Illinois, United States
Posted Mar 22, 2009
I grew up with an African Grey Timneh named Gabby that my family didn't know very much about. My father did the ultimate no-no that is the impulse buy. He saw a sweet girl at the store, but rushed her when he got her home. She bit him, and he would hardly ever let any of us touch her because of that.
I always felt bad about the way Gabby was treated, and that I was too young to have known or done much about it. She and I were finally getting on good terms when I made a point of getting to know her at when I was thirteen. Then my parent's marriage went south, and my dad got rid of her to get back at mom for leaving (his words)... though he seemed to miss the part where it was ME that was the most attached to her.
Then one day I met the sweetest African Grey Timneh ever who ignored everyone in the store but me. She was four months old. I thought about it very carefully for a month before I made my final trip to that store to bring her home. That was almost five years ago. Her name is Gir, and she's the light of my life.
The dark side of having an African Grey is that there is a lot of BAD information on them out there. People charactarize African Greys as neurotic birds that will start ripping out all of their feathers at the slightest provocation. Nothing could be further from the truth! African Greys, like many other parrots, will learn to respond to the way that you, the owner, treat them. If you treat your African Grey like he's made of glass and do your very best neve to expose him to change, then you're going to have a parrot with a very fragile mind. If you take your young African Grey with you places, let him meet other people, and don't treat them like they're made of glass, as it were, you'll find that they can be very laid back!
The second laughable thing I hear about African Greys is that the Timnehs aren't "as good" as the Congos. If anything, I notice that the only big difference is that the Timnehs tend to be a little more laid back.
African Greys produce a large amount of dust, so it's important to have an air filter handy. They require a large variety in their diets and lots of social interaction. I've known African Greys that flourish in a family environment, but not as easily as when they started out with a family than when a family "happens." If you catch my drift.
With any parrot, if the prospective owner does their research, then they will do well with this parrot.