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Old 12-27-2012, 08:03 PM   #21 (permalink)
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My mom had one for awhile, but she ended up giving him back to the breeder. Greys are much different that cockaliels. They need lots of attention and stimulation and a good diet. My mom was gone to much then didn't pay much attention to him and he started plucking his feathers. He was super smart and talked a lot, just make sure you have the time for them they live a LONG time.
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:20 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I have 2 greys and a macaw!

One is young, but the other is 28. Greys seem to be the ones that are recycled quite a bit, due to their longevity.

Join the bird forums, there is so much to learn about husbandry; providing enrichment to parrots is very important. If you don't provide proper enrichment, you could easily end up with a parrot that screams, plucks, or just plain unhappy.

Getting a baby is all fun, but like someone else mentioned, an older bird is preferred. However, it will be hard to find a rescue or bird from a family when you have medium-large dogs.

The most important thing to look into is the expense. Start up costs on a bird is pricey.
Purchase of the bird
Largest cage you can afford
Food
Perches
Toys
Maybe a playstand
Vet check
Consider the cost of veterinary care, ideally they should see a Certified Avian Vet, which usually is more $ Bloodwork is $150 and up.

Contrary to popular belief, they do not live on seeds, that is a big no no. You should always try to feed organic fresh fruit and veggies, nuts, and a high quality pellet (Harrison's is the recommended).

Also, parrots bite

Owning a parrot is fun, they respond to you, love silly games, music, most talk, many in context.

Watch the dogs, mine are crated when the birds are out. So many people have had their dogs kill their birds

Here are some pics of mine
Attached Thumbnails
African Grey Parrot-newmanaosm.jpg   African Grey Parrot-kiwi1.jpg   African Grey Parrot-bea1.jpg  
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:25 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dotty View Post
I have 2 greys and a macaw!

Here are some pics of mine
Ah I want a B&G... What a cutie!
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:31 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Dotty your parrots are GORGEOUS!!!!

And parrots bite? Really? HA HA HA ...

Here's a quote: "There are few reliable sources on this, but some people have estimated that a large macaw has the bite strength of 500 to 700 pounds per square inch, which is close to that of a large dog bite. Just watching a large macaw or cockatoo crush a Brazil nut, rip a 2-by-4 into shreds or break a weld on metal cage bars convinces most observers that a birdís beak is powerful and not to be messed with." from Powerful Bird Beaks



OP - it really depends on your husband's level of experience with parrots. If he has LOADS of experience with parrots, then getting an older grey is not a bad idea, as long as the rescue pairs him up with the right bird. An unhappy grey is not a good thing to have around the house; they can be downright dangerous.

If he doesn't have a lot of experience with bigger parrots, then I would highly recommend a baby from a breeder. I know you guys are still in the talking stage, but it is definitely something to think about.

While I now have the experience to adopt an older grey (NOT happening LOL), I now have 10 years experience with a grey ... mind you, it's ONLY MY grey ... not tons of others.

If you get a baby your chances of "returning" it are slight since you are not dealing with previous issues. Also, most breeders have a clause in the contract (just like with dogs) that the parrot goes back to them if something happens to you - or you can arrange it.

Echo I got from a breeder. Ellie I adopted as a rescue. Ellie's my quaker. Just a tiny little thing compared to my grey - whose not THAT big!!!

Ellie nailed me for two years - she drew blood every single day. That's how long it took me to get her used to me. And she's SMALL! I had almost got to the point that I was going to rehome her because I was at my wits end on how to work with her. I finally found something that worked - a mortgage payment or two in seeds, clicker training, and reading to her for about an hour every night - no eye contact - so she got used to my voice, and my body language. This alone took me almost 4 months to get to the point where I could get her to step up on a dowel - not on to my hand ... that took another two months. Ellie and I are now very bonded, and she will let absolutely no one else near her or her cage. Not all rescues are like that of course, but I just thought I would share my story as to how long it CAN take to gain the trust of a bird.

Good luck with your decisions ... you have lots of them!
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Last edited by Kyleigh; 12-27-2012 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:38 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Well, considering the number of AGs in rescue, I doubt she would have much trouble finding the right bird. A first time large parrot owner obviously should not be taking on a project bird.

Also, I would go visit a rescue near you even if you intend on getting a baby. Especially if you and/or your husband have never interacted with a larger parrot.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:09 PM   #26 (permalink)
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And this is why I love this message board. Lots of information and advice and perspectives.

Is an African grey too much bird for a first parrot? We are committed to our pets and want well adjusted family members.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:18 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I think any parrot can become neurotic. I provide lots of fresh tree branches for chewing, and mine live in a very active area of the home(some birds may not like all that activity, so need a quieter environment). And mine get a variety of food, so they aren't bored with the same ol same ol as some birds get.
I personally think an Amazon would be more of a handful for a first time bird owner, especially when they come into breeding condition...they can get aggressive.
Greys that are domestic, handfed and socialized are pretty even temperamented, the imports are shy and fearful by comparison.
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Old 12-27-2012, 09:24 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Echo was my first parrot, and I'd never been around a parrot before - one of the reasons I went to a breeder and got a baby.

Where abouts are you in Ontario? There were NO rescues in the area where I live, and the one I did speak to said absolutely not b/c I had two cats, and 5 ferrets!

IF you can find a rescue and spend some time with one, that would be ideal. If not, make sure one of your kids REALLY likes the grey, and the grey likes that kid ... you do need to think about the bird outliving you!

A parrot, while definitely different than a dog, is just as demanding as a puppy GSD! It takes some adjusting, rearranging of furniture to fit the cage, removal of furniture that the parrot wants to chew, decisions on whether or not to keep the parrot fully flighted (my grey's flighted, the quaker's not, mainly b/c she can't fly anyway), there are so many factors that come into play.

If you completely rearranged your life to accommodate your dogs and meet all their needs, and don't begrudge it, then you can certainly learn along the way with a grey as your first bird. I did, and Echo is just fine (with me, LOL ... not so much with others).

It's not as much work as a dog in that the parrot doesn't need to be taken outside every day, but they do need LOTS of time outside of their cage or they will develop problems. My parrots are outside of their cages ALL day while I'm at work (if you look at my picture I posted earlier in this thread, you'll see that the quaker's cage has "veil like material all the way around it - this is because Ellie HATES my grey! So I've prevented Echo from landing on Ellie's cage).

Ky's crated during the day so I don't have to worry about anything. As soon as I come home, Ky and I are gone for about 2-3 hours for our huge hike / walk. Once we're home I feed Ky and leave her alone in my room for about an hour- this is my one on one time with both birds.

Birds are then put in their cages, and Ky's out for the rest of the evening ... we are all in the same room so the birds aren't isolated. I usually turn up the music and sing with the birds while I clean cages, quilt or do something. At 10 it's lights out for the birds and then another walk with Ky ... whatever I'm going to do until about midnight, I make it a bit quieter. Some people say that birds should be awake at sun up and asleep at sun down, I don't follow that, never have, and I don't have any issues with the birds ... I think it's because I'm gone all day and they have plenty of time to nap if they need to!

Anyway, I am rambling ... if you have specific questions, don't hesitate to PM me!!!
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:48 PM   #29 (permalink)
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It's not so much that Greys aren't for first time bird owners, it's more a question of how committed are you to providing an appropriate lifestyle? There is no such thing as a "beginner bird"; you just need to make sure you're prepared for the species you're interested in. Parrots are not meant to stay in their cages all day unless you have a gigantic aviary setup. They are social creatures and need lots of attention whether it be direct interaction or just hanging out in the same room.

Parrots need fresh food daily whether it's a mix you put together and freeze or something from the garden. You can't just dump in pellets and call it a day. Seeds should only be used for training or the occasional treat.Oh, did I mention they're loud and poop everywhere? My GCC loves tossing his food everywhere too. It's so fun to clean berry remains off my walls and floor!

Basically what I'm saying is that birds are a lot of work if cared for properly, but they can be a lot of fun as well. When I wanted a bird I checked out a bird rescue up in Phoenix and met a ton of different species just to get a feel for what I was comfortable with. It'd be a good route to go if there's a rescue near you.
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:03 PM   #30 (permalink)
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My young grey is a total monster, but the gal I rescued, Bea, (seen below is what I rescued her from and after) I love her, she is a cuddly, sweet, a great companion parrot.

Another pic of my macaw for the macaw fans.

My whole hand was ripped apart by a macaw, she bit right through, didn't let go until it came out the other side. None of those for a young family

African greys tend to bond with one person, while Timneh greys are more of a family bird.

Maybe another type of parrot would suit your family?
There are so many to choose from.

As far as a first time parrot, get the parrot you want, no sense working your way up to one, I don't believe in that. Research as much as you can and base your decision on that.
Attached Thumbnails
African Grey Parrot-poorgrey-2.jpg   African Grey Parrot-a2.jpg   African Grey Parrot-kiwi.jpg  
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