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Am I the Right Person for an African Grey


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Hi All

I am new to this forum, I found it while doing more research on the African Grey. A bird I have wanted since I was 9 (I am 47)

so I am going to open myself up here and give you as much information as I can about me, and hopefully I will get some insightful answers


I live in Toronto, Ontario and it is just me and my american bulldog/boxer cross in a large 1 bedroom apartment. there is enough room in my apartment for a cage with a maximum foot print of 48"x48" so a fairly large cage in my living room is not a problem. there are also pockets of space for play stands etc. even my computer desk has room for a table top play stand.


I have multiple chemical sensitivity so I cannot use air freshers and many chemicals to clean. I have to use natural cleaning products


for cooking I use cast iron or stainless steel (frying pans) the only thing I have with a Teflon surface is my waffle maker


I work in a bar as a bartender / barback, and have no problem with either buying or making toys and other items for a grey and spending money on the Grey


I have gone through many lists of Foods for greys and have been able to find organic for most of the fruits and veggies and I am willing to pay the extra for it

I have found a vet that isnt that far


I have had other birds (Cockateils, Conures) in the past and as much as I have loved these birds I have always wanted the beautiful Amazon Grey



so from what I have read so far, the above seems to be perfect for a grey.


now here are my concerns

my dog is kind of needy and likes to spend a lot of time beside me. is this going to be a problem for a grey or will the dog just be a weird member of the flock (the dog will be watched very carefully to make sure the bird is accepted as a pack member) but she is so easy going I dont forsee this as a problem


my main concern is my job. I am working mainly nights (which isnt the problem, the grey would probably sleep for most of my shift) my concern is for when I get home, there is a bit of commotion with taking the dog out and unwinding at the end of the day. will this disturb the grey, sleep patterns etc

and every sunday through the year I work a day shift start at 2 and finish at 9:30 dont usually get home until 10:30 or so and have to take the dog out. so this is my #1 concern because it is a regular shift for me

also with my job there might be the odd time where my schedule changes for business needs. Generally speaking my schedule has remain constant for 4 years, will the Grey adapt to this routine weekly or is it something that will throw them completely off


I used to go camping, but I have purchased a trailer in a campground. it is 2 hours away will the grey be ok travelling in a travel cage for 2+ hours with any problem. There is also room at the trailer for a large cage and play stands


Thanks in advance to everyone that responds to this

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Hi & welcome euromix. Always good to see someone who puts this much effort in even before they've met their fid. First brownie points right of the bat. ")


I've always had fids & dogs. The dog is more likely to be an added bonus than anything. Especially if you had a dog while you had your other fids & have some idea of blending a multi-critter home environment.


I've had my Grey for about 30 yrs. He's usually lived w/a couple of very large dogs at a time & he's had a great relationship w/all of them. He thoroughly enjoys training them up & ordering them around. I have to be careful not to put things like raisins in his dish because he shares his food whenever anyone asks. He was actually way, way more receptive to my 80 lb shep/lab mix than us for a couple of years after he came home. He was a rescue who'd been abused & understandably didn't like people. The dog was very nice company for him while he transitioned.


Your schedule doesn't sound like a problem. It's what's going to be the norm. It's not a houseful of people w/different scheduling issues. It's you & it sounds like you're relatively predictable. But where life happens, they live through it just like we do.


Maybe he'll like a cage cover or something. My guys don't get covered except in the dead of winter because they don't really like it much. But they don't pay much attention when we do "normal" things after they've gone to bed, usually.


So I think that all sounds good. But if I were to suggest one more thing before you go all in, maybe see if you can find a rescue group. Working at a sanctuary or even becoming a foster would give you the opportunity to get some hands-on experience & a(nother) support group for after the adoption. You might also find your new fid is re-homed vs a new baby. There are so many out there.

Edited by birdhouse
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You know Greys are very adaptable. Keep a grey fed, comfortable and interact with a grey and all should be fine. Greys are watchers, if you are anxious so might your grey be. If you are relaxed and happy so will your grey be. When I leave my home I tell my greys I'm going out, I'll be back. When I come home at whatever time I tell them I'm back. Talk to a grey so that he/she knows what going on and all should be fine.

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  • 2 weeks later...

We recently adopted a CAG from the now closed World Parrot Refuge. I am a nurse and work days/night shifts, 7-7. I was worried about sleeping when I come off nights (2 nights in a row). So far I spend a bit of time with Captain Jack and the 2 dogs when I get home. I keep the drapes/blinds closed and am not all hyped up when I greet them. I do my "morning" routine, feeding those needing to be fed while I prepare a bite to eat myself. Then I head off to bed, leaving the TV on low. I have custom made medical grade silicone earplugs that don't do a heck of a lot for the CAG noise however, I am learning to sleep through. I make sure there are lots of things to keep Captain Jack occupied and entertained. I get to bed by 830 AM and am up by 4 pm, hubby is home by 3 pm. Then I leave for my next night by 6:16 pm, Captain Jack has hubby for the evening. The next morning when I get home is a similar routine however, I am up by 1 PM and we have the rest of the day/evening together.


So far this is working out well. I am sure like anything with pets, it can change but so far so good :) That being said, I work part time so am home more


All the best!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Welcome to the forum and congrats for doing your research before you get your fid. I'm about and hour and a half north of Toronto in a town called Lindsay, so not too far from you. I echo what the others say, greys can be very adaptable, and your fid will get used to your routine. As long as you can string together 10 hours of sleep for him/her that's the important thing. I think a cage cover might be a good idea, but you should still tell him/her what's going on when you come in because they will wake up when you come in. If you get a baby it will be much easier to develop a trusting relationship with your fid and it will be pretty easy to get him/her used to traveling to and from your trailer. A rescue will probably take longer to develop trust. You might have to wait a few weeks before your fid will step up for you and allow you to put him/her in a travel cage, so that's something to consider when deciding on a baby or a rescue.


As for the dog, you'll have to trust the experiences of the members here with dogs. I have a cat, and he and Dorian have reached an understanding. As long as they both get mom time they tolerate each other, but they're not friends lol. Again, good work doing your research before hand, and welcome to the forum.

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  • 1 month later...

Well thought through! So refreshing...


I see two potential problem areas, but they may not be problems at all.


You said you live in an apartment. Will your neighbors be okay with the noise? Kya's speaking voice is never overly loud, and wouldn't bother anyone. He never screeches or squawks just for the fun of it, but he does have a vast repertoire of what we like to call "sound effects" and can get pretty loud with those. (Cell phone ringtones, microwave beepers, sirens, etc.) We have a gravel driveway, and literally lower the windows on the car so we can hear him - he knows we're home the second our tires touch the gravel, and his "Woo hoos!" and "Come here" and "Be right back" can get a little loud when he's excited. This is the only time he doesn't use his "inside voice", and once we walk through the door, he lowers the tone.


We are gone from home from 7 am until 5:30 pm Monday through Friday. We leave cartoons on for him to watch during the day, and his large cage is in front of a window so he can talk to the cats and birds outside. He's very content.


We have 2 inside dogs. Our Chihuahua is terrified of him, but I doubt she would ever hurt him. Our terrier would kill him in a heart beat if given the chance. I have padlocks on Kya's cage doors, and the dogs are ALWAYS crated and behind a closed door when he is out. On one occasion, my husband forgot to put the padlock on, and we were watching tv and he opened the cage door and landed on the floor, with both dogs in the room. He charged right at them, and bit the Chihuahua on the butt. If we hadn't been right there, I don't even want to think about what would have happened with the terrier. I often wonder if it would have been different had they been raised together, but I can't go back and change that, so we have to keep them separate.


It sounds like you are perfect for a grey, if the neighbors and the dog agree! And I do not blame you for wanting one - they are absolutely amazing.

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