I leave her alone - she goes back and eats the food. I am trying to broaden her diet, as my husband mostly feeds her seeds. So far, she loves green beans!!

I suspect, I just have to keep trying, always remaining calm and trying not to invade her space any more than necessary --- but any input / advice is welcome!!


20201001_170059.jpg
 

Pixiebeak

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Well I have quakers, which are very known to be cage protective! ;) they would all happily bite me if I put hands in cage !

To remain drama free, I have them all conditioned to come out of cage on a perch while I do cage stuff. They are happy to right back in when asked. Tho mostly I just do while I already have them out.

it could work for you to target her to the other side of the cage , have a tiny treat only dish over there, to put a treat in. Then you do you feed and water bowls. Birds are pretty good at liking routine.....

you definitely never want it to be a fun game to try and get you lol
 

Pixiebeak

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I love her face! To me she looks interested , willing to run you through her human checklist, willing to test you lol, willing to try and intimidate you , but also willing to consider trusting you more
 

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You can definitely work up to having her come out and go back in. Don't limit your thinking to how things have always been . There is a whole world of possibilities ahead for both of you!

Talk with your husband, and see if he will start working on this as her normal routine. Once it well established as her normal. He can link you in , and be your back up.

I was a long time pet sitter to a grey . He was actually wild caught as an adult, back when that horror was still legal. His momma taught him to come out for all cage maintenance and go back in . ( I e since taught other hands off birds to do this)

So my first day with him , she told me tell him good bird when comes out , and ask him to go back and tell him good bird. This was a no touch thing , I open cage tap perch ask to come out. She said if he won't go back tell him bad bird . That was just how she has trained him, you guys will do your own thing.

So all went well with this ( besides some other hilarious pranks he pulled on me! ) untill the 3rd day ...lol ....on the 3rd day while I'm doing his cage he starts climbing down the cage headed to the floor! So I start telling him bad bird! Bad bird! He is yelling back at me good bird good bird!! I'm like no , you are a bad bird! He keeps telling me I'm a good bird! He said good bird all the way to floor! He starts walking around in the floor telling me what a good bird he is! I get in his face , and tell him , you are being bad bird, you are not a good bird ,you are bad a bad bird! He hangs his head, and starts saying bad bird, and start slow slow slow walk to cage saying bad bird. As soon as he starts climbing back up , he says good bird? I'm like yes! Good bird ! So he says good bird all the way up, I'm cheering him on with good bird!! He climbs in and laughed!! Then he told me good breakfast, thank you! He was a hoot ! I have some other funny stories, lol but this is your thread! I bet you have some funny ones too!!
 

Cali

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Oh my goodness !!!!! First of all, you are brave! :laughin: I do not have any funny stories like that!!! I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading that ! Feel free to share ANY / ALL stories .... I'm in learning mode all the way!

I've known Gregols about 7 years now, and I've always been pretty afraid of her. I sit next to her cage, talk to her, sing to her, give her treats thru the bars when she looks friendly.... last Wednesday was the first time I have ever tried to pet her. She used to move as far away from me as she could get, while sitting on hubby. Wednesday was the first time she sat still and let me pet her head.... I was terrified! She has one scary looking beak!!!!

It was a little disappointing then, when on Thursday morning she seemed to dislike me again. But I am not giving up! My hubby is 7 years older than me, and convinced I will inherit his bird. :lol:
 

Pixiebeak

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Oh my goodness !!!!! First of all, you are brave! :laughin: I do not have any funny stories like that!!! I can't tell you how much I enjoyed reading that ! Feel free to share ANY / ALL stories .... I'm in learning mode all the way!

I've known Gregols about 7 years now, and I've always been pretty afraid of her. I sit next to her cage, talk to her, sing to her, give her treats thru the bars when she looks friendly.... last Wednesday was the first time I have ever tried to pet her. She used to move as far away from me as she could get, while sitting on hubby. Wednesday was the first time she sat still and let me pet her head.... I was terrified! She has one scary looking beak!!!!

It was a little disappointing then, when on Thursday morning she seemed to dislike me again. But I am not giving up! My hubby is 7 years older than me, and convinced I will inherit his bird. :lol:
She is a big part of your life , the other woman!
A lot of greys aren't into petting, or only let their person pet. So that really is kinda a big deal!!! Thst wasn't even on my radar for you two. I just want you guys to get her she will step up to your arm for transfer, or step to a hand held perch for transfer. Or for you to be able to let her out to hang out and to go beck in cage when asked . To maybe do fun simple tricks with you .

I can't wait to see your progress! Even if it ever so slow .

I'm sure the keepers of greys will find your thread and offer much more great ideas and tips .
 
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Emma&pico

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I looked after my next door neighbors grey before they rehomed him he didn’t like people anymore he came around to me all it takes is time and patience I got a few bites but I know they were warnings not actual bites

I got him to point where he let me stroke his head then he got rehomed I so wish I was in position to keep Alfie always have a soft spot for greys Because of him

he use to shout put kettle on to my husband when he walked in kitchen or cup of tea please babe apparently he had my voice down to point my husband didn’t know it wasn’t me until he came to find me and I was in bath hubby was in total shock he did say Alfie would laugh when my husband popped his head out of kitchen door

I never heard him say it or talk in my voice so that’s how clever they are
 

Pixiebeak

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All parrots are smart and amazing, but I find greys spooky smart in a whole different level. She is observing you, she thinking!

The best this grey did to torment me....oh man ..
I was much younger, they lived way out in the swamp , no other homes around, practically a big glass house all huge windows, with no covering..so spooky at night, swamp sounds , creaky deck with tides ..

I was uncomfortable as soon as the sun went down. Something I'm sure he observed.
So the first night , I go to bed to read about 8pm. 20 mins later or so , he starts who's there? Who is there? Hello? Who's there? I come running, I turn on all the lights, the lights outside, I check the house . He is looking out st the swamp, I look out in the swamp. I'm sure it was quiet the show! Nothing. So I go back to bed. 30 minutes later he's all who's there ?! Again. So I come out and talk to him, thinking he is just nervous about me being the new person in his home then go back to bed.

The next night. ....
I go to bed at 9.
At midnight he alarm calls! He yells who is there?! Who is there? Hello?!! I'm still in bed. I hear mens voices talking back and forth. Then the parrots voice who is there? Who is there? So I'm terrified! I come out lights off, can see he is looking out at swamp....I creep up to windows look out. Turn on outside lights ....grab phone , remote hand held those days...check house, turn on lights ...I'm scared! I finally got back to bed ...he starts laughing this evil creepy horror movie laugh!!!! Spooky laughing. I get be into sleep, bam ! He screeching and yelling who's there ! He woke himself up all night long to do this too me!!! Then spooky evil laughing!!

I call his momma the next morning! I'm like what is up with ?;?;! You never told me of this prank!!! Of waking up in the middle of night yelling who's there! And many his creepy laughter! She swore he has never done this to anyone, or to them ever!! But yeah he has a really creepy laugh he can use, but they hadn't him use it in a long time , like years!

I tried to stay one more night , but again he pulled that all night long!!!!! I told his momma, I'm not staying over night anymore! I'll take care of him and drive over before work , but I can't stay !
 

Emma&pico

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All parrots are smart and amazing, but I find greys spooky smart in a whole different level. She is observing you, she thinking!

The best this grey did to torment me....oh man ..
I was much younger, they lived way out in the swamp , no other homes around, practically a big glass house all huge windows, with no covering..so spooky at night, swamp sounds , creaky deck with tides ..

I was uncomfortable as soon as the sun went down. Something I'm sure he observed.
So the first night , I go to bed to read about 8pm. 20 mins later or so , he starts who's there? Who is there? Hello? Who's there? I come running, I turn on all the lights, the lights outside, I check the house . He is looking out st the swamp, I look out in the swamp. I'm sure it was quiet the show! Nothing. So I go back to bed. 30 minutes later he's all who's there ?! Again. So I come out and talk to him, thinking he is just nervous about me being the new person in his home then go back to bed.

The next night. ....
I go to bed at 9.
At midnight he alarm calls! He yells who is there?! Who is there? Hello?!! I'm still in bed. I hear mens voices talking back and forth. Then the parrots voice who is there? Who is there? So I'm terrified! I come out lights off, can see he is looking out at swamp....I creep up to windows look out. Turn on outside lights ....grab phone , remote hand held those days...check house, turn on lights ...I'm scared! I finally got back to bed ...he starts laughing this evil creepy horror movie laugh!!!! Spooky laughing. I get be into sleep, bam ! He screeching and yelling who's there ! He woke himself up all night long to do this too me!!! Then spooky evil laughing!!

I call his momma the next morning! I'm like what is up with ?;?;! You never told me of this prank!!! Of waking up in the middle of night yelling who's there! And many his creepy laughter! She swore he has never done this to anyone, or to them ever!! But yeah he has a really creepy laugh he can use, but they hadn't him use it in a long time , like years!

I tried to stay one more night , but again he pulled that all night long!!!!! I told his momma, I'm not staying over night anymore! I'll take care of him and drive over before work , but I can't stay !
You are brave to get up and check haha

so 15years ago our first married army house we move in middle of no where as we live where helicopters make less annoying noise to house around so just fields for miles army camp and patch houses
We moved in and my hubby had to go to Canada for three months I was only 20
I get in bed I hear a sssshhh noise put blanket over my head scared not moving about 5mins later ssshh so I move under covers to other side of bed ssshh again 5mins later at this point I am deadly scared thinking I need to get up and check as my son was in his room
I grab my mobile phone jump up and run while phoning my husband turn light on

you will never guess what it was

I had left iron on and steam was ssshh out at side on my bed on ironing board
:rofl:

there’s is no chance in hell I would get up and look out at a swamp I would have sat blanket over me in bed rocking haha so good on you for being brave
 

Cali

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I looked after my next door neighbors grey before they rehomed him he didn’t like people anymore he came around to me all it takes is time and patience I got a few bites but I know they were warnings not actual bites

I got him to point where he let me stroke his head then he got rehomed I so wish I was in position to keep Alfie always have a soft spot for greys Because of him

he use to shout put kettle on to my husband when he walked in kitchen or cup of tea please babe apparently he had my voice down to point my husband didn’t know it wasn’t me until he came to find me and I was in bath hubby was in total shock he did say Alfie would laugh when my husband popped his head out of kitchen door

I never heard him say it or talk in my voice so that’s how clever they are

:lol: That is funny!!! Gregols says hello like a human.... you really can't tell the difference. During Covid, when I was working from home, she would say hello in the other room and I thought someone was at the front door!

Another funny story - but a little embarrassing.... what the heck ... It wasn't long after hubby and I got married, hubby was always up first - and when I got up, I would go out into the living room and say good morning, lean in and give him a kiss. One morning when I leaned in and gave him a kiss, I passed a little wind. :blush2: We both laughed it off, and as usual, I left to take a shower.

The next morning, I went in and gave hubby a kiss ... and after I left, Gregols said "Give me a kiss, thbpttttttt " ... of course, when my husband relayed this to me later, I did not believe him - until one morning, I paused just around the corner and heard Gregols myself !!!!

We have a new routine now, so she doesn't say it anymore - but it was hilarious! Sometimes when hubby tries to get her to say what he wants, she still gives back the raspberry sound thbptttttt ! :laughing6:
 

Cali

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All parrots are smart and amazing, but I find greys spooky smart in a whole different level. She is observing you, she thinking!

The best this grey did to torment me....oh man ..
I was much younger, they lived way out in the swamp , no other homes around, practically a big glass house all huge windows, with no covering..so spooky at night, swamp sounds , creaky deck with tides ..

I was uncomfortable as soon as the sun went down. Something I'm sure he observed.
So the first night , I go to bed to read about 8pm. 20 mins later or so , he starts who's there? Who is there? Hello? Who's there? I come running, I turn on all the lights, the lights outside, I check the house . He is looking out st the swamp, I look out in the swamp. I'm sure it was quiet the show! Nothing. So I go back to bed. 30 minutes later he's all who's there ?! Again. So I come out and talk to him, thinking he is just nervous about me being the new person in his home then go back to bed.

The next night. ....
I go to bed at 9.
At midnight he alarm calls! He yells who is there?! Who is there? Hello?!! I'm still in bed. I hear mens voices talking back and forth. Then the parrots voice who is there? Who is there? So I'm terrified! I come out lights off, can see he is looking out at swamp....I creep up to windows look out. Turn on outside lights ....grab phone , remote hand held those days...check house, turn on lights ...I'm scared! I finally got back to bed ...he starts laughing this evil creepy horror movie laugh!!!! Spooky laughing. I get be into sleep, bam ! He screeching and yelling who's there ! He woke himself up all night long to do this too me!!! Then spooky evil laughing!!

I call his momma the next morning! I'm like what is up with ?;?;! You never told me of this prank!!! Of waking up in the middle of night yelling who's there! And many his creepy laughter! She swore he has never done this to anyone, or to them ever!! But yeah he has a really creepy laugh he can use, but they hadn't him use it in a long time , like years!

I tried to stay one more night , but again he pulled that all night long!!!!! I told his momma, I'm not staying over night anymore! I'll take care of him and drive over before work , but I can't stay !

Oh my goodness !!!! Yes, I get the feeling AG's have a wicked sense of humor!

Gregols has a witch laugh she likes to throw out now and then... it's something else!
 

Pixiebeak

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:lol: That is funny!!! Gregols says hello like a human.... you really can't tell the difference. During Covid, when I was working from home, she would say hello in the other room and I thought someone was at the front door!

Another funny story - but a little embarrassing.... what the heck ... It wasn't long after hubby and I got married, hubby was always up first - and when I got up, I would go out into the living room and say good morning, lean in and give him a kiss. One morning when I leaned in and gave him a kiss, I passed a little wind. :blush2: We both laughed it off, and as usual, I left to take a shower.

The next morning, I went in and gave hubby a kiss ... and after I left, Gregols said "Give me a kiss, thbpttttttt " ... of course, when my husband relayed this to me later, I did not believe him - until one morning, I paused just around the corner and heard Gregols myself !!!!

We have a new routine now, so she doesn't say it anymore - but it was hilarious! Sometimes when hubby tries to get her to say what he wants, she still gives back the raspberry sound thbptttttt ! :laughing6:
I knew you had some stories! :pinklol2: :laugh:
 

Shezbug

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If you give her a treat again and she drops it, I would ask hubby to leave it be and let you pick it up and then you can put it in a treat cup and walk off so the yummy treat has still come from you. If she chucks it away again pick it up later and give it to her but I would request hubby to not treat her while you are there and you can do it- you want her to associate as many good things as she can with you- if she throws it and hubby returns it then it is him she is associating the good stuff with.
 

Cali

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If you give her a treat again and she drops it, I would ask hubby to leave it be and let you pick it up and then you can put it in a treat cup and walk off so the yummy treat has still come from you. If she chucks it away again pick it up later and give it to her but I would request hubby to not treat her while you are there and you can do it- you want her to associate as many good things as she can with you- if she throws it and hubby returns it then it is him she is associating the good stuff with.
Ok, Thank you. Makes sense:)
 

Pixiebeak

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View attachment 437455


She is still mad at me, for reasons unknown. I gave her a treat and she dropped it, hubby gave her a treat and she ate it. LOL.

I won't give up!
This is a hoot!!
To me, based on this same rejection, not taking it taking and tossing of a treat they would eat , it's about trust. You haven't gotten her full trust yet.
But then again, her favorite men was there , so she doesn't want to look like she's cheating ..
If she takes them from you when he isn't in sight?
Otherwise woo her,
 

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Secret met my Florida sister-in-law, an animal lover this past week.

Secret refused to take a carrot from me when I offered it. SHE took the carrot from me, offered it and Secret tried to take it....THREE times before I finally told her "you have to let go of it so Secret can eat it"

Traitor.

I need to tell Secret she lives with cats.
 

Cali

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This is a hoot!!
To me, based on this same rejection, not taking it taking and tossing of a treat they would eat , it's about trust. You haven't gotten her full trust yet.
But then again, her favorite men was there , so she doesn't want to look like she's cheating ..
If she takes them from you when he isn't in sight?
Otherwise woo her,
She seems to be extra mad at me because I am feeding her now instead of my husband. That was the reason for a cage with swing out food bowls.

Well, they don't slide out very well and this morning she got me good. I tried not to react but she bit me hard and I am a wimp.

She then stands on the food bowl so I can't open the door. lol

IMG_20231118_095709150~2.jpg
 

Shezbug

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Bummer! When my boy is being a turd and guarding the food bowls I put something on the roof of the cage which I know he will either want to chew or toss off the cage then I walk away a bit and do something without paying attention to him, when I hear him move for the thing on the roof I calmly but quickly slip the bowl in.

Target training is also helpful for many in this situation- they will target the bird to a perch away from bowls and treat then slip the bowls in while the bird is busy eating the treat. This method no longer works for me if my bird is really keen to let me know he's angry so I usually put a chunk of pumpkin or another veggie or box on the cage top lol

Hope your bite heals fast and does not cause you too much discomfort.
 
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