The Gabonese grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus) belongs to the Psittacidae family. It is a gregarious bird (which lives in groups), native to Africa. Yet the Jaco parrot is renowned for its ability to live in captivity, and in ancient Rome, it was already often welcomed as a pet.
The Jaco parrot measures in adulthood about 42 cm in length and weighs 500 g. Its maximum life expectancy is 80 years.
Gabon Grey: an endearing parrot
He is highly appreciated for his quick wit and the great affection he shows to his master. But this one is exclusive. Other family members are generally rejected, and he is particularly intransigent with strangers. He must, therefore, be socialized from an early age. However, the best results in this area are obtained with juveniles raised by their father and mother. If not educated, the Gabonese grey parrot becomes, as an adult, fearful, aggressive and may have a certain propensity to beak, which can cause some problems.
This parrot has a very fine hearing and is capable of reproducing countless sounds. This helps to make him endearing because, with a little patience, he can be taught to pronounce words and therefore sentences, and even reproduce certain mimics. The grey parrot of Gabon is, therefore, a beautiful speaker whose level of intelligence is higher than that of all the birds that have been studied.
Gabon Grey: Mandatory Quarantine
Upon arrival in its host family, the parrot must be quarantined if there are other birds in captivity. Far from being a sanction, it is essential for several reasons.
The quarantine allows him to acclimatize to his new environment. Lasting between 1 and 3 months, this is a crucial step because an unknown place of life causes a stressful situation in this bird. Stress causes a weakening of his immune system, which promotes infectious diseases. Quarantine is also crucial to ensure that it does not already carry a disease. He must also be followed by a veterinarian during this period.
Raising a grey parrot from Gabon: time to spare
The Jaco parrot can only live instability because it is very routine. Its environment should not change frequently, as should the layout of its cage. To satisfy his great curiosity on a daily basis, it is necessary to provide wooden roosts of different heights, but also to give him several kinds of games and to set up courses for him. This allows him to behave better. In any case, it is a pet that must be looked after every day.
The Greys have a reputation as feather-pickers. Parrots in general, including Gabonese Greys, sometimes resort to feather removal or worse forms of self-mutilation, for various physical and physiological reasons, and also if their emotional needs are not met or if they are stressed. It should be noted that any bird that plucks its feathers needs a thorough check at a veterinarian to rule out a possible physical cause. If none can be found, then the behavioral reasons should be explored. The possible tendency of the Gabonese Greys towards this attitude probably stems from their intelligence and their need for attention and stimulation.
Breeding conditions for a Jaco parrot
The grey parrot of Gabon needs to have a sufficiently spacious cage, that is to say, wider than its wingspan. The smallness of the cage causes stress in captive birds and promotes overweight. The bars must be very strong to withstand their onslaught, and not have been treated or painted with a toxic product.
The ideal location of the cage is one that allows the parrot to be protected from drafts and to benefit as much as possible from natural light. When it runs out, care is taken to install an ultraviolet light device. This is very important to protect the bird from the risks of calcium deficiency (hypocalcemia), which is seriously harmful to its health. It is also essential to avoid plumage diseases.
The feeder and water tray are installed in an area of the cage without accessories and roosts so that they are not soiled or moldy.
Cage hygiene is important. It is recommended to clean it at least once a week, and this treatment also applies to all accessories and perches.
Gabon’s grey parrot in captivity: beware of loneliness
People who are not present or whose professional obligations impose a variable rate on them to raise a grey parrot from Gabon are discouraged. This rhythm of life is experienced by the bird as a lack of stability and may disturb it. Similarly, it is preferable to limit access to all rooms of the dwelling because his curiosity exposes him to the risk of accidents and poisonings. In the absence of his master, he must, therefore, be kept in his cage.
Raising a parrot legally
The law is intransigent: anyone who owns a grey parrot from Gabon is obliged to declare his animal. An application for CIC is required to be allowed to hold this type of bird. This intra-community certificate is addressed to the person concerned by the DEAL.
Failure to do so is considered an offense and exposes the offender to punishment. In addition, if the parrot does not wear a seamless ring, it is imperative to be identified. Only a veterinarian is authorized to install an electronic identification chip.