African Gray – Is this a Pet Match for You?

Image used via creative commons, courtesy of By: saiberiac

Pet Lovers Divide

Dogs and Cats to the left and Birds to the right, but those who love birds can also be all around pet lovers of all animals. Be careful you don’t become a pet hoarder. No pet likes living in a zoo, and that is what your house will become if you start hoarding pets. They need care and loving not just a place to sit on their tail while you busy your day away slaving at your day job and meeting your friends on the weekend.

All pets need attention.

Birds need attention too. No, you don’t need to throw a stick for them to fetch nor a ball. They will be happy to sit on the back of the sofa and watching TV with you. That sort of thing is fine by them. If you do this, make certain you have a cloth to cover the back of your sofa because they will defecate. Some birds can be trained to poop in their cage, but that takes time.

Expect noise!

Birds can be noisier than dogs, believe it or not. An African Gray can mimic many sounds. They are the most verbal of all the parrots and have been known to learn the vocabulary of a five-year-old. I’m not sure if you can hold a conversation with them since I don’t have first-hand knowledge. My experience was with a Moluccan Cockatoo. Gorgeous bird, also very noisy if needing attention. They can scream like a banshee and then some.

We had fun with our Cockatoo years ago before the kids were born, but as soon as I had a baby to care for, I didn’t have the time or energy to spend with my beloved pet bird. We gave her up for adoption in hopes that she found someone who would have the time to spend with her. We were young back then and wanted to spend time with our friends too. Also, we both worked full-time jobs and juggled the kids between first and second shifts to avoid having to use a sitter.

Birds can be comical.

Whisper was her name, kind of ironic for a bird who could make such a deafening sound when she wanted. We named her that because she would make soft sounds that would sound sort of like a whisper. When she hollered, she would throw back her head, her crest would go straight up, such a lovely peach color. Then she would squawk or scream.

One day, when we had opened her cage to allow her to go about freely, she climbed down from her cage and strutted across the floor. When she turned the corner, lo and behold, our Lhasa was headed straight for her. The two were almost the same size, only the bird was bigger than the dog. Their brakes slammed on causing them both to skid across the wooden floors, almost crashing into each other. Then they both hightailed it back from whence they came. That was their first meeting.

Birds are fun

Even though they are fun, they are work too, like any pet. The more pets you have, the more work you have to do. Clean them, feed them, and keep them happy.

If I were ever to have another Parrot

I would probably settle for an African Gray. They require a smaller cage. A larger one if you want to fill it up with lots of toys and gadgets for while you are away at work. I would take a very young bird to make sure it learned to bond with my family and me. Some birds can have a temper and bite.

Their ability to talk is what attracts me most to this type of parrot. I wonder if this was probably one of the reasons the bird was a favorite among Pirates?

“Walk the plank Matey.”


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