Hand-raised african grey

Hello,Today we went to visit some hand fed african grey pups because we were thinking of getting one.The puppies will be 3 months old in one week and they seemed to be quite scared of us.They allowed us to pet them but only to some extent.From the parrot’s behaviour and from the conversation we had with the owners, we were left with the impression that the only thing he did was to take the small birds out of the nest in day 23 and put them in their living room, hand feeding them several times a day. Maybe we have another conception of what “hand raised” actually means, but we were expecting for the owners to spend more time with them, therefore the birds becoming more…affectionate.But instead they were all fluffed up, and trying to attack us. We know very well that we were seen as strangers for the birds, but they did not seem to be very attached to the owners either.They were hitting walls and windows, from where we realized that they weren’t spending too much time outside.We would like to know your opinion on how should we expect a hand raised puppy to behave?Looking forward to your answers!

Welcome to the forum, sgtpepper. You have come to a good place to learn about parrots.Usually hand-raised chicks have imprinted on people and think we are funny birds. It seems that this breeder has been doing less than typical, which can be little enough. Normally even parent-raised chicks can be tamed to be wonderful companion birds, but I would hesitate with these. It sounds like they have been traumatized, which is easy enough to do with any bird, but especially a Grey. Greys are just about the hardest kind of parrot to raise to be well-adjusted adults, and these have not had an optimal start. I advise you to get an easier bird.In any case, parrots have MUCH different personalities and requirements than dogs, and I wouldn’t get a parrot from anyone that allowed people to call the babies “puppies”. Parrots are a LOT more trouble than dogs.Unlike puppies, a new chick may seem to be affectionate and bonded to you, but when it reaches puberty it will probably switch bonds from a “parent” to a “mate.” They also go through a “teenage” stage which can be worse than a human teenager. People will often be bewildered by this, and give the parrot to a rescue organization. If you start with a parrot from a rescue, you skip most of the bad parts of the maturing process, and get a personality you like. You can find one that talks, if that is what you want, because not all parrots do, and the rescue staff will usually help you finding a bird that is a good fit. But a Grey is one of the neediest of birds, so even with a good fit they MUST have a lot of time and attention or they scream constantly and/or pull out their feathers. Almost any other bird will be happier with less. ALL parrots need hours of out of cage time every day, and all parrots bite hard enough to draw blood.

I would think that these people are very inexperienced as breeders and are therefore not very good or they could just be poor breeders period. They should have been much more involved in the raising of the babies. I will say that at their age these birds would not have been outside much if at all as they are very sensitive to light when they are this young. I also don’t know what time of day it was ( for the birds ) because with some of the actions that you describe it could have been feeding time or later and they had not yet been fed. Nothing that you have said in your post inspires any confidence in the breeder or their ability.

Wolf, Thank you for your response. The problem is, we live in Copenhagen where there aren’t too many breeders. Also, by what I’ve spoken to various breeders in Denmark on the phone they do the same.We have to give them our answer today and I’m not so sure about their behavior, but, at the same time, I am thinking that maybe I will not find a real breeder around here.

I understand, and I know that there are good and bad breeders but you never know where you will find them at. There is simply not enough information in your post for me to say to what degree these birds are traumatized, maybe only a little and maybe a lot, I simply don’t know. I don’t know how old these birds are other than that they are not yet weaned. If this is the only place that you can get a Grey and your heart is set on one then place your deposit and arrange to where you have visiting rights and visit them often and try to handle them enough that you can tell which one wants you the most. If you get one of these babies and you need help I will do all that I can to assist you. Harpmaker was not advising you to get a different species of parrot, so much as wanting you to look into a possible rescue bird. The major reason for these birds being in a rescue is because of the bird going through puberty and the original owner not being able to deal with it. Not because it is a bad bird. Well you decide what you want to do and I will assist in any way that I can.

I believe they are just poor breeders, as I can see this is how all are in Denmark, and the poor parrots do not get any attention beside when they eat. As for what you both suggested, I would have gone for adoption in the first place, but we do not have any adoption places. All the bird rescue centers keep all the birds they receive in their aviaries , as "the birds have suffered enough already and they can not be skipped from owner to owner". Personally, I think that that is rubbish, and it encourages people to encourage the breeding and selling.However, adoption is not an option in this country. I have looked on some local advertisment sites, and found two 3 year olds, living in awful conditions, not given attention to. this is the website link http://www.dba.dk/anden-fugl-graa-jaco-3-aar/id-1009755367/I would love to do something good, and take in one of these"charity cases" as this is the closest to adoption, but, I am afraid of them being two and the most of all, of them both misbehaving and me not being able to solve it.Any insight on this is welcomethanks


From what you posted, I can tell you one thing and one thing alone: any of these baby birds will give you trouble because a gray chick that is afraid of humans at three months of age is a chick that is not human imprinted or that has been neglected and/or abused. Hand-raised baby birds that were treated right see people and will immediately try to get closer to them and start fluttering their wings asking for food, they don’t feel threatened by them, they don’t feel the need to protect themselves from them by biting, quite the contrary, they know them only as bringers of food and love. Having said that, if you are up for the challenge and you decide to buy a baby from these people, I suggest you bring it home as soon as possible (if you can provide the care they require during the day, that is) so you can start undoing part of the damage - you will not be able to erase the trauma completely but, at least, you will be providing a good home to one of them. And they need one desperately. Baby birds that are still in the nest are called hatchlings, when they have already grown feathers but are still pretty much in or near the nest, they are called chicks, when they get their remiges (long feathers in the wings) long enough, leave the nest and begin to fly, they are fledgings, when they are already pretty much on their own (they eat and fly) but still young and not sexually mature, they are juveniles, once they mature, they are adults. I just saw your answer with the link for the birds for adoption. Personally, I would go with them.

Hi Pajarita,Thanks for the reply! So you would go with the older ones or the younger? I know both cases require work as I need to undo what they have been through.

I really don’t do Danish but from what I can gather, they are a mated pair and the female has laid at least one clutch of eggs which were discarded. They will step up and the female is a little bit of a biter, but not the male. I also think that the owner is reluctant to separate them, which is good as they should remain together. I would think that if what I have said is accurate then they are past puberty. If it were me I would at least try to go and see them and see how they react to me. If that goes well I would most definitely try to acquire them. That is my opinion based on this information.

The person actually lives on the island with me, so I will go tomorrow see what they are about.I do not feel so confident about getting a young chick, so if these two are not the ones then I will wait until something else comes up Keep you updated