Caring for an African Grey Parrot

African Grey parrot by blackangel on flickr

There are many aspects to caring for an African Grey parrot.  Here, we focus on finding a suitable cage and providing a healthy diet for your parrot.

Finding a suitable cage

You should consider the largest cage that you can find and afford.  It should be at least 90 centimetres square and about 1.2 metres tall so that there is room for the parrot to roam inside the cage. african grey by blackangel on flickr The spacing between the bars should be between 1.9 to 2.5 centimetres, and the bars should run horizontally so that your pet can clamber around inside the cage. While a large cage provides space for the bird to move around, it is also has a specific area that is also taken up with perches, food dispensers, and toys.  A variety of perches should be provided. Perches should be of different material, different thicknesses, and made of natural products as parrots are destructive and will chew things to help keep their beaks in shape.  Food dispensers may be bowls that have security fittings to prevent your parrot from lifting it out and empting the contents.

African Grey parrots are very intelligent birds, so a good selection of toys can provide stimulation and entertainment when you are not around. Toys need to be checked on a regular basis for signs of damage to prevent parts of the toys being swallowed or causing strangulation or entrapment as your parrot plays and explores his environment.  Try to mix toys up so that your parrot remains interested in his toys. A play gym and time outside the cage are also beneficial.

Choosing the cage location

Situate the cage close to where the parrot can interact with people.  Parrots are very social birds.  Without socialisation parrots can become affected by mental and physical disorders that affect their health and wellbeing. You should keep cages away from draughts and direct sunlight.

Caring for an African Grey parrot by choosing the best diet

Some African Greys are fussy eaters, but this is often attributed to lack of variety in foods when they were weaning.  An African Grey’s diet should consist of pellets, grains, seeds, protein, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Seed mixes are not particularly healthy for parrots, so they should only be provided as part of a balanced feeding regime.

Wild parrots will fly great distances to find different food items; however, in captivity, a parrot’s diet is controlled by us.  Therefore, we need to ensure that an African Grey receives aAfrican Grey feedingll of its minerals, vitamins, and daily food and water intake from a variety of sources. Calcium is also important to protect the bone development and structure, as African Grey parrots are prone to calcium deficiency, which can be provided by a selection of green vegetables. All food and water that is supplied to feed a parrot should be fresh.  Food that is stale or is rotting will make your parrot sick, so you should change water and fresh food items every day, and make sure to wash out all feeding containers daily.  If you have a stock of dishes, you can use a clean dish one day, and then thoroughly wash the dish that was used for the next day.  In this way, your parrot is never left without food or water for extended period.

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