Hello everyone. I have had birds for years but on sunday 10-19-14 i brought home my first grey. She was hatched 4-1-14 and i named her Lexi. She is beautiful. When her breeder was handling her she was very loveable and calm. Not so much with us. She seems to thoroughly enjoy her cage, but has no interest in interacting physically with us. If you try to pet her she growls and bites. I have never had a young bird that wasnt begging for attention, which is why i wanted a young bird. I am hoping she will warm up to us, but any suggestions would be appreciated. I currently also have a 15 yoa Umbrella Cockatoo that i have had since she was barely in feathers, and i recently lost my african red belly to cancer, so i am knowledgable.
African Grey, Umbrella Cockatoo, Great Dane, 2 cats, 3 Bearded Dragons, Redfoot Tortoise, Leopard Gecko, a fish tank
She does need to get used to her new surroundings and new people. I've heard it said that greys have the intelligence of a five-year-old child and the emotions of a two-year-old. Some of us were lucky to have the chance to visit with our babies at the breeder before the baby was old enough to come home. That gave us an advantage to bond early.
Let your baby set the pace. Sit near her cage and talk to her. Some forum members sat close and read to their baby. I am wondering if you allow your other pets near her cage. A Great Dane and two cats would be enough to scare a baby grey into growling. Take it slowly and let us know how it goes.
Max, CAG (In my heart forever) Taz, Tiel (Rest in peace my sweet girl) Chyloe, CAG
One tactic I found that worked for earning a bird's trust is the following:
If the breeder told you what his/her favorite treat is you already have the upper feather, so to speak. Make sure the bird never get it as part of the normal feeding routine but make a show of it when you give it to the bird. Let him/her see the treat in your hand then simply drop it in the food-bowl and turn around to "ignore" him. When he shows interest just observe silently. Pretty soon the bird will associate you with his favorite food which makes bonding a bit easier.
My CAG also growled and hissed when the breeder handed it over to me but that only lasted for a few minutes. I'm now at the point where I can put my hand in the cage and scratch it nearly all over, except the tail. It seems I hit the jackpot with an experienced breeder and a well-socialized bird although I'm still learning the signals for "I've had enough. Back off". Unfortunately that means getting the odd nip/bite but then again it's all part of owning birds.