How To Raise A Well Adjusted African Grey Parrot
I’ve recently been handling lots of new clients in my parrot training business, coaching them through issues and spending a lot of time thinking about why parrots end up having problems when it hit me… African Grey Parrots are the 2nd most likely parrot to develop behavior problems; Second only to the Cockatoo. But unlike Cockatoo’s who are in my opinion are not a good bird for the regular parrot owner to own because of it’s nature… African grey Parrots don’t share the Cockatoo’s same nature. So why do I have so many clients who’s African Grey’s have problems?
So I thought I’d share some of my thoughts on this topic with you…
There are a lot of things involved in keeping an African Grey Parrot happy than
normal people would like to believe. Most of my clients think they can just walk
into any pet shop that sells hand fed baby African Grey’s and think their bird
will end up being perfect. Oh… if they only knew how much more was involved.
African Grey’s can tend to be a skittish type of parrot that spooks easily, gets
stressed easily and develops lots of phobias and behavior issues. But there also
the smartest breed of bird and through proper handling, similar to the ones
described in this article and on my website athttp://www.birdtricks.com/african_grey_problems.htm, can be nothing short of amazing.
So even though I could sit here for weeks writing 743 articles on all the
different things you need to do to make sure your African Grey Parrot is happy.
But instead I’m going to focus on just one thing… TOYS!
Now don’t go clicking off the page just yet because you think you know that your
African Grey needs toys. I’m not trying to be condescending, and I know you
already know that toys are important.But do you know how often your African Grey’s toys should be rotated or changed? And better yet are you changing your birds toysfrequently? Has your African Grey had a toy in his cage for longer than a month or two? These are all important questions to ask, because African Grey Parrots are
extremely intelligent and need to be placed in stimulating environments to
remain happy.This means they need their toys constantly rotated in and out of their cages. They need their toys hung from different parts of their cage.
You should be constantly searching for different shapes and textures of toy for
your African grey to interact with. Toys that are chewable, destructible, touch
to chew, easy to chew etc.The key to a great stimulating environment boils down to rotating your African Grey’s toys at least ever 2 weeks. And if you see a toy isn’t being touched or destroyed first see if changing up it’s placement in the cageworks… often that’s enough to get the bird to start playing with it.
If rotating the toys location doesn’t work, and you still don’t see the toy
getting destroyed, than you should give up on that toy, remove it from his cage
and replace with something different. If you don’t… you risk the chance of an otherwise intelligent creature getting manic and bored and a bit psycho on you in the near future.
About the Author:
Chet Womach owns and operates a parrot training newsletter packed with tips
for African Grey owners which can be found at