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How to look after an African Grey Parrot | Kellyville Pets

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This comprehensive care guide will show you how to look after African Grey Parrots in 3 easy steps

Fast Facts:

How long will my African Grey live? They can live from 60 - 80 years

How big will my African Grey grow? They will grow approximately 33cm 

What size enclosure is recommended for my African Grey? They require a wire cage enclosure of at least 40" X 30" X 65"

What does an African Grey eat? - South American pellets with fruit and vegetables

How easy is it to look after an African Grey? They are an advanced maintenance pet

African Grey Housing

Hand Raised African Greys have been raised by humans usually from 3 weeks old, making then accustomed to handling, cages and many noises that occur in everyday life.

A medium gauge wire cage with dimensions of at least 40"(W) x 30"(D) x 65"(H) will give your African Grey enough room to spread out and exercise without risk of injury from hitting the wire sides.

Open top cages with perching areas are ideal for hand raised birds as they provide more freedom and interaction with their family. At night the cage should be covered with a sheet or cage cover to prevent drafts and reduce visual stress.

African Grey Feeding

African Greys should be fed on a quality South American pellet and given daily fresh fruit and vegetables. This can include apple, carrot, beans, peas, corn, broccoli and spinach. This food should not be left in the cage for too long as spoilt fruit can gather bacteria and yeasts that can make your bird ill. Make sure to remember to never feed your African Grey lettuce, avocado or apple seeds.

African Greys can also be offered small portions of seed such as a small parrot mix, but care should be taken to ensure this does not replace the birds pellet consumption.

Vitamin supplements such as Soluvite D or Multivet can be added to your African Greys water two or three times a week. Calcium and Iodine can be provided through cuttlebone and iodine bells. Fresh water should always be available and should be changed on a daily basis. Worming should be repeated every three months with a broad-spectrum bird wormer. It is essential that a good quality calcium supplement such as Calcivet is given to your African Grey at least 3 times a week for the first year.

African Grey Care

Enrichment is all about enhancing the quality of life for your African Grey and generally relates back to activities they would usually perform in the wild.

Foraging plays a big part in enrichment for birds. To search for food is a natural instinct all birds possess, so it is the perfect way to exercise both their body and mind. There is a vast range of foraging toys to suit all species of birds and keep them mentally stimulated for when you are not at home. It is a good idea to have several different types of foraging toys available, and to rotate them in the cage every couple of weeks.

Natural branches of varying lengths, shapes and thicknesses should also be provided. There are many native branches that you could offer your African Grey such as eucalyptus, gum, grevillea, bottle brush and lilly pilly, many of which have natural nuts and flowers that providing a foraging opportunity for your African Grey. This also allows African Greys to properly exercise their feet and beak as they can chew and strip the bark perches.

Did you know:

African Greys are said to be the most intelligent of all parrots. Studies conducted have shown that African Greys can perform at the cognitive level of a 4-6 year old child, being able to differentiate between objects, shapes, colours and materials. They are also renowned for their incredible talking capability.

We have created a Shopping list to show what you need to look after an African Grey:

  • Cage; 40" X 30" X 65" medium gauge wire
  • Food and water bowls
  • Perches
  • Cage tidy
  • Ozpet litter
  • Cage Cover
  • Pellets
  • Vitamins
  • Worming
  • Avicare disinfectant
  • Cuttlefish
  • Lice & Mite Spray
  • Carry cage
  • Natural perches
  • Cement perches
  • Foraging toys
  • Colourful toys
  • Ladders
  • Parrot pad
  • Play stand

    Common health issues in African Greys

    Psittacosis: A type of bacterial lung infection commonly carried by wild and domesticated birds, and able to be passed onto humans.

    Respiratory Infections: Usually caused by bacteria infecting the respiratory system of birds due to vitamin A deficiency, however can be caused by many other factors such as fungi, parasites and environmental toxins.

    Bacterial Infections: There are many common bacterial diseases birds are susceptible to and is usually caused by lack of hygiene or stress, especially when there is another factor compromising the birds immune system.

    Red flags

    Is your African Grey showing any of the signs of disease or illness? If yes, please consult your vet.

    • Fluffed up feathers
    • Nasal discharge
    • Lethargy
    • Out of character behaviour
    • Discoloured poo or diarrhoea
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    At Kellyville Pets, we encourage responsible pet ownership.

    CARE GUIDE © Copyright 2016 Kellyville Pets - All information found in this care guide is based upon our own experience. The information provided is not the only information available. In any medical situations,  you should always consult your vet, including questions regarding your pet's diet.