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Old 02-24-2013, 04:26 AM
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Axel - African grey Sweedie - African grey
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Hi to all from South Africa, I'm in need of some help:)

Hi, my name is Petra and I have two African greys, one male named Axel and one female named Sweedie.

Me and my husband got them as a gift from his parents and we have no idea how old Axel is, all we know is that his previous owner just left him at the store but considering all the words he knows and the way he looks (eye color) we guess he must be at least a few years. Sweedie should be around 1 year old now if the information we got is right.

We have no previous experience of owning parrots and I was in for a big surprise... so glad I found this forum

Axel is VERY moody and won't let my husband touch him, I can scratch his head if he is in the mood for it but he can at any moment just turn around and bite me:/ He is very difficult and it's hard to say why since we know nothing about him. Sometimes if he flies off his stick he can walk onto my arm and let me take him back but he will most likely bite me meanwhile.

Sweedie is a bit more friendly but not towards me, she doesn't like me at all my husband can cuddle her, carry her around but I can barely touch her cage without her going in for the kill. The only time she lets me touch her is if she flies off her cage. She does however learn words from me, I don't know if it's cos she's a girl?

So as you all can see I need A LOT of help I don't know if they will ever come around? I read after we got them that most people hand feed them as they are very young and bond with them that way? We never got that opportunity but I feel my little birds should also have a chance to be in a loving home despite their age and mood:P

I have a question about how often it's reasonable to keep the parrots caged? As it is now ours are out all the time but it doesn't really work due to opened windows, dogs and the fact that they chew everything that comes in their way:/ But I'll post that under another forum name so it ends up in the right spot
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Old 02-24-2013, 05:41 AM
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Ozzie - alexandrine parakeet
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Re: Hi to all from South Africa, I'm in need of some help:)

Hi Petra and welcome to the forum!

It kind of sounds like cage aggression, as you said on anther post that they are on their cage most of the time. I would recommend taking them away from their cage (use a stick if they are that aggressive), onto a chair, couch, or a play gym/stand. If they become friendly, then that means they have cage territorial problems.

The biting can also becuase they are probably not well socialized. It goes to every parrot, but especially greys, you should socialize your parrot. Greys tends to be more behavior problems when not well socialized. Let them see new people, new places, new object, etc.

With the biting, it also sounds a little bit like your greys have their favourite person, where the parrot choose to bond with one person and bite the others. This can be solved with proper socializing. And female parrots does tends to like males, and where males parrots prefer female owner.

And if your greys bites you. NEVER pull your hand back!! It will make things worse! Just let it bite you, I know it's gonna be painful, but that's the best way to stop aggression in parrots.

For that reason, parrots make horrible presents! Greys are needy parrot, and for a first time parrot might be hard to handle. And that's also why I don't recommend starters to recues a second hand parrot, becuase they are much harder to train. And have more behavior issues.

Good luck
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:28 AM
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Male Eclectus- Oscar and Female Eclectus- Scarlet
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My Eclectus Scarlet loves me, but she hates my boyfriend, she lunges at him through the cage and everything when he walks past. But she also learns most words from him, I don't get that either..
But it's obvious that she has just taken more of a liking to me more then him, some birds can be one person birds, others not so much! That seems robe the case here.
Although with the male, I think he just needs to warm up a bit to the family, and maybe having other pets around could be a bit stressful for him. Some parrots tend to be a bit more shy and need more time to get used to things. Try repositioning the cage, maybe a nice corner if possible, so they feel safer. He will come around soon, you just need to stay on top of things, and never give up!
Greys are not reasonably difficult to train, but if you don't have much experience in parrot owning then they may seem a bit intimidating, being a medium sized parrot, and very smart ones at that.
Stay calm, they can feel when your sad, angry, intimidated, scared ect. So handling when your moods are down is not recommended. They will mimic how you feel and will act accordingly, and With aggression.
Talking to them will also help, explain everything your doing;
"I'm going to take out your water and change it"
"I'm going to move you to the other side"
Also teaching the "step up" command will be helpful if that hasn't been done so already, when I first got scarlet she didn't know how to step up, I had to teach her and it only took a week or so. Now she won't stop saying "step up, step up, step up scarlet!" Lol.
My mums Alex has very bad cage aggression, but I don't think that's exactly what's going on here, and I'm not sure how common it is when a parrot shares their cage with another?? If someone can answer that question for us?
Time out of the cage; whenever possible! If you can have them out all the time then go for it, if not then whenever is appropriate, but leave the door open so they can access food, water and safety if needed
Good luck!
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Old 02-24-2013, 07:55 AM
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yellow sided green cheek conure,Chiquita Quaker parrot Sweetie Pie, African red bellied parrot Tiki, spanish timbrado canary Lucas
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Re: Hi to all from South Africa, I'm in need of some help:)

Hi and welcome to the forum
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:08 PM
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Axel - African grey Sweedie - African grey
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Re: Hi to all from South Africa, I'm in need of some help:)

Phew, ja an animal is rarely a good gift... but we're a bit soft hearted when it comes to animals who needs a home For x-mas 2011 we took two little piglets just so they wouldn't become food, and last year we adopted two puppies from SPCA, we also managed by begging friends an family to find their mother a home too And in 2010 we bought two adult bulldogs who were treated badly. And now we have to move to fit the whole family in, lol. I'm not working since I'm not a "real" South African yet, I'm from Sweden so I need a work permit to be allowed to work, so I do have lots of time on my hands luckily, think with some patience our little parrot vandals will come right.

Dogs I know, with parrots I'm clueless I've pretty much left them to do their own thing but I think it's about time to start training them... we've had them for a few months now so they should have gotten used to me I think? I really enjoy them even though I can't really touch them, Axel is very impressive and he learns words so fast. As it seems Axel is "my" bird and Sweedie is my husbands

Thanks for the warm welcome and the tips, I appreciate it
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Old 02-24-2013, 12:37 PM
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Re: Hi to all from South Africa, I'm in need of some help:)

and welcome to the forum.
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