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

Pixiebeak

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Sorry...
Did you try the targeting? ..
Some birds don't like change in routine. My GCC is like that , she can get mad at me , she runs a tight ship , no changes unless approved by management!!
 

Clueless

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With Secret, we offer an almond sliver on the other side of the cage so someone can slip in the bowl.

Wait till you see an annoyed amazon. I'll take that look from your buddy any day. Secret is a miniature eagle!
 

Cali

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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.
Thank you so much. My finger will be fine, tho I am inclined to wear gloves now... I have some small beige ones. Maybe she won't notice lol

Target training is very much my goal. There is a tray on top of the cage, but I will try to stick something in the bars on the other side of the cage. It would certainly help if the bowls were not so difficult to pull out.

I am in awe of you for having such a large bird. They are absolutely beautiful but can be scary too.

My little budgie is warming up to me. He seems to wag his tail when I sit down and talk to him. He is much less scary. :yes3: :heart:
 

Cali

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@Pixiebeak I am going to try target training. I slipped and fell down the stairs on Saturday so I am a bit of a mess right now, twisted my ankle pretty bad. I am such a clutz!

@Clueless You are very brave!! I can only imagine!!
 

Xoetix

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When I had the quakers, one in particular was unpleasant (to say the absolute least). Burt was extremely cage defensive, I couldn't get near it without a blood sacrifice. I got a pack of wooden chopsticks, sterilized them, and used those as "bait" for anytime I had to do food, water, or paper changes. I'd stick them at an angle in the corner of the cage, he'd run over and maul it, I'd get what I needed done, make sure he saw me leave a treat, and that was that.

Before he went back to his owner, he'd juuuuuuust started making some progress. I'd succeeded in getting him to step onto a T perch a couple of times without having to bleed for it first.
 

Cali

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When I had the quakers, one in particular was unpleasant (to say the absolute least). Burt was extremely cage defensive, I couldn't get near it without a blood sacrifice. I got a pack of wooden chopsticks, sterilized them, and used those as "bait" for anytime I had to do food, water, or paper changes. I'd stick them at an angle in the corner of the cage, he'd run over and maul it, I'd get what I needed done, make sure he saw me leave a treat, and that was that.

Before he went back to his owner, he'd juuuuuuust started making some progress. I'd succeeded in getting him to step onto a T perch a couple of times without having to bleed for it first.

Bless your heart :heart:
 

Cali

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So, I gave her a treat on the opposite side of her cage and then hurried over and switched out one of her food bowls to give her some green beans, which she loves. She didn't run over and try to bite me and even accepted a second treat. :loveshower:

IMG_20231118_095714829~2.jpg
 

Emma&pico

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@Pixiebeak I am going to try target training. I slipped and fell down the stairs on Saturday so I am a bit of a mess right now, twisted my ankle pretty bad. I am such a clutz!

@Clueless You are very brave!! I can only imagine!!
Oh no I hope your ok
 

Emma&pico

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So, I gave her a treat on the opposite side of her cage and then hurried over and switched out one of her food bowls to give her some green beans, which she loves. She didn't run over and try to bite me and even accepted a second treat. :loveshower:

View attachment 437653
They are definitely such gorgeous birds
 

Pixiebeak

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I absolutely love the expressions Gregois has in your different pictures! The after being naughty you could tell not pleased. But in all your others I see a parrot that is interested in engaging with you!

I know I'm just looking at pictures, but she comes across as being curious and a pleasant base personality. Not coming across as an angry, cunning out for blood parrot.

She is going to make you work for it , lol, but I see a girl who is open !
 

Emma&pico

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I absolutely love the expressions Gregois has in your different pictures! The after being naughty you could tell not pleased. But in all your others I see a parrot that is interested in engaging with you!

I know I'm just looking at pictures, but she comes across as being curious and a pleasant base personality. Not coming across as an angry, cunning out for blood parrot.

She is going to make you work for it , lol, but I see a girl who is open !
I agree see a curious face
 

Shannan

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My African Gray had a wicked sense of humor as well. And I found that he loved games! He created many "fun" games. He loved to throw is food out of his food bowl and we used to play "chase". He was nearly blind and had arthritis in his old age but I would open the door to move him to the different levels of his cage or take him out and he would "run" to get to the side of the cage. If I stopped, he would turn around and look at me like, hey why did you stop playing the game. He would also sometimes change the games. (A bored gray is not a good thing.....:laughing7:) She is definitely making a game of it but persevere. When you win her over it will be an amazing experience. Green beans were one of his favorites as well. She is simply lovely. Good luck with your relationship. They are highly entertaining and you will have many stories to tell.
 

Cali

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Thank you :heart:

I agree, I think she is interested, especially when hubby isn't home. She initiates interaction by talking to me and seems to enjoy when I mimic what she says.

I took the advice about giving her a stick to chew on while I am taking out /putting in her feeding bowls as well as a treat and it's going much better!!! :loveshower:

Really appreciate the input and advice!!!
 

IQ's Human

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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

View attachment 437617
I have been reading these posts with great interest. I spent almost 40 years with a wild caught Congo Grey. When I brought him home the general consensus was that he'd be nothing but a growling, biting, screaming ornament. Time, patience, love and learning that Grey's can be very slow to accept people to "their" flock was key to our success.
It sounds very much like she is in fact interested in allowing you into that flock, but she is also going to run you through the wringer before that happens.
I know we're not "supposed to" attribute human thought/emotion to our birds (but seriously, how can we not) but in so many ways my beloved Grey was very much like a toddler. He tested me at every turn, pushed the envelope daily to see what my reaction would be. When he consistently didn't get the fireworks he was hoping for the behavior would disappear, and a level of trust began to fill in the gap.
I'm happy to see that you did your best not to react to the bite, that's not easy, but you also told her that she can't intimidate you, this is important for the two of you to get to a place of mutual trust.
I very much agree about the refusal of treats, it should be you who continues to offer it back to her, this is definitely one of those grey tests...if I act like I don't want it, what will she do? Greys are always sizing things up. They're sort of a combination between a feathered genius, and Inspector Gadget. Like they're always trying to figure out the answer to an algebra equation.
Learning her body language, and keeping an eye or her eyes will go along way in trust building. If you see those telltale signs that she's "in a mood" respect her space. Greys seem to have their own highly defined boundaries. Early in my life with IQ I got the point of his beak quite frequently until I learned when to push him a bit and when not to.
I could give you a million examples, but your bird has its own history, its own view of how her world turns and my best advice is still, time, patience, love (and the occasional box of bandaids).
Feel free to reach out if you'd like... Happy to help where I can.
 

MnGuy

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It'd be good for her to switch to a pellet diet if that hasn't happened yet. My grey also loves green beans, and would probably take them over other treats.

Greys can be aloof in general, so I wouldn't worry too much if she doesn't like being pet. Mine only accepts head scratches on rare occasions.

Good luck.
 

Cali

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I have been reading these posts with great interest. I spent almost 40 years with a wild caught Congo Grey. When I brought him home the general consensus was that he'd be nothing but a growling, biting, screaming ornament. Time, patience, love and learning that Grey's can be very slow to accept people to "their" flock was key to our success.
It sounds very much like she is in fact interested in allowing you into that flock, but she is also going to run you through the wringer before that happens.
I know we're not "supposed to" attribute human thought/emotion to our birds (but seriously, how can we not) but in so many ways my beloved Grey was very much like a toddler. He tested me at every turn, pushed the envelope daily to see what my reaction would be. When he consistently didn't get the fireworks he was hoping for the behavior would disappear, and a level of trust began to fill in the gap.
I'm happy to see that you did your best not to react to the bite, that's not easy, but you also told her that she can't intimidate you, this is important for the two of you to get to a place of mutual trust.
I very much agree about the refusal of treats, it should be you who continues to offer it back to her, this is definitely one of those grey tests...if I act like I don't want it, what will she do? Greys are always sizing things up. They're sort of a combination between a feathered genius, and Inspector Gadget. Like they're always trying to figure out the answer to an algebra equation.
Learning her body language, and keeping an eye or her eyes will go along way in trust building. If you see those telltale signs that she's "in a mood" respect her space. Greys seem to have their own highly defined boundaries. Early in my life with IQ I got the point of his beak quite frequently until I learned when to push him a bit and when not to.
I could give you a million examples, but your bird has its own history, its own view of how her world turns and my best advice is still, time, patience, love (and the occasional box of bandaids).
Feel free to reach out if you'd like... Happy to help where I can.
Thank you SO much !!!! Things have been going along, much better than they were but no giant breakthroughs just yet. I have a lot of patience (when it comes to birds), so we will just take our time. I am beginning to learn her moods, and she sure has them. Sometimes I can tell she is interested in talking and a treat and other times, her eyes say - leave me alone! - so I do! :heart:

Any and all advice, input is always welcome and appreciated!!! I'll be sure to reach out when something I don't understand pops up!!
 
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