The Congo African Grey!!!

Latin name: "Personus wearing featherus"

NEWS BULLETIN!! Click here for incredible Grey story!

 

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2007

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See our 2007 2 babies at 4 weeks

See the same 2 babies being handfed at 6 weeks by my 10 year old while the Green Cheek Gang surrounds them!

Here they are at 8 weeks.

See those same 2 babies in their flight suits meeting baby Miniature Horses (July 4, 2007)

See "Ollie" (11 weeks old) claiming Lisa's grape juice. Our Greys have had some strange fascination for grapes.

The babies are weaned and ready to go home! Watch Ollie fly to me when I call him! (short video)

Click here to see Ollie fly to me many more times! (longer video)

June 2008 Click here to see a 2008 Grey baby!

August 2008 Miles destroys an  apple in this video!

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Click here to see the 2009 babies The  Grey babies now have their own nursery page with individual pictures and videos on this link.

Click here to see the Einstein of birds. This movie is NOT  a pampered peeps movie. This Grey is an incredible example of what their potential is!

 

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 Click To See How we Bathe our pet Greys and one way to help a plucker!

 

7 days old! 

  Here at 2 weeks 

And at 4 weeks...getting personality!

         The Congo African Grey is a stunning bird that awes most people who see one for the first time.

Greys are little pigs! They just got their morning veggies and are chowing down! One of my first cautions with interested buyers is DO NOT BUY ONE ONLY BECAUSE YOU WANT A TALKING BIRD. There are Greys that never talk, there are Greys that make loud and unpleasant sounds. Do your research to see if a Grey is the right fit for your home and be honest about your time and your future. They live up to 80 years of age.....

The Congo is a true family member who tunes in more so than any other creature to moods and emotions in a room. African Greys are known for their intelligence and talking abilities. Our pet Greys don't just parrot language, they speak at times according to circumstances and according to the emotions in the room. Liberty also makes up rhymes and sings boisterously. She sings in the shower to hear her voice echoing against the tile walls.

 

             "Camera Hog"

 

They can also be quite entertaining when they decide they like something. Here a newly weaned young Congo Grey steals away our grape bowl during breakfast one morning. My daughters dissolve into giggles. What fun birds can be! But they also are a huge commitment!
This little cuddle-bug was desperately trying to accomplish the task of getting on the perch for the first time! When he finally did it, he was so proud of himself :)                                                                 

He was falling asleep, and then collapsed!

Grey's have so much personality! We will play games every now and then with a family from our church. As the noise level increases with excitement, our Greys join in the fun. They start singing and making all sorts of beeps and enthusiastic voices to join in.

(Below is me with my pet Congo).

 

 

You will read that Congo Greys tend to be more phobic and flighty than a Timneh. People say that Congos are one person birds. This isn't always true.. Much of how your Grey evolves as a pet is determined by how they are weaned and socialized during their early years. Much of how any pet parrot turns out depends on your handling of them and the reactions that the family has toward the bird. We believe that parrots are able to read subtle body language that you don't even know you are displaying.

Our personal pet Greys will go to anyone. They both are very sweet, but they both also have preferences as to who their favorite person is. When we are all sitting around eating ice cream, Liberty will climb off her cage, and walk over to my dad. She really wants his ice cream! When she gets on my shoulder, she talks and sings and occasionally gets a bite of ice cream!!! One night, Dad came running to me because he had been eating his nightly bowl of ice cream when Liberty ran over and said, "Want some of dat!" One frustration is that I can never get her to show off her talking ability in front of strangers.

When Greys are being weaned, they must be with a breeder who handles them a lot and exposes them to many situations so that they are more tolerant as an adult. Also, we believe that the Greys especially need lots of fly time as babies. If a bird knows it can fly and escape predators, they are more confident overall. As for flying as babies. I think it is especially critical to the more phobic birds. They need to know that they can get away. Greys are ones that really need that fly time. As they learn to fly and land, they lose that baby clumsiness and become secure, rather than insecure. Many scared birds are biters. They gain confidence as they learn to turn in mid-air. They always crash into my bay window one time, but those grey babies are so smart that they literally turn mid-air as they see the window where they crashed one time before. They learn to think and act on this. This confidence is there for their lifetime. Developing them into thinkers is part of flying.
 

Each bird has 3 cages, their inside cage, outside cage on the porch, and their sleep cage, in their owner's room. Liberty has a sleep cage, too, except for that she doesn't sleep in her sleep cage...I have attached a perch on the outside of the cage and Liberty (aka Squish, Libber, etc.) sleeps loose. She doesn't fly at all, in fact she is much more relaxed than if she is in her cage. We strongly believe that pet owners need more than one safe site for their bird to be. Read up on sleep cages for more information.

Our Grey is very funny with her toys. She will sit on her perch, put her head down, look at her balls and say, "Give me scratches!" Of course her balls aren't going to, so she flies at them and attacks them, screaming and yelling at them. Then, she tries again. Puts her head down, and asks for scratches again. This goes on for a while. She has so much personality and character it is hilarious!

This is me who is hugging her, and she lets me do that no problem. She would never let my mom hug her like that for I am "her human."

Liberty loves pizza, and so do I....tug of war!!!

Congos are a very good pet. They do need an owner who has previous bird experience, or is willing and eager to read and study up on this awesome bird, and is not intimidated by beak size. I would not recommend them for the majority of children, but my 9 year old sister can handle our Greys. However, she (my sister) is a rare girl.

The "Grey-gym!"

For those of you who have birds that do not eat Palm Oil....try Udo Oil. It has to be kept refrigerated so I pour a bit into a small container and freeze the rest. It thaws quickly to pour more later. I mix about 1/8 teaspoon for 3 birds into to their sprouts or mash mix twice a week. It has all the essential fatty acids (EFA) we and birds require the same as the palm oil.

According to Parrots of the World, the fruit of the Red Palm Oil tree is one of the foods that Greys eat in the rainforest. You can buy Virgin Palm Oil to feed your Greys. It is what they would naturally be eating in the wild and is very healthy. Red Palm Oil can be given daily at 0.1ml for smaller birds, up to 0.2ml for heavier ones. (Get a TB syringe from the vet or drug store if needed, as a measuring device.) Red Palm Oil does have betacarotene, and a broken down form of Vit A and Vit E, but it is not a "supplement" as exist in pellets, and is a different molecular breakdown than a "true" vitamin. It lowers cholesterol naturally and does not have the "bad" fats.Two of the best foods you can feed Greys are Red Palm Oil and Flax Seed. Click on the links below to find out more about Palm Oil and places to order it:

http://www.tropicaltraditions.com/red_palm_oil.htm

http://www.palmoilgroup.com/about.asp

www.health24.com/dietnfood/General/15-742-775,30539.asp

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palm oil

www.scienceinafrica.co.za/2005/september/redpalmoil.htm

www.unu.edu/unupress/food/8F152e/8F152E04.htm

www.uga.edu/fruit/oilpalm.htm

 

The CAG (abbreviation for Congo African Grey) is one of the most popular birds, but if you are going to buy one, you will want to do a lot of researching. They are incredibly smart and you need to be sure you can adequately care for your Grey for many years. Before you buy any type of bird, we strongly recommend spending a few months just reading on that type of bird, because each bird is going to have it's pros and cons for your situation. Cage size should be about 24 deep and anywhere from 30 to 36" wide. Bar spacing of 1" works fine. Do buy the biggest cage you can buy and have room for....your baby will play in every inch of it. Play tops with a pull out tray are nice to have so that the inside does not get pooped on when they are hanging out up on top. Having feed dishes accessible from the outside is nice for those times that you may have someone else feeding your bird.

 

Here are some excellent links to begin reading up on African Greys (both Congo and Timneh).

These first four web articles do a super job on describing Greys, some of the current myths and the truth regarding this fascinating bird:

 

http://www.birdsnways.com/wisdom/ww26ev.htm      myth 1 = Greys are clumsy

http://www.birdsnways.com/wisdom/ww26evi.htm     myth 2 = Greys are pluckers

http://www.birdsnways.com/wisdom/ww26evii.htm    myth 3 = Greys are one-person birds

http://www.birdsnways.com/wisdom/ww26evij.htm    myth 4 = Greys need more calcium

 

http://www.toolady.com/articles/cocgrey2.htm

 

http://www.toolady.com/articles/african.html

 

Meet some of my favorite Greys!

Meet Emma! 2007: I now have my own baby Grey. She is a baby we raised ourselves. Emma left us to live with a Tucsonan who had bought an Eclectus from us previously. Heartbroken, her new owner called me one day and told me that she had developed Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis syndrome. ( also called Bird Breeders Lung  or Bird Fanciers Lung) (basically, she was allergic to Emma) and had to give up Emma. She could keep her Eclectus. She asked me if I would take Emma. Emma is now my pet. Click here to see her going on a bike ride in a flight suit. I am so thankful that our Lord made some birds with feathers like the Eclectus (very low dander) so that this Tucson bird lover could still have a parrot. I am also very thankful to get to love on Emma!Click here to see Emma say her first word!

Watch a flight suit being put on an Africa Grey (larger bird)

Watch Emma fly to me

Meet Hoppy! Hoppy was hatched in Tucson in 1993 and lived with the same elderly couple for 14 years. I was told he would not step up and that you needed a pillow between your hands and his beak. His beak and left foot are deformed and I believe it to be caused by lack of certain nutrients during his weaning time. Slipped tendons and beak deformities are the result of a diet poor in choline, biotin and even calcium. Perosis is the  term used for slipped tendons or twisted leg. The vitamin, choline, is important in the formation of cartilage that maintains the stability of the hock or ankle joint. It occurs in only one leg of an affected chick; whereas, splayed leg or spraddle leg can damage both legs. When young birds are weaned only onto a pelleted diet, this condition easily occurs. It is so important to feed our birds whole natural foods! Click here to read more about sprouting and our mash. Older birds do not suffer from Perosis because the bodies of mature birds are able to synthesize choline, but young chicks cannot.
Beak deformities are also very related to poor nutrition.  Hoppy's beak is called "scissor beak." I do trim Hoppy's beak about every 4-6 weeks. Here is an updated video from April 2008.

 

 

Click here to meet Hoppy in a video. There is some talking in the second part of the video. I must also STRESS that my "forced" requesting of him to step up is rewarded with loud praises, treats, and literally hours of cuddling. My belief about negative interactions, even with my human children,  is that there is a need for heavily tipping the scale with positive interactions.
Meet Oliver....I can't claim "Oliver" as a "Pamperedpeeps Grey," but click on Oliver's picture to hear some wonderful videos of a Grey talking. They will surely make you smile, if not laugh out loud!

 

 

Then these next articles are on the breeding of African Greys and have many qualities that you will want to look for in a breeder.

http://www.birdsnways.com/wisdom/ww35eiii.htm

http://www.africangreys.com/articles/other/breeding.htm An article about producing well socialized African Greys.

http://www.parrottalk.com/wing-clipping.htm  A great pictorial on wingclipping!

All pictures are photographed by Pampered Peeps and are copyrighted. They may not be copied without permission.

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All God's creatures praise Him (Psalm 145:10). It is only mankind who needs
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