Once again, African Greys make excellent parents. I give a bean, corn, and rice mash, as well as as much corn-on-the-cob as the kids will eat, while they are in the nest. It is typical to consume two to three ears every day. Greys feed their young well. I unintentionally left five kids in a clutch in the nest for four weeks and discovered just a 20 gram difference between the eldest and smallest. This occurred twice with two distinct pairings. I usually pluck at no less than three weeks. I believe I would have been a basket case and pulled early if I had known there were five babies. There are instances when “ignorance is bliss.” Unless something is really wrong, I do not think African Greys discard eggs or mutilate babies.
With the passage of the WBCA, we have entered a new era of aviculture. At this point, I believe only time will tell, and we will learn from our errors. Many male African Greys who were formerly pets and devoted to their humans have not been good breeders throughout their infancy. Some hand-fed African Greys reared to be breeders do not fare as well as their wild counterparts. Parent-reared birds seem to be doing well at this point. I have a couple flights of approximately 18 hand-feds that are being raised to be breeders. I have flocked groups of four to six birds each flight. My three-year-olds are beginning to exhibit interest in other flock members. Flocking in groups seems to be a more effective way of generating domestic breeders. African Greys that were hand-fed and raised in pairs haven’t fared as well as I had intended. The men seem to have no idea what they are meant to perform. Perhaps they face the same uncertainty in the wild. It would be ideal if this were true. This has not been the case when releasing dark-eyed or young adult Greys from quarantine. For me, the birds have matured and produced as well as mature, imported birds. When considering the issues with captive-bred birds for breeding, it’s important to understand the “kind” we’re talking about. Ex-pets who have been hand-fed, or who have been hand-fed and raised for breeding, or who have been parent-reared.
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