There are two types of African grey parrot. The Congo Grey is more common as a pet bird, and is larger and a lighter colour than the charcoal grey of the Timneh Grey parrot. They are excellent talkers and can have a large vocabulary, often used in context. Grey parrots are very sociable and require a lot of attention and human interaction.
Cages should be as large as possible, and at a minimum should be 61 x 91 x 122cm with a playpen top with a tray.
African Grey parrots are very active and social, so need to spend a lot of time out of their cage.
There should be no openings or gaps between the bars large enough for your African grey parrot to put their head through, or small enough to catch a limb in. Round cages with curved sides are not comfortable for parrots. See our housing page for further details. Cage equipment – perches, feed dishes, toys African grey parrots are highly intelligent, and so need lots of toys both inside and outside their cage to keep them entertained.
These parrots love to chew on things so chewable leather toys, newspaper and cardboard to rip and foraging toys are all very popular. Bird Vet Melbourne recommends that your pet African grey parrot should have at least two perches of varying diameters in the cage. Avoid sandpaper perches. Ideally place the widest perch in the highest position. Place feed and water dishes at opposite ends of the cage to encourage exercise. Please see our page on how to set up a cage for your pet bird for more information. All parrots kept indoors should be provided with artificial full spectrum light (UV-A & UV-B) or access to sunlight outdoors to allow normal vitamin D metabolism (and breeding behaviour).
Feeding a balanced diet is very important to prevent health problems in birds. Pellets should form around 75% of the diet.
Suggested brands include Harrisons, Pretty Bird, Vetafarm and Passwells. See here for tips on getting your pet African grey parrot to eat pellets. Dark leafy green and red/yellow vegetables e.g. spinach, silverbeet, pak choi and other Asian greens, broccoli, green beans, carrots, sweetcorn, butternut pumpkin, capsicums, and sweet potatoes should form around 20% of the diet.
See here for more information (link). Sprouting grasses and native tree flowers provide both entertainment and high nutrition levels Mixed seeds – no more than 1-2 teaspoons per day. Seeds are low in calcium and many essential vitamins and minerals, and high in fat. Small amounts of human foods such as pasta, oats, toast and eggs can also be fed occasionally. Do not feed chocolate, avocado, alcohol or coffee to your African grey parrot as these are toxic and can be fatal. Fresh water should always be available.