00Daydreamer00

New member
Jun 20, 2017
9
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Ohio
Parrots
Congo African Grey - Carmen
I've just joined this community. Mostly because I need some guidance. Almost a month ago, I adopted a congo grey from an older lady. I've done plenty of research when it comes to how to care for a grey. However, my knowledge runs short when it comes to behavior. I know there's a general behavior when it comes to parrots, but each bird has a unique personality. I need help understanding her. I haven't been sure as to where to start. The best I can do is describe her and her personality from what I've seen so far.

We don't know her age for sure, but from what we were told, she's a little over 10 years old. She's a she. She had plucking issues before we got her. Her chest is completely bare with a few small feathers growing back now.

In the beginning, she was very sweet. She stepped up like a champ. As she got more and more comfortable, she grew more temperamental. And more fearful somehow. When ever I approach her, she fluffs up her feathers. She will come to me, but won't do anything but stare and whistle. She will take treats from my hand but then she'll throw them. She could just have picky taste but that's not the biggest worry. One of my biggest worries is how she will no longer step up and started biting. I decided to try some methods that people would use for a bird who is afraid of hands. Such as the person holding a loose perch and allowing the bird to step up. She was terrified, even with treats. When she does decide she wants to step up onto an actual hand, she will scream nonstop. It's not just a jabbering bird. You can hear her fear and its so upsetting. She's very possessive of her cage and will attempt to bite if you touch her food dish. She'll do the same if you simply place a single finger on her cage. She will also bite if you attempt to pet her or just put your hand anywhere near her when she doesn't want to step up. I assume it's not a harmless bite by the way she strikes outward. If a man tries to get her to step up, she goes to the farthest corner of her cage and screams. She hates being inside her cage during the day so she is out for most of it.

Can anyone give me advice? Should I give her more time to settle in?
 
I'm sure they Grey folks will chime in, but she sounds normal to me. When you first got her, she was in a new place and this can make a parrot be very docile and cooperative. As time goes on, they feel more secure about asserting their own opinions. She might be in mourning over the loss of her human, someone she knew and loved, who simply vanished from sight. She wants her human, she's looking and calling, and it may take a while for her to begin to come back to your world. Give her treats, talk to her, sit by the cage and read to her, be patient and kind in her time of grief, and she may come around. Good luck to you both.
 
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Thank you! That definitely makes sense.
I feel like the biting part may be more complex. Sometimes when she's feeling talkative, she will sudden mimic a human yelling some pretty aggressive jibberish, then "OW! No! No bite!"
So, I have a feeling, her previous owner had a similar issue.
 
Greys are typically skittish. Routine is key to their settling down. They love times of sitting and checking out their surroundings. They will signal when they want interaction. Learning body language and temperament will go a long way. Treats, patience, and time. It sounds like you're on track. Check out the CAG threads, so much help there. This may take time but it will get better!
 
A month sounds like a reasonable period to settle in, but Greys can be temperamental. They require much understanding and acceptance but are very high reward birds.

Part of the equation is you don't know what sort of "baggage" Carmen harbors from past home(s). Sometimes we have to proceed with assumptions and keep an open mind. At times it is necessary to return to "square one" basics. Some of these links may be helpful!

http://www.parrotforums.com/general-parrot-information/49144-tips-bonding-building-trust.html
http://www.parrotforums.com/training/60435-clicker-target-training.html
http://www.parrotforums.com/training/63988-bite-pressure-training.html

Greys are quite capable of biting hard, but often the lunge is with intent to push you away. Can be hard to distinguish between an effort to chomp or pinch.
 
Welcome!
I'm glad you found a wonderful new companion, and glad you found us!
 
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A month sounds like a reasonable period to settle in, but Greys can be temperamental. They require much understanding and acceptance but are very high reward birds.

Part of the equation is you don't know what sort of "baggage" Carmen harbors from past home(s). Sometimes we have to proceed with assumptions and keep an open mind. At times it is necessary to return to "square one" basics. Some of these links may be helpful!

http://www.parrotforums.com/general-parrot-information/49144-tips-bonding-building-trust.html
http://www.parrotforums.com/training/60435-clicker-target-training.html
http://www.parrotforums.com/training/63988-bite-pressure-training.html

Greys are quite capable of biting hard, but often the lunge is with intent to push you away. Can be hard to distinguish between an effort to chomp or pinch.

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Exactly! Thank you for the links; I'll do some reading.
 

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