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The African Grey Parrot Makes a Wonderful Pet


African Grey parrots have many endearing qualities and parrot lovers will find that an African Grey Parrot is one of the easiest parrots to keep as a pet. Not only that, the African parrot is a very popular pet parrot for many reasons. Their exceptional talking and cognitive abilities means that they interact well with their owners and are a joy to have as a favorite pet.

Given the time, these parrots will develop a large vocabulary and it has been reported that they communicate well with their owners if given the incentive.What does an African Grey parrot look like?

The African Grey is a medium sized parrot of about 10 to 14 inches which also makes him an ideal pet because he is easy to house and to handle. Not surprisingly, the male is larger than the female, but not by much.

Although very similar in appearance, there are two different types of African Grey. One is the Congo African Grey which has a light grey body color, very light grey to white on the side of the head and with a brilliant red tail. The other is the Timneh African Grey with darker grey feathers on top, light grey chest and with a maroon colored tail. The general body build of both of these parrots is much the same with both sexes, but the female does tend to have a slightly narrower head and a more slender neck than the male.

Not surprising when you think of the lifespan of other parrots, the African Grey has a long life span so it is important that an owner can make a long term commitment to the parrot when they decide to take one on as a pet. They can actually live up to 60 years which is quite amazing when you think of the usual family pet.

Keeping your African Grey healthy and happy.

This parrot has a very high intelligence which means that if not kept amused they will become bored and this is not good for his general well being. A bored parrot will develop some bad habits and quite quickly too, which could be hard to reverse. Some signs to look for to see if he is bored are:

- Feather picking
- Grumpy and unfriendly
- Biting
- Self-mutilating

From the pet parrot's point of view, one of the habits that will cause him harm is that of feather picking. If you ever notice your parrot pulling out feathers get on to this problem straight away because it is not good for him to have bare patches where he has plucked out his feathers.

Another problem is that they can become very grumpy if they are bored and this will make him an unpleasant friend. He will most likely start biting and be quite nasty to those around him. If really distressed, he will even self-mutilate.

Just like any intelligent animal a pet parrot needs interaction with its owner on a regular basis and needs stimulation to keep it happy. This does not mean that you need to be playing with it for hours a day, but your pet does like to have a certain amount of freedom and play with its owner.

The African Grey do train beautifully so enjoy the process and teach him some tricks that he will love doing and people will love doing with him. Also hang some toys in his cage so that he can play with them when he is on his own.

Be 'one of the flock' to your parrot.

In his natural environment, the African Grey would fly in a flock so they do tend to treat their owner as one of the flock. Because of this the parrot will often enjoy having the side of his head rubbed and a bit of a scratch there too, but he will not enjoy his body being handled. You will often notice with a group of parrots that they tend to smooch around each other's head. It is a habit of parrots.

If you have your pet parrot around your face do be careful not to let it 'kiss' you around the mouth (and they love to do this) because humans can transfer bacteria from their mouth to the bird which is not healthy.

If being kept by a family, children need to understand the personality of a parrot because if they do get bitten, it does hurt as the parrot's beak is very hard and sharp and is designed for cracking seeds and nuts. If a child aggravates a parrot they could get bitten, even by a placid parrot.

African Grey parrots will entertain for hours, but only if they are carefully looked after with the right diet, social needs and housing. Enjoy teaching them to talk and watch them perform the tricks that you teach them and they themselves will do if you give them the toys to play with.

Copyright (c) 2010 Kaye Dennan

Knowing how to treat a parrot pet will give him the best chance for a long and happy life. Have lots of fun with your parrot as you teach him new parrot tricks and at Pet Parrot Secrets you will also learn how to take great care of him so he is around for many years to come.
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