Grayson – African Grey

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Grayson

I purchased Grayson from a reputable breeder in Oshawa when he was 4 months old (Oct. 2012). I would recommend her to anyone because Grayson is the perfect companion and I can only give her the thanks for that. If you want her information click here: Contact Us and send me a quick message and I’ll connect you to her. Her place isn’t the tidiest however her birds love her so she must be doing something right. Grayson choose me when I went to visit the first time. I sat with the breeder as all 3 greys moved around. Grayson was the one that showed me all the interest. I took note of his band number and told the  breeder he is who I wanted. Originally I had asked her for a female. Once she got the dna back and told me Grayson was a male, I told her I will pass on the female and still take him. BEST DECISION OF MY LIFE! I read in this book (if you want an african grey or have one please buy this book, it is so great!) to never take an african grey that is cowering in the corner of the cage and growling, well let me tell you… That was Grayson when I went back to pick him up. I was nervous as hell after having that experience of him growling however Grayson is a beauty. I brought him to the vet when I first got him and he got a clear bill of health. The breeder already clipped his wings. I’ve been his only owner. He will go to other people but sometimes like with my partner, he will fake it and then bite, so we are working on that but for the most part if you are not nervous then he will step up to you no problem. For the past 4 years he wouldn’t go to anyone but me however this year (officially an adult – 2016) he will now go to people – a complete 360 but I’m loving it. I can talk on and on about him but I have nothing negative to say. I was working full time when I got Grayson and everyone told me NO, you can’t have an African Grey and work a full time job… Well guess what?!?! I did it and Grayson is not a plucker or afraid of everything bla bla bla. He doesn’t have all those behavioral problems you get warned about. I believe it is all about the love you show your parrot and in return they will love you back.

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2F1FloeticJustice%2Fvideos%2F10153119770610375%2F&show_text=0&width=400>Video of Grayson’s first words

Name: Grayson

Type of Parrot: Congo African Grey

Sex: Male

Birth Date: June 2012

Wings Status: Fully Flighted

Favorite food: Pine Nuts

Noise Level: He can be loud when he mimics the other birds. Otherwise I would say he is moderate when he is talking and making sounds. He is overall quiet when he is just relaxing.

Training progress: He loves training sessions

Tricks: He can step up, Turn around, do pet, stick up his wings, wave hi, say doggy go wolf, wolf

Talking ability: Everything! He says his name – “Grayson”,  “Lola “- our late galah cockatoo, “Piper” – our Quaker’s name, each member of the family’s name, “step up”, “stick them up”, “peek-a-boo”,”doggy go wolf, wolf”, “hi”, “hello”, “what the”, “whats up grayson”, he laughs, does the clicker sound, telephone sound, microwave sound, whistles and my least favorite the squawking of other birds… I’m sure I’m forgetting a few. He is shy to make noise around people but after about 30 minutes of him observing you, he then starts to make noise.

Favorite toys: He is a banger – best toys for him have been his hanging toys that he can swing on and make noise with. He also likes his foraging toys (be prepared to lose a lot of pellets as he removes them though – HELPFUL HINT I put it over his food bowl so if it falls, it falls in his bowl)

Fears: Can’t think of anything he is really afraid of right now besides my partner – they don’t get along.

Diet: Harrison’s Pellets with fruits and veggies. He eats table food – Chicken, rice, pasta…

Treats: Sunflower seeds, Almonds, Walnuts and Brazil nuts

Cage Size: Dome cage. 36.5 x 28 height is 57″ not including the stand. With the stand it would be higher. I was thinking of switching him into a cage with less length and more width as he doesn’t use the bottom of the cage, haven’t found one I like though.

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Grayson’s cage

Last Vet visit: December 2012– Wellness check – Everything clear! Healthy baby! Is in need of a vet visit… Hopefully I’ll take him in September 2016

Next Steps: Getting him to do the bat – hang upside down, getting him use to the harness and shower perch

Parenting Parrots!

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Where to buy Parrots

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Before I write this, I want to say…. Please know what you are getting into before acquiring a parrot. I live in an apartment so technically I don’t think I should have as many parrots as I do, but I make it work because I keep their minds stimulated HOWEVER it’s not an easy task.

So options of where to buy parrots IF your heart is set on it…. (Not in any order)

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Not actual prices

1) Adoption – Rescues

2) Rehomes

3) Breeders

4) Pet Shops

1 – Adoption – Rescues 
You can research in your area for foster homes. These are homes where people keep the bird until they find a forever home. Now this option is a good option because it’s giving a home to a bird that unfortunately was dashed to the side for whatever reason. I personally have not went this route only because I’m impatient, so filling out all that paperwork turns me off. Also I prefer getting a baby over an adult but rehabilitating a bird is very rewarding from what I’ve heard. I imagine that to be true because when I get an untamed baby bird and turn them friendly, it’s the greatest feeling in the world. This is the best option for experienced bird owners. Most likely if you go this route, you have to be aware that you may get a bird with a history of abuse or neglect, etc. so be prepared to put in more work. For a first time bird owner, I say to look into this option but only take a young bird because if you don’t have the experience, it would be very hard for you to deal with an adult bird that has a load of issues. Now the chances of finding a baby via this method may also be slim but not impossible.

Another option would be to become a foster bird owner especially if you don’t know what parrot would be right for you. This would give you exposure to different parrots without the long-term commitment and it would be helping a bird in need. Food for thought!

2 – Re-homes

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This is the picture I seen on kijiji of Nyx, our black capped conure

My black capped conure was a re-home. Her previous owner was the only owner she had. He gave her up because he was working nights and was about to start going to school during the day. I’m very happy he gave Nyx up because she is a joy to have around!  I go on kijiji a lot to see what is going on with the bird community. I don’t necessarily go on there to find a bird, I just like to look at the different birds and look at reasons why people re-home. I wasn’t even into conures however something made me contact  Nyx’s owner and I couldn’t imagine my life without her.

You have to be careful getting a re-home though because sometimes the story doesn’t end as well as mine. Our Indian Ringneck which is a baby was also a re-home. We are working to try to get him comfortable with us but he is still a good story. I have a friend who bought a blue and gold macaw off of kijiji and unfortunately it was sick. The bird died and my friend was completely depressed. This is a risk you take when getting a re-home because it is just owners’ selling their birds. You can’t get warranty so you can bring back the bird and get your money returned if you find out something is wrong with the parrot. This is a hit and miss situation, some are great to get like our black capped. She was already tamed, all the work was done for us. Some are not so great, like the story of the blue and gold macaw.

3-Breeders


This is the way I go, only because I like getting the parrot when they are a baby so I can train them with no previous training. By me doing this though, it is helping breeders to continue to sell parrots, which is what we want to stop right?  IF you decide to go this route please find a reputable breeder. Go to their house, look at how the birds interact with the breeder, how their living quarters are kept, etc.

The  breeder I got my African Grey from, didn’t have an organized place. However once I seen how the Greys just absolutely loved her, I couldn’t say no. I found out about her through a worker at my favorite parrot shop. The breeder I got my Quaker parrot from seemed to be amateurs. They had very untidy cages, I would have left the Quaker but my son really liked him. I found them on kijiji. The breeder I am getting the Green-Naped Lorikeets from lives about 40 minutes from me. I haven’t seen her place however she has been very informative and answers all my questions whenever I come to her with one. I also found her on Kijiji. The breeder I had gotten Lola, my Galah Cockatoo from, was very nice and her living quarters were clean. The cages could have been kept better but she had a very well socialized healthy Galah. Lola was a case of the parrot choosing me, she came right on me and wouldn’t leave. I found this breeder from a worker at P.J Pets.

When I’m looking for a breeder, I go to this website: http://www.parrotplace.ca/ontario.htm

Also when looking for a breeder, talking to people who have parrots in your area is another option and of course searching the internet is always full of resources.

4 – Pet Shops

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Image of a pet shop from the internet

When I was first looking into getting  a parrot, the first place I looked was pet shops. My experience with pet shops was horrible and if I can stop another person from almost meeting my faith, I’ll be happy. Stay away from this option as much as possible. I attempted to buy 3 birds from P.J. Pets and they were all unhealthy. I was able to purchase a  budgie for my niece however it died within 4 months. I don’t know if it was due to the care it was receiving or because it came from a pet shop but regardless all my experiences especially with P.J. Pets was negative.

Do not buy at a pet shop, if you can avoid it. The random people coming and touching the bird is great for socializing however the amount of people who mistreat that parrot in that brief interaction is also many. Pet shop workers are usually not well-informed about the birds and will do whatever is needed to make the sale. If you must purchase through a pet shop, I would recommend having some kind of agreement that if you get the bird checked out by a vet within 48 hours of purchase and something is wrong that you can get your money back. You would have lost the money spent on the vet visit however better safe than sorry in the long run. (I will post my video about shopping at a pet shop shortly.)

The lists above are just a few options to help you get started in your search of finding your perfect feather friend. IF you are indecisive than do not get a parrot as it is the same as having a toddler.

Parenting Parrots!