Attention!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! -We are no experts and the advise I am giving here is purely to help and inform, but do not take what I say here as gospel and I hope that you also research other forums and sites for information or ask a vet or a Bird specialist on serious questions pertaining to health of your African Grey. - African Grey Congo's may be the smartest bird of the feather group of the parrot species.Now with that being said there are a many of things that an African Grey needs when being taken care of properly and if you are reading this you are looking for things that can help you become a good parent to your African Grey because lets face it, having an African Grey is just like having a kid, or another kid in the family if you already have kids.
In this blog I will be discussing the many things that an African Grey needs and requires if you want to have a well behaved feather friend and not an aggressive moody parrot. These are tips that I have learned in taking care of my African Grey that is currently a part of our family names Mr. Rango.(to see info on us and him look to the post what 50 shades of a grey is)
Now the first thing that is of the utmost importance is an African Greys diet. An African Grey need a variety of things in their diet ranging from fruits and vegetables for the vitamins. Now to many of one thing can hurt a bird and this is why you want to constantly rotate, or change up the routine on what you feed them. There are many different opinions on what is exactly right in what the diet should be and there is no exact answer on what is right, and this is where having a vet on hand to get info on the spot is the best route when not being sure if something is ok for your grey to have.
-The base of your Greys diet should be an organic pellet base and not one that has additives in it like added color or flavor.
-seeds are ok for your grey to have such as pistachios and cashews....etc. but on a rare occasion say a couple every 3-4 days. Giving them to much can make them over weight due to the high fat content, but some here and there are perfectly fine.
-when giving your grey veggies be sure to clean them.
diet should consist of 20-25% vegies
Vegies that are ok for your African Grey=
lettuce (iceburg) but does give enough vitamins by itself
cherries (not the pit)
Great for calcium which your Grey will need to keep healthy and if you are having issues with heath and the vet tells you need to give em more calcium give them tut not to much.
diet should consist of 2.5% calcium
be sure to ask your vet before giving your grey these tho due to the fact that to mus calcium can cause liver problems
Always try to be sure and give your African Grey bottled water and not tap water due to the minerals and chemicals in tap water. but that is just my opinion.
Sun is also good for your African grey to have so if you haven't trained them to be on a harness or have a flight suit on then try putting them by a window, not only will this make your African grey happy seeing all the other birds in the neighborhood but it also gives them the vitamin d they need.
Meats are also ok to give your African Grey but also on a limited or rare occasion. Make sure the meat is fully cooked tho and not seasoned, some seasonings can cause aspirary problems and the grease is very fattening.
Giving attention to your grey is also very important as they are not in the wild, so the more you interact with them the more exercise they can get. It also allows your feathered friend to gain your trust and become more comfortable with you. You will also find that the less you interact with your grey the more irritable they will become and if this becomes a norm, your grey will become aggressive and it will take alot to retrain your grey. So hold them,pet them,talk to them.
Another important thing that also goes along with interacting with your grey is toys. An African grey have the brain capacity of a 3-5 year old and can get bored very fast. So having a large variety of toys is an important thing. What we do is put 3-4 toys inside his day cage for him to play with during the day and we will switch them out every other week so that he feels like they are new toys and is always playing with something new.
A important point on this is to allow your grey to warm up to the toys tho before you just put them in their cage. So try introducing them to them slowly. If you dont your grey can become very scared or frightened and you can loose their trust, and to gain it back may and most likely will take a long time. So be patient with your grey and they will be patient with you.
Being patient not only applies to introducing them to toys but also applies to handling them also. Your grey will usually(not in every case)choose someone in your family that they will attach themselves to. Usually thins pertains to their sex and who they want to be their so called “mate” in their flock. Now I say that this is not always the case because our African Grey is a male, and he has attached himself to my wife, but he also is very fond of my daughter and son. Now when it comes to me, He likes to mess with me. It all depends on his mood. He has not once bit my kids or wife hard, but me, he will bite me really hard(not that I care) and I am very patient with him, but as soon as I go to pick him up he will step right up on my hand and walk to my shoulder and start licking my ear…….lol Having a day cage and a night cage is advised and allowing your bird plenty of space to stretch will greatly help your bird be a happy but. It also not advised to have other pets while having bird. I do not necessarily agree with the being that I have cats and dogs with our grey and they love each other, and you can find plenty of other people that Will disagree but to each their own. As long as you are on top of your animals and train the correctly. You should be golden. But again it s not advised for beginners.
Not all greys are the same, every grey is their own grey, and being on top of your feathered friend is very important to be sure they have a happy and healthy life
Now with that being said, you must always be aware of signs because African Greys usually do not show signs the way other animals do, and if you notice something very aware with them then its usually too late. So you must be on top of the behaviors and slight changes. Now I am not saying a sudden change necessarily means they are sick or something is defiantly wrong with them, but none the less it is important to be aware.
Some sign that are red flags and you should seek a vet right away are:
Sluggishness Dehydrated,not drinking water
Sleeping more then usual
Not eating as much
Not being social
Acting standoffish with their flock
Having a water bowl or bath for your grey to be able to take a bath in is also a good idea but can be handles in a couple different ways. Some greys like to take showers with their flock mate, others like being sprayed with a water bottle on mist mode(like our Mr. Rango) some like dancing in their water own and throwing their water on themselves. I personally use the watter bottle idea and add aloe plant to it to help with the molting, and when I spray him I say “ your all wet Mr. Rango” “wanna take a shower” using a baby like, or kid like high voice seems to help a lot when getting them comfortable with something in my experience.
Involving your grey in most not all your family activities also will help your family and grey to become a great flock. So if you guys are playing ball outside or cleaning up, bring your grey’s house(cage) outside also, make them feel like they are being involved and you will see them light up.
Talking to your grey and repetition will help them also feel a lot more comfortable and also will get them to talk. Now not all African Greys will talk and they usually start talking from 4-6 months old, but some vary on this. But once you get them talking and making sounds you will sometimes find it overwhelming and they best thing to do is find out what your grey wants, weather it is attention, or food/water, or maybe they want to take a nap. Greys are smart but wont always know how to let you know what they want so feeling them out is the best course on this matter.
-We are no experts and the advise I am giving here is purely to help and inform, but do not take what I say here as gospel and I hope that you also research other forums and sites for information or ask a vet or an Avarian specialist on serious questions pertaining to health of your African Grey. -