Some people may remember that I lost my CAG of 27 years, Sophie, last year to a long, mysterious illness, possibly cancer. At the time I was torn on how to fill the hole in the flock for my other grey, my TAG that I have had for 28 years. I didn't want him to be forever without another bird companion after spending his whole life with a buddy. I finally decided, knowing that any such choice would be a roll of the dice I would have to be prepared to live with, on going with what I judged to be the roll with the highest odds of working for everyone - a hand reared baby, another CAG. This is "Goose" who hatched 5 months ago today. I have been following him at the breeder since he was pretty young. Here he is with his younger sister at 2 weeks old.
I'm taking it slow integrating him with my older bird. Partly because Goose is so young and awkward - I'm both afraid he will accidently barrel suddenly into (or accidentally land on) the 'old man' pissing him off, and that he is not yet cautious about many things. I had both my previous greys since they were this young, but it has been fun to be reminded again that all their skills actually had to be developed. Goose still fumbles his food and occasionally has trouble climbing things. He does this one thing which I call the "goose maneuver" - he will hang upside down, then stick his head through his legs to turn right side up again like some sort of Cirque du Soleil performer, and then most of the time after a few seconds panics like he thinks he is stuck - until he remember he can let go with one foot. I've been trying to get a good picture of this, but every time I'm laughing too hard to remember to take the picture.
He was definitely thoroughly hand reared, and is still in the early period where if he is not eating or playing with a toy wants to always be right on top of me all the time. If I'm not actively scratching his head he will climb up under my chin and rest his head against my neck. It can be overwhelming at times, but I guess I should enjoy it while it lasts. He is already showing some signs of the classic Grey stubbornness, especially at bedtime, that I'm sure will develop as he becomes an adolescent.
He is a big bird and was 510 gm when he was less than 3 months old - both his parents were on the large side according to the breeder. He even has two words he has spoken according to the breeder since before he was fully weened, "hi" and "hello". This seems precocious in my experience since both my other greys didn't start talking at all until they were the normal 10-12 months old. I guess we will see. But the speech switch - where they can't STOP talking - hasn't flipped on yet. So far, except for the two words that he typically only says when his face is about 3" from mine, he mostly sounds like Baby Yoda mumbling.