Introducing a female

by Chris

Our lovely female african grey died recently because she was egg bound with a large egg. Our male parrot seems to be OK - he's eating and whistling, although he is clearly missing her and waiting for her return.

My question is how long should we wait to introduce a new friend for him. He was not happy on his own before she came, but we are concerned that if we introduce another female too soon he could reject her and worse be hostile towards her. Please can you share your knowledge with us?

Comments for Introducing a female

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Mar 29, 2011
Introducing a female
by: Linda

First of all, I am very sorry for your loss, and know you are grieving as is your Grey male. My suggestion is to wait a bit on trying to replace the female because your bird also needs time to adjust to being without her. Birds grieve same as humans do. Sometimes, parrots whose mate dies suddenly like this will stop eating because parrots mate for life. If your male is still eating enough and appears to feel good, you can wait.

The first thing you will need to do is get your Grey changed over from seeds to organic pelleted diet like Harrison's. The reason I mention this is there are two reasons for hens becoming eggbound. One is they are too young, and two is incorrect diet. So, if you are already feeding organic pellets disregard this. If not, below is link to article about how to make the change, and it takes time. Considering your male is grieving his lost mate, it could take longer, so just work with him. Once he is changed over, then a new bird will be easier to change over because the pellets are all she sees. If she has been on all seed diet, then she will also need to be changed over same way as male.

Keep new female in her own cage for quite a while. If this means buying another cage, then do so. You cannot just bring in a new bird and put it into cage with the one you have because this can be dangerous for both birds. They need time to get to know one another. If you are interested in breeding, make sure hen is 6 years or over because any younger is too young to lay eggs without eggbinding.

Switching Birds to Pellets article

Harrisons is found here, and they make a good bird bread recipe to help in change. Use the organic Red Palm Oil found here instead of any hydrogenated/partially oils because they are not good for parrots.

Keep an eye on your bird's eating to make sure he is eating enough. A trip to Avian Vet would not hurt to get a baseline weight so you can tell if he starts to lose weight from loss of his mate. He needs careful watching because this is one of the most stressful times a bird has to go through besides losing one of its human caretakers.

Keep us posted whenever you have time, and we look forward to hearing from you!


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