Caring for your African grey parrot


DIY and how-to

African Grey parrot perched on wooden frame.

Caring for your African Grey Parrot?

African Grey parrots are one of the most popular parrot species and are also one of the most intelligent. In recent years research has shown that these impressive birds have the mental and emotional capacities of a 5-year-old human child.

Because they are so intelligent, African Grey parrots form very strong bonds with their owners, and can be quite emotionally needy. Due to this trait, they do best with owners who can devote ample time to handling and socialising with them on a daily basis. In addition, African Grey parrots need a lot of exercise in order to keep their strong muscles toned and maintain an adequate physical condition. This means that they must be able to spend several hours per day outside of their cages, playing in supervised “parrot proof” areas.

Choosing a cage for your feathered friend :


African Greys are considered to be a large parrot breed and thus they need a large parrot cage. The cage should be no smaller than 78cmx60cmx156cm and the bars should not be wider than an inch apart. Some bars on the cage should also be horizontal so that your parrot can climb up. Your cage should be in a place where the bird will have lots of contact with people as they love company, but ideally not in the most hectic area of the home. Remember you should not place the cage next to windows where they would receive direct sunlight (may overheat), away from draughts (they can catch a chill), and not too close to heat vents or air conditioning ducts. The cage should have a wide selection of perches in it, but be careful not to overcrowd the cage. It is a great idea to have varied textured perches. You should also have a good selection of bird toys available to your bird so that he does not become bored or frustrated. It is often a good idea to have a selection that you can rotate so that he/she is always entertained. When making a choice to purchase your African Grey parrot please remember that you will need to spend a significant amount of time with him/her every day. You should also invest in a good play gym for your African Grey and allow them to play, and interact outside of their cage. African Greys love attention and to be a part of the family, so the more time out of the cage the better. A very popular cage at your local Stodels branch is the Marltons 3032 parrot cage which is a great size and has a door opening on the top for a little freedom. Stodels also holds a large variety of Marltons Parrot toys.

Feeding the correct diet to your African Grey :

African Greys need a large variety in their diets. They should have a good combination of pellets, seeds, fresh fruits and vegetables. Fresh water should be available at all times. Versele’ Laga African Grey Parrot food is specially formulated for African Greys with a well-balanced variety of seeds, fruits and nuts. You could also use the Marltons Parrots food – with chilli or fruit & nut. Both of these products can be found at your local Stodels Garden Centres.

African greys are prone to calcium deficiency, so calcium levels should be monitored at a yearly vet check. Calcium supplements should not be used, except under the advice of a veterinarian, but it can be beneficial to feed a variety of calcium-rich foods such as leafy green vegetables (kale, mustard greens, Swiss chard, spinach). You can also add a Marltons calcium perch to your parrot’s cage which your parrot can chew on and gain calcium from. For added minerals you could put a Marltons fruit-flavoured mineral block in your parrot’s cage. Stodels has great parrot-related specials every month. Ask in store now.


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