It is important to make sure we spend plenty of time with the African Grey. These guys need at least 4 hours of interaction a day along with plenty of things to do in their cages like foraging for food and chewing on toys.

Due to the African Grey’s high intelligence and sociability, a life in captivity can be very difficult for this species of bird to handle if they don’t get enough attention and things to do. African Greys can easily acquire mental illness if they are under-stimulated. These illnesses usually manifest themselves in the form of feather plucking, self mutilation, aggression, or extreme phobias of anything new.

African Greys are relatively playful and enjoy toys in their environment, especially “puzzle” types. All toys for Greys must be free of toxic metals, hooks, sharp objects, or small, easily consumed components as Greys love to chew their toys.  Fresh-cut branches from nontoxic, pesticide-free trees is also encouraged.


•    Give lots of attention.

•    Feed a fresh, high quality, toxin-free formulated diet with daily supplementation of chopped vegetables and fruit

•    Grit is not necessary with modern captive bird diets

•    Provide clean, fresh uncontaminated water

•    Offer toys, social interaction, foraging and problem solving opportunities

•    Provide an occasional opportunity for a bath, shower or misting (at least weekly)

•    Avoid spraying insecticides near the bird


Below is a video of Rajendra showing us how to change the food and clean up Jamyang's cage. Jamyang is currently on quarantine.



Parrots need 12-14 hours total sleep a day. When their sleep time is compromised, they can be a bit "grumpy" and show it in different ways.

If your parrot's cage is in a spot where there will be people watching TV or talking late at night; don't think your bird is sleeping just because he is covered.

Remember parrots are wild by nature, it is instinctive for them to stay awake under those covers until all is still and dark in the night.  Which brings up another topic of where their cage is located.  The most ideal situation is to have sleep cages for your birds in their own room.  Of course, this is not always possible in some situations. But it is possible to try to have your bird's cage located in an area where there is minimal traffic so that they can receive appropriate sleep.  It is my opinion that cages should not be located in a human's bedroom for that same reason.



Nature has given greys (like many African parrots) very sharp, needle-like nails. Greys do a lot of climbing in the wild, and they use these nails to dig into wood to keep them secure while they forage and spend time with the flock.

For an owner, it hurts when these needle-like nails dig into the skin, leaving scratches or painful wounds. Many people have their grey’s nails clipped and, as it often happens, the nails are dulled to the point of the bird not being able to grip a perch firmly. The bird might become more clumsy and nervous because it cannot move without slipping. As a result, the bird might be unsteady and reach out to bite something (a finger, arm, etc) in order to stable itself. This nervousness can develop into fear biting and panic attacks.

Have a grey’s nails clipped to a point that the bird can perch securely and they do not bother you when the bird is perched on your hand. Also, look for perches that allow your grey’s foot to go almost all the way around it (but not quite all the way), and vary the type and texture of the perches you give your grey. Natural branches are especially good, as are textured perches, such as concrete or sandy perches (watch for foot irritation). Keep in mind that smooth-barked perches, such as manzanita, add to the slipperiness of the perch and the grey could fall.


Place the perches slightly lower in the cage in case the bird falls off, at least while the grey is very young. As the bird perfects its climbing skills, you can then elevate the perches.

A no-no for almost any parrot, especially a young African grey, is being on a person’s shoulder. Think of your shoulder as a wide and slippery perch, which can make a grey feel unsteady and cause the bird to fall. Have your grey sit on your hand with the elbow lower than the hand to prevent the bird from climbing to your shoulder. Or, sit your grey on your lap or your upper leg while you are seated.


Wing-clipping can be a very contentious issue, but clipping a bird's wings is done mainly for their own safety. Birds can fly into windows, doors, ceiling fans, hot cooking foods and any number of places in the home where they can injure themselves and escaping into the out-of-doors.

Unfortunately, escaped birds have little chance of survival outdoors. They face death from a predator or starvation, while at home their owners grieve for their lost pet. Also Greys that are allowed unrestricted freedom in the home often become dominate in their relationship with their owners. The idea of is not to stop your Grey from flying ,but to allow them bird to take short little trips What you want to do is to prevent them from developing rapid and sustained flight and to prevent escape.

When clipping a bird's wings, it is very important that the clip be done properly and that the first wing clip is done only after a baby bird has learned to fly with precision and control. There are two major areas of concern when doing a proper wing clipping; how many feathers to cut and where to cut the feathers. When done properly, a bird will be able to fly a short distance, control his flight and be able to make a safe landing. The primary flight feathers are the only feathers which should be clipped.


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