Do African Grey Parrots Make Good Pets?

African Greys are terrific birds but they are not for novice bird owners. 

Watch this video as Dr. Laurie Hess and her African Grey parrot Target discuss things you should expect should you decide to own one.

Video Transcript

Hi, I’m Dr. Laurie Hess, Director of Pet Health and Nutrition at ZuPreem, and this is my animal hospital bird, Target.

She is named Target because 11 years ago, when I opened the animal hospital, I got a call from the local police that there was a parrot flying around Target, the store, and they wanted me to come get her. And I didn’t know what to do. They actually managed to get her into a squad car and they were petrified of her (these big, burly police officers). And here she is. She was a little baby bird back then and here she is. She’s now a blood donor in my hospital and she lives very happily.

So she’s here to help me let you know that she is an African Grey Parrot. They’re very, very popular pets. They are incredibly intelligent. They love to talk. They can learn hundreds of words. They love music. They love to watch TV. They love to play games. They’re terrific bird for someone who has a lot of time to dedicate, but they’re really not for the novice bird owner, because if you don’t have the time available to dedicate to them, to stimulate them in the way that they need, they can be very destructive. They can pick at their feathers and they can yell and scream. And it’s not fun for anyone. Right, Target?

Also, after they reach about five or seven years of age, they reach sexual maturity and they often become sort of a one on one bird with one of their owners. So they may pick one person out in their family (in their human family) and bond to that person and show jealousy towards some of the other members of the family.

So if you’re thinking of having an African Grey Parrot who can live 30 to 50 years, just remember these things and make sure that this is the right match for you.

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