Average healthy weight for Congo African Grey?

pterry97

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Aug 26, 2020
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Hi all,

Bobby attended his first visit at the vets today. It went surprisingly better than I could have ever expected. He’s not towel trained but was extremely non-plussed about being wrapped up and even chatted away whilst bundled up like a burrito, despite his 12 years of seed diet and cage bound life he was deemed fit with no noticeable ailments.

The vet weighed him and he ended up being 535g. She said “so not too overweight” and when I asked if that meant he was overweight, her response was “oh no he’s fine.” So now it’s n my head a bit haha. I had a google but results were all over the place - ranging from 400-700g. People say watching your birds weight is super important particularly to notice any small changes, so having such a broad average feels awfully contradictive. I even saw another person mention their Congo weighed 500g and their vet said their bird was obese - so I’m pretty lost!

Here he is after the vets, he wasn’t happy in the crate there and back but he held no grudges towards me afterwards for which I am grateful
 

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pterry97

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I have no experience with African Grey's so I'm not a lot of help. Most birds seem to have a weight range and I am going to assume that it is because just like people some of them are smaller or larger just in bone structure alone. Did your vet happen to give you a piece of paper with a weight graft? My vet has one. It is a number scale of one thru ten with 5 being ideal. Are you still feeding seeds? Did you do any blood work? Also do you have a scale. If not, you can get one from Amazon that isn't very expensive and weigh him weekly. I keep a spread sheet on my Electus. Also have you managed to change his diet? Last but not least he is super cute. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000WP6LR...p=&crid=2IHDW3LCTVQ3D&amp=&sprefix=bird+scale
With the range between individuals how am I supposed to know when he is overweight? I can identify underweight with ease but overweight seems a lot harder to see - unless he starts developing noticeable wrinkles I wouldn't particularly know what to look for. I always thought he was rather thin.

He's not on the seed diet no, he fully transitioned onto pellets pretty easily. But I do use his remaining seed mix as his current treats - he's more receptive to it than other treats like peanuts and sunflower seeds. He gets a few but certainly not enough to fill him up.

I don't have a scale and brought it up with the vet and she said it wasn't particularly necessary - that and with him still being terrible at even touching other perches outside of his cage (training stand included) it'll take months for us to actually get him on it. I've had him for almost 2 months now and he only just discovered he could touch the floor this monday. I might try later in the future though.

No blood work was done - it was more of a general health check and I don't think he had any sort of symptoms of current issues that gave need for a blood sample. She did show me a website where I could send samples if I wanted to but again I was just checking general health and she saw no indication of common ailment symptoms from birds with his background. I know the avenue is there though in the future if I am worried about him.

Also no weight graft was given. I was given a big old sheet with example tables of energy/kcal formula for birds of different energy and weights, one example with the african grey had it at 400g. So not much help with me getting that average weight I'm looking for.
 

saxguy64

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Basically, you need to figure out what is a healthy weight for HIM, regardless of where he falls in an average scale for other greys. Physical exam by the vet can tell you a lot. Here's a chart of how you might tell. Hope this helps.
1669417012814.png
 

ScottinSoCal

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The vet weighed him and he ended up being 535g. She said “so not too overweight” and when I asked if that meant he was overweight, her response was “oh no he’s fine.”
Just like people, parrots come in a range of sizes. Some are bigger, more muscular (from being flighted) some are smaller, or cage potatoes. Listen to your vet.

FWIW Scooter - a female, so slightly smaller than typical males - weighed 435 grams at her last physical, a couple of weeks ago.
 

HeatherG

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Apr 25, 2020
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Hi all,

Bobby attended his first visit at the vets today. It went surprisingly better than I could have ever expected. He’s not towel trained but was extremely non-plussed about being wrapped up and even chatted away whilst bundled up like a burrito, despite his 12 years of seed diet and cage bound life he was deemed fit with no noticeable ailments.

The vet weighed him and he ended up being 535g. She said “so not too overweight” and when I asked if that meant he was overweight, her response was “oh no he’s fine.” So now it’s n my head a bit haha. I had a google but results were all over the place - ranging from 400-700g. People say watching your birds weight is super important particularly to notice any small changes, so having such a broad average feels awfully contradictive. I even saw another person mention their Congo weighed 500g and their vet said their bird was obese - so I’m pretty lost!

Here he is after the vets, he wasn’t happy in the crate there and back but he held no grudges towards me afterwards for which I am grateful
As far as I’m concerned he is quite a handsome guy! Such a pretty scale like grey feather pattern!

Yes, it’s good to have blood work but honestly having an avian vet go over him and say all looks well makes me pretty content. But my Quakers are hard to draw blood from so I’m used to not having those values.
 
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pterry97

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Basically, you need to figure out what is a healthy weight for HIM, regardless of where he falls in an average scale for other greys. Physical exam by the vet can tell you a lot. Here's a chart of how you might tell. Hope this helps.
View attachment 45885
This is so helpful thank you! I gave him a feel today (probably not a good thing to do regularly since he's still very hormonal) and he seems pretty ideal - could feel his keel but it wasn't prominent. So glad I'm not overfeeding him haha
 
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pterry97

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Just like people, parrots come in a range of sizes. Some are bigger, more muscular (from being flighted) some are smaller, or cage potatoes. Listen to your vet.

FWIW Scooter - a female, so slightly smaller than typical males - weighed 435 grams at her last physical, a couple of weeks ago.
So far every post I've found regarding grey's weights have been in the 400g's, I've seen very little variation as implied. I never thought Bobby was particularly big either - though I do know his parents were wild caught - perhaps lineage between captive breds and wild caughts play a role in their size comparisons? I did a body score today and he seems perfectly ideal in shape, he's just a very heavy boy.
 
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pterry97

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I would not feed sunflower seeds and peanuts as there are much healthier treats available.
Almonds, walnuts, and cashews would be better choices especially if you are worried about him being overweight. Your vet would be the one to tell you what she thinks a healthy weight for your parrot is.
I can't stress enough how important having yearly blood work done on a parrot is as without it there is no way to know if your parrot's health is really where it should be.
If you read the reply properly you would have seen that he uses his previous seed diet as his treats instead of sunflower seeds and peanuts. We did a body score test as advised and he seems perfectly ideal.
 

DRB

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Hi all,

Bobby attended his first visit at the vets today. It went surprisingly better than I could have ever expected. He’s not towel trained but was extremely non-plussed about being wrapped up and even chatted away whilst bundled up like a burrito, despite his 12 years of seed diet and cage bound life he was deemed fit with no noticeable ailments.

The vet weighed him and he ended up being 535g. She said “so not too overweight” and when I asked if that meant he was overweight, her response was “oh no he’s fine.” So now it’s n my head a bit haha. I had a google but results were all over the place - ranging from 400-700g. People say watching your birds weight is super important particularly to notice any small changes, so having such a broad average feels awfully contradictive. I even saw another person mention their Congo weighed 500g and their vet said their bird was obese - so I’m pretty lost!

Here he is after the vets, he wasn’t happy in the crate there and back but he held no grudges towards me afterwards for which I am grateful
Can’t tell from the pics you posted. Would need to see the bird from 3-4 feet away and see the complete body profile. It sounds heavy at over 520g but it can be tough to say. My female has been 437g for three consecutive yearly vet visits.
 

wrench13

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Parrots come on all sizes just like people; smaller specimens and larger and average. What your parrot weighs as a daily weight is what he weighs when he is in good health and eating and active as normal. Best is to keep track of that, weighed in the AM, after the first big poop of the day. Honestly we check Salty every few weeks, he is in good health and normal activity. BUT, he; has been sick in the past, and we did weigh daily. Its really a good measure of health. Now as far as what the state of heath is, the info from that table ( GREAT !!!) is really something to know. Thats likely one thing your vet checked on.

FWIW Salty is 340 gr, on the high side for his species; its all muscle!
 
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pterry97

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Can’t tell from the pics you posted. Would need to see the bird from 3-4 feet away and see the complete body profile. It sounds heavy at over 520g but it can be tough to say. My female has been 437g for three consecutive yearly vet visits.
Following the body scores provided it's clear he's anything but overweight. His keel is definitely easy to feel - I actually think he may have lost some weight since being converted to his pellet diet so I may need to make some adjustments.
 
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pterry97

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Parrots come on all sizes just like people; smaller specimens and larger and average. What your parrot weighs as a daily weight is what he weighs when he is in good health and eating and active as normal. Best is to keep track of that, weighed in the AM, after the first big poop of the day. Honestly we check Salty every few weeks, he is in good health and normal activity. BUT, he; has been sick in the past, and we did weigh daily. Its really a good measure of health. Now as far as what the state of heath is, the info from that table ( GREAT !!!) is really something to know. Thats likely one thing your vet checked on.

FWIW Salty is 340 gr, on the high side for his species; its all muscle!
Unfortunately I still can't get Bobby to perch on anything that isn't his cage, so regular weighing is currently a no go. He's also no muscle as he doesn't fly (with the exception of panic flying - but no sort of temptation to get him to fly off his cage willingly has yet to work). He's the classic neophobic african grey still haha
 

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