Behavioral problems


New member
Nov 24, 2022
African gray

My father has an African gray, the gray has been with us since I was born. My dad didn’t understand the full scope of how interactive and intelligent these parrots are, no boundaries have been made for most of its life, and it’s had rather low intellectual stimulation for the most part. He refuses to send it to sanctuary, and as of recent the most interaction the gray will get is being let out for 2-3 hours a day with minimal supervision. This gray has a nasty habit of rushing to a specific spot in our home and tends to chew up the wood trim. He’ll get very aggressive if we try to deter him, or will try to bite in retaliation when we get him away from that spot. We don’t hit him, but distract him with something to get his mind off the situation.

I try to keep this bird occupied. I let him roam around while he’s close to me, but when he knows he isn’t being watched, he’ll go straight to the “chewing room”. I give him wood, cardboard, or other safe things to chew on and he gets bored of them.
I give him toys, particularly things that’ll make noise and he hardly plays with them. Recently he has started to pluck himself, Im sure because of boredom, but I’m at a loss of what else I can do. I really try to keep him engaged, I try to help him with his feathers by grooming or rubbing him. I try to give him a wide variety of foods, but he goes straight for the parrot seed mix that he’s been given for the past two decades. I’m taking him to the vet soon to see what the deal is, but I really need some guidance on how to train this 28 year old African gray. I don’t want him to suffer any longer, but I just don’t know what else to do.


Supporting Member
Jul 10, 2015
Western, Michigan
DYH Amazon
Welcome to Parrot Forum!
As you have noted Grey's are very bright and become bored. The continued flow of different size and colors of wood bits and like with cardboard does help. Consider a pile of those items in front of the crew area. Also look at what he is crewing and find something which is like in color, shape and type of wood.
Grey's can and do change their interests and your providing those new things help. Your expectations will need to change as your Grey is working on his schedule, not yours.
Diet: Look for a high quality seed mix targeting quality seeds, grains, etc. The goal is to mix other items in with the quality seed mix as it will help introduce new things.
The goal is to eliminate 'cheap' seed mix and replace it with a quality seed mix. Seed mix for Wild Birds is a clear definition for what 'cheap' seed mix is defined as.
Look at allowing the Grey out of his cage for longer periods of time and working with him more.
Change will come slowly over months and even years.
I assure you that it will be worth it!
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