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Need advice on African Grey Parrot

Discussion in 'Caged Birds - Finches, Canaries, Cockatiels, Parro' started by fernandez0067, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. fernandez0067

    fernandez0067 Songster

    Dec 2, 2008
    I work in a seasonal business. I spend 70-80 hours a week from May - October in my store. From October - April I dont work and spend most of my time at home. I am interested in adopting an African Grey Parrot to have at work in the summer and home in the winter. I tried talking to one couple who want to rehome their parrot but the man said it wasnt a good idea to go from one place to another every six months. Is this true? Would it really screw up the bird that bad? Its just two places 6 months at a rip. Any advice anyone can give me would be great. My thought that was the interaction and the stimulation here at my store and at home would be great for a parrot, from what I read they thrive on attention. I dont want to get one and then make a mistake because I would like to give the bird the best possible life I can.

  2. wsmoak

    wsmoak Songster

    African Greys tend to be shy with strangers. Probably not the best choice for a retail store situation.

    If you want something that would be fun, consider one of the Amazons (yellow nape, blue front, etc.) They are more likely want to interact with and show off for your store patrons. [​IMG]

    Switching locations is going to be stressful for any bird, but you'll learn to manage it.

  3. fernandez0067

    fernandez0067 Songster

    Dec 2, 2008
    Thanks thats just the advice I was looking for!

    Thank you
  4. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    In a nutshell: Yes and No!

    Every parrot is an individual. You have to keep in mind what the species is known for, and then keep in mind that any individual of that species can be different. It is unrealistic to go into a situation with one of these intelligent birds where known common traits for that species make the situation less than ideal, though.

    African Greys tend to be a shy, sensitive species and yes it is entirely possible that changing locations and frequent strangers would be very upsetting.
    It's also possible to have an African Grey that LOVES that sort of situation!

    So what to do?
    Either consider adopting an adult bird from an individual or a Parrot Rescue so that you can find a bird that enjoys socialization with strangers and new environments, or consider a different species.

    There are many parrot species that, in general, get a kick out of meeting new people and being in busy environments. These birds also tend to handle change well. It would still be a great idea to look into adopting an adult bird that has a history of not being shy or sensitive.

    I don't know what sort of shop you have, but something to keep in mind: Even the most outgoing parrots hate their cages banged on, smacked by little kids, poked at, and so forth. Also beware anyone getting bitten, and people tend to be sue-happy over that sort of thing! Also bear in mind that parrots can really have a set of lungs on them and make sure you and your customers are okay with dealing with noise (depending on the individual bird, this can be a lot of noise and at a high volume!).

    Best wishes!
  5. crazychicken

    crazychicken Songster

    Sep 11, 2008
    When I was staying with a missionary in Africa they had an African Grey, that parrot was very shy of strangers, and was a "stranger biter". Tried to get me a few times, but I was too fast for her to get me. After being around her for a day or so she would let me give her treats out of my hand and repeat sound/phrases ( She had an amazing vocabulary.) however she still was never too trusting of me. If I got too close or if she felt threatened she would try to bite me... If she let me touch her or feed her a treat it was on her terms, for this reason I don't know if I would recommend letting your customers try to touch it. They could get bitten and then you might have a problem,however, this is just my experience and each bird is an individual and unique so it might not be a problem. I think it would be cool to have an African Grey in a store, especially if it was a coffee shop or something similar. Your customers could enjoy talking to it and maybe you could rig up a way for them to give her a treat without putting their fingers at risk. You could also take your parrot to the store a week or two before it opens so it can get used to the space its in before it swarms full of people, also putting it behind a counter or roping off a section so they can see it but not get too close to it would help. Make sure you also put a sign up that says something like "careful I might mistake your finger for food and try to eat it, so please keep your fingers out of my cage. Thanks you. "
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2011
  6. grammypam

    grammypam Songster

    Mar 16, 2010
    I knew a girl once that would take her macaw to the store she worked. ( pet store). But,she took him home every night with her. I would think that would be better for the bird. I have had two african greys. I would definately not let anyone touch the cage. That is their safe place. Of course my husband and I could. One was very friendly and one was a stinker.
  7. JulieNKC

    JulieNKC Crowing

    Sep 25, 2010
    Kansas City
    The parrot will consider the cage it's home so as long as you keep that the same it might not mind being moved every 6 months. There is a pet store by me with an african grey that has lived there for as long as I can remember (not for sale - he's their pet). He is right next to the register so they can make sure people keep their hands off. He loves talking to everyone though. Whenever I take my daughters in there he likes to mess with them. He'll start barking and whistling, and when they look around he laughs. I think he enjoys it, lol. Parrots are social animals, I think if you get the right bird it would adore being around people, most likely prefer it to being stuck home alone while you're gone all day.

  8. fernandez0067

    fernandez0067 Songster

    Dec 2, 2008
    Thanks for all the advice! I actually went down to a local pet shop yesturday and fell in LOVE with a sun conure. The girl who works there brings hers to work everyday in a little travel cage and because he has his wings clipped he really just hangs out on the perch most of the day but loves all of the people that come and go. She told me that her conures love to travel, so Ive pretty much made my mind up as to which breed I am going to go with. I DEFINITLEY would not let anyone touch the bird, I would keep it behind the counter in my area, which is pretty big. HOWEVER, the baby conure they had at the pet shop was going for $599 and I think I can probably find someone local looking to rehome, maybe someone that just dosnet have the time anymore.

    My search begins!
  9. DebbieF

    DebbieF Chirping

    Mar 2, 2011
    New Richmond, WI
    Nambroth has a very good idea in looking at a bird rescue for your companion bird. They are used to being around several different people and the workers would best know which of their birds would best be suited for your situation. Please don't buy from a pet store, they are the birds equivilent to puppy mills. All of the birds at a rescue had their beginnings at a breeder. People who truely love their birds, wouldn't be using them for breeding. I volunteer at a rescue, there are several wonderful birds there. People buy birds from a store or a breeder and tire of the noise, the mess, etc; and they don't realize when buying a bird, it's a lifetime commitment. Some of the birds can live up to 80 years!
  10. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I too recommend a rescue! The other advice I have is not to go to a rescue with your heart set on a particular species. In my experience, birds are very good at choosing who they like and you may fall in love with a bird you may never expect! However, if you go to the rescue with one species in mind, you could miss out on all the other wonderful birds. In the end, you will have a much better experience with a bird that has chosen you!

    I do think it would probably be a better set up to bring the bird back and forth with you. Birds have good and bad days, just like people. If your bird happens to be in a bad mood one day, you can just leave him/her at home. Otherwise you may have a very unhappy bird at work all day if you don't have the choice of leaving the bird home. Birds in a bad mood can make people miserable real fast! Usually for most birds, these bad moods don't happen too often, but even my favorite bird that will let me do anything to him will get moody and nippy sometimes! Once you bond with the bird, you will be able to tell real easy though.

    Good luck! I think it is great you are wanting to adopt a bird!

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