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 Adopting Reilly (Please read)

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PostSubject: Adopting Reilly (Please read)   Sun May 13, 2012 12:35 pm

Wow, I haven't been here in a while Shocked

I was wondering if anyone here might know anything about or have any actual experience with Congo African Grey parrots. We're going to be adopting a rescue Congo one week from today and I have been trying to learn whatever I can about them before then. I've had birds before but it's been 10+ years. We've had cockatiels and parakeets and they were all really healthy birds while we had them. We never had any problems with stress, feather plucking or their health in general. They were talkative, some times noisy, friendly to those they liked, bit those who they didn't like. But we never had any problems or trouble with them.

Even though we've had birds before and I do have many years of experience with cockatiels and parakeets, I've been getting really discouraged about our decision to adopt "Reilly", as he will be called. Everything that I have read just seems to be contradicted somewhere else. I'll read something about them now, and the very next web page that I find completely contradicts everything that I just read. So, I don't really feel like I know any more about Congo African Grey parrots now than I did five years ago.

He is a rescue parrot. The lady who rescued him, which is the lady that we will be getting him from next Sunday, says that she didn't have the money to get him, but she did it anyway to get him out of the horrible living conditions that he was in. She said that the woman that she got him from has other birds and none of them are really being taken care of. The house is filthy. It's bug and roach infested. There's feces in the birds' water and food and their cages aren't even being cleaned out so they're living in filthy cages and their feathers are all plucked. When she took "Reilly" from that house, he had been kept in a cage in a dark corner with nothing but a heat light over him. She doesn't think the woman really bothered with him a whole lot. He had stopped eating all together. She had to feed him baby bird formula through a syringe for a while. She took him to a vet to have him checked out and to make sure that there wasn't anything badly wrong with him. The vet told her that it is very likely that he may have suffered a stroke. He keeps the toes on one of his feet balled up as a result of it. She says that she can sit him on the floor and if he doesn't have anything that he can grasp on to and hold on to, he seems to lose his balance and he'll fall over.

She's had him now for going on two months. She told us that he responded really well to the antibiotics that the vet had given him and he is no longer on any medication. He is now eating again on his own and loves pears. He talks, will tell her "Hello" and he's even been trying to climb around on the outside of his cage. She says that he's a really sweet bird and even though he was always biting his previous owner, he hasn't tried to bite her at all and he even lets her children pet him. His feathers are now starting to come back too.

The reason that I've been trying to find as much information about them as I can is because we've never had an African Grey before. They're bigger than cockatiels, so they'll need a bit more food and their food will need to be somewhat larger. But it seems like what one person says is ok to do, another person says will cause the bird to suffer respiratory problems, liver and kidney damage and eventually kill the bird. One person says to clean your house with nothing but vinegar, water and peroxide. Another person says to just move the bird to another room away from whatever you're using to clean you house with and as soon as the house smells normal again it's safe to move him back into his original room. We never worried about this with our parakeets and cockatiels. We just mopped the floor when it needed it, dusted when it needed doing, and whatever else. We never changed what we used or what room the birds were in and like I said, we never had any problems with them getting sick or whatever. The only thing that we ever had to take them to the vet for was to occasionally have their beaks trimmed because they would get really sharp.

We always fed them on cockatiel seed and gave them bits of whatever we were eating. Now I'm reading that you should feed all birds on pellets because seeds are considered "junk food" and are bad for them. But I've also read the same thing about pellet diets too. I just want Reilly to be healthy and happy and to live for as long as he possibly can.

If any one has any experience with Congo African Grey parrots, PLEASE reply to this and tell me what I'm supposed to do. We're going to go pick him up one week from today and right now, I'm just horribly discouraged Crying or Very sad


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PostSubject: Re: Adopting Reilly (Please read)   Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:50 pm

How did the bird turn out?

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PostSubject: Re: Adopting Reilly (Please read)   Mon Jun 11, 2012 5:37 pm

My folks have a parrot. Not sure that they do anything special for it. It's a nasty little shit, always snaps at you.

I'd say just keep the cage clean and use your best judgement.

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PostSubject: Re: Adopting Reilly (Please read)   Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:58 pm

I'll give you the advice my dad gave me on my wedding day: Don't feed parrots anti-anxiety medicine. Sure it makes them mellow, but there's no fun in having a mellow parrot.

I've seen a lot of people who hoard animals without really being able to care for them. It's a horrible feeling to see that kind of thing, because they're not normally bad people. Just sick and a little over their heads. Glad the parrot made its escape.

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PostSubject: Re: Adopting Reilly (Please read)   Mon Jun 11, 2012 10:39 pm

I've never had an African Grey myself but do know people who have. I have heard all the stuff youre saying about like cleaning and feeding and you can drive yourself nuts worrying about it. That's with anything though. So much conflicting information out there. It's probably a situation where it's ideal to only use certain cleaning things but an ok compromise to just take them out of the room. I have heard that certain cleaning supplies and even air fresheners and stuff can cause problems in all types of birds. I think pellets are the main thing that the people I know feed theirs but they also feed it fruits and stuff. I know they need big cages and lots of toys and people time. Pearl ( my friends African Grey) was super smart. She could say all sorts of things and say responces that would make you think she actually knew what she was talking about. She would dance like crazy too. Loved some Garth Brooks.

Hope everything is going well and maybe you can find someone who can give you some actually good advice.

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