Getting to Know Your African Grey Parrot
"Of all the parrot kinds out there, the African grey parrot is considered as the most intelligent, not just the most beautiful. Due to their superb talking abilities, African grey parrot has excellent communication skills. The two types of African grey are Congo and Timheh wherein the former has light gray color with reddish tail while the latter has dark charcoal gray color with maroon tail.
African grey parrots, further, are medium-sized parrots. An African grey parrot grows up to 14 inches on average. Males are larger than females though it is difficult to distinguish between the two. Female parrots, however, are more dignified and composed. They also have narrower heads as well as more slender necks.
The lifespan of an African grey parrot is 60 years wherein it might longer than its owner. Throughout these years, the owner should commit at understanding the unique needs of this parrot, keeping them stimulated in the process. For one, an African grey parrot is one of the most demanding of all parrot species. They tends to get bored more easily than other parrots thus, the environment should be highly interactive.
Training an African grey parrot requires commitment as well. This would not be that difficult considering the fact that these parrots are fast learners; they are proficient in learning new tricks. Nonetheless, you should use lots of reinforcements and rewards. They will help in teaching your parrot to talk.
When the needs of an African grey parrot are not satisfied, this might result to different behavioral problems like feather picking. Even when there is a slight change on his surrounding, he will turn into a cranky and picky parrot. What's worse, he might self-mutilate. Of course, you do not want this to happen.
An African grey parrot can be very challenging as well. You will eventually observe his non-compliance when being disciplined. He will find difficulties biting and chewing his food as well. These parrots pick up bad habits rather quickly, so as the owner, you should also be on your best behavior. As such, the parrots are most suited for big families especially with kids that will give the parrot lots of attention.
Be aware, however, that the black beak of the African grey parrot is hard. He uses it as a secondary hand which means that the kids might get beaten. Make them aware of this. Tell them that the proper way to handle these parrots is through giving them a scratch on their heads occasionally. Cuddle the parrot, but beware because he might attempt at kissing you. This not only hurts, but it will also subject your pet to harmful bacteria from your mouth.
When buying an African grey parrot, you should not be victimized by unscrupulous breeders. This is expected because these parrots are sold for more than $2,000. Since you are no expert to buying an African grey parrot, there are some factors that you should consider.
As already noted, there are just two kinds of these parrots. Ask the breeder what kind of African grey they are selling. Most definitely, the breeder will show you various Congo and Timneh parrots. One way to distinguish between the two is that Congo parrots are bigger than Timneh parrots.
You will know that you are looking at African grey parrots when they fluff up their wings when you approach them. This is their defense habit which they do when they feel threatened. They are also in the habit of chewing whatever they get hold into. If the breeder shows you the parrots, you should notice some twigs and toys inside their cages.
If you do not find all these among the African grey parrots presented to you, chances are, these are not real African greys. You should find yourself a decent breeder who will not swindle you. On the other hand, it is your responsibility to educate yourself on finding the right African grey parrot."