Buying an African grey
How to Choose an African Grey Parrot
African Grey parrots are beautiful, make great companions, and can even talk. If you think these birds are right for you, you'll have to commit to caring for them. Once you've decided that you're willing to pay for an African Grey, interact with it, and care for it, you'll need to select the bird. Find a reputable supplier of African Greys and take your time getting to know them. You'll soon find a feathered companion to bring home.
Considering Your Lifestyle and Needs
Commit to caring for your bird.If you'd like to get a pet parrot, ask yourself if you're willing to care for it for a long time. If so, you'll be responsible for maintaining it, feeding it, and interacting with it for a long time. African Grey parrots can live up to 50 years.
- Consider how much time you spend at work or away on vacation. A parrot represents a similar level of commitment as a dog, so if you don’t have the time to play, cuddle, or socialize a dog then a parrot isn't for you.
Check to see if you can keep a bird at home.Check your lease to see if you're allowed to keep pets, specifically birds. Since African Greys can be very noisy, you'll need to find out if the noise will bother any roommates or people in your house.
- African Greys are known for mimicking, whistling, and talking. They may screech to get your attention.
Think about the time investment.African Greys are very social birds and they need to interact with other birds or people every day. Ensure that you'll be home enough to give the companionship your bird needs. You'll also need to give the bird plenty of time each day to get out of its cage and explore.
- If your African Grey doesn't get enough companionship, it may begin to pick its feathers. Feather picking is a sign of loneliness.
Examine your budget.Decide how much money you're willing to spend every year on your parrot. You'll need to consider the initial cost of the bird, pet supplies (like a large cage and toys or perches), bird food, and trips to the veterinarian. Only commit to getting an African Grey if you're willing to pay for all of these expenses.
- Remember that you'll be paying to maintain the bird throughout its entire life.
Think about how the bird will fit into your household.In addition to the noise and social interaction, consider how the bird will do in your household. For example, if you have lots of cats will the bird struggle to fit in? If you have small children, will they be alright with the noise? Is anyone in your household allergic to birds?
- Ask your family members or roommates if they're comfortable with having an African Grey in the house before you bring one home.
Selecting Your African Grey
Determine which type of African Grey you want.Once you've decided that you'd like to get an African Grey parrot, you need to decide which type you want to bring home. There are two types, the Congo and the Timneh. The Congo African Grey grows to around 13 inches (33 cm) and has a red tail. The Timneh African Grey is a little smaller and milder mannered than the Congo African Grey.
- While Congo African Greys can weigh up to 1 pound (450 g), Timneh African Greys only weigh up to 3/4 of a pound. Timneh African Greys grow to around 9 inches (23 cm) long.
Find a reputable breeder.Do your research when it comes to finding a supplier of African Greys. Try to find a recommended breeder or animal sanctuary that is knowledgeable about the birds. Look for a place that specializes in parrots, especially African Greys.
- If you find a bird advertised online or in the newspaper, ensure that it's coming from a good place and that you can see the bird in person before you buy it.
- Some unscrupulous people breed birds solely for profit and care little about their welfare. Avoid purchasing birds from online ads or from someone who shows little interest in the bird's new home. A reputable breeder will ask you lots of questions to ensure they are placing the bird in a safe, good place.
Examine the bird.When you're looking at the African Greys, look for any health issues. To pick a bird that's healthy, avoid any that seem sluggish, have dull eyes, have diarrhea or runny noses, or have broken feathers or physical deformities.
- If the bird you like has been treated for medical conditions in the past, find out if it will need continuing treatments.
Interact with the African Grey.It might seem like the African Grey picks you instead of the other way around. Spend lots of time with the birds to learn about their individual behaviors. Handle the parrots to find out how they act around you. Remember that there's no rush in choosing an African Grey. You can take as much time as you need to find the right one for you.
- If you have family members or roommates that will be around the bird a lot, bring them with you to select the bird. This will give you a chance to see how they interact.
Learn about the bird's background.Once you've found a parrot you'd like to take home, ask about its medical and social backgrounds. You should know if the bird has had any health issues that you may need to monitor. You also need to find out if the bird has been socialized on a regular basis. Daily socialization can improve the bird's behavior and make it easier to bond.
- If you're choosing a young African Grey, find out if it's been weaned. If it hasn't, wait until it's fully weaned before bringing it home.
QuestionAre my budgies and cockatiels the right companions for each other?Top AnswererThey co-exist peacefully in the wild in the wild, and most pairs get on fine. However, you should always check that your birds get along together before doing this permanently.Thanks!
Video: What You Should Know About AFRICAN GREYS | Cressi
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