Grey feathers are brown and weak eye

Rescued African Grey Parrot

Rescued African Grey Parrot

I recently rescued (5 months ago)an african grey(he is around 5 years old). At times, toward the evening his right eye seems to close (not his left), is he tired or is there a possible vitamen deficiency?

Also, he lived in a closet prior to being rescued -his feathers are brownish. I was told this is due to lighting or poor nutrition. I'm filling him up with chicken bones, veggies (sprouted mung and peas) and fruit but he refuses pellets. I don't have the heart to starve him to get him to eat them. I bought a UV light but he is afraid of it. Any thoughts?

Comments for Grey feathers are brown and weak eye

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Nov 17, 2009
Rescued African Grey feathers and eye
by: The Vet

Any time there is a problem with the eyes, an immediate trip to the avian veterinarian is warranted.

You need to do whatever it takes to switch him to pellets ? Harrison's is the best. You can do this without starving him and I think that Tracie has given you my article on how to switch him. If you follow those 7 steps exactly, he will eat pellets in 1-2 weeks, and never be hungry.

Put the full spectrum light on across the room a little each day, and gradually move it closer to the cage each day. Make sure is it never closer than 18-24 inches away from your bird. Some of these lights will cause sun burn, and eye problems. So his eye problem may be related to the light.

Dr B

Nov 15, 2009
Thank you

Thanks to both of you. He appears to be a healthy bird other than his eating habits. I work from home and he talks all day, chews on paper and cardboard and loves his almonds. We give him greenwise chicken which is chicken bones which has no antibioticsor preservatives. We will look into giving him free range and take your advice and bring him for a check up and add pellets to his diet. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question.

Nov 13, 2009
Grey feathers are brown and weak eye
by: Linda

Hello and thanks for writing. Hang the full spectrum light above his cage out of his reach. He is afraid of it because he was in a closet so long (how horrible that must have been). As for nutrition, I'll give you a link to an article written by an Avian Vet about HOW to make the change. It takes time and effort, and will not happen overnight. Also, a bird like this will be afraid of everything, so do one new thing at a time and wait for a while before making other changes in his environment. This is true for lights, toys, perches and food and water dishes. All birds are like this, and he will adjust in time.

Switching Birds to Pellets article.

Your bird needs to be seen by an Avian Vet as soon as you can get an appointment. There could be infections and/or parasites he is having to deal with, and the infections have to diagnosed and treated by an Avian Vet.

So, to sum up, you have a very special needs bird, and he needs to be on a proper diet for birds, which means, no chicken bones and no more than 10% of the diet should be fruit and veggies. Unless you are buying "free-range" chicken, the factory farm chicken is full of poisons and toxins of all sorts. They also give a lot of antibiotics since they overcrowd the birds. Factory Farm chickens never see the light of day or feel the ground under their feet.They are horribly abused, and the meat is sick meat not fit for human or bird consumption. Buy free range chicken and organic fruit and veggies if you can.

The trip to an Avian Vet is absolutely necessary as this bird is most likely sick and will not eat right until he is more healthy.

Thank you for your concern, and bless you for taking on such a large project as this bird. This is how a lot of these birds end up from too much breeding. They live very long lives in pain and lonliness and also die alone way too soon. I stopped breeding birds because of this problem. Too many birds for too few people means people who should not have them are able to get them cheap and then proceed to abuse and neglect them horribly. It breaks my heart, and don't breed my Amazons for this reason. God Bless You and your family for helping this beautiful soul. Your reward will be great and worth all the effort, time and money spent. Your bird will eventually give back to you happiness, joy and trust the like of which you've never dreamed of. Keep up the good, honorable work.


Nov 13, 2009
Switching bird to pellets
by: Tracie

Dr B will answer your question soon, but I wanted to go ahead and direct you to read an article he wrote on Switching Birds to Pellets. You don't ever need to starve your bird to do this.

We have other articles that may interest you on our Parrot Training page. Please read the article on Parrot Health, because I list ingredients that you should make sure are NOT in things you are feeding your bird.

Thanks for writing.

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