The following article was contributed by my wife Carla as posted on her website CarlaHinsey.com
Living with an African Grey does have it’s up and downs. The most negative trait they have is that they can be really loud at times. They also tend to be one person orientated. They usually choose one person in the family that they prefer. That doesn’t mean that they won’t except others in the family, they just choose the one they would rather be with. I know it sounds kind of strange but it is a fact. Carlie our female is definitely my husband’s bird and Dylon our male is definitely my bird. Both birds show love and affection to each of us, but the true connection to either one of us is obvious from the bird’s individual choices.
They are just now, at the age of 10 years, reaching full adult maturity, breeding age. It does depend on the individual birds, but somewhere in the 10-12 year old range they will start to show signs of mating. It is the female that chooses the male as her mate.
They can be quite messy eaters and they give off quite a bit of dander. We have to dust often, because a fine layer of white dust covers just about everything. Carlie seems to put out much more fine white dust and Dylon puts out dust and white feathery floaty things. They also need added humidity. We keep humidifiers and air cleaners for them it helps with the dust.
Dylon is a biter, I don’t know if a lot of them are, but from what I have heard from others, it seems to be more of a male thing. One other thing I must add here on their negative side is they are really big chickens. They don’t do change very easily. Adding new things to their environment can takes days or longer before they accept it. They are sensitive and emotional, so please treat them with respect.
And the last thing I want to add here is what my husband and I refer to is the “Morning Elephant Dump.” I don’t know what happens over night, but the first thing they do after being uncovered is take a poop of unbelievable proportions. Make sure they take their morning dump before you get them out or you will have a huge mess to clean up.
On their positive side, WOW! What can I say? The ability of affection and love we receive from them is really hard to put into words. They are funny and witty and Dylon talks non-stop. They love music and to dance; they sing and laugh.
They give hugs and kisses and all they want to do is be with you and on you. They can sit for hours, fluffed up like a grey football with a beak not doing anything but being in your company. They tell you things and strive to make you happy. They are charming with their class clowns antics, especially when you are down. They go to great lengths to cheer you up when you’re having a bad day.
They are always happy to see you, and always sad when you leave. The only thing I can really say, you have to live with one is to truly understand the depth of their feelings and affections. They are like little people in bird suits. They love to play and for you to play with them. I guess I could go on and on about them, but I think you get the picture. They truly are special and unique, and bring to your home and life something that is hard to describe.