African Grey Training

Everything you ever wanted to know about African Grey Training

 

African Grey Parrot

There are two "officially" subspecies of African Congo Grey Parrots:

The first one is the Congo African Grey parrot, ''Psittacus erithacus erithacus'' - these are larger birds (about 12 inches long) with light grey feathers, deep red tails and black beaks.

The second is the Timneh African Grey parrot, ''Psittacus erithacus timneh'' - these are smaller in size, have a darker charcoal gray coloring, a darker maroon tail, and a light, horn

Check Out My #1 Tip To Stop Biting & Earn Your Birds Love

 colored upper mandible.

The history of African Grey parrots kept as pets dates back over 4,000 years. Some Egyptian hieroglyphics clearly depict pet parrots. The ancient Greeks also valued parrots as pets, and this custom was later adopted by the Wealthy Roman families often kept parrots in ornate bird cages, and parrots were prized for their ability to talk.

King Henry VIII of England also had an African Grey. The Portuguese sailors kept them as companions on their long sea voyages today, many African Grey parrots are hand reared by breeders for the pet trade and they make wonderful and very affectionate companion parrots; however, because they can be unpredictable at times, they may not be compatible with small children.

African Grey parrots are very strong and they can bite with their strong pointed beak and scratch with their claws. African Grey parrots have a high intelligence and they are generally thought to be the best mimics of all parrots. Pet owners often refer to their relationship with their hand reared pet African Greys as being "like having a five-year-old child".

On the other hand, wild African Grey parrots captured from the wild need time and effort to adapt to human presence, and have a tendency to growl and bite when they are approached. The Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) has made the sale of all wild caught parrot species illegal.

African Grey parrots, like any pet parrot, can require a large commitment as they require a lot of attention. While numbers vary with each source, most agree that three hours out of cage daily and 45 minutes of physical interaction is the minimum attention required for good mental health. African Greys particularly Congo African Greys are known to be shy amongst strangers. African Greys have the tendency to bond to only one person if they do not interact with different people regularly. While inter-species friendships with other parrots are uncommon with African Greys, they require socialization with other parrots of any species.

African Greys require a lot of stimulating toys due to their high intelligence and to avoid boredom. Three to five toys at a time are typically enough to satisfy African Greys, but too many toys can crowd the cage. Toys should be rotated and switched regularly to keep the stimulation constant and diverse. For an African Grey spending most of its day in the cage, 36"W x 24"D is a good bird cage size. The height of a congo grey cages are typically not important, except in the case of playtop cages that are taller than the owner, in which case the bird can become territorial. An African Grey who spends most of its time on a playstand and uses the cage solely for sleeping only needs a cage large enough so that the bird's wingspan doesn't touch the cage's sides and its head and tail do not touch the cage's top and bottom respectively. The bar-spacing should be 1/2 inch to 1 inch. A companion African Grey should be kept in a bird-safe environment and placed in a busy part of the home, such as the living room, where the bird can occupy himself (or herself) in watching the household activities.

The African Grey Parrot have special dietary requirements and should be fed with calcium and Vitamin A rich foods such as leafy greens like mustard greens, broccoli etc., almonds or little amount of cheese. It is usual to give African grey parrots carefully calculated quantities of calcium and vitamin supplements. An excess of these added vitamins and minerals in an African Greys diet can lead to health problems. Only a few feathers should be clipped from the wings of an African Grey since they are heavy birds. Clipping too many of the Grey's feathers can severely impair flight and may lead to injuries as they may have a tendency to crash to the ground. If very young birds are wing clipped they may never gain full coordination and agility in flight. African Grey parrots' lifespans are upto about 50 years (or more) in captivity.

Read these books to find out more:

  • "The Grey Parrot"" by Wolfgang de Grahl, T.F.H. Publications, 5th edition, 1987
  • "African Gray Parrots" by Annette Wolter, Barron's, First English edition, 1987
  • "African Grey Parrots" by Paul R. Paradise, T.F.H. Publications, 1979
  • "Guide to a Well-behaved Parrot" by Mattie Sue Athan, Barron's, 1993
  • "Parrots of the World" by Joseph M. Forshaw, T.F.H. Publications, 1973


Parrot Toys | Nanday Conures | Blue Fronted Parrots | Cockatiels | Caiques
English Budgies | Military Macaws | Harlequin Macaws | Cockatoos  | Hyacinth Macaws