Timneh African Grey Parrots are one of the easiest parrots to own and generally exhibit few behavior problems. However, when they do pluck their feathers, bite, or scream there is always a reason why. Whenever a behavior issue arises, it’s time to put on your detective hat and get to work. Once you know why your Timneh is having issues, then resolving them is significantly easier.
Here are some clues to look for
Is your Timneh stressed out? Often, small things you wouldn’t ever think about can really freak your bird out. For example, if the cage is positioned in front of a window, your Timneh may feel vulnerable. Especially if there is a large dog within view. I’ve even known birds to become anxious when there is construction in the neighborhood and they can see large equipment out the window.
Other things that may stress out your Timneh could be a person they don’t like or are unfamiliar with, a new baby or pet, moving furniture or locations, and even a color. It isn’t unheard of for a bird to be afraid of a particular color.
How to fix it? Build confidence! Sometimes it’s a simple fix, move the cage, don’t wear the color, and modify their surroundings to make them comfortable. However, if it is a socialization issue, then more work needs to be done. You will need to train your bird to be comfortable with whatever it is that is stressing them out. Do this slowly!
The cleanliness of your Timneh’s cage, the freshness of their food and water, and ensuring they get enough sleep and the proper nutrients are all extremely important. We’re going to assume that your parrot is in a clean cage and you’re taking good care of them.
Just to be sure, take them to your Avian Veterinarian for a checkup. Diseases can creep up slowly and if you catch them early, you can prevent a lot of problems and even save your bird’s life. You should be taking your bird to a qualified avian veterinarian at least once a year, and twice for fecal testing if your bird has an outdoor aviary of any kind.
Boredom is one of the most common causes of bad Timneh behavior. Think about how cranky you get when you’re bored! Well, your Timneh isn’t as smart as you but they are as smart as you when you were 5 years old and they have the same temperament as you had when you were 2 years old. So there you have it, you have the task of entertaining a very precocious 2-year-old! How do you make sure your Timneh doesn’t get bored?
Toys are your first step toward a happy and engaged Timneh African Grey. Toys serve many purposes. They teach your parrot about colors, shapes, sizes, textures, and sounds. They also entertain.
Puzzle toys teach your Timneh how to solve problems, and chew toys give them a chance to be a natural, wild bird. Watch your Timneh carefully to make sure they like the toys you’re giving them. If toys are not played with, remove them and replace them with new ones.
Remember the Rubix cube? If you had one you probably played with it a lot when you first got it. After a month or two you probably played with it less and less and 6 months later you couldn’t find it in your bedroom.
Your Timneh will play with their toys in much the same manner. They’ll lose interest in them after a while and need new toys. Keep them busy with new and interesting toys and their feather plucking, biting, and screaming may disappear completely.
Jealousy isn’t generally an issue with Timneh African Greys; however, if during your detective work you find that your Timneh is screaming whenever you hug your spouse, well, you’re going to want to train your Timneh to stop that and accept your spouse.
Taking the time to pay attention to your Timneh’s needs and clues will likely generate the results you’re looking for – an end to the bad behavior. Additionally, sometimes your Timneh may not want to be bothered and a quick nip or a loud screech is their way of telling you. Learn their body language so it doesn’t get to that point and spend some time training your Timneh to communicate differently.