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Re: question on female CAG - Julie / KY

Posted by rose on 4/03/08
(12) Comments
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    It sounds as if your bird's wings are not clipped. I would take
    her to a reputable AVIAN vet and have her wings clipped - make
    sure it's an african grey clip. They can't be clipped as short
    because they are heavy bodied birds and will crash and split open
    their breast with their keel bone if they are clipped too short.
    They can only have 4 or 5 primaries cut up to the level of the
    first coverts. Your vet should know what I'm talking about.
    I think you are not being patient enough. All birds go through
    different stages where they don't want to be held, then do want to
    be held, and on and on, depending on their mood or the time of
    year. Hormones don't last all year. This is mating season for
    greys so all people are having a bit of trouble now. It lasts a
    couple of months. There are many things you can do but I can't
    outline it all here. If you have not read Guide to a Well Behaved
    Parrot by Mattie Sue Ethan, I suggest you get it now and read it
    all, especially the part about behavior. You need to do even more
    research about african greys in particular and Bird Talk Magazine,
    found at most pet stores, has an article every other month about
    african greys and I know if you wrote them, they have many back
    issues about them that you could order directly from the magazine.
    You really also have to accept the fact that sometimes birds just
    don't want to be stroked or held, just like sometimes you don't
    feel like having someone in your face or putting your arm around
    you, or whatever. You have to give the birds some choice in the
    matter. If the bird is in the mood to be touched, you have to go
    slowly, perhaps petting their head with one finger, or along their
    spine. As time goes by, you can try expanding petting to other
    parts of their body. I have one bird who likes his head and
    cheeks petted but another bird allows her back and head to be
    petted, and under her wings. This didn't happen overnight. You
    have to gain the bird's love and confidence and go gradually.
    Even so, there are times when they just don't want to be petted.
    It has to be on their schedule, not mine. I would not keep
    getting a different bird and starting over again; even a male has
    hormonal periods where they're more likely to be ornery. You have
    to work with what you've got and take your time and give your bird
    a chance to get used to being touched. The wing clipping will
    make the bird more dependent on you and it won't fly away when you
    go to get it. You can also offer a treat and praise for when it
    comes back to you. Good luck and keep us posted about your progress.