New parrot virgin here

Deb2uk

Registered
Hi all, well this is all totally new to me, and what a better place to be is here for help etc.
I have recently got a male African grey, 3 days now, who I believe to be approx 5/6 years old. My son-in-law's mother passed away last week, and this is how I've acquired him.
I really don't think he has had a lot of interaction, and as far as I know, has never come out of his cage :(.
He's rather a large bird and the cage he's in isn't suitable IMHO, and will be getting him a new one soon, although I don't want him to stress out with these changes and to be quite honest putting my hand in there is something Im wary of, ( he had a nip at my finger when I tried a head scratch lol ). Dont laugh but they gave me a pair of gauntlets that literally go upto the armpits, never used but new in the bag, I said you must be joking surely, he's not an eagle :eek:. Anyway that's me and Shady as he's known. I also have a yorkie and a cat, that to be honest Ive been worried about, but I dont think the cat like's him and stays away tg, I look forward to getting to know everyone x
 

CaptainHowdy

Regular Member
Welcome to you both :)

Firstly I'd get rid of the gauntlets. You won't build a bond of trust if you use those and you could end up scaring the little one.

3 days isn't much time at all. One of my Amazon's took a good 6 months to really settle in.

For now just sit close by and read or talk to him, offer treats through the bars to begin with gradually building up to offering them inside the cage or outside once he's settled in and its safe for him to come out. Please ensure your other pets are not in the same room when he is out the cage. You may think your cat etc isn't interested but it only takes one scratch to seriously injure or even kill the little one due to the bacteria on the claws.

Do you have any pictures of your little one?

I would also advise getting some foraging toys to keep that mind active. Mine love the buffet ball you can buy or even a small cardboard box or clean eggbox with shredded paper and treats hidden inside.
 

Lauraj

Regular Member
My African Grey also loves foraging toys, i feel im forever cleaning egg boxes and shredding paper for him! He also has a foraging toy for the side of his cage for when the egg boxes are demolished (takes minutes haha).

I have had my boy one month this weekend, he is 6 months old now. He is brilliant and loves cuddles but there are days where he doesn't want attention from anybody and will sit on the top of his cage watching us, on them days i just go back to square one by talking to him and offering him treats from my hand. I swear people passing by must laugh when im dancing around singing to the radio haha, something Bo now laughs at when he is in a little stroppy mood for the day. Think this has turned into our bonding when he doesn't feel like been touched.

Very hard work but very rewarding, he is my first big bird and as i said the members on the forum have been brilliant and very experienced. Take their advice and you'll do fine!:D
 

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
Hello and welcome, looks like Shady has had a life with out too much interaction and one to one human contact, the gauntlets make me laugh but it dose show me he has frightened some one in the past (please do not use them). ok very early days and for a bird that has had little human contact it can take longer to gain trust. birds can tell if people are weary of them so you also have to slowly work on gaining your own confidence. So sorry for the passing of your sons mother in law, please give my thoughts to your son and his wife.

I would like to point out the posts that refer to safety in the home, no candles, smoking, hair or other sprays, do not use Teflon pans, chemicals are dangerous. there are a lot of sacrifices us bird keeper have to make.

the next thing is to look in to what you are feeding him, a good diet can make so much difference on the birds life span , health and even the way he acts.

it is so good of you to take on Shady and we will love to guide you in getting the best relationship with him. training side I think you should start from the beginning and the best person to guide is @Roz she will be along later. I have five greys myself, each have different personalities
 

Roz

Regular Member
:welcome: Deb! How kind of you to take in Shady but very sorry about your son in law's mother.

You are absolutely right in trying not to change up too much to start with... ie. keeping his cage for now, even though you know it is unsuitable. When you do get a larger one, look for feeder doors that swing out so that you don't have to put your hands inside. Much easier for you and the bird! The larger cages usually come with these types of door anyway.

If he's not used to interaction, I wouldn't "crowd" him too much. You can easily keep talking to him from afar. Let him settle in and get used to his new surroundings. Sounds like giving him a head scratch was too soon - you need to work on gaining his trust first. Instead, work out what his favourite morsels of food are. Try putting a selection of nut pieces in his dry bowl... eg. walnut, cashew, almond, pistachio etc. As soon as you see which he favours, try offering him a big piece through the bars. Big enough so that he can't bite your fingers. Food is an unlearned reinforcer so a good one to use with a new or untame bird who hasn't yet got a history of reinforcement with you. If you begin to pair good experiences like treats with your presence, then he will begin to look forward to interaction with you. There is no need for the gauntlets! :biggrin:

When he shows interest in his food bowls when you slot them in, try opening his cage door maybe an hour or so before his breakfast so that he can choose to come out if he wants to. That way if he does come out, he will go back in to eat when you later slot in the food bowl. He may not choose to come out and that is fine too. It took my Amazon, Ollie 1.5 years before he decided to come out of his cage.
 

Deb2uk

Registered
Thank you, everyone, for your very warm welcome and advise.
Please let me make clear I am not using the gauntlets never would do, as I'm sure I'd be scared myself seeing those coming towards me, so un-necessary I think.
I believe Shady was brought by my s-i-l- mother from someone else 3/4 years ago, so the poor bird has had a lot of trauma in his life. I have done my research over the past with regards to AG's as I've always dearly wanted one, but the initial cost was too high, but this bird I have seen a few times in the past and I've always felt sorry for him in the way he's been treated, i.e no interaction, no coming out etc, this lady I'm afraid just loved animals, but not loved in the right way if you get me. She had Monkeys out in the garden in a huge shed/aviary, 2 huge tortoises, ducks, chickens, quail, Indian ringneck and also another AG that was plucked down to his skin, he was like that for some time, but sadly died. 5 small dogs which had puppies for the obvious reason, and like I say I've never been really keen on the woman for these reason's, that sounds harsh but I'm sorry it's true. One young chihuahua was under a year old when it had 2/3 babies, 2 died and the last one she hand-fed, sadly the Mummy dog died also, this was when I started to dislike her so I'm sorry if it's speaking ill of the dead, my feelings lie with the animals.

I would like to ask why he sits with one foot up under his body, not always but quite a bit.
I have given him monkey nuts BUT NO MORE as I've read they could be harmful with spore's etc, he took them so gently through the bars, I then later opened the door and gave him a grilled fishfinger lol, he loved it (i read up first ). I won't give him too much in the way of change as he's only ever had mixed seed, another no no I've read about...........phew haven't I gone on, thank you for all your help, it's invaluable to me x

Oh can he have walnuts with shell, I've got unshelled x
 

dianaT

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
@Deb2uk Hi, I don't think I would want to know that lady who supposedly 'loved' animals. She would have long since had a piece of my mind that's for sure.
Anyway thank goodness Shady has found a good home with you and one things for sure your life will never be the same again, believe me!
As Wendy said tucking one foot up is quite normal, having a rest that's all, also at time you may hear what we refer to as beak grinding, that is fine too, a sign of contentment so I understand.
Walnuts yes, if you give whole make sure you crack the shell open, I tend to buy nuts from Lidl ready shelled vacuum packed and always fresh, my flock like cashews and walnuts also pistachio nits too (always unsalted of course).
Ask away any questions we all do our best to help.
Also can we have a photo of dear Shady as we do love photos :thumbsup:
 

Deb2uk

Registered
@Deb2uk Hi, I don't think I would want to know that lady who supposedly 'loved' animals. She would have long since had a piece of my mind that's for sure.
Anyway thank goodness Shady has found a good home with you and one things for sure your life will never be the same again, believe me!
As Wendy said tucking one foot up is quite normal, having a rest that's all, also at time you may hear what we refer to as beak grinding, that is fine too, a sign of contentment so I understand.
Walnuts yes, if you give whole make sure you crack the shell open, I tend to buy nuts from Lidl ready shelled vacuum packed and always fresh, my flock like cashews and walnuts also pistachio nits too (always unsalted of course).
Ask away any questions we all do our best to help.
Also can we have a photo of dear Shady as we do love photos :thumbsup:
Aww thank you for that, I will post a pic asap :)
 
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Welcome to the forum from us and our flock, I see you're being well looked after by our great members! It sounds like a stroke of luck for your new addition to have ended up with someone who wants to do the best for him. Well done! I look forward to seeing some pics.
 
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