Adopted a 7 year old Congo grey

Kassandra1994

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May 28, 2023
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Congo African Grwy
Hello I’m looking for some advice to help me with making my new adopted 7 year old Grey trust me. His name is rocki he is a great bird so far has allowed me to feed him by giving him treats from my fingers. We adopted him about 2 days ago and I know it’s a new adoption but is it normal for my grey to not yet let me touch him. He has bitten me a few times. Should I allow him to come to me and if yes how do I do that? What should I be doing to help him feel more comfortable with me touching him and training him to step up? I could really use the advice not criticism as I want nothing but happiness for him and for him to feel comfortable with me so I just go at his on pace. He is coming out of his cage and stepping on top of his cage to sit so I’m happy about that. I just want to do this right
 

Oli

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Jan 22, 2017
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I am much less experienced with large birds than some of the members here (only cared for large birds as a zoo employee, not in my own home), but I think in general it's recommended to let new birds adjust for a week or two before assessing real boundaries, i.e. touching & playing. It's great that he takes food from your hands though. I have also read that just sitting with them, talking, and singing every day helps them adjust to your company and build the relationship. I think that the more you try to touch him right now, the more he may think he can't predict you.
 
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Kassandra1994

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May 28, 2023
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9
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Congo African Grwy
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I am much less experienced with large birds than some of the members here (only cared for large birds as a zoo employee, not in my own home), but I think in general it's recommended to let new birds adjust for a week or two before assessing real boundaries, i.e. touching & playing. It's great that he takes food from your hands though. I have also read that just sitting with them, talking, and singing every day helps them adjust to your company and build the relationship. I think that the more you try to touch him right now, the more he may think he can't predict you.
Thank you I will take my time with him
 

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I agree with @Oli
It hasn’t been long enough for any bird to really be used to you.
You are making great progress already, though, if you’ve been getting bitten, I think it’s best to respect the bird when he tells you he doesn’t want to do something.

Continue to feed him treats and, if you want, you could begin target training with him.
 

wrench13

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100% - too soon to start training and molding him. Greys are very observant and by starting this too soon you may be actually pushing away. If he is taking treats thats great. You let him out of his cage - how are you getting him back in, if he is not step up trained? BE AWARE - chasing a parrot to get him back in is a terrible trust busting action.
 

Chenetaqwa

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Jul 16, 2022
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Hello I’m looking for some advice to help me with making my new adopted 7 year old Grey trust me. His name is rocki he is a great bird so far has allowed me to feed him by giving him treats from my fingers. We adopted him about 2 days ago and I know it’s a new adoption but is it normal for my grey to not yet let me touch him. He has bitten me a few times. Should I allow him to come to me and if yes how do I do that? What should I be doing to help him feel more comfortable with me touching him and training him to step up? I could really use the advice not criticism as I want nothing but happiness for him and for him to feel comfortable with me so I just go at his on pace. He is coming out of his cage and stepping on top of his cage to sit so I’m happy about that. I just want to do this right
Good advice from all before... TAKE YOUR TIME ... I personally started with giving treats thru the bars ...and stepped up to reaching into the cage to give treats...finally getting her to step onto one hand to get the treats from the other hand and back to the perch...all done in the cage ...then onto hand and brought to the door of the cage for treats and back to the perch...when I finally brought her out of the cage it was after a month of this training you have to go at the birds rate ...don't be in a hurry...patience will be worth the investment
 
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Botsari

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Nov 1, 2022
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African Greys
Hello I’m looking for some advice to help me with making my new adopted 7 year old Grey trust me. His name is rocki he is a great bird so far has allowed me to feed him by giving him treats from my fingers. We adopted him about 2 days ago and I know it’s a new adoption but is it normal for my grey to not yet let me touch him. He has bitten me a few times. Should I allow him to come to me and if yes how do I do that? What should I be doing to help him feel more comfortable with me touching him and training him to step up? I could really use the advice not criticism as I want nothing but happiness for him and for him to feel comfortable with me so I just go at his on pace. He is coming out of his cage and stepping on top of his cage to sit so I’m happy about that. I just want to do this right

As others have already said, "take your time" is the best advice. Especially if the bird is more than a few years old. Every bird is different innately, and with their very long and nearly perfect memories have different life experiences as well. Nothing is guaranteed, so slow and cautious at the beginning.

Pushing will almost invariably have the opposite effect to the one you intend. The best way I have found to think about it, unless there is some kind of emergency or other pressing constraint, is to always act as if you want your bird to think all such decisions were its own idea! This does not preclude using bribes to elicit the desired behaviors, such as using their favorite treats to get them to go into the cage, and so on. But strive to make sure the bird makes the first move. Any time the bird feels constrained in any way they will remember that feeling and it can effect the next time negatively. So quite apart from the pain, you do NOT want your bird to bite you in a context where biting you solved its immediate feeling of stress by causing your retreat. It will remember that too.

This advice goes double with physical contact. Two days is not even necessarily enough time for a mature bird to stop growling, just as a point of principle, when anyone new comes too close. If you are ahead of that schedule be thankful. Usually after less than a week of observing new people, PROVIDED they don't scare them by violating their comfort zone too much, those people are typically granted "OK" status. That will mean no more growling - basic comfort. Remember your bird is going through the same process with its new inanimate surroundings as well. It is all contributing to the stress it is working through gradually. But you will have to level up several times before you reach the "I love you, please scratch my head" rank - or any other kind of touching for that matter. Just be kind, attentive and most of all respectful until the bird's body language tells you different. Always give the bird a choice, and things will probably work great if you remember that the bonding is mostly something the BIRD itself does. You probably just need to get out of the way of the process when necessary, be observant, and be patient.
 
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