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My grandfather recently passed away and i have inherited his african Grey "Johnny" who is 28yrs old. I am 30 so known him but not looked after him. I am having a trouble trusting him as he has always been more favourable to men than women and bitten me a few times. I am in a wheelchair and having a high cage i could never try reach him with out him biting me. i have since lowered his cage and he now climbs onto my hand and lets me scratch his head.

For years he has been plucking out his feathers and i cant seem to get him to stop. I have changed his diet as the vet suggested, given him toys to play with so it can keep him busy but he hasnt stopped. Is this just a bad habit now or is there something more i can do?

He cannot fly but i do let him out of his cage to climb around on. I dont let him walk around the house as i have a jack russell that would munch him given the chance.

how can i stimulate him more and gain confidence in holding him so he doesnt bite me. He has a terrible habit of squawking in a very high pitch.

Any advice would help.... i have read a number of posts on "panting" and other behaviour.:confused::confused::confused:

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You are already doing so much that is very positive. One other thing is just sitting near him and talking softly or anything you might be reading, read out loud. If you like to sing, that might help as well. I'm sure others much more experienced than me will be along to offer more helpful advice. Oh, very nice to meet you!

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Hello Frosty and welcome to our family and your grandfather must have known you would make a good parront for his grey.

If Johnny has been plucking for years yes it is a habit now and will be very hard to break but follow any advice your avian vet gives you as you never know what might work.

I would continue to spend a lot of time with him, not necessarily holding him but talking to him and maybe giving him a treat now and then to show him you mean him no harm but it takes a long time to gain a grey's trust and they like to have some control over when and if they will do certain things so be patient with him.

We would love to see some pictures of Johnny if you have some you would share with us.

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Welcome Frosty and Johnny!


It does sound like you are doing all things the right way and providing not only a loving home, but a great diet and and plenty of out of cage time.


How long have you had him now? Looking forward to hearing and seeing much more. :)

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I have an older ekkie that is a plucker. I have had him about a year and a half. He is/was a chronic plucker. I took him to an avian vet to make sure he was healthy and learned he just had a lousy diet, so after a year or so of good food and aloe vera baths he has finally stopped plucking, well he does a little now and then but is so such better now that I have big hopes that Sully will be one day be fully feathered. Sully was plucked when they found him years ago and remained a plucker until I got him so I say, never say never. Good luck with your sweet grey.

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