So You Are Thinking Of Buying An African Grey Parrot?

The African Grey is one of the most popular pet birds in the world. This African bird is believed to be one of the most clever. Its incredible ability to communicate and imitate noises makes it a fun companion.

African Greys are medium-sized parrots that are mostly grey with white accents. The Congo, which has a cherry red tail and black beaks, and the Timneh, which is smaller in size, darker grey, with a maroon coloured tail and light coloured mandible, are the two most prevalent subspecies. The Congo is thought to be the greater talker, although both are quite competent and bright.

African Greys have a long and illustrious history of being kept as pets. Pet parrots are shown in Egyptian hieroglyphics going back 4,000 years. Greys were highly regarded for their capacity to speak throughout Greek and Roman history, and were housed in elaborate cages. One belonged to King Henry VIII, and Portuguese seamen kept them as friends on lengthy trips. This is most likely what inspired pictures of pirates carrying parrots on their shoulders.

Some environmental organisations elevated the Grey Parrot to Near Threatened status in 2007. The capture and import/export of wild captured Greys is prohibited by the international community. Importing these birds into the United States is prohibited. As a result, all Greys sold today were reared in the United States. They are widely accessible, however they may be fairly expensive.


When you start looking for your Grey, you will be astounded by the price range. A juvenile Congo may be purchased from a bird breeder in Florida for as low as $600. A few hundred kilometres north, the price rises to $1000. If you go into a pet store in New York, you’ll be fortunate to find one for $1500. So, what’s the deal with the pricing differences?

The expenses begin with the bird breeders. A well-raised handfed Grey needs continual care. Babies must be fed every two hours, twenty-four hours a day. This is going to take a lot of work. Once the young bird has been weaned, nothing more is required except regular care. As the bird ages, this time must be compensated, therefore the price rises. A one-year-old Grey may now cost between $950 and $1200. Some hobby breeders are not as concerned with recouping labour expenditures as they are with having fun.

Another consideration is location. Warm-climate birds need minimal environmental care, and they may be kept in outdoor flying cages. They can’t tolerate the cold weather in northern latitudes (remember, these birds are originally to Africa), thus the expense of shelter goes up. As a result, expect to spend a little bit more for birds grown in these places.

Pet businesses almost seldom produce their own birds and instead rely on “jobbers,” breeders, or even wholesale dealers to provide them with birds to sell. They may save money by purchasing big amounts of birds, but they must still earn a profit. This explains why pet retailers charge up to $2000 for Greys.

As a result, when you start looking for your new pet, the key to obtaining a fair price is study and bargaining. It is entirely up to you whether you purchase from a breeder or a pet shop. Both groupings have both good and harmful elements. Don’t be scared to inquire. Call around to see what Greys are selling for, and then make an offer.


African Greys are clever birds. They will need a great deal of engagement from the owner.

If you want your bird to speak, don’t expect it to do so using DVDs, tape recordings, or other simple ways. It need human connection. Shortcuts will not function. You must begin teaching your Grey to speak by using short, uncomplicated sentences. Maintain consistency and give your pet treats whenever feasible. Greys should start communicating around the age of one year. But keep in mind that your bird must desire to communicate, and they often do not. In our experience, individuals may not say anything for many years until suddenly repeating what they have learnt. Simply be patient. Remove your bird from his cage and work with him for 10 minutes every session in a different room. Engage in as much interaction as possible. Your Grey will commit itself to you and demand your whole attention.

The Grey does not like being ignored. They are prone to feather plucking and self-mutilation. This is an obvious indication of tension, uncertainty, or boredom. Move your bird to a location where the family is. Position it in front of a window. Make sure your bird has a variety of toys. However, none of these can take the place of your relationship with the bird. You must devote a portion of each day to your bird’s care.


As breeders, we understand that there is no such thing as a too large cage. However, every bird owner has their own set of constraints, and in many situations, they want the tiniest cage possible.

A medium-sized parrot cage is required for African Greys. It must be able to expand its wings, roam about freely, and have enough space to hang toys and food/water bowls. The desired minimum size is at least 28 inches. A cage 36 inches tall is ideal for plenty of workout space. Because the bird’s head may become wedged between the bars, bar spacing should be no more than 1 inch apart. Because Africans may easily demolish a cage meant to house parakeets or cockatiels, the material should be of heavy gauge wire.

When purchasing the cage, bear in mind that it will need to be cleaned on a regular basis. Fancy ornate cages might take a long time to make. Metal cages will rust if not properly dried. Stainless steel cages are ideal, however they are quite costly.
Examine the cage for hazards such as misaligned doors. Greys’ feet have been known to get trapped in entrance and feed doors, so inspect them carefully. Look for poor welds with sharp edges. All of these are prevalent with low-cost cages.

Check that the pear trees are large enough for your bird. Your Grey will spend a lot of time standing on them, and inappropriate pearches will cause foot issues. A selection of perches of various sizes is a good place to start.

Purchase additional sets of replacement food/water cups for bird cages. This manner, you may soak and clean the others while one set is in the case. Contaminated water dishes are a significant source of sickness, yet they are an easy issue to solve!


On this issue, you could ask 10 different breeders and receive ten different answers…all of which may be right. My typical response? African Greys have the same precise dietary needs as humans. What would happen if you ate nothing but seeds and nuts all day? Why would you expect anything less from Grey?

Greys need a higher protein diet and a lot more calcium than other birds. You will never have a problem if you feed your bird a high-quality commercial bird pellet diet and supplement it with plenty of fruits and veggies. There are commercial diets designed exclusively for African Greys.

I also disagree with numerous claims that Greys should not consume meat. Keep in mind the Greys’ ancestors’ migration from Africa. They consume a variety of seeds and flora, but they are also scavengers. Meat is abundant in protein and vitamin Bs, which are lacking in a seed and vegetable diet. Pelleted foods supplement these vitamins and protein, but you may do the same by sharing your meals with your bird. This not only improves the bird’s food, but it also boosts your contact with your bird. But, like with people, don’t overdo it.

Another big subject of contention among breeders is whether to feed their birds milk and dairy products. Here’s the lowdown…..

Lactose is found in milk and dairy products. To digest it correctly, your body develops an enzyme called lactase. Birds do not generate this enzyme, thus it is hazardous to them! Too much milk produces diarrhoea, which may lead to serious medical issues in birds. As a result, the uneducated breeder just eliminates dairy items from the diet.

However, milk includes a significant quantity of calcium and other nutrients that the birds’ diet severely lacks. While this may be compensated with supplements like cuttlebones or other forms of crushed up calcium, it still deprives the bird of other essential nutrients.
Small quantities of dairy products are not a problem for African Greys. Cheese and yoghurt, which are high in calcium but low in lactose, make a wonderful snack. In the morning, our birds like a piece of pizza or a splash of milk over their favourite cereal. Just don’t go overboard!


African Greys, like other bigger parrots, live for a long time. This information should be considered by the prospective bird owner. What happens to the bird after you die and it outlives you?
Greys mature between the ages of 3 and 5 years. A well reared Grey will live between 35 and 50 years. Greys have been known to live to be 80 years old!
So, if you get an African Grey as a pet, you may expect to have a very long connection with him.

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