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Parrots/African Grey parrot odd behavior


My parents have an Africian Grey (15+ years old) that laid an egg a couple of months ago, not her first. The egg was removed from her cage, but my parents have left a dog's water bowl at the bottom of her cage, in which she now spends 99% of her time.  She does eat and drink, but always returns to the bowl and shows no interest in treats or anything else.  When they attempt to remove the bowl, she bangs on the cage, etc, etc until they put it back for everyones safety... Would this behaviour lead to her death? Do you have any advice for a safe return to normal behaviour?  Thanks!

-- Poor little hen.  Nature dictates she do these things and we humans are at a loss as how to deal with it.

 Best solution:  When a bird lays an egg, let her keep it.  Let her nest, let her tend to it and let her decide when it's time to abandon it.   Once you see her come off her 'nest' and leave the egg clearly abandoned, remove both nest and egg.   This should occur within a month.  The healthy part is that she won't be laying more and more to replace it during that month.  

Over laying can be particularly serious for a Grey


  As for her current situation, you have to remove the bowl and let her have her tantrum.

  Distract her with new activities - most importantly, get her out of the cage more

 Take a look here for how to deal with eggs - and get a better 'bond' with your bird so she wants to make you happy  


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Rev. Dr. S.August Abbott


Certified Avian Specialist; Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council member; Own animal rescue org; National Wildlife habitat #66378; bird care, nutrition & behavior consultant; International Assoc. of Animal Behavior Consultants Associate; National Wildlife Federation Leaders Club member; published bird care, info and behavior articles and guides. Ongoing education in exotic bird behavior and nutrition I can answer behavioral, nutritional, environmental, characteristic/personality questions as well as general health and health care. No animal emergency can ever be addressed on the internet. We cannot see your animal, perform an examination, provide necessary care or medication. Please value your companion for the priceless, living creature they are; not for what you might have paid for them.


Certified Avian Specialist. For more than 30 years I've worked with veterinarians, protective facilities, nature centers, preserves and on my own in providing care and education with regard to multiple animal species, including raptors (hawks, kestrals, owls, etc) and marsupials. In recent years I've focused on parrots, usually rescued from abusive or less than ideal situations and helping educate owners as to proper care. Expert in behavior studies and modification of problem behavior.

4AnimalCare is the organization I run as an animal ministry; World Wildlife Association, Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, National Wildlife Federation Leaders Club and more

Bird Talk Magazine articles about rescued and problem macaws.

Doctorate, Ordained Minister

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