How to lighten up the Plumage of an 18 month female African grey parrot ?

by Waleed
(Cairo - Egypt)

My name is Waleed , I am a parrot lover who is blessed by the companionship of an Amazon parrot and I have recently brought home a 1 year old female african grey parrot. She was quite frightened at first but I gradually took her into a totally different Level of companionship and a bond full of trust .

Any ways when I brought her she had very light homogenous silver grey plummage over the past few weeks I noticed a color change to dark grey starting from the head with a V shape descent to the belly , she didn't molt yet but I need to mention that every 2-3 days a week we expose them to sunlight even in the winter when the day is sunny with good temperature degrees for the birds to stay out in the balcony in a semi shaded place (to avoid sunburn). Could this be the Tanning process in African greys , if so this did not happen in the Amazon , Why? How to reverse / lighten back the feathers to their silvery grey color like before ?

Thank you so much ...

Comments for How to lighten up the Plumage of an 18 month female African grey parrot ?

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Feb 10, 2013
Getting a bird to talk
by: Tracie

There are never guarantees about birds talking, sorry. My mother had an African Grey and it only learned a few words and mainly repeated sounds.

My mom kept the bird in whatever room she was in and only left the bird when she went shopping. She talked to the bird and had talk radio on all the time. Her bird just was not interested in talking.

Hopefully your bird will learn to repeat words for you, but I just wanted you to understand you may just have to love the bird for who the bird is.

We do have some training articles on our Parrot Training page and we have some training books and dvd's on teaching your bird to talk at this link, Bird Training Aids

Feb 10, 2013
Thank you for your answer
by: Dr. Waleed

Thanks for your reply , I feed my parrots pellets , sunflower seeds , nuts as well as fortified organic pellets I buy from abroad as well as fresh fruits and veggies rich in vitamin A,C . I also give them 1/2 an egg per week as well as white meat along with cooked food as rice and cooked veggies . I have my Amazon "Willy" for almost 5 years now and she adores me alot and "Koko" the new African grey keeps her company when staying out of the cage which makes most of thier time . I give em shells for calcium supply and expose them to fresh air everytime we get the chance . I feel that right now they are happy birds but my Orange winged Amazon "Willy" didn't find a need to talk 'cause she knew that I understood her squeaks and signals asa body language. As for Koko she is whistling and making noises I always try to talk to her calling her name and "HELLO" ,"Bye Bye" and I find her really trying to conversate but in her own parrot language I wish she does not end up whistling or being as easy going with the signals , squeaks and body language that Willy took instead of learning to talk . Can you propose for me a new way to make her talk quickly ? :(

Feb 08, 2013
How to lighten up the Plumage of an 18 month female African grey parrot ?
by: Linda

Your bird is changing into her older bird look, and at 18 months, she has had at least one molt and possibly two already. They normally molt about every six months with the changing of the seasons.

The African Grey is supposed to be a dark gray color, and I cannot see any reason why you would want to change her feather color.

I will add that unless both your birds are eating a high quality diet, they are not getting the nutrition they need to be at their best physically. When I say high quality diet, this does not include all seed diets with or without fruit and veggies or even bottled vitamins and minerals. The bottled vitamins are not readily processed by a bird's body. The high quality diet for parrots is an organic pellet with Harrisons being the best and Avian Vet endorsed. It is sold here, and if you cannot get it into your country, find something similar there. Organic is needed to keep preservatives, chemical residue from fertilizers/pesticides, dyes, sugars and other dangerous chemicals out of your bird.

It takes time to change from a seed or junk pellet diet, and below is an article that outlines how to go about the change safely for your birds. We recommend Avian Vet exams before beginning to change diet or any training because most birds come to us with infections or other physical issues, and those have to be taken care of before changing diet or training because sick birds do not want to work or have any other stressful things to deal with.

To sum up, if your birds are not eating right kind of diet, they will never be at their best. I also suggest using full spectrum lights inside home for your bird's source of full spectrum light. It is safer because the harmful rays of the sun are not present just the full spectrum of color. You can find full spectrum lighting here and other places on the internet.

Switching Birds To Pellets article

Most important for healthy birds is a high quality organic pelleted diet made for birds. Junk food which is what humans basically eat is terrible for birds as are nuts and other fatty foods. Birds need to eat a product made for them with their special dietary needs in mind. All the zoos in the world already know this about their birds and other animals and have been feeding all of them specialized diets for many years. If we want healthy, happy and beautiful birds, we too have to feed a diet made for birds.


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