bonded pair or just friends

by Jay
(Corfu, NY)

I have two African Grey parrots, (DNA sexed one male ,one female), that are 5 years old. They have been together since they were a couple of months old. They are kept in the same cage. When they are left out, they usually do not stay close together. The male goes over to the cockatoo cage sometimes. When they are in their cage, they are usually not right next to each other.

My question is are they just getting along or are they bonded and potenial mates?

Comments for bonded pair or just friends

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Oct 23, 2010
bonded pair or just friends
by: Linda

Hi and thanks for writing. Before proceeding with any breeding ideas with these two, make sure they are NOT brother and sister. or otherwise related like in cousins, etc. Call where you bought them and if it is breeder, you'll need leg band information for both birds and year they were born. If it is a pet store, hopefully, they have kept the records. I think they have to keep them for 5 years for IRS purposes, and these should have the breeder's phone number or address so you can get in contact with them.

You do not want to breed family members as this is a very bad genetic combo(inbreeding) which results in physically and mentally handicapped birds. Sometimes, the problems are internal and sometimes they are both internal and external in the form of birth defects that can be seen.Either way, they are special needs birds all their lives which are usually short and full of trouble.

So, whether they are brother/sister or cousins or other close relations is very important here because the babies will reflect whatever genetics are being bred.

As for how they are acting now, the larger parrots, like the Greys, do not reach sexual maturity until around 6 years old, so you have time to get all their genetics sorted out. You can always separate them in case they become amorous anytime soon.

You'll also need to know how to handfeed in case it is necessary, and this is learned from a breeder so you can watch and then do while they are watching to make sure you are doing it correctly.

You'll need a breeding cage with an opening for a nestbox where the back hangs outside of the cage with only the front hole and perch inside. Both birds will also need to be checked out by an Avian Vet before breeding to make sure parents are healthy and infection free as any infections are passed directly onto the babies. Babies cannot handle any kind of infection because their immune systems are not developed.

Hope this helps,
Linda

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