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I finally got my African grey! I present you Chicken :)


BlackOpal
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I got Chicken 48 hours ago, and although he growls when we come near him, he appears to be quite happy with his new environment. Here is a video of him taken yesterday (sorry about the vertical video):

 

[video=youtube_share;oeXTxSuw9Ng]http://youtu.be/oeXTxSuw9Ng

 

Bonus picture (this was the closest I could get without scaring him):

 

Chicken 2.jpg

 

He's already such a good bird, we just need to gain his trust...

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Thank you guys, as a new African grey owner so far I have been able to observe that Chicken has moods he goes through throughout the day. I don't know if this is typical Grey behavior but he is really cheery in the morning when he first wakes up, then gets really quiet for several hours, then cheers up again when the sun is setting, then gets quiet again, and finally gets REALLY cheery just before he goes to sleep. He has followed this exact pattern two days in a row.

 

He is happiest when we are out of the room, that's when he makes all sorts of sounds. Sometimes he will chirp and flap his wings when I'm in the room, but if I walk past him this causes him to quiet down up to an hour or so. He was really active this morning until I pulled out his tray to clean it (with vinegar, lemon and water) and put it back in. He was completely silent and still after that, for almost half a day. Hopefully he warms up to us soon because we already love him so much!

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When you are out of the room and he starts making sounds make sure you respond with a sound or word. This is a contact call and will help establish you as a member of his new flock. It may take months to develop a trusting relationship with Chicken. After all, the poor soul has had some truly, horrendously, bad interactions with humans. Find the distance from his cage where you can be before he growls and fluffs up to make himself look big and scary. Place a chair there and just talk to him, read to him, let him get used to your presence and your voice. Another thing that might help is food. After you place his food in the cage, sit down in your 'safe' chair and have something to eat yourself. Mealtime is shared in a flock and eating with him will help establish your place in his new flock. Other than that, just keep things calm and happy around him. Don't pressure him into stepping up for you or allowing you to touch him. My guess is that touch is a good distance off in your relationship. Of course I could be wrong. Chicken could be a grey with a more resilient personality that adjusts more quickly to his new environment. Only time will tell, and in our grey world, time is something we have plenty of. Congrats on your new flock member. <3 from Dorian and I.

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This is great advice Acappella, thank you SO much! I will definitely do those things. Speaking of food, he doesn't go near any of the fruits we give him... He only eats seeds :/ My goal is to get him to like healthy stuff but I'm not too sure how to go about it. I've tried apples (red and green), oranges and bananas. Nothing. I've tried taking his seeds away for a while, then he just doesn't eat so I cave in and give them back. Ugh.

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Timber is a very picky eater. He doesn't care for fruit either, except for sharing a bite of dad's banana once in awhile. I don't mind, because greys aren't supposed to have a lot of fruit anyway. As luvparrots said, veggies are important. Sometimes you can hide them in things they do like (like you would with a toddler). Sometimes it is a matter of finding some Chicken likes. It takes some experimenting, and sometimes it takes several times of offering the same thing before they give it a try. For instance, Timber will eat peas in the pod (not snow pea pods but real peas) if I put them on the skewer in his cage raw. He will only eat sweet potato if it is cooked and mashed. Carrots and broccoli are a "sometimes" thing on the skewer (raw, won't eat cooked). I found that he loves artichokes. I buy fresh ones, cut off the stem plus about a half inch on the stalk end and a half inch off the top, strip the outer leaves (mostly to help get rid of pesticides) and toss it in the bottom of the cage after washing well. He will chase and chew on that artichoke all day long, leaving only pieces of the leaves at the end of the day.

 

I'm just trying to emphasize that you may have to try a variety of things before you find what he likes.

 

What ever you try, make sure to wash properly to get rid of pesticides, which are lethal to birds.

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Interesting, I didn't know they weren't supposed to have a lot of fruit! I gave him some carrots yesterday but he didn't eat them either (surprise, surprise) will keep trying with different veggies... Or maybe he's like Sophie in this case. Nancy, how long did it take for you two to bond?

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Veges are the way to go and it will take some time for him to get used to a healthy diet. Marco doesnt really eat her pellets much anymore so I hide them in "birdie bread" along with a slue of other good things for her like veges and cinnamon :D So I suggest getting a recipe for something like that along with a vege mash! :D Those can be made before hand and last you a few days if kept refridgerated. Heck I freeze my birdie bread and just take out enough for 1 week at a time.

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I make birdie bread from pellet 'flour'. I pulverize their pellets in a food process and use that, along with some rice bran flour, to hold the mixture together. Like Aerial, I also hide all sorts of healthy great things inside their birdie bread. Gives me peace-of-mind, knowing that they're getting everything their little bodies need.

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As someone who took in an 18 yr CAG, who had a shity care taker for too long. Its going to take a while for Chicken to warm up. I've had Garcia for about a year and a half now and with tons of talking and love she is finally starting to let down her wall. But she still has her moments were she will be super nervous and gets bitey or doesn't want to have anything too do with me. Then the the rest of the time she won't leave me alone with the talking, Lol. I love her and so do my wife and kids and i know she is being taken care of better than ever, I've never seen her happier.

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I love the name Chicken and it does take time to earn trust but it will come.

 

We give fruit sparingly, maybe a couple of times a week as it has lots of natural sugar but give vegetables every day, you can try the same ones different ways, raw, cooked, shredded, mashed or whatever way you can think of for sometimes they will eat a particular vegetable one certain way or not at all.

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Thanks Judy, we do call him Chicken but I think of it more as a nickname because I feel bad calling a rather majestic animal something goofy LOL. So I secretly named him Onyx, but continue to call him Chicken...

 

I will keep trying different veggies prepared in different ways and hope he ends up liking something!! Thank you for all your advice and tips <3

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