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African Grey Consultations, part 1

Spreads for web 2

by Sally Blanchard
I had to fight a lot of misinformation that simply wasn’t based on ‘bio-logical’ fact. It seemed that a lot of breeders made stuff up with regard to parrots that had no basis in ornithological knowledge or concern for the emotional health of their babies. The following is an example.

An avian veterinarian referred me to a woman who had a new baby African Grey. The parrot, her first, had lived with her for a couple of weeks. The young bird was supposedly weaned and the woman was clearly told by the breeder that she should not start to hand-feed him again or he would be spoiled. This seems to be a normal statement that some breeders make. The bird seemed over-excited, almost as if he had severe ADD. He also seemed to be fearful about anything new in his life and didn’t really trust his new caregiver. Every time the woman came close to the bird’s cage, he lunged at her. She wondered why the Grey was being so aggressive at such a young age. I arrived and watched the bird’s behaviour, it only took me a minute to realise the Grey had not been properly weaned and was suffering from serious insecurity. She told me that he had been fed via a tube.

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