So I have left is this crazy 28 year old African gray
22682675 - portrait of african grey parrot, psittacus erithacus

So I have left is this crazy 28 year old African gray

Last Updated on by Mitch Rezman

Dear Theresa

Your bird passed today? Oh my. I am so sorry to hear this. It is never easy to lose a pet, they are so much a part of the family. You have our deepest sympathies.

Theresa replied

I’m a bit at a loss. We’ve had her for twenty-five years. With the exception of some arthritis in her foot, she’s been healthy as can be. Just back from a vet check about a month ago…Good eater always eating the things good for her…Saturday I woke up to uncover her cage only to find she’s thrown up a cooked food I got from parrot island. It was a pea soup blend.

I think That dehydrated her, and she went for that pineapple. She normally won’t touch citrus. I didn’t think anything of it. Sunday she was lethargic and then started to eat and drink normally later in the afternoon. I thought we were ok, checked on her last night and she was sleeping normally. This morning she was cool to the touch and we wrapped her in a warm towel and held her. She was gone by 9.

editors note: We discourage pineapple from your bird’s diet due to the high acid content has given the food sits in the bird’s crop for up to 6 hours possibly causing irritation

I had a blue front amazon who passed away early at the age of eight. Even though I took him to the vet they said there was nothing to be done. That night he fell off his perch at 1 am. I held him for four hours until I lost him. The vet said his liver was compromised.

So now I have left this crazy 28-year-old African gray that I inherited from a friend. The friend was the second owner. All he ever ate was apple, cheddar cheese, a gingersnap and grapes. He loves steak chicken and hot dogs.

I’ve managed to get him to like homemade chop and some bird bread recipes. The cheese crap I cannot get him away from. He stops eating altogether if I remove it. I have been able to move him from hunks of cheese to grated cheese sprinkled lightly. The puddings he will not touch! I just tried some mango and sweet potato baby food over birdie bread I make here. He ate all of that.

I keep trying….he has no foraging issues as the pionus did. His favorite toys are made of acrylic and he’s scared of everything new.

If there’s a pudding mix that might work on a pop eye type of grey I’d love to hear it!

Thanks – Theresa 😢😢😢

Catherine Tobsing replied Jan 23, 3:58 pm

Dear Theresa

I am very sorry for your loss of both of the birds. We have lost a few over the years too. it never gets easier.

The grey. You said he likes birdie bread? You can bake pellets into them to make them more nutritious for him since he already likes bread.

The apple and meat are the best out of what you have mentioned, I would stop with the hot dogs. Grapes are okay in small amounts, you’ll need to wash them in advance as they carry a lot of pesticides. The ginger snap, only as a treat and only once a week. Or break one up into pieces for more than one serving.

The cheese is not altogether bad but it contains lactose and birds are lactose intolerant. They cannot digest it (lacking enzymes). They love it, but it goes through them undigested. Your grating the cheese is much better. Too much cheese will gum up their digestive tract but just a pinch will just ride through.

Lower lactose cheese is best like mozzarella. Try a bit of pizza crust with cheese on it. Do not give any lactose lowered milk products (like Lactaid) as they are very bad for the birds.

Regarding a suggested cooked food for the Grey, you might like to try the Higgin’s Worldly Cuisines African Sunset. It has whole grains like Quinoa which is very good for them.

Thank you

Theresa-> It doesn’t get any easier, for sure. He’s now thankfully away from ginger snaps. But I’ll sure take your advice and try this pudding mix. The ones I’ve tried were Parrot Island’s own mixes, and then the Krazy Korn Rain Forest rice pudding, and the others. He won’t even eat nuts, he’s so goofy. No walnuts, no almonds, maybe a peanut now and then, but that’s it. He’s so finicky. Here he is waving. Loves to wave…..

No walnuts, no almonds, maybe a peanut now and then, but that’s it. He’s so finicky. Here he is waving. Loves to wave…..

mitchr-> I’d like to add Theresa – simply offering food to a parrot is not always the best way to get a parrot to eat. In the wild they do not eat from bowls filled with food.

It is best to make them work for their food as they will more likely eat a wider variety of food stuff as well. Our Senegal parrot Peaches has open food dishes in her cage throughout the house but this is how she chooses to get most of her nutrition

You can hide food in Dixie cups – steel little ketchup cups from fast food joints stack them up with little pieces of food in between and let Jamie explore – let me know how that works out for you

Catherine Tobsing replied Jan 23, 1:01pm

Dear Theresa

A foraging box can be anything that you can secure to the side of the bird’s cage or set inside her cage (not under a perch to keep poop out of it) same with her play stand. A large hook on dish or even just a small cardboard box cable tied to the cage. Whatever works.

It is unusual that your bird would become ill eating it, perhaps she ate too fast? Too much? Was it too hot? Too cold? No idea.

I hope it is a one-time thing.

Thank you

Theresa replied Jan 22, 9:00 am

I like your idea about a foraging box. I have an older female blue pionus, whose cage has been altered to, make her movements a bit easier. She has arthritis in her one foot, which was diagnosed about two, years ago.

She has also either over preened or pulled her breast feathers. I have an extra humidifier, keep the temps good, have extra lighting over her cage. I’m trying to keep her occupied during the day.

What would you use for a box? I had a small plastic cup I used, and put a few clothespins, paper, and other shreddable things along with her favorite nuts. But, she has a tough time balancing and holding things, so any suggestions you have would be much appreciated.

Second question….do you carry Roudybush? Don’t see it? She is a great eater. I am giving her chop, some fruit, and sprinkling pellets ground up…which has helped tremendously.

Last night I gave her some pea and bean cooked food that I bought here in Minneapolis, and after I put her to bed, she threw it up. That’s highly unusual, and I think it dehydrated her, so, she’s busy breaking a little bit of pineapple right now. Her favorite is the rainforest rice pudding,

Roudybush, yes we have, You can locate it at this link and The CrazyCorn cooked food can be found here

Thanks much – Theresa 

I keep trying….he has no foraging issues as the pionus did. His favorite toys are made of acrylic and he’s scared of everything new.

If there’s a pudding mix that might work on a pop eye type of gray I’d love to hear it!

That’s a good thought. I’ve been so spoiled by Izzie, the pionus….she would eat everything that was good for her, and never ate anything that Jamie just loves. They couldn’t be more different. But Jamie could stand to look for his food….he might really like that. As long as he’s not absolutely terrified! Lol!

Thanks again – Theresa

mitchr-> please let us know how it works out!

Theresa-> So I put a stand next to his cage. He has a few foot toys and some nutri-berries in the bowl that sits on the stand. He’s been scared of the stand and he rarely eats in front of me. But I caught him yesterday throwing stuff on the floor and the nutri-berries were eaten!

I also tried popping some walnuts in a little cardboard that was folded up. Took one look at that and threw it on the floor. Still working on this….nothing happens overnight with him that’s for sure

I also found that by cutting his food up into smaller pieces and I guess this is what ms Audrey did his original owner did … “no JamieOprahh is not on anymore at four”! … and mixing it with chop or even pudding he is cleaning out his bowl!

His face is buried looking for a favorite food, he is thinking ok this is all good. I just don’t get why he doesn’t eat nuts. All steps in the right direction too.

So far so good!

mitchr-> glad to hear – plan to spend weeks on the transition. I’m 65 and now 40 years after having small children, I am once again picking up toys from the floor and putting them in toy boxes, but for a bird. Nuts the have to be raw and unsalted, none roasted. Have you tried all the nuts – sunflower almonds- walnuts?

Theresa-> I am 61 but we have had nothing but feathered and furry kids, so I am sure I’ll be doing this for a long time to come.

Jamie has peanuts….I tried walnuts. I’ve tried cashews, almonds, and the small, round ones…what are they filberts?

They are very hard and dark brown….I crack them for him, but he’s not interested. He just throws those on the floor. It’s like he doesn’t know what they are…..but I have not tried the sunflower nuts, shelled…maybe that’s a good idea?

All of them I can get unsalted…..I know he likes the sunflower seed that comes in his seed mix whole… I suppose it’s dumb…I never consider those nuts but technically they are. He loves the white pumpkin seeds too. Those are the first to get eaten.

He had pizza crust the other day….loved that. Rich, my husband, got the little muffin papers and I’m going to string some goodies together and see what happens!

Thanks – Theresa

mitchr-> try putting a few nuts in a muffin paper add a muffin paper more nuts and so forth creating a puzzle of sorts which may make the nuts more interesting

written by mitch rezman
written by catherine tobsing
written by Theresa 

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      1. I have been giving them roasted unsalted for years, for some reason I hesitate to give them raw foods with the exception of vegetables, thanks, Sue

          1. Exactly!! I was just curious as to why you said no roasted nuts, now I know!

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