Housing African Greys Communally

Oli Fry

Regular Member
Hi there. Does anyone have any experience of housing greys in a small flock situation? I'm in the process of finishing a large new aviary for Clayton and Grumpy (both tame, parent reared and not pair bonded) and would like them to live as naturally as possible. I'm thinking about adding one or two more greys, so they can all interact and won't be too dependent on human attention when I'm at work. The aviary has a 17x4 foot open flight section, a separate but interconnected 6x4 foot covered flight section and a 6x4 foot shed for roosting and resting. Perching is a variety of natural tree branches.

Clayton (male) and Grumpy (female) were formerly my house pets but have lived happily together outdoors for almost two years now. Anyway, I'd love to hear from anyone who has tried a similar set up and if they've experienced issues with aggression and so on. Obviously the birds would all be introduced to the new accommodation together.

Thanks for reading!
 

TomsMum

Administrator
Admin
Hi Oli and :welcome: to the forum.

@KEV H would be able to Tell you about his set up for two greya and two armies...

Also @marley has lots of experience with aviaries and setting up community groups of birds....on a rather larger scale.
 

Oli Fry

Regular Member
Hi there and thanks TomsMum! I hope to hear from those guys if they have time. What a lovely yellow-front, btw. I'll upload some photos of my birds when I can get a chance.
 

dianaT

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
:welcome: from me too. I am sure those members linked and others will be able to offer advice before too long.
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
Hello and welcome. I can only go by my own experience with the greys I have indoors. at the moment I have five greys, Holly, Molly, Mo, Reggie and Max, Holly is more one for me but get on with Molly Mo and Reggie, Max dislikes Reggie and Molly, Molly dislikes Mo. now it never gets to a point of fighting and Reggie keeps his distance from Max. now Max and Mo are a pair and Reggie and Molly are a pair and both will protect there nesting areas. Holly will not allow any other grey to go in her cage and will defend even the top of her cage while she is on eggs now I have other birds around and my set up is indoors, it took quite a while for Holly to fill comfortable around another grey. I cannot go near Molly's nest box with out her and Reggie protecting it, Holly Max and Mo do not mind me being so close or even touching there eggs. Greys can be so individual and have different levels of anxiety, Max and Mo have always been together Reggie and Molly had their differences at first but Reggie would not give up his romantic persuasion and finally got molly to like him last year. I think it is best to slowly introduce any new bird and watch there reaction carefully, supply more than one area that they can get food or you will find a dominant grey may take it over keeping the other away. in my living room I have three feeding areas normally although I am not using the ones on Max and Mo's cage while she is on eggs. Reggie and molly has claimed the one closest to there nest box on Oliver's DYH amazon cage.
 

Roz

Elected Forum Trainer
Regular Member
:welcome: Oli! It's great to see you here!

I have no experience of Greys, but I do know Clayton and Grumpy. They are pretty well socialised aren't they? Sounds like a wonderful idea to get two more Grey friends. Would you be getting babies or rehomed adults? Remember you did it so well in introducing the baby Grumpy to Clayton.

Looking forward to seeing what Kev and Marley suggest.

Using my own learning in ABA, I would be sure to associate good experiences for all the Greys on the introduction. So I would be feeding Clayton and Grumpy favourite treats whilst the unknown Grey is in the vicinity (pairing the unknown Grey with yummy food). If the unknown Grey will take treats, I would be feeding him/her treats too (pairing the presence of Clayton and Grumpy also with yummy food). Then do the same as they come gradually closer together. Depending on how it is going, you may want to separate the two parties and try again the next day. You may have to do it in stages so that everyone gets used to each other calmly. Eventually you could see if they are happy sharing a large plate of food....
 

Oli Fry

Regular Member
Roz, Michael, Kev, thanks for your responses. Both Clayton and Grumpy are very food-orientated African greys, sometimes to the point of obsession, so I'll do as you suggest with the treat based introductions Roz. Strangely it never occurred to me as a strategy, but it seems to make a lot of sense. It sounds like fun for all concerned. Michael, thanks also. I've put two feeding stations (swing feeders) in the aviary but I think I'll now increase this to three so there is somewhere to eat in every section. It must be great fun living with five greys and yours seem like a real bunch of characters. It always seems to me that this species is calmer when they have plenty of other birds around, even if they don't like the individual birds all that much. Dusty my timneh (who is an elderly indoor bird) hates both Clayton and Grumpy coming close to her but is more relaxed and lively if she can see and hear them. Roz, you might remember that Dusty used to chase the others around quite aggressively, because she was so bonded to me.

Roz, to answer your question I won't be buying any babies; the plan is to find one or two adults who need a new home, are not overly imprinted on people, but who are tame or at least steady. That will be quite a task, I suspect, and the search will begin in about a month when the new aviary is complete.
 

plumsmum

Regular Member
Hi and welcome, I am sure you will not have any trouble finding two greys in need of a good home.
 

Oli Fry

Regular Member
Cheers, Plumsmum - I hope so. In any case, I won't be acting in haste as I want to get it right. I'll post some pictures of the new set up when it's complete. It's fun designing the new structure, but finding the time to do the work is the biggest challenge. I'm painting all the wire and metal with green bitumen this week, and have just ordered a load of wood sheeting with which to insulate the shed. God help me!
 

Roz

Elected Forum Trainer
Regular Member
Sounds like a lot of work!! But worth it in the end. Can't wait to see the pics of the construction as it develops! :biggrin:
 

Carla Woolston

Registered
I have just put up a post up on the rehoming forum and I'd be interested to know if you could help as my mum needs to rehome some of her African birds.

Kind regards

Carla
 

Oli Fry

Regular Member
Hi Carla and thanks for getting in touch. I'll check out your post in the morning...
Cheers,
Oliver.
 
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