African Gray

Chasey_Lane

Salt Life
Soooo, we inherited an African Gray a few weeks back and he's still timid. He loves my daughter the most -- she can pet him more than anyone else in the house. He's very gentle when taking food from your hand. He talks if he thinks he's alone but he'll whistle a lot all the time. I live in a neighborhood under construction and he mimics the sound of trucks backing up -- the "beep, beep, beep..." noise.

He'll be 6 years old this year. I don't think he was handled often so I'm sure this is why he's shy. Any tricks for getting him to lighten up a bit?
 

suthrncom4t

New Member
Keep talking to him - a lot! and use his name too. They are capable of incredible intelligence. Check out Parrots- Training, Temperament & Care of Pet Parrots. Google "African Gray" and learn all you can about him. We have a cockatiel - he's not as smart, but still a hoot to have! He calls the cat, "here kitty, kitty, kitty", says "bow-chicka-wow-wow", "whachya doin bird", the cat-call whistle & other tunes, says "pretty, pretty, pretty", and mimics the noises of the backyard in the spring/summer when he's on the back porch. They are pretty dusty so a bath in the kitchen sink or in the shower w/someone once a week in the winter is helpful, also, we just got some bath type spray from Petco that seems to help; I've also put an inexpensive air cleaner near his cage to help with the dander as well. I have to vacuum every day - that's the only draw-back. Great pets - enjoy!
 

Dakota

~~~~~~~
Any tricks for getting him to lighten up a bit?
Handle him as much as you can.... Our friends have one that cusses like a drunken sailor. Such a smart bird and they taught him nothing but a bunch of foul language. :ohwell: He also likes to get in the shower so they put a perch in there.
 
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Chasey_Lane

Salt Life
Handle him as much as you can.... Our friends have one that cusses like a drunken sailor. Such a smart bird and they taught him nothing but a bunch of foul language. :ohwell: He also likes to get in the shower so they put a perch in there.
Max does not like the water. Which is odd because I thought it was a favorite of parrots. When the little dog gets to barking (like right now), Max will "chirp" in sync, almost as if he's telling the dog to hush it. :lmao:
 

Roman

Active Member
Max does not like the water. Which is odd because I thought it was a favorite of parrots. When the little dog gets to barking (like right now), Max will "chirp" in sync, almost as if he's telling the dog to hush it. :lmao:
Try to take the Parrot out, and away from his cage for a few minutes every day. They are very cage-protective, and if he can see, or get to his cage, it will be hard to tame him. I've had my Parrots for 25, and 22 years, so you have a lot of time to train him. They love taking showers too. He will get use to it. Mine shower with me. You may even notice him showering in his dish while you vacuum. Birds are so cool!
 

Chasey_Lane

Salt Life
Try to take the Parrot out, and away from his cage for a few minutes every day. They are very cage-protective, and if he can see, or get to his cage, it will be hard to tame him. I've had my Parrots for 25, and 22 years, so you have a lot of time to train him. They love taking showers too. He will get use to it. Mine shower with me. You may even notice him showering in his dish while you vacuum. Birds are so cool!
I would, but he can't be handled. He flips out...and it's too much stress on him. I need advice for getting him to warm up so that I can handle him. For the record, Max DOES NOT like water. We've tried a few times and he flaps around in his cage and I don't want him to get hurt.
 

Roman

Active Member
I would, but he can't be handled. He flips out...and it's too much stress on him. I need advice for getting him to warm up so that I can handle him. For the record, Max DOES NOT like water. We've tried a few times and he flaps around in his cage and I don't want him to get hurt.
You can give him little Treats like Apple with Peanut Butter on it, by hand. You can also stick your hand in his cage, eventually moving it closer to him, so that he learns to trust the hand. I trained two of my Friend's Parrots, a Maluccan Cockatoo, and a Amazon Blue Front Parrot. Once I got them out of their cage, I took them to a room that had nothing to perch on. (I did this separately of course.) I sat on the other side of the room, and talked sweetly to them, and eventually, they wobbled over, and perched on my knee. They have to learn to trust, and that takes time. No distractions, and no cage should be in that room. Just you & the Bird. Good luck!! Let me know how it goes.
 

PrepH4U

New Member
I would, but he can't be handled. He flips out...and it's too much stress on him. I need advice for getting him to warm up so that I can handle him. For the record, Max DOES NOT like water. We've tried a few times and he flaps around in his cage and I don't want him to get hurt.
Oh it is very complicated to earn his trust. I would suggest the African Grey Parrot handbook by Mattie Sue Athan. (have read two times) I found these links off of FB pages and they really helped me alot. Welcome to Africangreys.com & https://companionparrotonline.com/Member_Articles.html. They both have other links and resources listed.
I got my Grey about a month ago (to be here when my old english was dying) and we are now enjoying each other so much more after I did some reading. I had to learn their body language and how you can tell by looking at their eyes if they are stressed or happy.
One thing I will tell you is you will be bite, there is a reason for that, they are trying to determine that you are a worthy flock mate (security). If you are strong and do not react by pulling away they know you are ok. My first bite felt like a razor being pushed slowly into my finger. It hurt like a biatch! I slowly put her back into the cage with the step down command and then went and yelled. If you show weakness and over react (it's hard)they will see that as a weak flock member. I have a big perch that I roll up to the cage to let her out and play. They needs lots and lots of toys that they can play with and shread.

It takes a lot to earn their trust, as they are only 2 generations out of the wild, they just stopped importing them in the 90's.
Just take your time with him and approach them very relaxed, they are very perceptive and can sense if you are tense.

Right now she is very talkative and says good girl, pretty girl, hi, hello, how are you, and she has finally got the song sweet georgia brown down.Tons of sound effects, has my dog whining down pat. They have the intelligence of a four year old and the language skills of a two year old.
When she bite me it took me over a week to get my confidence back up to start trying to get her on my finger again. Everything I read was wait and avoid the same interaction to avoid them biting you again.

Try using a small perch you can use to have them step on, use the step up command, (hopefully they were taught that) didn't work for me but it may be worth a try. Patience is the key, if you force the issue they may feel very threatened and not trust you. NEVER NEVER yell at them, they will never forget and some more issues may develop.
Mine was allowed freedom around thier old house and we have to cage ours during the day so that caused some stress on her but I believe we are making great progress.
I hope this helped a bit.
 

FromTexas

This Space for Rent
Soooo, we inherited an African Gray a few weeks back and he's still timid. He loves my daughter the most -- she can pet him more than anyone else in the house. He's very gentle when taking food from your hand. He talks if he thinks he's alone but he'll whistle a lot all the time. I live in a neighborhood under construction and he mimics the sound of trucks backing up -- the "beep, beep, beep..." noise.

He'll be 6 years old this year. I don't think he was handled often so I'm sure this is why he's shy. Any tricks for getting him to lighten up a bit?
Your daughter may have to train him. Not always, but a lot of parrots frequently will only bond with one person - similar to their nature to bond with one mate. They will tolerate/socialize with others - but they only bond with one.
 

Dakota

~~~~~~~
My first bite felt like a razor being pushed slowly into my finger. It hurt like a biatch!
THAT made *my* finger hurt just reading how it felt like a razor being pushed slowly into your finger. WOW I have always wanted an African Grey but not everyone in my house has that kind of fondness for birds. In fact, I'm the only one. :ohwell:
 

FromTexas

This Space for Rent
THAT made *my* finger hurt just reading how it felt like a razor being pushed slowly into your finger. WOW I have always wanted an African Grey but not everyone in my house has that kind of fondness for birds. In fact, I'm the only one. :ohwell:
I have wanted a parrot since I can't remember... I have come close a number of times. What usually stops me is the fact I like vacations (often 8-10 days at a time). While I can get a sitter or otherwise to make sure they get daily attention, they typically don't handle being alone long periods well. I still may do it someday and just spend a buttload on vacation to get them multiple daily visits... It will be a costly venture. :jet:
 

Chasey_Lane

Salt Life
Oh it is very complicated to earn his trust. I would suggest the African Grey Parrot handbook by Mattie Sue Athan. (have read two times) I found these links off of FB pages and they really helped me alot. Welcome to Africangreys.com & https://companionparrotonline.com/Member_Articles.html. They both have other links and resources listed.
I got my Grey about a month ago (to be here when my old english was dying) and we are now enjoying each other so much more after I did some reading. I had to learn their body language and how you can tell by looking at their eyes if they are stressed or happy.
One thing I will tell you is you will be bite, there is a reason for that, they are trying to determine that you are a worthy flock mate (security). If you are strong and do not react by pulling away they know you are ok. My first bite felt like a razor being pushed slowly into my finger. It hurt like a biatch! I slowly put her back into the cage with the step down command and then went and yelled. If you show weakness and over react (it's hard)they will see that as a weak flock member. I have a big perch that I roll up to the cage to let her out and play. They needs lots and lots of toys that they can play with and shread.

It takes a lot to earn their trust, as they are only 2 generations out of the wild, they just stopped importing them in the 90's.
Just take your time with him and approach them very relaxed, they are very perceptive and can sense if you are tense.

Right now she is very talkative and says good girl, pretty girl, hi, hello, how are you, and she has finally got the song sweet georgia brown down.Tons of sound effects, has my dog whining down pat. They have the intelligence of a four year old and the language skills of a two year old.
When she bite me it took me over a week to get my confidence back up to start trying to get her on my finger again. Everything I read was wait and avoid the same interaction to avoid them biting you again.

Try using a small perch you can use to have them step on, use the step up command, (hopefully they were taught that) didn't work for me but it may be worth a try. Patience is the key, if you force the issue they may feel very threatened and not trust you. NEVER NEVER yell at them, they will never forget and some more issues may develop.
Mine was allowed freedom around thier old house and we have to cage ours during the day so that caused some stress on her but I believe we are making great progress.
I hope this helped a bit.
Very good info. Thanks! I know you're not supposed to pull away but it's difficult. Girl gives him a "back rub" and he loves it. Last night was the first time he put his head down in front of me so I knew he wanted a scratch. I was able to pet him a bit. I can tell he's warming up but it has been a very slow process.
 

Chasey_Lane

Salt Life
You weren't lying, Prep. That mo fo bit the #### out of me today and it f'ing hurt!!! I went to give him a Tums (have you tried those yet w/yours) and he went for my finger. #######!!! :lol:
 

aps45819

24/7 Single Dad
Had a house in Hawaii with an attached apartment and the girl that lived there had a Grey. Cool bird. It would holler "Come in" if some one knocked on the door, ans say "hello, hello" every time the phone rang.

One day she came running in with the bird hanging off her lip, that thing latched on tight.
 

PrepH4U

New Member
You weren't lying, Prep. That mo fo bit the #### out of me today and it f'ing hurt!!! I went to give him a Tums (have you tried those yet w/yours) and he went for my finger. #######!!! :lol:
I am sorry I can really feel your pain! :lol: Tums? No I haven't heard about that. Is that for calcium?
 
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