Common Timneh african grey problems
Of the two african grey subspecies, the timneh and the Congo, the timneh tends to be less phobic and more resilient to change. However, the timneh is not without its own troubles. African greys, the timneh included, are by nature overly cautious and wary about the things in its environment.
COMMON CAUSES OF UPSET IN THE AFRICAN GREY ENVIRONMENT
Cage placement – Even the most relaxed timneh African grey is going to have a meltdown when a hawk flies through the back yard. Think how stressful it might be to a prey animal to have contend with predators frequently in their line of sight!
Likewise, a cage that is placed near doors that are constantly opening and closing, a TV that is blaring all day, or a nearby lamp glaring into the cage can all be causes of distress to your bird day in and day out. This will take its toll on any parrot after a while.
The placement of the cage for a timneh African grey, given that they buckle under stressful conditions so readily, must be carefully considered – and you should be continuously on the look-out for signs of distress in your bird.
Adding new things to the cage and play area – As wonderful as it feels to give your parrot something new to enjoy, it might be anything but enjoyable to your fearful African grey. African greys are very sensitive to the things in its environment and something amiss, even the appearance of a new toy, might be cause for alarm.
The wise African grey owner will tread carefully when introducing new things by taking a slow approach that doesn’t push the limits of the bird’s comfort zone too far. BUT the wise owner also understands that sheltering the bird from new experiences is the surest way to see that fears remain intact. By letting your bird experience one new thing a day, in a controlled setting that guarantees a positive outcome, a bird will soon learn that new things are not to be feared.
Hands – Many people do not consider themselves to be a part of their bird’s environment, but they are perhaps the biggest part. Many African greys become phobic after deciding that human hands have done them wrong and are not to be trusted.
This means that whenever you reach into the cage you will be met with aggression or will cause your bird to back away in fear. Most owners have no idea how this came to be. Hands can deliver both loving attention OR unwanted restraint and forced interaction. It is in your best interest to always be aware of how your parrot might be interpreting your actions, especially where your hands are concerned.
In general, if you raise your bird in a manner that teaches it that the world is not scary, it will perceive its environment as safe and be able to sidestep the fears and phobias that plague the lives of many African greys.
In our Total Transformation DVD series you will learn how to raise a parrot correctly from day one, ensuring that your grey has a happy, fulfilling and mentally stable life in your care. There is nothing sadder than a bird that is too afraid to enjoy its life.