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UPB mission statement

We strive to provide you, the client, with the best quality hand-reared pet parrot available. We do this by providing the parent birds with the best environment possible to live in, the best fresh foods and pellets to eat and the most stress free life possible. All our baby birds are raised with their siblings, fully socialised with adults, children and animals. We stay in touch with clients for as long as they deem fit. We offer 24/7, lifetime support by email and telephone, as well as our exclusive web based forum. All our babies are bred by us, raised by us, and sold by us. We do not supply pet shops or other hand rearers

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African Grey Parrot

(Psittacus erithacus erithacus )




Also known as "Grey's", "CAG's" or "Congo's", African Grey Parrots are perhaps the best known parrot in the world. This is almost totally due to the talking/mimicking abilities of this species. They have been described as "the perfect mix of brains and beauty" and while the mainly grey plumage is not to everyone's taste, the intelligence can not be denied.

The Congo is a very light grey colour and had a dark grey/black upper mandible. He has a bright red tail and grows to around 14 inches in height and weighs around 400-550 grams.

Grey's are very long lived and usually live for around 30-60 years. Some have been known to last up to 100 years! So, remember, owning a grey is a long term commitment!

Grey's are extremely intelligent birds. They constantly surprise with their understanding of their surroundings and their owners! They are very demanding birds. They have been described as being emotionally equivalent of a two year old human, with the intelligence of a five year old. This means they need a lot of attention and patience, and lots of guidance in acceptable behaviour. They can be very cautious of new people and situations, although totally devoted to their owners.

Grey's are (in most peoples opinion) the best talkers in the parrot world. They are also excellent mimics. Each grey has a different level of ability however, and some (but very few) never manage more than a few words and the usual array of whistles. The main factor in determining how well a grey will talk, is the amount of time spent teaching him. The more quality time spent teaching words and phrases, the more he will learn, and the more rewarding the experience of owning a grey will be. Grey's have been known to gain vocabularies of over 2000 words, and can string sentences and phrases together with ease. The biggest thrill in owning a grey is without doubt, their ability to understand what they are saying and place it into context. They understand the concept of colour and shape and have been proved to have the ability to process information.

If you want a bird that can talk, look no further. The Grey (Congo or Timneh) is beyond compare. They are the kings of speech.

Making the effort to socialize your grey with as many people as possible will always pay dividends. Greys will interact with many different people as long as each person is able and willing to give enough time to earn the trust of the bird. "one owner" birds do tend to be badly socialized, and so can tend to be nippy and unwilling to bond with other people.

Biting can be a symptom of several things. Bad socialization is the main reason, but if the birds emotional, mental and physical needs are ignored, then biting can become a problem. As in all things, prevention is better than cure, and ensuring your grey has as much social interaction as possible, mixed with lots of mental and physical stimulation will avoid nippiness.

They require a huge amount of interaction from their owners and from toys in the cage. A grey will never tire of playing, exploring and learning. He will, however, become bored very easily, and this can lead to feather plucking and loud screeching when being approached. In extreme cases, grey's have been diagnosed with depression and human anti-depressives have been used successfully in their treatment.

Congo African Grey's are magnificent, amazing and highly intelligent birds, BUT they are not the right bird for everyone. Before buying a CAG you must consider your ability to commit to the needs of your bird. Have you got enough time to talk, play, pet and spend quality time with him? Can you match the love and attention that this newcomer will shower you with? Can you afford the food, vets bills and other running costs? Can you guarantee the socialization required to do something as simple as have your bird home sat, or homed temporarily while you go on holidays etc?

If you can answer yes to all these questions, then you will have a friend for life. A friend who will never knowingly let you down. Who will always be there and will always give more back than he receives.

If you can not honestly answer yes to all of the above questions, please, please, please do NOT buy a Congo African Grey. There are too many Grey's in re-homing centre's and sanctuaries throughout the country. It is not fair on you, and it is certainly not fair on the bird!. There will be a type of bird out there that will suit you down to the ground. A Timneh, a Senegal, a Cockatiel or even a budgie perhaps. One thing is for certain, it is NOT a grey!

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