Post by carocuriosum on Apr 19, 2017 10:32:53 GMT -7
I would love your advise on obtaining and raising a happy African Gray. I had some budgies and quakers before, but I always wanted an African Gray. Before I embark in such a big decision, I am wondering if this would be the right choice for me. I live in a small apartment, shared with my boyfriend. I work a 9-6pm job Monday-Friday, and twice a year I have 2 week business trips.
So my questions are as follows:
1. Will he be ok while I am at work? Hope he doesn't get depressed or moody.
2. Is it better to get a young bird or a rescue? at what age do young birds become hormonal and how long does that last? It is better to get a male or a female?
3. Will they be too noisy in an apartment? I heard they tend to be quiet and repeat if surrounded by a stressful or noisy environment.
1. Most grey owners go out to work. As long as the bird has toys to entertain himself and out of cage time when you are home, he will be fine.
2. A young bird will bond with you faster. It could take years and a lot of work to get a rescue to love you but if the chance arose, I would take a rescue. My male became hormonal around age two but he was always very hyper. My female has always been sweet and calm. The bird's gender doesn't make much difference.
3. My greys have been much quieter than any bird I have ever had. Chy prefers to talk than make loud noises. If she is frightened, she can make a horrible raptor squawk. That is very rare. She can imitate any noise and unfortunately likes the sound of the beeping the burglar alarm makes until it is disarmed. It is high pitched and hurts the ears. When she does it, I call her name and she stops.
4. Greys are very intelligent. I treat mine like children and they learn that way. I don't have Chy doing tricks. She will "give me four", knows her name, address and telephone number, can count and will go in her cage when I ask it of her.
5. If you post the name of the city where you live, perhaps someone on the forum could give you a breeder referral.
Max, CAG (In my heart forever) Taz, Tiel (Rest in peace my sweet girl) Chyloe, CAG
I just put my Baby to bed and I travel 2 weeks at a time for my job. but I think its harder on me than her. She's always happy to see me when I'm back and she's the light of my life. she'll be fine as long as your boyfriend can handle him/her with a little understanding. I gladly burn up a DVD player so she has something to watch all day and I try to come home with a destructible toy occasionally so she doesn't get bored. EVERY morning is our get her breakfast ready morning and she loves to "Help" get it ready by sitting on my shoulder. Yep. like having a kid with none of the drawbacks..... But she only lets me handle her but will gladly converse with anyone.
One thing that surprised me maybe more than anything about having a grey (at least our TAG but seems to echo what Haz said on point #3) is how quiet she is. Yes in the morning when the sun rises she starts chirping and whistling and doing some talking so if you REALLY need your beauty sleep that could be bad but hey, most people like to hear the birds when the sun comes up! Otherwise she really is very quiet - her talking comes in fits and spurts and often involves "mumbling" but of course hearing them talk is about as good as it gets when you have a parrot. Otherwise, .... very rarely any obnoxious noises and just, in general, stays quiet most of the day. (I work at home a lot so get to spend most of the day with her ...) I know grey's can sometimes pick up on very obnoxious noises but we seem to have been lucky in that regard! The one thing she does do, invariably, is start talking when she hears me talking on the phone. Luckily most people I talk to on the work side know I have a bird so it's okay and even humorous. But, ... there have been times when it's been less than ideal!
This quiet nature has really come in handy as we take her everywhere (many vacations) and we were always nervous if she were to disturb others, etc. -- have had ZERO problems on that front which is a "win/win" for both bird and guardians! In fact, the only time Ruby really developed a bad "noise" problem was one of only 2 times we boarded her and she was in with a bunch of Cockatoo's. She came home making these horrid screetching sounds - took about a month before she finally stopped!
African Greys, generally, are the best mimics, and the best talkers, to boot. My CAG, Aziza, mimics the microwave, the timer, the touchtone phone, and the sound of a bus or a truck backing up...beautifully!
Aziza is also a great whistler (African Greys are whistlers by nature!), and the first thing I taught her was the Jet gang whistle from West Side Story, (I'm admittedly a huge fan of the film version of West Side Story!) which she does fantastically! She's a riot, and evokes a great many laughs.
I'm late to this thread, as a new member, but here's my 2-cents: don't get a grey, or any parrot, unless you are certain you can make a life-long commitment. I believe that Grey's can live for 60, 70, even 80 years, or more! (Unlike budgies.) Its possible that the young grey you get today will out-live you.
That said, and assuming you have appropriate environment for a large bird, then grey's are one of the best choices. They're smart and not particularly noisy, but my 22yo AG can pick up & repeat favorite LOUD noises and phrases. But she's not really noisy to the point of being annoying. She can also be destructive when she has the opportunity to explore outside her cage, with my mate's cookbooks a particular target.
BTW, I've had a 'rescue' AG in the past, possibly wild-caught. It never warmed to me or my other AG (feeling was mutual)and acted like I was going to kill it when I got near. You never know what they've been through. It flew off one day and I never got him back.
Where would you keep the grey when you're gone on trips away from home? I've boarded mine at the Bird Hotel in the SF area, but not everyplace has such a resource. Best wishes on your choice.