10 Fact about African Grey Parrot
The African Grey Parrot: who is he?
How to breed this parrot at home?
The African Grey Parrot (Congo grey parrot) is a parrot with gray plumage, as it indicates, and very popular with individuals. Sociable, affectionate, intelligent and curious, it is the most talkative species and is able to repeat the words you teach it while placing them in the right context! Perfect for family life, it can be easily educated. Discover all the secrets of this beautiful bird from Africa and learn how to breed it at home in this complete file.
The African Grey Parrot: who is it?
The African Grey Parrot (Psittacus Erithacus) is a cheerful and cheerful animal that loves the company. Coming from the Psittacidae family, it is native to West Africa and can generally live 40 to 50 years, even 80 years for some individuals!
The African Grey Parrot (Congo grey parrot) measures 35 to 42cm for an average weight of 500g. A great speaker, he is also very intelligent and curious. Very sociable, he needs daily interaction to feel good. He quickly learns to repeat the words you say to him and the sounds around him, such as the barking of dogs, the ringing of the front door or the telephone, but also the whistling of certain songs. He is able to put the words he says in the right context, which is why we are talking about intelligence and not pure repetition.
Very affectionate, this animal enjoys living in the middle of family life and hates loneliness. The latter can lead to depression. So if you go away, don’t hesitate to leave the TV on or the radio on. By hearing human voices, he will think that someone is present at home and will feel better.
Always remember to adopt a bird at least 4 months old and banded on the paw. This must contain all information relating to his identity (his date of birth, the breeder’s identifier, etc.). You must also keep all documents related to its origin and proof of your purchase in order to be in order with the law because the African Grey Parrot (Congo grey parrot) is a protected species of which each individual sold must be identified.
How to breed an African Grey Parrot at home?
The arrival of your parrot African Grey at home
The arrival of your new bird at home is a very important moment for him and for you. There is often stress and the bird can be disturbed by these changes in places, people, noises and smells.
The majority of African Grey Parrot (Congo grey parrot) is adopted at the age of 4 to 6 months. Make sure to transport it in a suitable transport cage that you will open gently once you arrive. Carefully place the bird in its new cage if it is young. If you adopt an older animal, place the open shipping carton in the cage and let it out alone as soon as it wants.
Do not hesitate to speak to him often and calmly to reassure him. He needs to get to know you to trust you fully. At first, it is best to have one person taking care of yourself, feeding and petting so that you feel safe. You can introduce him to the other members of your household later when he is comfortable.
Bring him fresh water and meals every day, talk to him and gently pat him. He likes contact, but don’t force him if he needs time to be touched.
For the first 10 days, don’t try to get it out or grab it in your hands or arms. He needs time to understand his new environment and to adapt to his new family.
After 10 days, if your bird is comfortable, you can open its cage and let it out. Make sure beforehand that all doors and windows are closed! Let him go out on his own, without forcing him, but you can encourage and reassure him by talking to him and playing.
Always stay nearby when it comes out, as your furniture, knick-knacks, and plants can be dangerous for this curious animal. Educate him so that he learns to behave well and put him back in his cage if he disobeys you by luring him with a treat or a toy. On the other hand, you don’t have to be violent or yell at her! Stay sweet!
A large, solid cage with toys
The cage must be ready before your parrot arrives. Place it in a pleasant and lively space, like a living room, because this bird is very sociable and likes to participate in family life. However, avoid a drafty location near a window to avoid direct light. Also, avoid the kitchen because of the smoke – his lungs are fragile – as well as the rooms, which are too quiet.
Its cage should be large, given its size, so that it can easily spread its wings and fly a little because it is quite dynamic and likes to move. Choose it solid and robust, with a complex opening system, because it quickly learns to open it to get out thanks to its powerful beak.
Install small wooden toys for him to have fun and a small mirror because he will like to look at it. Renew them from time to time to avoid routine. Arrange perches of different sizes and diameters to make him feel comfortable according to his preferences. Choose them in natural wood so that he can rub his beak there.
Its feeders must be solid, terracotta or stainless steel, and placed at the bottom of the cage or hung on the bars, provided they are not installed under the perches to avoid droppings! Avoid all plastic accessories, which are too fragile in relation to its strength.
Your bird will enjoy bathing once a week. You can place it in a sink or a bathtub and let it soak freely but under your supervision!
Congo grey parrot
Your African Grey Parrot (Congo grey parrot) needs quality, well-balanced food. Prefer mixtures for Psittacidae, available from breeders and in specialized stores. Some commercially available seed mixtures may be sufficient temporarily, but they are often too high in fat. Your bird may sort out the seeds it prefers, grow and/or create nutritional deficiencies over time.
You will find perfectly balanced extruded foods to feed your pet. Top them off with fresh fruit several times a week. Also, don’t hesitate to offer her a little treat every once in a while, like dried fruit or cereal bars.
Add a mineral stone to your diet. This will be a source of calcium and minerals essential to the well-being of your bird.
Wash his bowls every day and pour cool (not cold) water on him and renew it several times a day if necessary. Once a week, pour a vitamin complex into its water to offset any risk of deficiencies and preserve the beauty of its plumage.
African Grey Parrot (Congo grey parrot) is faithful. When he forms a couple in the wild, he arranges a tall trunk to live there with his companion or his companion and give life to their young.
A female lays 3 to 4 eggs per lay which hatch after 28 days of incubation. The young are born without feathers and their eyes closed; they will be fed by their parents for about 3 months, until adolescence. They then complete their apprenticeship and leave their parents to find a companion or a life companion.
If you want your parrot to speak, you will need to speak to it regularly and be sure to use the same words. This will allow the animal to become familiar with your vocabulary and to repeat your words without difficulty.
Always be patient, gentle and attentive. Do not force it or rush it. Your bird will speak to you when it feels confident and when it decides it is the right time. If you stress it, it will close in on itself and your relationships will suffer.
Training Your Parrot to Talk
Some figures about African Grey species
Latin name: Psittacus erithacus
Adult weight: 370-550 g.
Sexual maturity: 4 to 6 years.
Breeding season: early spring
Incubation time: 26-28 days
Number of eggs per clutch: 3-4 eggs
Out of the nest: 50-65 days
Age at weaning: 100-120 days (75-90 raised by hand).
Life expectancy: 50 to 60 years.
Identify to protect myself
The identification of parrots is generally carried out by the breeder, by putting on a closed ring on the paw of young birds aged 8-10 days. It contains the year of birth, the breeder’s registration number, the acronym of the organization supplying the ring, a serial number, and the diameter. It is very common that these devices are the cause of serious leg injury and that we have to cut the ring. There is now electronic identification, achieved through the implantation of an electronic chip (the size of a grain of rice) in the breast muscles under anesthesia for a few minutes. It contains your pet’s personal identifier code. This harmless act allows rapid and stable identification over time. Do not hesitate to ask your treating veterinarian for advice.
Eating well is important
Malnutrition is the cause of 90% of health problems and deaths in pet birds.
Often, this problem goes unnoticed because it is very difficult to recognize its early signs, and when you realize it, it becomes urgent to consult your attending veterinarian.
There are many types of food for parrots:
First of all, seed mixtures: even if they contain vitamins, they do not correspond to basic nutritional needs. For example, cereals such as millet, sunflower, oats or corn are deficient for at least 32 essential nutrients, with the risk that they are contaminated with pesticides, preservatives or fungi. In addition, the seeds favor the sorting of the animal, which does not eat everything, especially the pods. The problem is that very often the birds are crazy about it and that it is very difficult to make them change their diet! Ask your treating veterinarian for advice to help you change your bird’s bad eating habits!
Today, there are ranges of quality, balanced, specialized food without coloring, artificial flavors or other chemicals. This will save you time and money: no vitamins to buy, no food to store, wash and prepare, and above all much less dirt in the cage!
Your attending veterinarian is at your service to study the diet (presentation, quantity, and frequency of meals) most suitable for your companion.
Foods to avoid:
avocado, parsley, onion, potato, apple seeds, peas, meat, coffee, chocolate, alcohol, sugar, fat, salt
This table represents the weight gain from hatching until weaning of hand-raised African Grey parrot (Congo grey parrot). These are only indicative values, which can vary depending on the individual, sex, activity, diet, breeding conditions … Individuals positioning themselves rather in the weights lower should be monitored as potentially more susceptible to disease, and individuals above these standards may be overweight at weaning (correlate with the conformation and physical condition of the bird).
Beyond the control of the good growth of the young, the regular collection of the weight of an adult parrot helps your veterinarian treating to prevent certain diseases, the curve of weight will help to take the corrective measures which are essential. Do not hesitate to ask your veterinarian treating the simple ways to set up this study of the weight of your companion.
Protect me from parasites
Your parrot can harbor intestinal worms without you realizing it, especially if it is an imported individual, if it has access from time to time outside or if it has contacts with other birds. Indeed, the infestation is often inapparent but these parasites weaken your companion, which can cause him to lose significant weight and make him more vulnerable to diseases.
Deworming is the act of destroying these internal parasites. In the young, it must be carried out at the time of weaning and be repeated 10-15 days afterward, similarly for an imported bird during its quarantine period. In the adult parrot, it is essential to maintain regular protection throughout its life. Your attending veterinarian will assist you in choosing the products and protocols to use.
Dust mites are very common skin parasite in birds. They can cause itching or even more serious illnesses. Appropriate protection must, therefore, be put in place from an early age and must be specific to your animal and its environment (other animals present, type of habitat, etc.), the protocol is also carried out in 2 applications at 10-15 days interval (possibility of combining with dewormer).
Your attending veterinarian is the specialist who will guide you in the choice of specialties suited to your companion and your requests (method of administration, ease of use, demonstration, etc.).
Guarantee me good hygiene
Parrots require a small, lukewarm daily shower with a sprayer, which helps maintain plumage and limit the formation of scales and feather dust in the air. There are now special spray solutions, based on distilled water added with moisturizing and softening agents. A full bath is also very important for the physical and mental well being of the parrot. Depending on the individual, it can be taken in different ways: in a large bin, in the owner’s shower, in the rain …
Try to let it dry naturally outside if the weather allows it, to encourage behavior normal grooming. The length of the beak and claws should be evaluated regularly and there should normally be no need to file them.
In this case, the problem would come from food or environmental conditions: deficiencies, old animal, liver disorder … Often, the owner thinks that the claws are too long because they are sharp and hurt when he takes his bird on the arm, while they are completely normal and allow the animal to stand on its perch.
Regarding the cutting of the wings, it can be useful in some cases, not to prevent the bird from flying, but to prevent it from being injured (open door, window, mirror, fan, pans …) or escapes. It also helps the first stages of education, thus limiting the territory of the bird, he learns that relationships with humans can be pleasant and that there is no reason to be afraid. This positive reinforcement technique helps build a relationship of trust and friendship with your bird
African Grey Parrot (Congo grey parrot) can be housed either in an outdoor aviary, depending on its origins and habits, or indoors. In this case, the cage must be quite spacious: the wings must be able to extend in all directions without touching the bars, and the tail must not be in contact with the ground or anything when the bird is perched.
Perches (2 in general) should not be too bulky. Prefer natural wood and large enough size, if possible irregular, to promote the wear of the claws, the beak and good health of the joints. Never use perches covered with sandpaper, irritating to the plantar surface. A parrot tends to always keep the same place on a perch, it is a question of turning it from time to time or changing it.
The heavier and less active the bird, the more likely it is to develop paw pain. Remove the swing if there is one. Perches should not overlap too much, let alone be above food and water to avoid getting them dirty.
Position the cage along a wall, preferably in a corner, sheltered from drafts and the sun, in a very quiet place allowing the bird to sleep at 10 am in the dark and without interruption. Covering the cage is not enough if there is light and the television on. Do not put it in the kitchen, because of dangerous vapors, possible accidents with instruments, boiling oil …