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Purchasing a Baby African Grey


Purchasing a Baby African Grey

If you are considering the purchase of a baby African Grey parrot here are some tips to help you.  As mentioned earlier, adding an African Grey to your family takes a huge commitment.  Please do not buy a bird if you aren’t willing to spend the time, money and effort in caring for one.  There are far to many greys (and other parrots) at rescue

Baby African Grey

7 wk old congo grey. Photo compliments of desertpagan66 at Flickr

centers because people decided that they were too much to handle or didn’t have the time to properly care for these birds.

First look for a reputable avian breeder or pet store in your area that specializes in baby greys.  We purchased ours from a lady who owned an exotic pet store in Texas and had been raising baby african greys for many years.  She was a wealth of information for us as we decided on our purchase.

There are avian breeders online who will ship and that is a consideration, however I recommend you see your new bird in person before you take the leap to buy because there are several things you will want to look for.

We spent 4 days over as many trips back to the pet store visiting with our potential new babies.  The owner had a batch of 8 babies (from 2 different clutches) and they all were hand fed, weaned and being socialized.

Generally speaking a baby grey will adopt YOU and not the other way around.  We spent several hours just hanging around their play pen observing their behavior, looking for any obvious health issues such as sluggishness, dull eyes, diarrhea, runny noses, broken feathers, body deformities and things of this nature.

We handled each bird and got a ‘feel’ for how they acted with each of us.  Carlie was actually the second baby I picked up as I had my eye on another baby (which didn’t seem to want to have much to do with me) and we immediately connected.  She settled in on my hand and then eventually walked around with me on my shoulder.  I could tell the bond was strong, so obviously she was my pick.  She has been a wonderful, loving bird and is very connected with me.

A similar thing happened with Dylon; he stuck to my wife like glue.  The owner did caution that Dylon

Baby African Grey

10 wk old congo grey. Photo courtesy of desertpagan66 at

was fairly independent, needing extra attention and that he would still be a good bird if he and my wife could learn early on how to live with each other.  The store owner said that he would more then likely grow up to be a very dominate male, which he has.  Dylon requires much attention, is very curious about everything and wants to be in the thick of things so when he is out we have to really keep an eye on him.  Carlie, on the other hand, is content to just hang out with us taking it all in.

Hand feeding a young parrot requires a lot of time and effort so your best bet is to purchase a baby that has been hand fed AND weaned to solid food.  They will likely be on some mix of fruits, veggies, nuts and a good nutritional parrot food.

So, spend as much time as you can with your prospective new baby before you bring him home.  Interact with him and see how he interacts with you.  You will be able to tell fairly soon if there is a connection between you.  Make sure the baby is weaned and on solid food.  Find out what his diet has been and continue with this as advised by the store owner or breeder.  Look for any obvious health problems or issues.  Further you can find out if the baby has been DNA sexed (to determine sex) and has seen an avian vet for any treatments or injections.

Finally, never purchase a baby that isn’t ‘banded’.  Banding means the baby will have a small metal band on one of it’s legs placed there at birth by the breeder which is inscribed with the breeder number, the babies’ clutch number and date of birth.

Leg bands are regulated by various governmental laws and are required by the USDA for imported birds being released from a quarantine facility.  They also tell you, the purchaser, that the bird is in the country legally and has not been smuggled.

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3 Responses to "Purchasing a Baby African Grey"

  1. Hussein Mustafa says:

    Hi, I just bought my african grey baby from someone who brought it to our place. I live in kenya so its fairly common to see birds brought directly from congo. i picked her out from 3 babies that were the same age.. she is already weaned.. i fed her some papaya and sunflower seeds.. all seems well..

  2. andy chapman says:

    hi i have got a african grey i am parlized since i got the parrott i keep getting bad cheast infections i live in a home and the nurses keep saying i should get rid of my bird and would he cause my cheast infections please thank you

  3. Bob says:

    Hi Andy,

    As we mention on our website, African Greys do give off a fine white powder called dander and some people can be allergic to this.

    One way to keep this powder in check is to mist your bird daily using good, clean water (like bottled spring water) and a plastic water bottle that has a mist setting. Misting them can keep the dander from getting into the air and in your lungs. Also, running a room air filter device will help. A small room humidifier can help too if you live in a dryer climate. Best to check with your doctor and discuss your grey with him.

    If the above tips don’t help to improve your situation, then yes, you may want to consider finding your bird another home…sadly, not everybody can handle the dander that comes from these birds.

    All the best to you and your grey,