African grey parrot preening tips of tail feathers

Am I Doing the Right Things With My New African Grey Parrot?

Last Updated on by Catherine Tobsing

Kristie C. relates,

I am a new bird owner and fell head over heels for the new member of my family, an African Gray named Kesha! She has already brought me a lot of love and LOTS of laughter! I just want to make sure I am doing the same for her. She is flighted. I let her out for a good 4 to 6 hours a day.

 

She follows me around but will only step up when she lands on the floor.

 

I haven’t pushed her at all as I want her to trust me.

 

I brought her home on February 13th, 2022 this year, and she was rehomed to me.

 

She is 7 but they didn’t have much information for me beyond that.

 

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I feel so stupid because I was too dumb to ask about things that I wish I would have. I have watched videos and read them but still have questions and I have no idea where I put the contact information for her previous person.

 

I am still searching through and hoping I find it soon!

 

Anyway, Kesha keeps saying “Shower” like she wants a shower.

 

 

I do remember them stating that she kinda didn’t like the shower so I have been using a spray bottle with warm water…ONLY IF SHE WANTS ME TO!

 

She otherwise doesn’t really let me get too close though she does come to me sometimes on her terms.

 

I kinda get the feeling reviewing and researching it that that is the best.

 

Is it? Should I be more assertive?

 

I am just taking it slow because we are in a long-term relationship here! 😁

 

How do I know if I should take her to the shower or not? 

 

Do I just take her to the bathroom and try?

 

I do have a bird perch for the shower for her but haven’t used it yet.

 

Like I said I just want to make her know she can trust me so have done everything slowly.

 

She is very talkative and just has very recently started to let me scratch her neck so I was SO THRILLED by this but she was the one that came to me for the scratches. Am I doing this right?

 

Are there any suggestions you might have?

 

I would TOTALLY appreciate ANYTHING you might be able to suggest! Thank you from the bottom of my heart ❤

 

Sincerely,

Kristie C.

 

Dear Kristie

Congratulations on your new family member.

 

I am not likely to be able to answer so much in one email, but will try.

 

That she lets you pick her up when she lands on the floor is good.

 

We have a cockatiel that when we reach out to pick him up from his cage, flutters off to another place, but then easily allows us to pick him up as he is now in an unfamiliar place.

 

 

That is when it is a good time to work with the bird before returning to a familiar place.

 

Practice laddering, but putting your hand in front of her feet and say step up, so she steps up onto your next hand, repeat, repeat, repeat.

 

You also can use this time to perch train her by slipping a perch in place of your hand, keep laddering 8-10 times before walking her back to her cage or stand and setting her down, saying good girl and giving her a treat.

 

Showering. Are you just picking up the mister and spraying her when she says “shower”?

 

Is she on her cage or a stand or on the floor when you do this?

 

If so, I would not, as you want her to talk, but not learn that if she pops out with “shower” you will spray her just anywhere.

 

I would take her into the shower or designate a particular stand as a shower area. If the shower perch you have is new, is it a suction cup perch? If so, you can put it onto a window or door and get her to learn that it is a nice place to hang out before you suddenly plop her on it in the shower and start to spray her down.

 

Is the cage near a cozy chair you can sit on and read and visit her so she can get to know you there? That would help her to get over her shyness and come to you on her terms.

 

These are some things to try.

 

Please let us know your progress.

 

Catherine

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