Why Did My African Grey Just Dump Her Chop and Pellet Dishes?

Why Did My African Grey Just Dump Her Chop and Pellet Dishes?

Last Updated on by Catherine Tobsing

William R. relates,

We’ve had our African Grey for 2 years.

Today she started dumping her food dishes.

Today she dumped her chop and her pellets and tried to get her water bowl.

How And Some Of The Why’s African Greys Molt Differently Than Other Parrots

I am wondering why she started doing this.

She is a very curious bird and when she makes up her mind to do something she does it!

She also seems a little more irritable today.

How Much Do You Understand About the Molt?

MitchR responds:

A guy walks into a Psychiatrist’s office and relates,

“My wife dumped her cereal bowl and cup of coffee to the floor and if I hadn’t glued her orange juice glass down that would have been gone too.

 She’s a very curious bird when she makes her mind up to do something she does it.

 She also seems a little more irritable today”.

“Hmmmmmm”  responded the psychiatrist

Not a lot to go on here, William.

You indicate

You’ve had the grey for 2 years but that data doesn’t allow me to determine the bird’s age.

You state

It’s an African Grey but we don’t know if it’s a Timneh or Congo grey.


Due to an unrelated event of an internal construction project gone sideways now right after 4 weeks, I am deficient in both UGC (User Generated Content) and fresh content in general.

So you’re in luck, I’m about to start catching up.

Before I take a deep dive into this I’ll skim the surface by saying, “ Sounds to me that your bird is just pissed off about something”.

Have there been any recent changes in the environment?  Even the most subtle can have an effect.

A change in diet ~ angle the birdcage is facing changed ~ a picture changed on the wall ~ a family member added or deleted to the home ~ daylight savings time not respected with no artificial lighting ~ any of which can trigger confusion and anger.

OK, off we go with some intellectual nourishment aka food for thought.

 I started with links to African Grey molting blog posts.

Grey’s molting and maturity paradigm are different than most other species of parrots which occur, once, sometimes twice annually.

I’ll begin with a counterpoint to maturity levels in pet birds.

We recently brought 3 budgies into this world.

Our budgie care knowledgebase erupted all over the place as winter set in.

By the first week of December 2022, we had 3 just-fledged juvenile budgies literally buzzing our spinning heads.

They ~ Are ~ Fast ~ And ~ Nimble at 6 weeks old!

They will mature and can breed within one year.

Greys don’t mature until the age of 2.

And here’s the fine print ~ but isn’t printed ~ (mostly) anywhere.

We are certain the was some incest involved when eight eggs were laid.

The aviary held as many as 12 and more recently 10 for the past few years.

No place to go ~ nothing to ~ do you know the rest?

Grey’s have figured out how to avoid this and for good reason.

Incestuous offsprings are weaker offsprings with shortened lifespans.

Whoever is chosen, by the time of maturity, their mate will eventually be discarded and a new one will be selected.

This will always cause havoc in homes with multiple humans

One day you’re the lover, the next day you’re the treacherer ~ huh, what just happened? 

Your Grey knows that if he or she consummates the relationship with you it will end up badly so tens of millions of years of instinctual expectations take over as self-preservation.

But all you know is

Today she dumped her chop and her pellets and tried to get her water bowl.

And your wife who (unbeknownst to you or her) your bird just bonded with, then left for work a moment ago.

Or something like that.

Happy New Year William and to your bird.

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