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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't know if I can do this here. But I am looking for a baby African Grey or a Jardines in the Ottawa, Ontario area (Canada). Any breeder in the same area please contact me by email: [email protected]

BTW Anything I gotta know about African Greys before buying one?

Thanks everyone for your help!
 

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Sandra said:
BTW Anything I gotta know about African Greys before buying one?
Yep, they are one of the most complicated psitticines mentally and behaviorally.

I would say that if you have to ask the question, you are not prepared to own one. There is a mountain of stuff to know, ...and by this I mean, food, cage, how you treat it, how you train it, how much time you spend with it, what you do with it while you are gone,...

A problem with anyone of these issues can produce a, screaming. biting, hateful creature that you will not like in the least. What's more, these birds are so sensitive to the environment and their owners that they frequently pluck their own feathers and mutilate their flesh. I have seen birds have to be euthanised for this.

This is a serious, life long committment to an intelligent, fragile, possibly sentient creature that can outlive YOU. This is not something you can "learn as you go".

If this is something you REALLY want, then it's time for some "book learnin'" and some serious research on the internet.

That is, assuming you want to be a good owner. There are hundreds of rescue facilities out there with thousands of birds that came from bad owners. Please don't be one of those..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the advice. I already started reading on them. I already owned birds from finches to macaws so I know a bit what to expect. I've only heard good stuff about those birds so it was a bit of a shock to read what you said. The baby African Grey I was hoping to have comes from a breeder who handfeed the bird. Does that make better bird since they go straight home from the breeder's instead of passing by a pet shop?
 

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From what I've heard it really doesn't matter. Each bird is his/her own being and has his/her own personality. I know people that did get birds from the pet stores, as rescues, and turned out to be very good, and some that came from breeders turned out to not be very nice. A lot of people have told me that the big birds are like two year olds. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks so much for the info. Any suggestion on websites to visit that has good info on African Grey?
 

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I would like to show a grey purchased without the owner doing enough research. Personally if I were you I would find a rescue in your area and see if you can put in some time, I TOTALLY agree with with every point that MyGala made.
You can't really see in the picture how red & raw her skin was, to give you an idea how bad she was my 15 year old son was crying for her when we left the house where we got her.


You can see the picture and more info here: http://www.aviantreasuresonline.com/mekostory.htm

Here's a site to get you started, this is by no means enough information, you whould really get hands on with a grey or 2 before you bring one into your life.

http://www.featheredfamily.com/africangrey1.htm
 

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That's a feather plucker ..and I've seen worse than that. That one at least left the down. Some are naked except for the head.

Thanks Alleaa for the pic.
They are truly heartbreaking..
 

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Sandra she got this way by being with an owner that didn't know enough about greys to be able to help her. Like MyGala said there are worst, we were lucky that we got her before she started on her skin.
I took a look at your profile and PLEASE don't take this the wrong way, however you seem to have young children at home, think of a grey as another infant, they need just as much attention. Also most don't get along well with younger children and they can be bad biters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
alleaa said:
Sandra she got this way by being with an owner that didn't know enough about greys.
But when you say the owner didnt know enough about grey, what do you mean? What info they needed to know?
 

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The short answer, is that we don't completely understand the mechanism that makes one bird pluck, and another bird adjust to anything life seems to throw at it. Some species of parrots just seem more vulnerable to plucking. Greys and Cockatoos are two of the worst.

Greys are incredibly smart. Possibily sentient, on the level of a two to four year old human!

And Just like a human, the wrong conditions (and we know a lot less about what a bird requires than humans) can lead to "mental illness". Think of Attention Deficit Disorder, or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. These things manifest themselves in varous ways. With a human we can talk to them and SOMETIMES help solve whatever is wrong.

With a bird, even one that thinks on such a high order, it's not that easy. It may be physical, it may be mental, it may be both. It may have multiple causes. Where do we start when presented with a bird like this? Sometimes changing something you think may help, ...can make it worse!

Alleaa has my admiration for taking on a monumental challenge like this. I could never do something like that. It takes a special person to love a special bird. Not many folks can get past the appearance of a bird like that.

That's why Greys terrify me.

I've also wanted one for over ten years. I just don't think I'm good enough, or could deal with the guilt that owners get when their bird starts to pluck.
 

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Greys can be VERY necrotic, the slightest change in their environment can cause plucking, a fly going by their cage can cause plucking, diet can cause plucking, a sound can cause plucking no one really knows why this happens there are many theories but it can be a million different reasons.
The woman that got Meko went into a pet store looking for a bird for her 8 year old with no information what so ever they took the advice of a person out to make a buck and brought her. Of course the 8 year old was over the "newness" of a bird in a couple days, then Meko was not given the attention she needed. I think you can always learn more as I said see if you can help out at a shelter and get some hands on experience with greys. That page I gave you in a very honest look at greys that is also a good place to start.
 
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I've had my grey for 9 years now...every since he was 12 weeks old. The only time he came close to plucking was when he was going through his very first molt. He started overpreening his chest area. We increased the baths and he has been fine every since. No plucking or neurotic behavior here.

That said...I can't stress enough how much we make Bailey a part of our life. He is in the livingroom where we often are. He gets out of cage time and we talk and interact with him just like family! He gets served a minium of 3 to 4 small meals a day. Muffin with veggies in the morning, just veggies/fruis, pellets soaked in sweet potatos baby food and finally a bit of seed at night. He has a constant source of rope and wood toys rotated to keep his interest. He is expensive to keep and a LOT of work. He also will occasionally give us a bite.... just because LOL If you hold grudges or have a tendency to become of afraid of biting pets, forget a grey.

We love Bailey because he makes us laugh every day. He talks to us and tells us he loves us. He IS our family and we will grow old and grey together. Having a grey is almost like having a child. Keep that in mind :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
CTChin said:
We love Bailey because he makes us laugh every day. He talks to us and tells us he loves us. He IS our family and we will grow old and grey together. Having a grey is almost like having a child. Keep that in mind :D
That is what I want. I am scared of getting bit because a Military Macaw I used to have but I have to get over that. I have a 2 year old son but I want the bird to be a part of my family. We are constantly in the living room, where the bird will be. I guess I have to read a lot about them and get ready to know what to do to whatever happens. I dont want a bird as a decoration, I want a bird to interact with. Even if I have a 2 year old there is room for a bird
 

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Make sure you read the other part of my post too. If he is in the mood, he will give us a good nip. He loves me but prefers my husband. Sometimes they just pick favorites. Unfortunately, I have to tell you that I would never trust him with a small child. Greys just think they are superior.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
From what age they have a preference over women or man? And is there something that can influence them to have that preference?
 

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Sandra said:
From what age they have a preference over women or man? And is there something that can influence them to have that preference?
I'm not sure. My husband just has a way with birds. It helps if you are a calm, easy going person. Birds can sense nervous, stressed out people LOL. Birds also love it when you allow yourself to be just a little bit goofy around them.

Early socialization is important. Purchase from a breeder that allows a baby to adjust to different situations early and continue that when they come home.

I have several books by Mattie Sue Athan that I just love:

The African Grey Parrot Handbook
Guide to Companion Parrot Behavior
Guide to a Well Behaved Parrot
 
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