Posted by: Sonja | 2012/11/03

African Grey care

Hallo i have an african grey. Bokkie is almost 1 year old. when i first got him I put him on a playpen but he jumped of and he torned his skin where his breatbone is. He had to get an operation and had to wear a bandage for about six week. I got very scared since then that he might get hurt again and therefore do not let him play on top of his cage. His cage is very high and I am scared that he might fall on the tiles and hurt himself again. He use to sit on my shoulder but because he jumps for every little noise I also stopped that. Now i only take him out at night. I hold him on my hand and he sits on my hand but I have to put my hand on my head. He will sit there and talk and when he is ready I can lower my hand and then I scratch his head for a bit and then i go and put him in his sleepcage. He does not show any behavorial problems but am I taking him out to little? He seems to be in a routine and will not come out during the day. I feel bad that I cannot let him play on top of his cage but it is to dangerous and if I knew better at the time, i would have bought a lower cage. I cannot afford a new cage now and i want to keep him safe.

He is also a very fussy eater. I give him baby purity with a syringe everyday. He loves it! i just feel that at least he is getting some nutrition from the butternut and carrots. He only wants to eat apples so I give him other fruit purity. The last couple of days he will cry while I am feeding him the purity and when I say is bokkie a baby, then hee cries more but it is a playing thing for him.

I really want to take hiim out more but I do not want him to get hurt again and he gets frightened so easily. What can I do?



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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberVet

I am glad that you are trying to do the best for Bokkie. You are describing the beginnings of several behavioural problems that need to be addressed to prevent Bokkie from becoming what we term a "phobic" bird, afraid of everything. This is a common problem in African Greys but if caught early we can show you how to teach him to be a confident and happy bird. We would need to see you both to help you.
You are welcome to contact us at Onderstepoort 012 529 8000, Exotic animal clinic for an appointment.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Marie | 2012/11/16

*You* accused me of prtenesing an argument based solely on public opinion. -1) no. it''s obvious you aren''t reading my posts, and this is a clear example of that. i''d like you to point me to the sentence where i accused you of that. you won''t find it.-2) furthermore, your other assertion about my statements is also incorrect. all my posts have the same message: that i am ONLY speaking about opinion. that means i am NOT speaking about the law itself, and I never have been

Reply to Marie
Posted by: Fergus | 2012/11/07

I''m sure he is happy, I wouldn''t stress too much.

Why do you steam his vegs? Give him bits of carrot etc raw - they like it, and can also play with it if they want. My bird loves all sorts of raw vegs - just don''t give him avocado or celery, and I avoid lettuce too - it''s too watery and can give them a runny tum. My bird also loves a small bit of cooked rice, cooked lentils, and of course a couple of peanuts in the shell every day (not too many though!) Try your bird on half an orange segment, see if he likes it. Also pawpaw/mango/peach chunks, strawberries, gooseberries, grapes, guavas, litchis, and (best of all!) granadilla, specially the pips. Give him a cooked chicken bone now and then, it''s good for them and keeps them busy for a while - a legbone wold be fine.

Keep an eye on his wings - if they were clipped they of course grow out, and when it''s time to cut them again get a professional to do it so you can see how. If it''s done right, he shouldn''t ''fall''... you can get him to practice by letting him jump off very low things, onto a soft surface, till he gets the hang of it.

Reply to Fergus
Posted by: Sonja | 2012/11/06

Hallo, Thank you for the reply. his wings were clipped when we bought him. I am not sure if they have done it correctly. He will sometimes glyde in a way but when he touchest the ground he always land on his breastbone. Hard enough for him to make a " hickup"  sound. He is eating steamed veggies and seeds as well as apples. I gave him parrot muesli and he ate a little bit of it. He gets very little purity during the day. I use a small syringe and he eat maybe 3 or 4, sometimes less. I do not think he is eating it because he is very hungry, it is more for the attention. He seems to be a happy bird, I would wanted to take him out more during the day and let him walk freely in the house for a bit (while I am watching of course) but he refuses to come out during the day. He will only come out at night and then we have a couple of minutes of Bokkie and Sonja time where I scratch his head and he give me kisses if he is in the mood. I will keep on reading about African Greys. I would like to handle him correctly so that he can stay a happy and relaxed bird.

Reply to Sonja
Posted by: Fergus | 2012/11/04

I take it your bird''s wings are clipped? If so - how? You might like to talk to an expert who can show you how this should be done - many people clip too many of the flight feathers, because they don''t want their bird to fly at all, but this is not correct - all you want is for him not to get ''lift'', and to do this takes a bit of skill and knowledge. If it is done correctly then the bird won''t fall, but will ''glide'' to the ground, and he won''t be able to fly away - this is what you want.
You also need to stop babying the bird with respect to his food. He needs to learn to eat parrot pellets, as well as a variety of fresh fruits and vegs. Birds can be very stubborn and will starve themselves to some extent, you should get some information about how to acclimatise him to eating the correct foods.
Parrots are highly intelligent and are well-known manipulators - he will know exactly how to push your buttons to get what he wants, so you need to equip yourself with information so that you can outsmart him!

Reply to Fergus

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