Author - Mark Wright

African Grey Parrot Information

African Grey Parrot Information

Thinking of getting a African Gray or you already own one. Then read on to discover some African grey parrot information that I’m sure you will find interesting.

The African Grey parrot is one of the most desired pets in the world. They have a great coloring although not very bright, their shading is beautiful. These parrots are very intelligent. Experts say that these parrots have an intellect similar to that of chimpanzees and dolphins. African Grey parrot has the ability to mimic more than 1000 words. This parrot can learn and understand the words and are the best talking parrots.

Getting to Know Your African Grey Parrot

Read on to find interesting facts about these parrots including their origin, various sub species, what they eat and so on. Learning about these birds may inspire you getting one of these birds as a pet or get to understand these parrots better.

Origin and Species of African Gray Parrot

This parrot is one of the vulnerable species of the Psittacidae. Where are African gray parrots found? It is native to central and western Africa rainforest. This parrot is medium sized and has unique features such as gray feathers, black beak, and white spots around the eyes. In contrast with other parrots, the African Gray parrot is one of the most intelligent birds on earth. The researcher has also observed this bird in its natural habitat and has found it having the ability to mimic sounds made by other birds.

This parrot has two subspecies, which ate the Timneh African Gray parrot and Congo African Gray parrot. The Congo African gray parrot is larger than the Timneh and has light gay feathers as well as a red tail. The Timneh subspecies is smaller and has dark gray feathers and a chestnut tail. The Congo African gray parrot is usually found in Congo, Kenya, Angola, Tanzania, and Ivory Coast. On the other hand, the Timneh subspecies is distributed from the savannas of West Africa, Ivory Coast, Guinea Bissau all the way to Mali.

The Two Subspecies

Another difference between the two subspecies is that the Timneh parrot’s start to speak earlier than the Congo species. Also it’s less agitated by strangers. As previously mentioned, these parrots are endangered and are listed on CITES appendix II. However, although it’s prohibited to trade, the wild caught African Grays. They are still illegally caught and sold as pets.

To prevent the extinction of the wild African Gray parrots both the US and the European Union has prohibited their importation. One of the other reasons why the wild species are in a brink of extension is the fact that their habitat. Which is the rain forest, is continually being destroyed in search of timber. These parrots are valued as pets because of their high intelligence, ability to learn and mimic human speech, sociability as well as their magnificent beauty.

In addition, other scientific studies show that these birds can make a connection between words and their meaning mentally. The research also indicated that these birds. Also have the ability to express certain preferences and even apply concepts such as numbers, shape, and color.

Other Interesting Facts

Other interesting facts about these birds are that they can live for up to 50-70 years as pets. They also have the ability to interpret noise and sounds that are made by appliances in homes and words spoken by their owners. Additionally, these birds also can mimic and distinguish a large number of sounds.

It’s hard to distinguish between a male and female African gray parrot. Although experts say that the males are slightly longer than females while the females have a head that is narrower and a suppler neck

African Grey Parrot Training

Why African Gray’s are Considered the Best Pets, Apart from being one of the most intelligent birds, these birds are a popular pet. Over the year’s scientist have conducted numerous research to study the mental capacity of these birds. The most popular study was conducted by Dr. Irene Pepperberg with her Famous Gray parrot named Alex. Dr. Pepperberg used Alex together with other African Gray parrots in her research that focused on communication.

This research showed that these parrots could not only learn many human words, but they can also use them to communicate with their owners. Other researches and studies indicate that these parrots have the emotional and mental capacities of a five-year-old human child.

African Grey Parrot Care

Because of their high intelligence, these parrots form very strong bonds with their owners. This means that the owners need to devote much of their time and effort to handling and to socialize with them on a daily basis.

Additionally, these birds need regular exercise to help them in maintaining an adequate physical condition. This means that the owner must free their time and spend several hours daily with the parrots out of their cage playing and supervising them.

In captivity, these birds are easily bored if there is no proper communication between the owners. This may lead to feather picking. As mentioned earlier although the domestic African Gray has a gentle nature and lovely disposition. They do require constant attention and interaction with their owners.

The African Grays Can be Hard to Keep Occupied

Most people can relate to the hardships that come with keeping a young child occupied. This case applies to keeping these intelligent birds occupied. To keep them happy and healthy, these birds need a lot of mental stimulation. This means that you must provide them with a variety of toys and other ways to exercise their minds. Lack of doing so may lead to destructive behavior or development of unpleasant habits. That may require intervention from a professional.

Some of the signs to look for to see whether your parrot is bored include biting, self-mutilating, feather picking, grumpy and unfriendliness. Although these behaviours might cause harm to your parrot, one of the worst traits is feather picking. If you notice your parrot, picking his/her feathers, you should address this issue immediately.

Course, you wouldn’t want your parrot to have bare patches where he has plucked his feathers out. Another main problem when the parrot becomes bored is that they become grumpy making him an unpleasant friend. The parrot may also start biting those close to him, and if overly distressed, he may even self-mutilate.

The best thing about this parrot is that it can easily understand what you want it to do. This makes it easy to train him. If you are patient you can easily teach him, some trick he will love doing, and other people will love doing with him. When he is alone, you should hang plenty of toys that he can play with to avoid boredom.

The African Gray as Part of Your Family

In the wild, the African Grey flies in a flock. This is why they tend to treat their owner as one of the flock. As a result, these parrots love to have their side of their head rubbed and scratched. He will also love having their body groomed and massaged. When parrots are in a group, they enjoy smooching around each other’s head. Your parrot will also love this.

When staying with the parrot in a family with children, you should teach the kids how to handle the parrot. Although parrots are friendly, they can bite if aggravated. Remember, the parrot beak is designed to crack nut and seeds. This makes it hard and sharp. If your child gets bitten, the bite my be painful and nasty. Additionally, you should not also let the parrot kiss you around the mouth.

Research indicates that a person can transmit bacteria into birds especially through the mouth. Of course, you do not want your lovely pet to get sick, so it better to avoid this. Additionally, you should make sure you visit your vet regularly for checkups. Regular checkups may help catch an illness in early stages before it worsens. Additionally, your vet can advise you on the best diet, exercises, and other tips to keep your parrot healthy.

Potential Behavior Problems

Research indicates that the African Gray parrots tend to be more nervous of flighty. However, you can resolve this tendency easily. To help your parrot build confidence, you should avoid using force and give the parrot a choice to go away if he doesn’t want something. You should start these practices as early as possible.

Start training your parrot from an early age and let them know that they have a choice f leaving if something makes them uncomfortable. This will help you to avoid using force and give the parrot the opportunity of choosing to participate or not to. Additionally, as the caregiver, you should also look for body language. That shows you that the parrot is uncomfortable and change what you are doing to make them at ease.

African Gray parrots are easy to keep if you are ready to devote your time to maintain them

As mentioned earlier, African Gray parrots can live up to 70 years in captivity. This means that if you are considering adopting them, you should know that you are getting a pet that you will live with for your lifetime.

These parrots are emotionally sensitive and often distressed when bounced from one owner to another. It’s unfortunate that these parrots end up living in several homes because the owners rush adopting them without understanding proper care.

Conclusion

For this reason, we have devoted our time to educate people on the traits, and proper care of the African Gray parrot. So make sure you fully understand what you are getting into should you think of adopting one.

African Grey Parrot Diet [Nutrition and Health]

African Grey Parrot Diet

Today you will learn about the African Grey Parrot Diet and Nutrition.

Are you planning to get the African Gray parrot, as a pet and you would like to know more about its diet and feeding habits?

We are here for you. Being experts in the field of veterinary services. We are more than happy to let you know all that you need to know about the African Gray parrot nutritional needs.

To ensure that your African Gray stay’s happy and healthy life you will need to give it a variety of foods to cater for its nutritional needs.

Having seen a number of foods that have been formulated for these parrots we cannot recommend any of them as the best a hundred percent. For you to meet the balanced feeding requirements for these parrots. You really need to mix the various feeds available.

African Grey Parrot Diet in Captivity

Should I worry about the African grey parrot diet? Most African Grey parrot owners neglect the nutrition when it comes to choosing what their parrots eat. However, just like any other pet in your home, you should take time to discuss your parrot’s nutrition with a veterinarian. Most owners will assume that any diet that works for other birds will be enough for their African Grey Parrot (AGP) but this is not always the case.

Remember, poor nutrition is the main cause of many health problems. To avoid these health issues, the AGP owners should strive to improve the diets of their parrots. This means that they need to educate themselves continually on the latest recommended diets that foster good nutrition. Similar to humans, your bird’s health will depend on how well it’s fed.

What do we recommend?

We recommend a bowl of chopped natural and fresh fruits as the base feed. If you do not have the fruits, you can give your parrot a pelleted diet. However make sure that these pelleted diet doesn’t contain any additives such as artificial colours or flavors. Seeds will give your parrot the needed fat but you should use them in moderation as too much of it is not healthy for your parrot.

You should also offer your parrot an assortment of fresh, organic, and wholesome veggies. Just like babies, it might be hard to have the parrot eat the vegetables. Take your time to encourage your bird to eat the vegetables. Remember, these veggies contain useful nutrients that promote good health more than any other diet.

Here are some of the good vegetable choices for your African Gray parrot:

  • Carrots

  • Sweet potatoes

  • Broccoli

  • Collard greens

  • Kale

  • Celery

  • Peppers; red and green

  • Cucumbers

  • Zucchini

  • Peas both garden and snow

  • Green beans

  • Leaf lettuce but not or iceberg or head lettuce

Fresh fruits given daily add nutrition, these fruits should be part of your African Grey Feeding Schedule:

  • Kiwi

  • Melons

  • Oranges

  • Papaya and Mango with skins removed

  • Apples

  • Grapes

  • Berries – strawberries, blackberries

  • Blueberries, and raspberries

African Grey Diet in the Wild

African Grey in the Wild

African Grey Wild

What does the wild AGP eat? Wild African Grey parrots eat a variety of seeds, fruits, berries, nuts, and vegetation. Instead of flying, these parrots are mostly seen clambering from one branch to other while feeding.

These birds love the African oil palm fruits, which are native to their environment. If you happen to get hold of these fruits while travelling, you can carry them and take them to your pet as a treat.

What Do Experts Recommend as the Best Diet for AGP?

The AGP is vulnerable to both vitamin A and calcium deficiency as well as obesity. For this reason, it is crucial to feed your bird with a balanced diet to avoid these conditions.

Seeds

It is true that the wild AGP have access to seeds all the year. But you should note that the types of seed would change from one season to the other. However, the commercial seed mixes given to pet parrots have high fat concentration and lack some crucial nutrients. If you use these seed mixes as the main source of food. Then your parrot may become weak and ill since it is not getting all the nutrients it needs.

Additionally, these birds love natural seeds. While the commercial seeds have undergone processing to make them last longer. When you give these seeds to the bird, it will pick only a handful and leave the rest. This will further minimize the nutrients they get from the food. As mentioned earlier, you should only offer your parrot seeds as part of the balanced diet and never a source of the main diet.

African Grey Pellet Food

The commercially available pelleted diets are formulated in a way that it meets the nutritional needs of all birds. These diets are available in different formulations for different life stages of the birds and for managing certain diseases. Although there are many pelleted diets on the market. You should pick the ones that contain natural ingredients and those which have no artificial colors or additives.

Pellets are the best food for your parrot, and it should represent about 75 to 80 percent of your parrot’s diet. You should supplement the remainder with fresh fruits, veggies, and limited seeds if need be. One of the main problems that faced by parrot owners is to transition a seed eating bird to a pelleted diet. This can take several weeks to months. However with patience, your bird will start enjoying the pelleted diet.

Fruits and Veggies

As mentioned earlier your AGP diet should contain 20 to 25 percent of the daily diet. You should minimize the content of pale veggies such as iceberg, celery, or head lettuces. This is because they offer minimal nutritional value to your bird. You should never also feed the bird’s avocado as it reported to be potentially toxic.

You can offer the previously mentioned fruits and veggies to improve the health of your parrot. Before giving the parrot the veggies and fruits, you should wash them thoroughly to remove any chemicals. Although it is not always to take the skin off, you should cut them into manageable sizes to make it easy for the bird to swallow. You should also not mix the fruits with the pelleted diet.

If you find that your bird fancies only one food item, you should reduce the food item to promote consumption of other foods.

You should treat the African Grey parrot as a child. Ensure that you offer it with a variety of food items daily. If you find that it doesn’t eat it, you should not give up. Encourage the bird to eat the food and eventually it will like it. Remember you must always ensure a well-balanced diet to promote the health and longevity of your bird.

What About Water?

Although our topic mainly concentrates on the best diet for the AGP, you should never neglect the importance of water. You should always provide the bird with fresh and cool water. Wild parrots usually take water after every meal.

For this reason, you should make it a habit of providing it with fresh water after every meal. You should also provide plenty of water all the time to avoid dehydration. Additionally, you should always keep the water away from heavy metals as the water might get contaminated with toxic chemicals. Which might be harmful to these parrots.

Things to Remember when Feeding my African Gray

• Monitor the amount of food that your parrot eats every day
• Supply fresh water all the tome
• Ensure that your parrot’s diets contain 75 to 80 percent of pelleted food
• The diet should also contain 25 percent of fresh veggies and fruits
• Clean the water and food dishes thoroughly and dry them well before use

What about people food?

Similar to other pets any nutritious and wholesome food that you eat together with your family. Then giving it to your African Gray’s in small quality will not harm them. However, you should follow the guidelines listed above. For instance, some birds will love small quantities of cooked fish, lean meat, cheese, or egg occasionally.

However, since birds are not tolerant to lactose, you should offer them with minimal dairy products. You should also avoid giving your bird high-fat junk foods, chocolate, caffeinated products, excessively salty items, and alcoholic beverages.

What other Extra Vitamins and Minerals Does my Bird need?

Giving your bird fruits and veggies will help to supply all the Vitamins they need. For this reason, instead of offering them vitamins supplements, for them with fresh vegetables and fruits as required. Your parrot requires sufficient vitamin A. Thus the need of providing it with beta-carotene vegetables.

Additionally, the African Gray parrot diet should contain enough calcium, as they need it more than other birds. You can provide a calcium block inside the bird’s cage. Adding dry bone powder block in the cage may also help in providing calcium. This is essential for healthy bone, muscle contraction, nerve, and heart function as well as blood clotting.

Conclusion

Providing your African gray parrot with a balanced diet is crucial to ensure a disease free, healthy, and happy pet. Keeping this pet is not hard especially if you ensure proper diet and regular exercise.

Although it might be hard to get them to eat veggies and fruits, encouraging them to do so will yield positive results. Additionally, you should always ensure that your bird gets fresh and cool water all the time.