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Hello. Tips for bonding with African Grey Parrot

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Hello. Tips for bonding with African Grey Parrot

Postby ZaidKurdi » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:53 am

Hi Everyone.
My name's Zaid and I'm new here and this is my first post.

I've purchased a 1 year old African grey parrot recently from a pet shop. The shop owner told me that this bird hasn't been raised by anyone before.
He makes a lot of noise just like a crow but sometimes he makes really cute whistles too.
When i approach him gently he growls but his growling decreases as longer as i stay by his cage and speak with him and he starts whistling for me but when i try to feed him different kinds of seeds and veggies, he take the food off of my hands with his beak and throws it down and doesnt eat it.

I still can't touch him cause i don't want to make him hate me since growling is an abvious sign of discomfort. Sometimes i get really close to touching him and he is fine with that but still won't let me touch him.

please advise me what i should do with him. I've only had him 3 days now. I love him already. :gray:
Gender: This parrot forum member is male
Posts: 1
Number of Birds Owned: 1
Types of Birds Owned: African Grey Parrot
Flight: Yes

Re: Hello. Tips for bonding with African Grey Parrot

Postby Pajarita » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:58 am

Welcome to the forum. If the bird has not been raised by humans, the only possibility is that you have bought a wild-caught gray poached from the wild - which is illegal and, in truth, not good for the bird or the person who acquires it as this bird KNOWS people are not family and will never bond the same way a hand-fed parrot would. It can be tamed but it will take a very long time and a lot of stress and misery to the poor bird... You will need to invest countless hours in getting him used to you slowly but, for starters, don't stand so close to the cage that he feels he needs to growl at you. You are not really endearing yourself to him but aggravating him and slowing the process instead of speeding it.

Put him in a LARGE cage in a completely bird-proof room so you can let him out to fly and, if he doesn't want to go back to his cage [you can't force him or you will lose whatever little trust he might have in you], he can stay out without endangering himself. Keep him at a strict solar schedule with full exposure to dawn and dusk. Feed him cooked whole grains and chopped vegetables accompanied by raw fruits in the morning and a measured, small portion of nuts and seeds for dinner [about two tablespoons of mostly tree nuts - no peanuts and VERY little sunflowers].

Put the cage high enough so his roosting perch is at your eye level when you are standing up near a window for natural light but against a wall so he feels safe [if you cannot put it against a wall, drape a piece of material on the back making a fake wall]. When you approach its cage, don't do it in a straight line [that's what predators do when stalking their prey] and don't look at him straight [again, this is only something that predators would do]. You need to make him believe that you don't really have a whole lot of interest in him but always keep an eye on him out of the corner of your eye so you can determine the 'safe' distance. This is the distance from the cage where he does not growl, back off, tense up or anything that will suggest you are getting too close. As you walk in, look at him out of the corner of your eye and, once you see him reacting to your presence, take a step back and mark the spot - this is the safe distance and where you can stand or sit to spend time with him. You need to spend, at least, four hours a day keeping him company. This doesn't mean that you need to sit on a chair doing nothing for four hours, it just means that you need to be in the same room and talk, whistle, sing or offer a treat to him every now and then so he can get used to you and you can prove to him that you are no threat to him at all. The first thing you need to get is his trust -which you do not have, quite the contrary, he is now afraid of you and extremely distrustful of your intentions [the growling show it]. As time goes by and he gets used to you, this distance will become shorter and shorter until you can stand right next to his cage and he doesn't react negatively to it. When you offer him a treat [it should be a nut like half an almond or a quarter walnut], don't worry if he doesn't take it or if he just throws it away, just leave it there and walk away. This treat is not a reward or a bribe, it's a gift, a token of friendship to show him that you want to be his friend.

Keep him in his cage until he no longer growls all the time and let him out so he can fly and move around. A bird born in the wild will be very depressed being kept in a cage all the time... I recommend you let him out when the sun is halfway down to the horizon in the afternoon and, after an hour or so, put the nuts/seed dinner in his cage and walk away. He might not go into it the first, second or third day but, eventually, his desire for the nuts and seeds will do it and, when he does, just close the door to the cage until the next day.

Once he is completely comfortable with you [he will not only not move back when you get close to his cage but will actually move closer], you can start target training him but make sure the sessions are not longer than 5 minutes at the beginning and never more than 10. Parrots don't understand the concept of obedience or subservience and a wild-caught will actually resent them so you need to make them short enough that he doesn't get to that point.

I am warning you that the taming process of an adult poached bird is very, very long - we are talking months and months and months so don't get discouraged.
Norwegian Blue
Gender: This parrot forum member is female
Posts: 14055
Location: NE New Jersey
Number of Birds Owned: 30
Types of Birds Owned: Toos, grays, zons, canaries, finches, cardinals, senegals, jardine, redbelly, sun conure, button quail, GCC, PFC, lovebirds
Flight: Yes

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