Some people are attracted by traditional pets and do not hesitate to welcome a dog or a cat in order to build, together, a faithful and lasting friendship. But you, your love is for the NAC and more particularly for the Gris du Gabon, a superb, talkative and very sociable parrot! In order to help you take the step of adoption, WE tells you everything you need to know about this fascinating bird!
Getting to know the Gabon Grey
As its name suggests, the Gabon Grey is an animal native to Africa. It is part of the African Grey species, which includes two birds: the Gabon Grey and the Timneh Grey, a smaller parrot with a darker coat. It is an endangered and protected species, therefore prohibited to import.
The Gris du Gabon, considered the most talkative parrot, is also the most popular in France as a domestic animal thanks to its ease of expression, its great intelligence and curiosity.
Concerning its acquisition, the parrot must be more than 4 months old and bought from a breeder or in a pet shop. The bird must obligatorily carry a ring on its leg indicating the information as for its identity: year of birth, identifier of the breeder… Finally, the papers indicating its origin as well as the proof of purchase must obligatorily be given to you. As indicated previously, it is a protected species so the regulation concerning the traceability of each individual is strict.
Namely, this parrot has a life expectancy comparable to that of a human! Birds of 50 years or 60 years are not rare! As for any adoption of an animal, it must be a well thought-out act, especially when this exceptional longevity is taken into account.
The character of the Gabon Grey
It is a hyper sociable and fascinating parrot. Take the time to educate him on a daily basis, to interact with him and he will return it to you well by surprising you more and more day after day!
It has an exceptional learning ability regarding words and noises. The repetitiveness is all the more encouraging to make him memorize a sound! So don’t be surprised if a Grey imitates perfectly the ringing of the telephone, the barking of a dog or even knows how to whistle the Marseillaise! The term “intelligence” is used to characterize it and not only “imitation” or “repetition”. The particularity of this bird is that it knows how to place sounds, words in their precise context, and not only by imitation. Thus, its intelligence is recognized as being similar to that of a 5 year old child.
Very affectionate towards its master, the Grey bird does not tolerate solitude. It requires a lot of care and attention, especially in terms of socialization and training. A stimulating environment as well as daily interactions are essential. Very sensitive, it is imperative to offer him a stable and calm environment and to pay attention to sources of stress. In your absence, you can leave the radio or television on to ensure a presence.
The essentials to plan before his arrival
The ideal cage for the Gabonese Grey
First of all, the essential and vital accessory for the parrot is the cage. Given the size of the bird, it is mandatory to provide a large cage, the bigger the better! At the very least, the parrot must be able to spread its wings. Be aware that this species is fidgety and must be able to move around at will in its “home”.
Choose a cage with strong bars and a resistant closing system, the Gabon Grey is a small and skillful creature with a fearsome beak! Also, the cage must offer at least one side with horizontal bars allowing the bird to climb it.
Ideally, the cage should be placed in a room where the bird will benefit from a lot of social contact, but without too much agitation. The Gabon Grey needs to sleep about 10 hours a night in addition to taking little naps during the day! Forget about rooms that are too isolated, such as bedrooms that might depress him due to lack of interaction, or the kitchen because of smoke. This bird has fragile lungs so there’s no question of smoking nearby either! In conclusion, the perfect place for your new companion seems to be the living room, a place where the whole family gets together and shares moments of conviviality. In the room, the cage can be placed near a window to offer your Gray to watch the outside hustle and bustle, but beware, it must not be in direct sunlight. Also, it must be sheltered from drafts and not in direct proximity to a heat source.
Concerning the layout of the cage, plan a wooden or rope perch whose diameter is to be appreciated according to the size of the bird.
Also, your Gray needs to gnaw on natural wood in order to wear out its beak. A branch of hazelnut, oak or willow are good choices.
Concerning the feeders, prefer solid materials such as stainless steel and terracotta to be fixed to the bars or to be placed on the floor of the cage, but be careful not under the perches.
Plastic utensils won’t survive your bird’s beak for long!
The water comes in a drinking trough to be fixed to the edges of the cage and whose size is to be selected according to the bird, thus determining its daily need for water.
Finally, ensure perfect hygiene of the cage by cleaning it regularly, and on a daily basis as far as the water and food containers are concerned.
The importance of the toy
The Grey of Gabon needs to be constantly entertained, it must therefore have the opportunity to be entertained whenever he wants, including through .
For that, it is advisable to propose him many toys within its cage: pearls, fibres, bell or mirror. To avoid boredom, we advise you to renew the toys regularly or to set up a system of bearings with the different references you have in order to avoid routine and weariness!
Also, some freedom out of the cage must also be provided, the Gabon Grey needs exercise! Provide perches throughout the room to invite him to land near you.
Finally, for perfect hygiene, your bird needs a toilet to eliminate dust and impurities lodged in the plumage! To be done once or twice a week, simply fill a sink or a bathtub with a few centimeters of water and humidify the bird with a shower head or a spray bottle. The water flow should be very gentle.
The food of the Gabon Grey
The Gabon Grey has a powerful beak and a large tongue that allows it to skillfully shell and grind solid food.
Offer your pet a varied and balanced food to be renewed daily. The ideal diet consists of seeds, fruits, vegetables and pellets. Many brands offer complete and healthy mixes for your pet to eat. You can offer your pet small extras, but be sure to ask about them beforehand, as some foods are toxic.
If the food is not to his taste, he will let you know by dropping the unwanted food on the floor!
Finally, to ensure his need for calcium, offer him cuttlefish bones.
In conclusion, as you will have understood, the Gabon Grey is an amazing and exciting animal with whom it is extremely rewarding to share a maximum of connections. If your decision regarding adoption is finally made, don’t hesitate, you won’t regret it!