So I talked to the guy who makes the "aviator harness" today about Rocky's seemingly mating behavior because the breeder wouldn't answer her phone and it didn't even go to voicemail...and he asked me to send him pics, he looks at the pics and says that Rocky is not a 4 month old bird, but older than that and that the line on his tail that the breeder and my avian vet both told me was a stress line from being removed from his nest (they both told me it was nothing to be concerned about) but the aviator guy is telling me that the line means he is a more mature bird who was very ill at one time, not a baby who was scraping his tail on the bottom of the cage and had a stress line from being removed from the nest to be weaned. He also tells me that I need to formula feed Rocky because I told him that Rocky daily pumps my fingers for food and if I don't then I will do psychological damage to him.... So who do I believe? Any thoughts? I'm totally freaking out here.... I have attached the pictures that I sent to the aviator guy which he used to visually determine how old Rocky is...
HUMAN: Stefan (Husband); William (3.5yrs)…
From the colour of his eyes, he could be a few months older than you were told which would explain his starting to talk so soon. When greys are young, you cannot see the iris of the eye. The whole eye looks black (or navy blue). As they get older, the iris gradually turns light grey (at about 1 year). In the second year, the iris turns light yellow.
In the first photo, Rocky has most of his baby tail which has black-tipped feathers. After a few moults, the tail feathers will be all bright red with no black. I cannot tell if he was ever sick from the photos.
Max, CAG (In my heart forever) Taz, Tiel (Rest in peace my sweet girl) Chyloe, CAG
So the more I'm finding out the more I'm questioning everything else this woman told me...
I'm wondering if I was not allowed to visit the aviary because the birds were in tiny little cages and poorly cared for...because Rocky was clearly just learning to fly when he first got here.
I'm wondering how Rocky has a ring on his foot that says he was born this year...if in fact he is older than 4 months...I have attached some more pictures because Steve told me to see if water absorbs into his feathers or beads...it beads...apparently this means that he does not have baby feathers anymore???!!!
Another thing...I had discussed the ceiling fan issue with her before Rocky had come home because our CCG Tweet has been growing her feathers in and has almost gotten all of her wing feathers and flies rather well now...Tweet is why I initially started looking into fully flighted birds and thus found your Steve Hartman's website where I got harnesses for them to begin with and is who I talked to today. Anyways Melissa at Full Nest Aviary told me that in all the time she has had birds she has never had one fly into a ceiling fan and she hardly ever turns hers off. But, only a few days after bringing Rocky home he barely missed the ceiling fan as he was flying across the living room. (it was not on of course) but still....
Well, I'm off to the store to get formula as soon as I finish out the day...I guess I was just so excited about getting and African grey that I allowed someone to pull the wool over my eyes. Either way he has a fabulous home now because we do everything we can to make our animals happy and healthy. As for the breeder I got Rocky from I feel the need to let other people know about her lies if in fact we can determine that these suspicions are correct.
HUMAN: Stefan (Husband); William (3.5yrs)…
I've seen many Greys at 4-5 months with silver eyes and some start to turn yellow as young as a year old, some closer to 2 years, and this picture or Rocky shows me dark eyes, not even silver yet, yes I can see the pupil but they are still very dark. And from all I've read, the black tips on his tail feathers also indicate he is very young. The age they start talking can vary as well.
Why would the breeder continue to bottle feed if he were older? Doesn't really make much sense to me. I wouldn't get too crazy right away about it, until you speak to the breeder. He definitely has baby features to me, but I'm no expert but have seen many Greys at many different ages and that looks like a young one to me. There is no definitive rule as to when eyes start to change and when they will start talking, all birds are different.
I've never heard of the water not beading up with baby feathers...that is something new for me, so I can't comment there.
CEILING FANS ARE AN ABSOLUTE NO-NO with flighted birds....that is a horrifying disaster waiting to happen.
Last Edit: May 2, 2013 18:34:49 GMT -7 by welovedj
Manzi's eyes were yellow by the time he was a year old. I think that is normal. I had him since he was quite young (this is verified by the fact that he wasn't fully feathered when I first got him). I just looked through his photos and he definitely had grey eyes like Rocky by the time he was 4 months old.
I do not think you need to feed Rocky formula. Manzi still bobs his head up and down on my fingers and he is 8 years old. That doesn't mean that he still needs formula. In fact, if I try to feed him formula he will flings it and not eat it from me.
Rocky looks like a baby to me. They fledge anywhere from 12 - 18 weeks of age. If he was just learning to fly when you got him then he probably is somewhere around there. I also wouldn't jump to any conclusions about the breeder. Rocky is obviously a healthy bird, so she was definitely doing something right.
I want to help you on the thumb pumping behavior. This is a learned behavior that may be triggered by a physical attribute. It is a sign that a bird WAS fed formula but not that they need to have formula...it is an insctinctual charachteristic. If anything I would say that it reinforces a learned behaviour for continuing to do it. It also a sign of trust ... because Rocky is showing you directly that He knows you have parental qualities. I went through this behavior with Shayla and am sharing my own experience with you.
Yes indeed, like others have said, Rocky is quite a few monthes older than 16 weeks.
I hope this helps even though I know this is quite the opposite of what you were told. Rest assured that you will always get knowledgable, truthful answers here and I hope that gives you a little bit of relief.
Thank you all so much! My breeder wouldn't answer her phone so I actually took Rocky to visit Polly's last night as they were closing to meet their African Grey person. Initially when she saw him she thought he was much older as well but once she started to handle him she pointed out that all of his behaviors indicated that he is still a baby, he's a bit big for his age apparently...weighing in at .95lbs! Also...apparently he only lunges at my husband during working hours (ie while my husband is stressed and very dirty) so the behavior that I thought was aggression is apparently just Rocky feeding off of the stress level rising every time my husband comes in my office. I found this out last night when my husband told me that he plays with Rocky every morning while I am still sleeping and they get along just fine and he doesn't know why I was so worried, and Rocky hangs out with him while he is in the office too but I usually leave to go do something else because we share an office and I can't do my work while he is doing his...in fact Rocky chose to fall asleep on my husband's shoulder last night. So I think that initially when my husband comes in the office the stress he's projecting hypes Rocky up and by the time he settles down again I've already run off to go do something. I don't know why my husband could not have said any of this to me sooner cuz I was getting quite stressed thinking that Rocky was showing aggression towards him....grrr...there are a lot of people out there who need to learn communication skills and my husband is at the top of the list....I love him to death though. So this morning my husband decided to use Rocky to wake me up and we had a lovely time playing with Rocky and Tweet together before we had to get ready for work...maybe I should start getting up earlier in the morning.
Side note...serves my husband right that he got pooped on this morning because if I had known that he was playing with him in the mornings I would have told him that Rocky's routine with me is to get put on top of his cage first, told to "poop" and then we start our day together. hahaha