African Grey parrots are very intelligent and social birds that are often kept as pets. As the bird becomes more popular as a pet, owners are keeping multiple Greys in the same household. While this may work well with many types of birds, African Greys have a complicated social pattern. African Grey parrots will not easily bond to each other if they are feeling territorial; however an attempt to keep multiple Greys together is more likely to succeed if they are socialised properly.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Food bowls
- Water containers
Start bonding your African Grey parrots at a young age if possible; this will allow them to feel that the other parrot is part of their flock, or family. Very young parrots, under the age of three months will accept a new parrot more easily and may be raised in the same cage, even if they are from different parents. How ever, each parrot has a different personality, and a slow introduction of a new parrot may be necessary even if they are young.
Socialise older African Greys slowly. Older Greys, after the age of three to six months, may be trained to be together by slowly allowing the parrots to interact with each other for increasingly longer durations. When introducing a new parrot to another parrot, keep them in separate cages on opposite sides of the room. Move the cages closer over the next few weeks, or even months. If you see agitation in one of the parrots, move the cages further apart for a week, then try moving them closer. When the parrots are finally close enough to have their cages next to each other, start opening the doors and letting the parrots climb on top to meet each other. After a few weeks of this socialisation they may feel comfortable enough to be placed in the same cage, especially if you see them visiting each other's cages.
Incorporate methods of socialising by spending a lot of time with both birds to show that you are the dominant member of the flock. Spending large amounts of time with your parrots will prevent many behavioural issues among them. Hold each of your African Grey parrots several times a day. Hold them together and also separately. Assert your authority by training them to step up on your hand at command. Speak with them in a firm authoritative voice.
Keep your parrots human-friendly. This is important when there are two African Greys in one household environment. African Greys tend to get attached to one person, but if there is another Grey in the house, the bird will take precedence over human companionship and both birds may become wild. Continue regular human social interaction so that you will be able to keep holding them, feeding them and cleaning their cage safely. It also helps to have more than one human interacting with the parrots.
Prevent one parrot from dominating and picking on, attacking, biting or plucking feathers of another parrot by strict discipline. Keep a spray bottle with water handy and when you see one parrot displaying dominate behaviour toward the other, give it a quick spray of water and say "No".
Keep your parrots in separate cages if one parrot remains aggressive. Remember that every parrot has a different personality, just as humans do. Some parrots may be unable to interact in a positive manner with other parrots. If parrots have this problem it is best to have separate cages, but if that is not possible, keep them in a large cage with separate feeding bowls, and enough toys and perches to allow each Grey to claim some for its own and not have to use the other's territory.
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