10 Basic Care Tips for African Grey Parrot Owners

10 Basic Care on African Gray Parrot Tips

So, you’ve decided to bring a brainy bird into your life? Congrats! Owning an African Grey parrot is like having a feathered roommate with a vocabulary that would make your spellchecker cry. But before you start decorating a mini-apartment in your living room, let’s get you prepped on keeping your new Einstein happy and healthy.

A healthy African Gray has an enthusiastic desire for cleanliness. Much of the basic care of an African Gray parrot will be taken care of by preening his feathers and honing his beak. However, because your parrot is now a companion and not living in the wild, he’ll have some other basic needs.

feather of African Grey Parrots

Here’s the ultimate cheat sheet for African Grey care, transforming you from clueless human to confident avian guardian in 10 easy steps.

Basic Care Tip #1

Choose an easy to clean cage. In order to make your bird happy, choose a large rectangular cage. In order to make yourself happy, choose a stainless steel cage. When it comes to basic care of African Gray Parrots, stainless steel is easiest to clean and there’s no risk to the bird of chipping paint.

Basic Care Tip #2

Clean the papers on the bottom of the cage every day. Clean perches and the bottom grating two times a week. Clean the rest of the cage, scraping the droppings and washing with water, once a week.

Basic Care Tip #3

Don’t use commercial cleaners because they can be deadly to both the Timneh African Grey & The Congo. To sanitize, you can use 10% bleach and 90% water solution. A vinegar and water solution works too. For extra scrubbing power, you can use a little water, baking soda and a stiff brush.

Basic Care Tip #4

Optimum food and water dishes are made of stainless steel because they are easy to clean and they don’t scratch like ceramics or plastic. Scratches can harbor bacteria. You’ll want to buy three dishes, one for seeds and pellets, one for water, and one for fresh fruits and veggies.

Basic Care Tip #5

Speaking of food…A healthy parrot will have a diverse diet consisting of seeds, oats, millet and other nuts and grains as well as a healthy supply of fruits and vegetables. Take care to remove the pits of any fruits. Basic care of African Gray parrots includes taking care to wash all fruits and vegetables to remove pesticides or buy organic.

Toxic foods include Avocado, Rhubarb, Chocolate, Onion, and alcohol — don’t ask, some people will try to feed their birds anything!

Basic Care Tip #6

The best bedding for African Gray Parrots is newspaper. It has antibacterial properties! If your bird likes to tear the paper, then you should look for unprinted newspaper because the ink can be dangerous if eaten. White paper towels and brown craft paper are other options. AVOID kitty litter, corncobs, ground nutshells and cedar shavings; these are very dangerous for your bird if they’re eaten.

Basic Care Tip #7

Toys are an important part of your bird’s life. They help him simulate life in the wild, foraging for seeds and sharpening his beak. However not all toys are created equal. African Gray parrots prefer quieter toys that involve problem solving and they’re active chewers so choosing a toy that is safe to munch on is a good idea.

Steer clear of toys that are too small for your bird, soft woods like pine, flimsy plastic toys, and toys that would be dangerous to ingest or pose a strangling hazard.

Basic Care Tip #8

Believe it or not, basic care on your African gray includes weekly bathing. Actually, several times a week is suggested. In the beginning, you’ll want to simply sprinkle a bit of water on your bird to encourage preening. As your parrot becomes used to baths you can increase the spraying.

Bathing encourages preening and it helps your bird to maintain healthy feathers and skin. Do not bathe your bird in the evening because, like humans, going to bed wet can make them ill. Also, avoid bathing when it is cold. NEVER use a hairdryer to dry your bird’s feathers!

Basic Care Tip #9

Clipping the toenails shouldn’t be necessary if you provide a wide, rough concrete perch. However, if a perch is not dulling them, you can carefully trim the dead part of the nail with a human nail clipper. Hold the foot in one hand and trim the nails, careful to not cut into the quick and draw blood.

Often, basic care on African gray parrots includes patience. If your bird fights you with this process, take your time with it. Clip one nail and offer a reward. Come back the next day, clip another nail and offer a reward. Very quickly your bird will learn to cooperate, and maybe even enjoy the process!

Basic Care Tip #10

Illness indicators. If your parrot shows any of the following signs, take it to the veterinarian right away:

  • Excessive sleeping
  • Sleeping on two feet
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lameness
  • Labored breathing
  • Discharge
  • Poor grooming
  • Change in droppings

My Closing thoughts

I would say providing proper care for your African Grey Parrot is essential for its well-being and happiness. By following these ten basic care tips, you can ensure that your feathered friend lives a healthy and fulfilling life as your cherished companion.

Remember to pay attention to its environment, diet, hygiene, and overall health, and always seek veterinary assistance if you notice any signs of illness or discomfort. With love and dedication, you and your African Grey can enjoy many years of companionship together.

If you found this blog helpful, It would be great if you could share it with your family and friends who might find it useful as well.

You might like to read these as well 🙂

The Importance of a Cage for Your African Grey Parrot
Beak to Basics: 5 Easy Steps to a Fresh-Smelling Bird Cage
Things you need to know about an African Grey Parrot’s Cage
How Do We Take Care of an African Parrot Grey’s Health?
African Grey Parrots: The Ultimate Guide to Care and Training
The Proper Climate For An African Grey (African Grey Parrot Care)

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Stay safe and much love!


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