My African grey doesn’t talk

Kikumpenzi

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Jan 11, 2023
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I have two African greys, both adopted from troubled homes
My AG named Kiku has never spoken one word since we got him 6 years ago. We adopted him from a family who didn’t treat him very well so he used to pluck and can’t fly as a result. For 6 years he only does a few sounds, a clicking when he is nervous, a hoo when he is tired or we put him in the cage and that’s pretty much it. Recently I offered him a peanut and said ‘say hello kiku’ (he loves peanuts) so he said the littlest not very well pronounced hello. I can get him to do this since then by offering him a treat but he’s very hesitant, it looks like he struggles when he’s about to say it. I’ve never had an AG who is mute, does anyone have any thoughts on this. Why he might not be able to talk? Or how this happened? And whether you think it’s a good idea for me to keep trying to get him to say his one little word?
 

HeatherG

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Apr 25, 2020
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I have a Quaker who is quite the same. He’s very quiet. That said, my apartment is quiet. Was complaining about my quiet bird and then made a phone call. Bird had LOTS to contribute to the phone call and I’m sure the receptionist had no idea what the weird noise was, or why my house sounds like a zoo.

So yes, my bird can say a few phrases but when I repeat them back he looks at me and mouths along, makes a tiny noise but just looks conflicted. I wonder why?

I don’t know what to think either, except my bird has been here for two and s half years and is slowly getting louder and naughtier. I praise him when he plays with anything, touches a toy, tries a new food, makes a noise. I’m trying not to scare him and it seems his humor is very subtle. For example, right after coming to me he noticed that I smiled or laughed when he yawned so he started to do that a lot for smiles or laughs.

Maybe you and I just have quiet shy birds? I praise my bird and interact when he makes noises, any noise.

Hmm.
 

wrench13

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@Kikumpenzi Its misleading to think that every African Grey is going to be a great talker or be very vocal with sounds and noises. Every parrot is it's own bird, so to speak, with different temperaments and different life trajectories. From you description, Kiku seems to have not had the greatest past history so his reluctance to vocalize may be due in part to that ( For example if he was punished physically for being loud and vocal in her past homes). It could also just be he was from a very quiet household, as HeatherG points out. I am very glad you adopted him and are seeking advice on his well being! I would work gently with him to encourage more vocalizing, Greys can be very stubborn!

Hope you and Kiku stick around with us!
 

HeatherG

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Apr 25, 2020
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I kind of wonder if Willow was punished or yelled at for being noisy or stealing things throughout the house. He is honestly afraid and on alert if a new object comes into his space. And DOES NOT touch or run to get food, toys…it’s a bit worrisome.

But I also think Willow is quiet because my apartment is quiet.

So I don’t know if your home is quiet or if your AG was scolded for being loud and took it VERY PERSONALLY. Maybe for both of our birds the quiet will slowly wear off. It IS nice to be able to sleep in.
 
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Kikumpenzi

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Jan 11, 2023
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I have two African greys, both adopted from troubled homes
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@Kikumpenzi Its misleading to think that every African Grey is going to be a great talker or be very vocal with sounds and noises. Every parrot is it's own bird, so to speak, with different temperaments and different life trajectories. From you description, Kiku seems to have not had the greatest past history so his reluctance to vocalize may be due in part to that ( For example if he was punished physically for being loud and vocal in her past homes). It could also just be he was from a very quiet household, as HeatherG points out. I am very glad you adopted him and are seeking advice on his well being! I would work gently with him to encourage more vocalizing, Greys can be very stubborn!

Hope you and Kiku stick around with us!
That’s probably a correct assumption, and reassuring to hear. His little tiny hello is coming along and is always extra special and cute. Thank you for your reply!
 

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