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It’s great to have found the Grey Forums and so many kindred souls!   A big thank you to Kevin for admitting me. 

My husband [John] and I have a 20+ year old Grey named Corey.  We have shared our life with Corey for more than 18 years. When we met Corey, she was in a tropical fish store in a strip mall near Sacramento.  She was clearly a “fish out of water” in that store. The thing that sealed our fate was that she chose us; we didn’t [initially] choose her.  When I knelt beside her cage and talked to her, she bent her head for a scritch.  I knew that wasn’t typical behavior.  Based upon Corey’s eye color [she did not have the eyes of a young Grey], we figure she is now at least 20 years old.  We truly had no idea how our life would change when we decided to buy her to get her out of that fish store.    

Our first challenge was that she was completely terrorized about getting on anyone’s hand.  She just wouldn’t do it.  It took months before we could get her to step up on a basket so we could move her around the house.  Then, once we could get her on a basket, we started working to get her to step up to our hand.  That took another few months. We figured that the person who owned Corey before we did, probably did some very destructive/instinctive thing while Corey was sitting on their hand and Corey decided that sitting on a human’s hand was not a safe thing. The other challenge I had was that she [probably like most Greys] tended to prefer just one person and she was very partial to John [she seems to like men more than women].  Luckily for me, however, she was not aggressive toward me and as long as I wasn’t competition for John she tried to be cooperative with me most of the time.

We’ve weathered most of the difficulties of sharing our life with a sensitive, smart and talking creature.  I remember being totally blown away by the fact that she not only picked up an impressive vocabulary BUT sometimes she absolutely used those words in an appropriate context. When you tell people that she can use words in a novel and appropriate fashion, you can tell that they think you are just reading too much into her behavior.  But they don’t know Greys.  I was shocked by how much social interaction she needed and the harm that could come if she wasn’t sufficiently engaged [we ran into some feather plucking issues early on when we had to work out of the house].  I also realized, years ago, that she was much better at training us that we were at training her.  It’s a humbling experience to share your life with a Grey.

Our main challenge now is that John, Corey and I have just moved back to Davis, California [near Sacramento, Ca] and we do not have a reliable way to provide care for Corey when we have to travel.  I will spend a bit more time looking through the posts on the Grey Forum to see how other people have dealt with this issue.  So glad to have found you all!  Terry

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Welcome to the forum! We had great success finding a bird caregiver through our avian veterinarian's referral. If there's an avian store near you, perhaps they provide boarding, although having her cared for at home would be the least stressful option.

 

Would love to see some pics of your beautiful girl whenever you have a moment!

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Would love to see pics too.    Everything you mentioned is spot on.   We took in an older 21 y.o. Grey that was a talker.  My first Grey, GreycieMae, refuses to talk, but when we got Huey, it's crazy how much we converse with him.  He tells us what to do, when to do it, what he wants.   I don't even have to think for myself anymore 🤣   They definitely are way beyond mimicry, although they do a lot of that too.  

My GreycieMae, female, is attached to me.  She will tolerate my wife but sometimes will strike at her.    Huey has goggle eyes for my wife.   He tolerates me and will occasionally attack me, unless he wants something, then he's real nice until he gets what he wants.  But I found it helped when he came along.  Before Huey I couldn't leave GreycieMae alone - ever.   They're not friends at all but they are company for each other out in the bird room.

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Hello and welcome to you and Corey! I'm so glad you took Corey out of the fish store. I was totally inexperienced when I rehomed Timber, and am still learning after 8 years. I shudder to think of the situations some greys "land" in, and of all the rehomed birds out there.

We've been fortunate to have close relatives that come in and take care of Timber when we are gone. Our avian vet boards, but I'm afraid Timber (with the usual grey terror of change) would refuse to eat at all away from us and out of his home. Greytness' suggestion about asking at the vet's about caregivers is a great one though.

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Thank you, everybody, for your welcome and thoughts about getting care for Corey!  I really appreciate it.  I will look into contacting appropriate vet offices for possible Corey bird-sitters.

So, to post photos, do I just attach them to a message or is there a more elegant way of uploading photos?  I managed to get a fuzzy picture next to my name and I uploaded another picture to my profile but I have no idea if anyone can see that picture.  I couldn't find instructions on the website but I probably just haven't looked hard enough. 

Again, so wonderful to meet Grey people!  Grey people seem so rare and yet I look at the number of people who have joined this forum and am just blown away by the participants. 

 

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Thanks for the photo tip.  You might be able to tell that Corey's spine is curved.  It took the right avian vet to point out to us what was going on.  [We were originally told it was a problem with her hip structure.]  Apparently this was due to a lack of calcium when she was very young.  I can tell that this issue has gotten worse over the years [we do supplement her diet with calcium].  I hope that it doesn't cause her too many more problems as the years go by but clearly it throws off her posture and her foot position. 

CoreyHand.JPG

CoreyWbread.jpg

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Pretty girl! I wish Timber would eat birdie bread. I've tried many different variations and no go. That said, give him some plain, sugar heavy Jiffy mix cornbread and he thinks it is great. One thing I learned early on, greys are like people. If something isn't good for them they are going to love it (i.e. pizza, bacon, sausage etc.).

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It is interesting to me that a LOT of parrots seem to be totally attracted to junk food.  Like Timbersmom wrote:  if it isn't good for them they are going to love it.  Always seems like an uphill battle to get good food into them! 

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I've been battling with Alfie for 18 years to get him to eat healthier foods. I've offered him veggies in every which way you can think of and he turns his beak up every time. Or he'll look like he's starting to come round to the idea... then will refuse it completely a few days later. He loves mashed potatoes, so I tried him on sweet potato mash, which he ate, so I tried sneaking some chopped veggies in there... which he ate.... then a few days later he stopped eating it all together. Won't touch sweet potato mash any more. He'll eat regular mashed potatoes when he visits my parents with me... but there's not a whole heap of goodness in there. He ate a sugar snap pea that my mum gave him once so I got excited and bought him a bag... chucked every single last one. 🤣 Perhaps I should get my mum to come round and offer him the healthy stuff... he seems to eat what she gives him! (Favouritism!!)

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Timber loves snap peas, but only if I stand there and feed him to them one by one. Once in a blue moon he'll eat them off the skewer himself, but most of the time it's shell and feed. Yes your highness, no your highness...

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SRSeedBurners:  Thanks for the laugh.  Corey LOVES sugar cookies and can spot it when my husband or I try to sneak one.  Most of the time, we just don't have them in the house. 

Neoow and Timbersmom totally described our experience with trying to get Corey to eat veggies!  Totally!!

At least now, I don't feel all alone in this bird diet "adventure".  Greys are such amazing human trainers. 

 

 

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