African Grey Troubles

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Nov 10, 2006
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Toronto, Ontario
Parrots
Orange Winged Amazon, African Grey Camaroon
Hello, my Camaroon African Grey is about 2 years old. Lately she has been acting up, a lot more than before. My family is going to entertain the idea of a behaviourist. But we want to try a few things before that.

She sleeps in a fairly big cage in my den on the main floor. We think she is getting lonely in there and thought about putting my Amazon in the same room as her (separate cages obviously). She spends plenty of time out of her room with us, but also spends a lot of time in her room.

My question to you guys is whether you think it would be detrimental to put my amazon in the room with my grey. do you think the grey would see the amazon as invading her space? will this throw off my amazon at the same time?

thanks
 
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She pretty much favoured my mother and would let my dad pick her up some times. Now she is even biting both of them. When we do manage to get her out of her cage, she starts to fly around and attack people in the house..haha It's hard for us to feed and clean her now considering no one can really pick her up. She is a little more calm at night and that's when my mother goes to play with her.

Would she feel threatened if I put my amazon in the same room as her? I dont want her to start plucking out her feathers.
 
I think your Grey is a little bored, they love to have company. Where does your Amazon live at the moment, is he in a room where you all are on a regular basis. Putting your Amazon in the same room as your Grey will be a good idea, They will both be company for each other.

Would your Grey be up for the idea that when your Mum is playing with her either you and your Dad could maybe join in, she may not want either of you to touch her, but you could do the feeding. When she is good then give her a treat, if she bites then totally ignore this behaviour, she will soon get the general idea that no bites mean treats. I'm really hoping that this situation works out for the best for all concerned.

Please remember Greys can be really fickle when it comes to people, sometimes choosing one person as their human.
 
I've just read another post where you say your guys love cheese, while this is not good for them to have too much off. It will work wonders as a training prop. When ever she doesn't bite give her a bit of cheese.

Stop the cheese altogether and only use it for a training treat. That is how I toilet trained Bucc. Works wonders. :04:

I hope that you are able to understand what I'm typing, my mind is saying one thing and my fingers are typing something totally different. :D :D I'm having a blonde day today.
 
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Peta, thanks a lot for the information. We have sort of been trying these things. When my mom is holding her at night, I try and pet her too. But, then she decides to bite my mom; kind of like (why are you letting him touch me) We tried to reward her when good and teach her that she will get more out of being good than biting all the time. But she is tricky! She understands that if she plays along she will get the treat. Once the treats run out, so does her tolerance. I think she knows what she is doing is bad, but does it anyway. She thinks she's superior to us?

My Amazon is in my hallway. She gets taken out, played with and talked to like 100 times a day; practically whenever someone walks by. But this doesnt mean we dont pay that much attention to the grey. It is just harder to get her to co-operate. She's got tonns of toys and string in her cage.

My Amazon bites really hard too sometimes, but thats only if she's scared or she wants to be left alone. At the same time, its not really a vicious bite. My grey will PURPOSELY go for the knuckles or softspots to try and hurt people. You can tell her intention is different than my Amazon. I don't know why. It's a shame because she is such a beautiful bird and I would like to spend more time with her.
 
My Amazon is in my hallway. She gets taken out, played with and talked to like 100 times a day; practically whenever someone walks by. But this doesnt mean we dont pay that much attention to the grey. It is just harder to get her to co-operate. She's got tonns of toys and string in her cage.

Greys think they are the first and foremost above everyone and everything. I think if they are in the same room Grey will see that Amazon is being played with and talked too even though she doesn't bite.

Boy don't these Greys know just where to get ya. lol. You need to find a way to make her realise that she is not superior, you are leader of the pack. (she just doesn't realise that yet) lol. Good luck to you and Please keep us informed.
 
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Well thanks for all your advice. I am going to try putting the Amazon in the same room as her and see if that changes anything. I'll let you know what happens!

ps. I just got her to shake my hand, but I had to bride her with a peanut :mad:
 
Another Question,

Is Nike clipped?
How tall is her cage?

The reason I ask these questions is, if her cage is tall can you lower it somehow so she is BELOW you eye level?

If she is clipped she won't be able to bite and fly off you could then maybe give her a timeout?
(I know wing clipping is very controversial, but we don't make judgements one way or another here) Just thought I'd mention that.

Bucc being fully flighted has given me a good bite before now and knew as soon as he did it that it was not a good thing, but before I could give him his time out he had flown off. The stinker. I'm just mulling a few things over here. :D
 
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haha, Bucc seems like quite a character. Currently my grey isnt clipped. We used to clip her but she would try and fly landing on her breast bone. Once it was so bad that she cut it pretty bad and started bleeding everywhere. Thank God that after it scabbed up she didn't pick at it. It's not possible to lower her cage below eye level. We placed her purching post in the cage pretty low, but she likes to climb to the top and hang like a bat. I just hope she grows out of it.

I just came back from playing the piano with my Amazon on my shoulder. Very affectionate and easy going. Wish I could say the same for my grey.
 
The times I get bit by Bucc is usually when he doesn't want me to touch him, and there are warning signs, the low growl, the head feathers will come up, I know then to back away, If you can look for the warning signs then you will at least be able to avoid many bites. Is Nike harnessed trained.? Do you think its something she would be interested in.

Does she normally bite when she is with your Mum? If thats the case she is probably telling you that she is with her human and doesn't want to be disturbed. What about when your Mum isn't in the room, will she be up for a chat without trying to bite, if so give her a treat, if not ignore her. They really do hate to be ignored. lol.

I'm using Bucc as my model today and trying to watch out for any signs that he is not happy, he is quite happy playing at the moment so I'll go see if I can play with him. I know he won't like this but I can then see more warning signs. lol. If I've any fingers left later I'll be back. :D
 
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The thing with Nike is that she really doesn't give warnings. She will encourage you to get close to her so she can bite you.

She isn't harnessed trained. I am not quite sure what that means.
I hope it doesn't mean getting close to her and trying to touch her.:D

I actually pet her for like 10 minutes without her biting me last night. She was in my mom's arms and I was petting her head. I guess she was too tired too bite me.

I dont think she mind's being ignored. If she did, she would stop biting everyone.:mad:
 
She isn't harnessed trained. I am not quite sure what that means.
I hope it doesn't mean getting close to her and trying to touch her.

Um how can I put this.......................... YES :eek:

I actually pet her for like 10 minutes without her biting me last night. She was in my mom's arms and I was petting her head. I guess she was too tired too bite me.

Doesn't matter how tired she was, she allowed you to do it thats the main thing. Did you give her a small piece of cheese (or similar treat) one that she will only get if she doesn't bite. Also make sure that if you are the one who's petting her you are the one to give the treat. Its also known as blackmail, works wonders :D

I dont think she mind's being ignored. If she did, she would stop biting everyone

Think you'll find that she does mind being ignored, but before biting has always gotten a response, so bite = talk (even if its only to tell her off) she's got the response that she's wanting.

There's no quick way out of this I'm afraid, but with love patience and a willingness to show her that you are in fact higher than her in the flock (family) she will soon learn that biting isn't going to get her anywhere.

Just make sure of one thing, and this is very important............................. You have lots of plasters (Band Aids?) in the house. :D :D
 
Peta has pretty much said it all. She is very helpful. You mentioned your amazon sits on your shoulder. Does Nike sit on your mums shoulder? If so cut this out because she is above your eye level and this gives the bird a feeling of dominence. You grey shows typical signs of diplaced aggression. By this i mean the she bites your mum when you pat her because parrots find it hard to vent their anger. Also simply sitting with Nike and talking to her will help calm her and reassure her that your no threat.Possitive re inforcement will work wonders so be sure to keep up the treats when Nike is good ok. :) :)
 

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