Working Full Time


Regular Member
Hi everyone,
I’ve not got a bird just yet but I wanted to see how other people manage their time.
As it stands I’m leaning towards an African Grey. My neighbour had one years ago when I was a kid and I’ve been fond of them ever since. Needless to say they no longer have one. I don’t know the details so anything could’ve happened. They did holiday a lot, though.

What concerns me is I work an office job, at the moment I’m obviously at home 100% and as things are shaping up I may have more home working in the near future based on how things are changing.

My normal weekday would be:
Up at 6,
leave at 7,
back home at 6,
with 4 to 5 hours of free time.
I have no other commitments - animals or humans!
My weekends are usually free and I’m not much of a traveller - at all, really.

I’ve seen all the toys, enrichment and foraging that can be provided, but still.

Thanks in advance,
Welcome to the forum from us. Your timings sound similar to ours and we have 2 blue and gold macaws. Granted, the more time you can spend with them the better, but you've got to do the best you can as long as it remains reasonable and good for the bird. Our two come out every morning for a short time, whilst we sort out their breakfast foraging trays. They are then in their cages over the day with toys and a radio playing. Then after work, about 5-5.30pm they come out again and at least one of us is with them. They return themselves to their cages when food is ready, and we eat together as a flock and stay with them in the bird room until their 7pm bedtime. Weekends and days off usually mean that they are out of their cages for most of the day. We have a tree in the front room bay window with toys on it where they like to sit and watch the world, wave at their adoring fans and scream at passing cats and cyclists :lol: Otherwise they are out in the bird room which contains another tree, more toys, and ropes hanging from the ceiling which they use like little monkeys. We also have an aviary attached to the house which we can leave the door open for direct access to outdoors. We got Gary as a baby from a breeder 9 years ago, and this is the only routine he's known. Bebe was gifted to us about 5 years ago by a friend with health issues, and was also used to a working household. She's now coming up to 18 years old.

Basically everything revolves around them, but it sounds like you're expecting that to be the case! Best of luck, and I hope my waffling helps with your concerns.


Regular Member
Thank you very much it does, very much so. The thought of them shouting at passing people and cats made me smile 😃
I’m actually still at home - well, back at home - and while saving for my forever home one thought I’d had was a bird room and aviary.
I’d looked at the batting nets and hope I could have some kind of safe free flight area, one day. My sister has just moved again so that’s why I had thought that haha.


Regular Member

I have two parrots but one of these is an african grey. The other is a parrotlet. My grey is 15 months old now and i have had him since he was 5 months old.
I am a shift worker, i work 6 days on 4 days off and these consist of days lates and nights, my boyfriend works 12 hour days so there are some days a week the birds are alone all day.

I think routine is the key when you work, at the start it was me struggling to leave Bo and was so worried about plucking etc but got some wonderful advice. When we are home we have the TV on and if the TV is on both birds know we are in the house, if the radio is on the birds know nobody is home.
I got them used to this by putting the radio on and going our for a few hours then returning home. I also always say ‘bye won’t be long’ when leaving, we have got to the stage where Bo my grey now says don’t be long when i leave the house😂

He has many toys in his cage, foraging toys and ones he can destroy. His favourite foraging toy is an egg box filled with shredded paper and a few goodies. He is so so smart, so any toy which i think will challenge his mind he figures out within minutes 🤦🏼‍♀️

When I am working my mum comes to feed the birds, on the days mum comes on they don’t come out in the morning because mum is a little worried she won’t be able to get them back, she also nips on in an afternoon for half hour to see them.
As soon as I come in from work i greet both birds (Bo goes in a mood if i don’t say hello the second i enter the house) and then i let him out of his cage, he will stay out all evening with us until it is bed time. Days off are the same he is out of his cage as much as time permits.

I only have my experience but my grey is the noisiest, mischievous monster ive met. My parrotlet is no problem, she is sassy independent loves a cuddle but happily plays with toys all day in and out of her cage, she is a wonderful little bird. My grey on the other hand is so dependent on us, he wants to be involved in everything we are doing, he wants everything we are holding and everything we are eating 😂 if we are on the phone he is in the background shouting along, oh i could go on for ages but he takes up so so much time and energy. I love him so much and don’t mind all these, infact he makes me laugh but people see the fun side of parrots but don’t so much see when the parrot is asking what you’re doing for the 100th time that hour whilst launching food all over the house haha!

Oh what a ramble for your question! 😂

Michael Reynolds

Regular Member
parrots can adapt to a routine providing they can entertain them selves when alone and given the attention when you are there. they will look forwards to your return and being part of the flock, when I return home I go to each of my flock and give them a treat and love

Oli Fry

Regular Member
I would proceed with caution. In my opinion the only acceptable way forward if you are out of the house working full-time is to get two birds. Greys are hard-wired to be flock animals and become lonely and stressed very easily. I would hesitate to trust anyone who says otherwise. Having one is as demanding as having a dog or a child, irrespective of how many toys you provide. Trust me, I've been there..

Oli Fry

Regular Member
Welcome, by the way. I don't want to sound negative dismissive at all but greys are really hard work. If I was starting again I'd probably go with a pair or caiques or something of similar size. In my experience, the real pleasure of birdkeeping comes from watching them interact with each other and express natural behaviours. It's a complete myth that birds kept in pairs don't stay tame, by the way. All parrots respond well to caring owners who put in the time to get to know them.


Agent Scully
Regular Member
I kind of also agree with the above statements. I used to work 45-55 hours a week and when I got my grey I gave up that lifestyle. Im not working just now but I do not intend to go back to working full time. I will be working part time as I know it would be hard for him to be alone for 8+ hours a day. I know some people do it but I just wouldnt feel right leaving him alone that length of time and I have other species of bird in the same room that would keep him company to a degree but its still not the same and I think it would negatively affect his behaviour and well being
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