One of the most intelligent birds ever studied, the African grey parrot has an amazing ability to imitate speech. They can be wonderful and affectionate, but, like other large parrots, African greys are considered high maintenance pets. While “greys” are entertaining and rewarding to keep, they prefer a routine schedule and require a substantial amount of time with their owners. Therefore, African grey parrots may not be appropriate for those who work odd hours, travel frequently, or spend many hours away from home.Are african grey parrots affectionate?
African Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus); two subspecies
Congo: larger body, light-grey coloration, all-black beak, and bright red tail feathers
Timneh: smaller body, darker-grey coloration, flesh-colored top half of beak, and dark maroon tail feathers
Weight: 330-500 gm
Young birds have dark grey irises that turn pale yellow at 1 year of age
Sexual maturity: 4-6 years
Avg. life span: 25-30 years
Maximum recorded life span: 50+ years
Origins: West and Central Africa
Frequently bonds with one family member, rejecting others.
Often fearful or intolerant of strangers.
Parent-raised African gray chicks are considered to be better adjusted than those raised entirely by humans. Baby birds that receive human handling while still in the nest tend to show fewer behavioral problems (e.g. feather picking, fearfulness, aggression) at maturity than those that do not.
Tamed birds readily adapt to new surroundings and activities; expose early to daily activities in your household as well as to other pets
Are intelligent, curious, and love to explore their surroundings.
Need environmental enrichment, interesting toys, and foraging exercises to reduce the chance of behavioral problems.Are african grey parrots affectionate?
Wild African grey parrots feed on a variety of fruits, nuts, and vegetables.
Seed-based diets are not recommended as they permit pet birds to select an imbalanced diet from what is offered.
Formulated diets (“pellets” or “crumbles”) provide more complete and balanced nutrition, do not allow selective feeding, and should comprise about 75% of the diet
Dark leafy greens, vegetables, and fruits can make up 20-25% of diet
Treats should be limited to only 5% of the diet
Clean, fresh water should be provided daily
Enclosures should be as large as possible, such that the bird is able to fully extend it’s wings and flap without touching the cage walls
Cage should be clean, secure, safe and constructed of durable, non-toxic materials
Perches should be of variable widths, heights, and textures. Also provide a concrete perch to help to maintain the toenails.
Avoid placing perches directly over food or water to prevent contamination
Access to natural light is preferred, and supplemental UV light may be recommended to treat or prevent feather picking or hypocalcemia.
Avoid drafty areas.
Parrots should stay in their cage or a “bird safe” room when they are not under direct supervision.
Birds with unrestricted access to the home are at risk for accidents such as toxin ingestion, electrocution, pet attacks, and drowning.
Physical examinations every 6-12 months
Consult a veterinarian with experience in avian medicine if you have any questions or concerns about your bird’s health.
Annual fecal examination for parasites, yeast, and bacteria
Vaccination for Polyomavirus, as directed by your veterinarian
Routine blood testing
Wing, nail trimming as needed
Common Medical Disorders
Behavioral problems (e.g. feather picking, fearfulness, aggression)
Circovirus (PBFD virus)
Nasal blockages (bacterial, fungal, secondary to malnutrition)
Proventricular dilatation disease (PDD)