African Greys

oggers86

Member
Dec 7, 2008
3,572
8
34
Leicestershire
Does anyone own an African Grey parrot or know anything about them as pets? I would quite like to get one eventually but would like to know more about them before I do. My bf and I would also like to get cats eventually so we would have to consider the household harmony between 2 cats and a parrot.

I have heard that they are really intelligent and make great pets providing they get the care and attention they need. I dont want mine to be stuck in a cage all the time, are they ok to be let out and put on a perch (providing all the windows are closed!) Is it safe for a parrot to be around cats? I think the parrot would come first and the cats a bit later as kittens, would this work? Would the cats learn not to attack the parrot? Would the parrot attack the cats?

What happens if I want to go on holiday or away for the weekend? The cats would go into a cattery or we would get a petsitter. Is it safe to get someone else to look after a parrot, especially one as emotional and intelligent as an African Grey. Would they get stressed being looked after in a different household?

I have only had to independently take care of a hamster which I used to give to my mum to look after if I needed to. However they are a lot different than a parrot, less demanding!

I wouldnt get one for a good few months to a year so I have lots of time to research etc so it would be good to hear any opinions from owners or people who have spent time with them.

Any good websites I can visit to read about them more?

Thanks!!
 

juneping

couch potato-ing
O.G.
Jun 11, 2007
17,801
909
NYC
do cat and bird really go well in the same household??
i am starting to imagine the cat would chase the parrot on a daily basis....may be i am ignorant.
 

oggers86

Member
Dec 7, 2008
3,572
8
34
Leicestershire
do cat and bird really go well in the same household??
i am starting to imagine the cat would chase the parrot on a daily basis....may be i am ignorant.
From what I have heard about African Greys it would be the parrot doing the chasing...:P

But this is one thing I would like to know, how easy or possible is it to have them in the same house and all out at the same time...
 
Oct 29, 2006
2,666
3
Los Angeles
I can speak a little to this, since my boyfriend's dad had a parrot and loves birds in general. He had one for over 30 years and it was his best friend.. he lived with that thing for longer than he's been married to my bf's mom!
The only hesitation I have with a parrot is that it is a HUGE RESPONSIBILITY. Someone has to be hanging out with that bird pretty much all day: for example, if everyone goes to work 8 hours a day and it's by itself that time, that is okay. Birds are flock animals, and if they are left alone they get neurotic and destructive. African grays are particularly sensitive to this because they are so intelligent they get bored very easily. They also live a long time (30+ years if you tke care of it well), so you're looking at 30 years of a pretty much constant companion.
Parrots are also indescribeably loud. When I'm staying at my bf's parents' house, I get woken up by their cockatiel (which bf says is 1/10 the loudness of a parrot) shrieking at 7 am because it wants everyone to wake up and hang out with it. Once someone gets up to feed it, it'll shriek even louder because it's happy!
I probably sound super negative, but I guess I wanted to point out how much of a responsibility owning an intelligent bird is. It's not at all on the same level as getting a cat or dog that you could leave at home every day while you were at work. IMO, the only people who should be getting parrots are people who work from home or can bring the bird to work with them. That being said, I think having such a humanoid, intelligent pet would be incredibly rewarding. As I said before, my bf's dad is such a huge bird afficionado and I think it's mostly from his experiences owning a parrot. African grays are also really cool parrots (there are some awesome youtube videos of them impersonating phone calls).
It's definitely something to think about!

ETA: As for pet sitting, I think my bf's dad leaves their bird with a good friend who is also a parrot owner.
 

oggers86

Member
Dec 7, 2008
3,572
8
34
Leicestershire
I can speak a little to this, since my boyfriend's dad had a parrot and loves birds in general. He had one for over 30 years and it was his best friend.. he lived with that thing for longer than he's been married to my bf's mom!
The only hesitation I have with a parrot is that it is a HUGE RESPONSIBILITY. Someone has to be hanging out with that bird pretty much all day: for example, if everyone goes to work 8 hours a day and it's by itself that time, that is okay. Birds are flock animals, and if they are left alone they get neurotic and destructive. African grays are particularly sensitive to this because they are so intelligent they get bored very easily. They also live a long time (30+ years if you tke care of it well), so you're looking at 30 years of a pretty much constant companion.
Parrots are also indescribeably loud. When I'm staying at my bf's parents' house, I get woken up by their cockatiel (which bf says is 1/10 the loudness of a parrot) shrieking at 7 am because it wants everyone to wake up and hang out with it. Once someone gets up to feed it, it'll shriek even louder because it's happy!
I probably sound super negative, but I guess I wanted to point out how much of a responsibility owning an intelligent bird is. It's not at all on the same level as getting a cat or dog that you could leave at home every day while you were at work. IMO, the only people who should be getting parrots are people who work from home or can bring the bird to work with them. That being said, I think having such a humanoid, intelligent pet would be incredibly rewarding. As I said before, my bf's dad is such a huge bird afficionado and I think it's mostly from his experiences owning a parrot. African grays are also really cool parrots (there are some awesome youtube videos of them impersonating phone calls).
It's definitely something to think about!

ETA: As for pet sitting, I think my bf's dad leaves their bird with a good friend who is also a parrot owner.
Hmm being that I work in a hotel my hours are all over the place, my bfs hours will be pretty stable. But I would imagine that there would be periods of time where we would be out the house for a period of time.

It does concern me r.e the noise, I dont really want to be woken up at some stupid time in the morning especially if I have been at work late.

I definately need more information, the cats are going to be a definate addition to the household, me and my bf have owned cats so we are no stranger to their little habits. Neither of us have owned a parrot or any kind of bird before. I have to admit that I am starting to reconsider owning one, as much as I would love one, I am not sure I could give it the time and care it would need. But I wont make my mind up before getting tons of info!!!

So bring it on, the good, the bad and the ugly :biggrin:
 
Oct 29, 2006
2,666
3
Los Angeles
^^:lol:...he lived with that thing....
Haha, oops that came out wrong.. the thing being the parrot, not my bf's mom!!!

I hope my post didn't come out super negative. But my bf's dad talks so much about neglected parrots that I wanted to give you some perspective. I personally have also thought about getting a parrot a lot because I think they are SO cool. If it is something that you end up doing, I'm sure it could be the most rewarding, awesome pet you could own.
 

oggers86

Member
Dec 7, 2008
3,572
8
34
Leicestershire
Haha, oops that came out wrong.. the thing being the parrot, not my bf's mom!!!

I hope my post didn't come out super negative. But my bf's dad talks so much about neglected parrots that I wanted to give you some perspective. I personally have also thought about getting a parrot a lot because I think they are SO cool. If it is something that you end up doing, I'm sure it could be the most rewarding, awesome pet you could own.
Nope it didnt, it just gave me some info to think about. I can only imagine the fun my bf would have teaching it to say the most inappropriate things. He just said he could teach it the "Surfing Bird" song...having him sing it is bad enough but him and a parrot??

Id really like to go and spend some time with one and see how they interact etc but I am not really sure how to do that without actually owning one.
 

Lakritze

♥
O.G.
Jun 4, 2006
1,054
1
Germany
If you consider an African Grey please make sure you get two. They are very social animals and should have the opportunity to choose a (non-human ;) ) partner. Small cages are not for African Greys. This is how an okay sized cage would look (with plenty of time outside to walk and fly).
 

Attachments

oggers86

Member
Dec 7, 2008
3,572
8
34
Leicestershire
If you consider an African Grey please make sure you get two. They are very social animals and should have the opportunity to choose a (non-human ;) ) partner. Small cages are not for African Greys. This is how an okay sized cage would look (with plenty of time outside to walk and fly).
Wow thats bigger than expected..I may have to wait until I buy my own house so that I have the room to keep it. Thanks for the cage info :smile:
 

oggers86

Member
Dec 7, 2008
3,572
8
34
Leicestershire
I just found a forum with tons of info about African Greys. I definately think if I do want to get one I will have to wait at least a year, theres tons of reading to be done and lots of preparation. Plus by the sounds of it, its better to have stability for them so I will keep reading and see how the situation is in a year or so...
 

DesigningStyle

I left my heart in Sicily.
O.G.
Dec 20, 2006
20,384
1,674
NJ, USA
I would encourage you to start with a cockatiel. I adore cockatiels. Tons of personality and a lot of fun, but again, birds require lots of interaction with their family. My Laci-Lu has many hours out of her cage every day and requires lots of one on one time with me in order to be a happy bird. It is a huge responsibility. Oh, and birds are messy and require frequently cage cleanings and the cleanup of the area surrounding their cages.
 

fatefullotus

Building a rainbow
O.G.
My aunt and uncle have an African grey. They got him when he was very young and have had him for about 7 years are so. While Jack-Jack is quite intelligent and does 'talk' a bit, my aunt and uncle have voiced the opinion that if they could do it again, they would steer clear of African greys.

Jack-Jack gets run of the house (he has several large perches throughout the house, but he likes the one in the common area most) and likes his family, but true to the breed, he bonded more with one person than with the rest. In the family, Jack-Jack bonded with my uncle most and has outright attacked my aunt for kissing my uncle or sitting too closely to him when Jack-Jack is near. For a period of time, while they were trying to work out this behavior, my aunt had gauges on her hands, on her arms, on her shoulder from Jack-Jack's attacks. Now, this behavior is kinda worked out: Jack-Jack will flap his wings and squak loudly as a warning before he attacks. Needless to say, guests to my aunt's and uncle's home are warned to move slowly around Jack-Jack and sit further away. What a party pooper that Jack-Jack can be! lol

You may want to seriously consider this fairly common penchant of the species to get possessive and aggressive before you make the commitment.