African Grey afraid

by Cheryl
(South africa)

I bought my African Grey a new cage 2 days ago and he is terried of the perches. He refuses to sit on any of them and sits at the bottom of the cage or hangs on the sides even when trying to eat and drink. Will he get over his fear of the perches?

Comments for African Grey afraid

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Dec 06, 2016
Congo African gray
by: Emma

I bought home my African great today makes a week and he still has not came out his cage he is so scared

Jul 04, 2016
African grey
by: Emma

Hi I have a African grey called sooty and he's three years old and sacred of new toys what can I do

Editor's note: It seems you posted a question as an answer here. Please read the articles on our Parrot Training page.

Dec 11, 2010
African GREY Afraid
by: Rana

Hello, i have read many of the comments about when a AG is afraid but i didnt real get the right information a needed.

I just bought a AG from a pet shop the owner told me that he was at some ppls house and it seems thta they have been scaring him becuz this same AG had been at his shop and it used to talk and sing and go out of the cage. Now as soon as u get closer to him he hangs his head down and begins to scream gaaaaarrrrrrrrrrr something like that.

Please tell me what to do in this situation, i want him to feel safe when i get close to him and with this i want to be able to make him talk again.


Editor's note: It seems you posted a question as an answer here. Please post your questions as new questions under Parrot Questions. Please read the articles on our Parrot Training page.

Nov 08, 2010
Goffin terrified of perch
by: Sam

I have had a Goffin for 20 years. He does not take change well. I had a thick square perch in his cage and he chewed thru it until it broke. Now he will not accept his replacement perch, which is two dowels close to each other. That is the best I could do because this perch has end caps, and I needed a perch that fit those caps. He has chewed out all his feathers. He just clings to the side of his cage, and it has sbeen over a week. Any suggestions?

Editor's note: You posted your question as an answer to another question. Please post your questions as a new questions under Parrot Questions. You might be able to find the correct size perch for your cage on our natural wood branches page.

Aug 09, 2010
Victory at last
by: Cheryl

My AG is sitting on the perch in front of the food bowls at last. It has taken 2 months to get him to sit on the perch. He has stopped pulling his feathers out and is becoming more sociable to the point of dancing up and down whenever I put the radio on for him. He no longer goes for me when I try to change the food bowls and now approches me to have his head scratched or regurgitate food to feed me.

Aug 09, 2010
Go Slow
by: Kabila's Mom!

I agree with previous advice:

when we change cages or bring our AG new toys or anything we let it lie within his sight near his cage but not so near he has to avoid it. Usually a week or two then bring it nearer if he is still nervous leave it for a few more days if he does not act scared put it in his cage,

The cage issue we kept the new one in the room in his sight and slowly moved it nearer and nearer, if he acted afraid we moved it away again. Eventually it was against his new cage and he climbed in himself.

Just be patient.

Jun 11, 2010
Afraid African Grey
by: Lisa

You are very welcome! I've gotten so much great advice on this site, and I really appreciate the help of the kind strangers who respond!

Greys are fickle, funny, idiocentric little "people," and worth every goofy thing we have to do to keep them happy! When I bought a parrot play tree (it hangs from the ceiling and looks like a bunch of deer antlers stuck together) it took my birdie two months before she would even LOOK at it!! She made big circles around it to avoid it, had huge eyes and leaned way back if I was holding her... I thought, "boy, what a waste of $125 that was..." but on her own terms she started to explore it and now I can't hardly get her off of it. She swings and flips and climbs to the ceiling to ring the bell-- totally proud of herself! Of course I'm clapping and yelling and "whoo hooing" the whole time... The weekend she learned to play on it she also learned to mimic me saying, "care- care- CAREFUL, OK?" :-)

Jun 11, 2010
Had no idea a new cage could be so complicated
by: Anonymous

Thanks for all the advice - luckily I am able to get the old cage back as my AG just is not settling down. He is eating but won't go near the perches. I never imagined that changing cages could be such a lot of effort!

Jun 08, 2010
Scared African Grey
by: Lisa

My Grey did the same thing when I got her new cage, and like Tracie said, it worked great to just put the new cage next to the old one. I thought it might take months, but it just took a few weeks. I left the new cage door open, and tried to keep her favorite treats and toys in there... She learned to explore on her own and had a ball!! Instead of it being a scary place she was forced into, she viewed it as a new play gym. When I did start shutting her in the new cage, I only did it for short periods of time so she didn't feel trapped.

Jun 07, 2010
African Grey afraid
by: Linda

As Tracie said, hope you have the old cage because you'll need to actually put the old perches or at least one of them in the new cage to get him to settle down. If cage sizes are too different, then put the cages side by side as Tracie suggested (do that anyway) and allow him to move between the two cages. If you need to put him up for a while, put him into the old cage. I know this may sound like a lot of trouble, and parrots are complicated, fearful little creatures, so do what needs to be done to avoid feather plucking and all further trauma.

Keep us posted on how it's going and thanks for writing,

Jun 07, 2010
African Grey afraid
by: Tracie

Some African greys are scared of everything. My mom would always have to show her AG a new toy for days, slowly let it get closer and closer to the cage, then attach it to the outside before ever putting it on the inside. LOL

I suggest that you put the bird back in it's old cage, if possible today. Then put the two cage next to each other and let the bird slowly explore the new cage at it's own pace. Once the bird is comfortable climbing on it and going inside, then you can make the switch.

If you do not have the old cage anymore, then put in familiar perches and toys. I am really hoping that you still have the old cage. Some birds start plucking and feather destruction issues from trauma like this.

Thanks for writing, and let us know how it goes.

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