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Dear Parrots magazine,

Getting a second bird

I have had an African Grey for nearly 10 years and have always felt he (we were told when we bought him that he was a ‘he’) was feeling lonely. He has always been friendly and let’s both me and my husband handle him. But of course, most of the time he sits on his own in his cage and seems less bright. So we considered getting him a ‘friend’. We thought about this for a very long time, but had never bought another Grey.

It was when we heard through Facebook that an elderly couple, who were suffering from health issues and finding looking after their Grey increasingly difficult, were looking for a new forever home. It turned out that they were only an hour’s drive away, and following telephone conversations, we agreed to go and see them. At first they were quite wary of us, but once we had spent some time with them, they realised that we were also crazy about African Greys. They told us their Grey was about 17 years old.

To cut a long story short, Theo (their Grey) came home with us, but now we had to get our Charlie and Theo together. We wanted them to meet in a neutral room, but Charlie knows all our rooms, so had to think how to do this. Well, although our daughter was not a parrot person, but an animal lover, she agreed we could use one of her spare rooms for the introduction. This meant that both birds would need to stay with her for some time. Our daughter kept them both and agreed to try to get them to accept each other. She kept them in separate cages (borrowed from another parrot lady) placing them close together. They seemed to be quite excited with each other and after a couple of weeks, we all decided to take the plunge.

To start with, they were both let out of their cages in a (neutral) room and it wasn’t that long before they were perched on a curtain rail together. We did this for a few days after which we took the plunge again and put them both in one of the cages together. They got along very well, and we then took them back to our house and invested in a much larger cage that was new to both of them. In they went and to or relief, they now seem to be a very friendly pair and getting on well. A long process, but all ended extremely well to our relief.

Melanie Horsefall, by email




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