Animal Stories - African Grey Parrots


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gary - 2011-01-09
My birds name is ozzie. He is an african grey congo and is 15 years old. Recently he has been having seizures of some type. He eats and drinks well. I only feed him ZuPreem and peanuts occasionally for rewards. He shares a small temperature controlled room with another conure. They have been buddies for years. At any time day or night several times a week he falls off the perch and screams for several minutes as he seems cramped up on the bottom of the cage. If I am there I usually hold and pamper him for several minutes until the event subsides. Then he is back to himself. All vets that I have visited have very limited avian knowledge so I don't take him to the doctor for check-ups. He seems not to be unusually quiet and I am concerned. Is there anyone out there that may have knowledge of this condition? I don't know what to do for this little, very smart guy.

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  • ann - 2011-01-14
    Well I don't know much about greys but I do know that all parrots need fruit. You mentioned that you only feed him zupreem and the occasional peanut, so try giving him a little fruit and dark leafy greens and take him to an avian vet ( they might know more about birds). Also put something soft (but nothing that he could ingest or get his nails or body stuck in like a soft towel or blanket) below his perch so he doesn't get hurt when he falls. Make sure there is still a place for him to eliminate and keep the grating on the bottom of the cage or whatever you have on the bottom of the cage. Plus if it's a disease make sure your conure doesn't get it so supervise them and maybe don't let them share food. Above all please take him to the vet even if they do have little knowledge on birds they can still do something for him. I am not very experienced but based off research I think I am giving good advice. Even if you don't go to the vet (which you should) you can call and they will give you some advice. Also if money is an issue the clinic will probably have some financial plan of monthly payments. You could also keep a baby monitor near his cage so you know when he's having an episode. hope this helped and good luck! :)
  • ann - 2011-01-14
    Sorry I left a few things out in my comment. Don't let the fruit sit there for too long or it will spoil and make him sick and when I said " ...not something that he could ingest and get his nails or body stuck in like a soft towel or blanket..." I meant that a soft towel or blanket is safe to use. Don't use a towel with the tiny loops all over them he'll get his nails caught. Greys also need a lot of calcium, even the males. Also feed him fruits and veggies, but NO avocado. Also they have trouble digesting dairy so don't give him calcium from dairy, try a cuttle bone.
  • Theo - 2011-01-30
    Try giving him calcium supplements. That usually solves seizures in African grey s.
  • April Chapman - 2011-12-04
    Hello!!!I also am a Grey parent and there are several sites out there that are knowledged on these conditions. KNAPP-TIME and petfinder are great sites that have links to avian vets that are very knowledged in parrots. The fresh fruits and vegtables along with calcium are all good for your grey, but you need to find out exactly what is going on instead of guessing for they are our Feathered kids. I wish you and your sweety all the best and hope this will be helpful to you. In my Prayers
  • Renae - 2012-01-15
    The two things I can think of right off would be lighting and perches. Birds need natural sunlight or full spectrum lighting or both for them to get the nutrition they need from food. I'm pretty sure you can search this for more explanation if needed. The other thing is that they need to have different sizes and types of perches if they are confined to a cage for long periods of time. Working in a vets office we would see people bring in birds that had only a small round perch to stand and they usually had so many problems that all started from the wrong size of perch. All of my cages have wood (which varies in size), rope and perches that help to keep the nails worn down so I don't have to trim quite as often. Fresh fruits and vegetables might give more variety however Zoopreem is an awesome brand of food and I don't think the problems your describing could have to do with a Zoopreem diet. On the other hand food allergies do so many strange things. I have a fourteen year old German Sheppard that suddenly developed an allergy to grains about 18 months ago. While trying to pin point the exact allergen her health has really gone down. I know she is old but it is as if the body turned on itself. She developed sores all over her body, it was a drastic reaction to the food she had always eaten. The very best advice is to keep looking for an avian certified veterinarian that can draw blood and do an in depth complete check up. Even if you have to travel a couple hundred miles I would do it. Don't overlook veterinary schools such as Kansas State University where they have student doctors as well as their instructors. These type of places will go the extra mile to find the problem. I have actually had them ask me to bring in one of my healthy birds so that they would have "normal" results to compare to the results they got on a sick bird. If you are anywhere near Manhattan Kansas you might check into that (I happen to know that they have the normal results to compare for a CAG). They are not the only school out there that can do this so SEARCH for a good vet and don't settle for less. Try the different type perches though because just going from what you said that might be all it is. Good luck!
  • Charlie Roche - 2012-01-16
    WOW that is a rough one question as it could be anything. The problem is can it be fixed or medicated and possibly into many hundreds of dollars or more to find out. Branson Ritchie, DVM is probably one of the best avian specialists in the world. He is at the University of Georgia and is known throughout the avian world. This is a link to him Branson Ritchie and his office telephone is 706 542 6316 and his email is britchie@uga.edu. I doubt you will get through to him but possibly one of his students or another member of the research department. It is worth a try. A little fella having seizures is pretty unusual - possibly just enough unusual that they would take an interest in your Ozzie. I trust him 1000 million percent. I don't know that he can or could do anything but never know.
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Nisha Prakash - 2008-01-22
I have a Congo grey, she is 3 years old. We call her Cutie. She loves my 7 year old daughter, Shayal. Shouts her name in the mornings to get her up for school, tells her to bath and so on. Cutie is Shayal's alarm. Cutie addresses Shayal so sweetly it is unbelievable. I get really baffled when she makes the sound of my phone ring tone, she barks like the dog (always telling her she has identity crisis), she makes the sound of the alarm, says "hello" just like my husband, has a whole conversation as if she is on the phone with someone. REALLY AMAZING. Oh we love her to bits. She is part of my family, its like we have another baby around us. I cannot imagine life without Cutie, we are really fond of her.


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ali - 2009-09-18
Hello everyone! I am from lebanon, and over here all the timnehs are wild caught, discolored, underweight, and treated badly. The pet shops in lebanon are in terrible condition for animals. I recently got a timneh from one of those pet shops, it only cost me 60$(yes that is how cheap it is).His/Her name is Zizo. She/He is really frightened and doesn't like anyone to get close to him/her (not sure if female or male). It is really sad when I see these animals treated this way, especially animals that have a lot of potential to turn into wonderfull friends and family members. For everyone whose reading I hope you contact me via email at glass_ali@hotmail.com because I would love to personally be in touch with someone who owns a timneh that was hand fed and kind of figure out the right way to tame my wild caught. I am hopefull that one day Zizo will turn out just fine.

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  • Franny - 2010-05-11
    Hi Ali,
    In 1982 I bought a timneh in a pet store on a wim.. I did not know she was wild ( I assume after all these years that she is a male but she is still susie to me) Susie would not eat or drink and she shook all the time, I called the pet store so often that they quit taking my calls. I tried to pick her up and she bit me so hard and so often that I was ready to give up until a friend of mine spent 1 day with her. My friend had no fear and did not care about the bloody finger that she gave him. He got her out of the cage onto a carped floor and used a stick and his hands gently trying to get her to get on either one building trust. He never jumped away he just stayed on the goal of getting her on his hand or the stick until she trusted him enough to comply. After that day she began to calm down and eat and drink and then to my delight she started making the sound of my dripping faucet... and then words and then she would sit on my shoulder and ride on my bike and in the car, I can do anything with her and to her, I clip her wing and trip her nails, I take her in the pool. Believe me you can gain her trust.
  • rani - 2011-09-23
    Hello :) if you managed to breed any african greys im very willing to get one from you. I have a 20 year african and she's doing great. She's a female (I found that out when she laid an egg ). It's too bad there are no breeders in lebanon i looked every where for an african grey baby.
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Ivan Previšić - 2011-12-08
Beautiful *_*

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philippe parent - 2011-09-17
My Question is this my aunt has a African Grey Congo and she has little black bugs falling off and around underneath is arm pit what are these and is their a way of getting this off of him.

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  • Anonymous - 2011-09-17
    Mites burrow and are parasites on birds and although it can happen it is pretty rare. Mites don't just fall of. There are many many different black bugs that are in various bird seeds. They reproduce in the seed and will lay eggs and then you get larvae also. Any bird seed that you bring home - freeze it in the freezer for 24 - 48 hours and that will kill the bugs and the larvae. I think this is more of what you are describing. Obviously, clean the cage, feeders and probably not going to love this but really bathe the parrot. Soak her. Now you might have to do this a few times but just soak her each day - it is great for her feathers in the shower or kitchen sink and wash her down. You need to get rid of the source which I think is probably the food and freeze any new food that you purchase. Humans get this stuff - seed moths or flour moths etc. If you freeze the food, you will stop the source. Clean the cage throughly with bleach mixture or I use Novalson. I buy it by the gallon but it lasts a year for birds, room, bowls etc. I clean cages and bowls and the floor with it etc.
    Then you get to bathe the bird - which is sometimes not fun but it needs to be done. OK?
    Camacide is a safe bug killer around birds but even so I wouldn't spray the bird of the cage with it - just as needed if around on the floor etc.
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naji - 2011-10-30
Does the Timneh parrot, change his feathers??? and how long does it take to regenerate? and at which age they change plums usually?

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jeanine - 2010-05-02
I am considering the idea of getting an African Grey Congo in a few years. I am curious of the cost of the bird and the needs to get started. I want a loving bird and a talker and I hear an African Grey or Cockatoo are the best choices. Which do you think?

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  • motasm - 2010-06-20
    In my land an umbrella cockatoo is as 4000 and african grey 1000 expensive cookatoo likes to hug african grey best talker!
  • Roy Bliven - 2010-08-14
    If you can afford one - prices run from $750 to $1500 and the average price of an African Grey is about $1200. I am a published author and presently I am writing a children's book about a friend's African Grey named "Bobo." Bobo flew away one time but was recovered when he said his phone number as perfectly recorded voice mail - complete with the beeps! He calls everyone by their first name, asks for food by name and speaks in two languages, Greek and English. His vocabulary is that of a 3-year old child. He knows what is happening and where things belong. One time, a water delivery became a problem when Bobo said "over here, not there!" When he didn't put the water where Bobo said, he said to the delivery person, "GO HOME!" You will find Greys to be a member of the HH.
  • maxjude - 2011-09-16
    yes I have a male and a female African gray parrots they are both 2 years old not and they are for adoption not for sale where are you located and they will also be coming with their cage email me at maxjude77@yahoo.com
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sophie - 2011-05-10
Hi there. I have a grey africian cockatoo. I am just worried about him not talking he is usaully talking and whistling the whole day but he has'nt said anything in 2 days. Please help me and thankyou. What is going on?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-05-10
    Usually nothing. Just like a person decides to be quiet at times, so can your feathered freind. It is spring and he is shedding some of his winter down (yep even if you live in Fl). You see those little white fun feathers flying around that you can't catch? Also it is spring and breeding season and they seem to know this. Now just in case check to make sure his poop looks normal and there hasn't been a change. Look at his vent and check to make sure there aren't white droppings around the vent. Check his nostrils to make sure they are clear and smell his breath to make sure it doesn't smell (unless you just gave him a hot pepper). Yep, they usually make sounds throughout the day (we have one) but sometimes they do get quiet. But unless there is some other overt sign, I wouldn't worry. Give him an extra hug and pet and let him eat dinner with you tonight.
  • marie - 2011-07-31
    African Greys are not cockatoos! They are parrots a totally different bird. Mine goes through quiet phases as well. They have moods like people.
  • Derrick - 2011-08-03
    I concur,I have a Congo African Grey,his name is Howard,and he usually only talks or whistles or tries to sing when someone leaves the room. A little backwards I suppose.

    He will also talk whistle sing 1 on 1 but he doesnt like certain people.
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Rodrigo Roca - 2011-04-04
A friend just gave me her 30 year old African Grey and i was wondering if they are sociable with parakeets or similar sized birds?

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-04-05
    It isn't the size of the bird that counts so much. My caiques rulled the roost. Certain birds can carry diseases that other birds aren't immune to. This doesn't mean that either species is not well taken care off or not clean - nothing like that. There are certain diseases that parakeets may carry and be totally immune to that the Grey has no immunity against. Quarantine the grey for a a couple of months prior to introducing them. Also, can you tell me more specifically what you mean by similar sized birds? History on them or the parakeets? You should also ask an Avian Vet.
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judy - 2011-03-27
I have only had my parrot 4 weeks love him to bits the person I got him from said he don't talk lol he does lots some naughty words but he's settled down in my home it's like he's always been here he makes my laugh so much chatting away he's got my phone down to fine art know my grandchildren love him he's learning new words all time.

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  • Charlie Roche - 2011-03-30
    The more you talk - actually converse with your little fella, the more they will talk. Mine loves whistling various songs as well. Show them objects and name them such as "this is hand" Ask questions "Happy today" Talk to them as you would a 3 year old. That is what you have - an intelligent 3 year old all dressed up in a feather suit. Enjoy and keep us updated.
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