about to make a life long commitment...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 02, 2010 1:25 PM GMT
    I'm about to adopt...

    a Timneh African Grey Parrot. She has a vocab. of about 100 words now. Very well taken care of, but the owner simple can't juggle career and kids. She's very well socialized and loves playing games. I've already seen her DNA charts, and she is pure.

    Thoughts?
    (These birds live up to 60-75 years, an IQ of a five yr. old, and very good reasoning ability)
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    Oct 02, 2010 2:53 PM GMT
    I have a 2 1/2 year old female Congo African Grey. She has a huge vocabulary, picks things up on her own (which can be a problem LOL), understands context for her phrases, modifies the phrases in ways that make sense, usually, loves alternative rock music - sings with it, gives the dog commands, gets angry when he ignores her, etc - very playful, sweet, loves getting her head rubbed, loves her toys - especially the wood ones she likes to destroy. Very happy and funny bird.

    Other things to consider:

    If you are not getting her cage, you need a good size cage. Mine has a number of toys and perches - a good size cage is needed for that. You need a cage specifically for her size with bars spaced properly. Too close together and she can get her head caught - too far apart and she can get caught trying to get out. A good cage is a few hundred dollars. Consider cost of toys ongoing. Mine loves the toys she can destroy.

    Birds are messy. While most of her poop is on the paper, she likes tearing the paper and some poop is on the floor of the cage. You need to do some cleaning and disinfecting daily, and more extensive weekly.

    You need time daily to do some food and food dish prep - e.g. cleaning food dishes, warming vegetables in hot water, letting them cool. Cleaning water dish daily. Mine has 4 dishes: high quality seed and nuts (no sunflower), snacks including uncooked vegetable pasta, vegetables, water. Fruit is often a plus. Consider the food costs.

    They need attention. Will you be home enough and have time to spend with her out of the cage daily? They can get bored easily. I am fortunate in that mine can keep herself occupied, is in a good location, sees the dog all day, and enjoys her music, but not sure if other birds can stay occupied.

    Is there a pet store near you specializing in birds with a very knowledgeable owner? Is there a good avian vet nearby? Birds will often hide illness symptoms until too late.

    There are a number of books on African Greys. Might be worth browsing.
  • jlly_rnchr

    Posts: 1759

    Oct 02, 2010 3:24 PM GMT
    I would never adopt a pet that could potentially make me feel stupid.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 02, 2010 3:26 PM GMT
    I am gonna have to say, in my experience, I think the 5 year-old might be less work.
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    Oct 02, 2010 3:49 PM GMT
    You need to be sure you are ready for this. I have a macaw and parrots are great pets if you can give them the time and attention they need. I am a clean freak and it is a challenge everyday to keep the cage clean and the poop off the floor.

    I have a new and expensive couch and everytime Shilo is out with me I have to cover the couch completely for poop and to make sure if he chews it is the quilt and not the leather.

    Birds are chewers period. You will have to watch your belongings that are not toys to chew on. You have to purchase toys for the cage that your pet can chew and destroy. This will never end and can get expensive. Mine destroys his wood rings in about two weeks. The shavings make it on the floor and all over the cage. This is the birds nature and you must provide this.
    You must also make sure the Grey is out of the cage as much as possible. If you are a super busy type and never home a parrot is not for you.

    You need to enhance the pellet diet with fresh fruits and vegi's daily.

    It is horrible when folks take on a parrot because they talk and think they are cute. You must know what you are getting in for.

    That aside, when he cuddles up to me at night when I am watching tv it is the greatest thing ever and worth all the work.

    The Grey is an outstanding parrot but PLEASE be responsible and know what you are getting in to (for life).
  • Regina_Guy

    Posts: 406

    Oct 02, 2010 3:49 PM GMT
    Hahah, I'm with you on that!

    jlly_rnchr saidI would never adopt a pet that could potentially make me feel stupid.
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    Oct 02, 2010 4:42 PM GMT
    jlly_rnchr saidI would never adopt a pet that could potentially make me feel stupid.


    hahahahahahahahaha...ditto!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 02, 2010 4:46 PM GMT
    It sounds like a LOT of work, but potentially awesome. Based on what the owners here are saying, isn't it roughly equal to having a dog?
  • Import

    Posts: 7190

    Oct 02, 2010 4:51 PM GMT
    if it ever gets sassy with u or gives u lip, just fry it up and eat it. Delicious bird with some cholula sauce, yum

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    Oct 02, 2010 5:11 PM GMT
    Lots of good advice above. Think twice and then some more. Pets are supposed to be a lifetime committment not disposable commodities and as you now know even your well intentioned friend was never truly committed to that bird otherwise she wouldn't be letting it go now with poor excuses. She should have thought about those things before she ever got the bird in the first place so now is the time for you to do it as well.
    But that's all water under the bridge . Just don't go "adopting" it because it's cute and fun and smart if you're not committed to keeping it for the rest of it's natural life or yours.
    Birds ARE messy, really messy... there will be days when you question why you got it.
    What are you going to do with it when you want to go on vacation or away for a couple of days?
    They demand lots of social interaction daily, not a few minutes here and there but hours. In other words they have to become almost an appendage to you. Seriously.
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    Oct 02, 2010 5:12 PM GMT
    I had an African Grey for years and loved it. They are very social, require a lot of daily attention, otherwise they get bored. When they get bored they can be very destructive (read: "spineless books in bookcase").

    I eventually had to give mine up because my living circumstances changed. In addition to not being able to spend enough time with the bird, he began terrorizing one of my roomiesicon_eek.gif. Was kinda funny thoughicon_twisted.gif.

    Long story short, birds require more attention than children OR dogs. If you can give the bird what it needs in the way of companionship you will be greatly rewarded.icon_biggrin.gif
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Oct 02, 2010 5:14 PM GMT
    Sounds like an interesting new addition. I would make sure I've done my homework (extensively) about what is required for the parrot to be happy and healthy. Sounds like you are no dummy and have a good background. It is one thing to have a pet "have a happy home", but this one needs one that allows to growth and achievement. Ready teacher? LOL

    icon_biggrin.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 06, 2010 9:33 PM GMT
    The owner's asked for a donation to a pet relief agency. I just deposited the money.

    So, Zoey is now registered in my name. I will drive to pick her up next week. I'm so excited, and she will be a very good test subject in my labicon_smile.gif Her cage sits right next to my desk, and I'm so ready to start teaching her many, many things.
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    Oct 06, 2010 9:37 PM GMT
    hauptstimme saidThe owner's asked for a donation to a pet relief agency. I just deposited the money.

    So, Zoey is now registered in my name. I will drive to pick her up next week. I'm so excited, and she will be a very good test subject in my labicon_smile.gif Her cage sits right next to my desk, and I'm so ready to start teaching her many, many things.

    Congratulations. Just some additional advice...if you have a phone near the cage, watch what you say.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 06, 2010 9:43 PM GMT
    pdxboxer saidI am gonna have to say, in my experience, I think the 5 year-old might be less work.


    Imma have to say, in my experience, that nothing is less work than a human child
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 06, 2010 10:14 PM GMT
    socalfitness said
    hauptstimme saidThe owner's asked for a donation to a pet relief agency. I just deposited the money.

    So, Zoey is now registered in my name. I will drive to pick her up next week. I'm so excited, and she will be a very good test subject in my labicon_smile.gif Her cage sits right next to my desk, and I'm so ready to start teaching her many, many things.

    Congratulations. Just some additional advice...if you have a phone near the cage, watch what you say.


    Thanks. I'm so ready to have her. I'm going to introduce her into my lab. She'll be a great study instead of those damn chinchillas.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 06, 2010 11:27 PM GMT
    hauptstimme said
    socalfitness said
    hauptstimme saidThe owner's asked for a donation to a pet relief agency. I just deposited the money.

    So, Zoey is now registered in my name. I will drive to pick her up next week. I'm so excited, and she will be a very good test subject in my labicon_smile.gif Her cage sits right next to my desk, and I'm so ready to start teaching her many, many things.

    Congratulations. Just some additional advice...if you have a phone near the cage, watch what you say.


    Thanks. I'm so ready to have her. I'm going to introduce her into my lab. She'll be a great study instead of those damn chinchillas.

    Mine can repeat my name, address, phone, zip code. She must have picked it up when I was ordering something over the phone. She also likes to do one sided conversations...."that's ok, I'll take care of it"..."oh really"..."well, that's ok".... Once she was on top of her cage getting ready to fly. I said "Gracie, not flight certified." Now whenever she's on top of the cage, getting ready to try and fly, she repeats the same phrase. Another thing funny - I'll hold her near my ear. She'll bite, very gently - doesn't hurt, then she'll yell "ouch, ha ha"

    I have a doberman, and the funniest things are how they interact. He (dog) goes crazy at meal times, and she obviously enjoys it, telling him no, sit, etc. He gets jealous when I take her out of her cage; he shows his displeasure by walking out of the room and watching from a distance. Last week he hid the keys to her cage. Still haven't found them, but fortunately I have additional keys. This time I will hide those keys so he can't find them. They are both very rambunctious.