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AfricanGreys.com • View topic - quirky behavior

quirky behavior

Welcome to the Grey Play Round Table African grey Question and Answer Board. Maggie Wright, author of the Barron's Grey pet manual and creator of the Grey Play Round Table African grey newsletter/magazine, and Lisa Bono, African grey behavior expert, will be the two moderators to answer your questions. Please check out the areas that have already been dealt with... and submit your new questions.


Due to the incredibly high volume of SPAM, the board has been set up so that you cannot submit a question. Instead, please send me your question at merlin@AfricanGreys.com and I will post it for you. Then, both Lisa and I will post responses. Sorry for the inconvenience.

PLEASE send me your questions... we REALLY want to help you!!! merlin@AfricanGreys.com.


Wishing you GREY'T Blessings!
Maggie Wright

Moderator: merlin

quirky behavior

Postby merlin » Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:41 am

Hello,
I have a question for you about an CAG that has puzzled more than just me – in fact I can’t find anyone who seems to know (and maybe there is not an answer – maybe it is just my pal that does this). Allow me to give you just a little background.

I have an almost 9 year old grey named Twister. He was born with a twisted vertebrae in his neck and has the uncanny ability of resting with his head upside down (yes he can by quite a conversation piece ). I have had him since he was 3 months old and he is my best buddy and travel companion. The vet that gave him to me (because the breeder brought him to her and said if he survived she could do what she wanted with him) said he may never fly or talk and I assured her that I was not looking for just a talking bird in a cage and would love him no matter what. Well, almost 9 years later, he walks, talks, flies, gets in trouble, and even talks back at times.

I am very fortunate – he is fairly social, he eats well, does not pluck, and thoroughly loves showing off (yes, I know I sound like a proud mom and believe me I am). He receives a rice/veggie/bean mixture in the morning, birdie bread mid-day, and his “freshies” in the evening (and of course has his dry food and water 24/7).

In the evening he gets his freshies in the kitchen with me while I make dinner and that is our one-on-one time together. I have a glass table that he gets the run of and I put things there for him to eat/forage/etc. He loves trying things while I cook. This is where my question comes in (I know, finally) – every so often (not every evening) when I put his grapes on the table he goes into – I don’t know what to call it – a “mode”. He will spread his wings and start flapping all over the table – all the while he is holding his grape in his mouth. I have to take the other food off of the table or it all ends up on the floor. When he finally drops the grape, I will snatch it, wait a few minutes and put something back on the table, like his sweet potato sticks (did I say he was spoiled!) and he will then eat normally and eventually I can put the grape back on the table and he eats it normally as well. I have not been able to find out why he does this, and it is only with grapes – and yes he has been sexed and is a male. I have figured out why he does most of his behaviors, but this one is a puzzle!

I was just wondering if you have any idea why he does this, and like I said, it could just be him!
Thank you so much for listening and for your time,
Sharon
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Re: quirky behavior

Postby merlin » Sun Oct 30, 2011 12:42 am

Hi Sharon,

That's a wonderful story about Twister!!! I'm so happy to learn that you have been able to help him "straighten" out so incredibly. He is a walking & talking miracle!!!

The flapping and holding the grape sounds like some kind of sexual ritual and the grape must psychologically relate to something. Do you remember the first time you introduced a grape to him? Do you remember what happened at that time? I've never heard of this exact instance before. My male Grey Kyo sometimes just flaps while holding onto the cage.

Thanks for sharing this with me. These incredible creatures NEVER cease to amaze me!

Blessings,
Maggie-
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Re: quirky behavior

Postby Lisa A. Bono » Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:15 pm

Hi! I am excited to see your post. Reason? The little light of my life, Miss Emma Lynn also has a twisted neck and back. This seems to come from a lack of calcium and perhaps vitamin D while baby is forming. Vitamin D is responsible for allowing the body to absorb calcium from the diet. Ultraviolet light (UV B) is required to convert vitamin D to its active form to make this happen. Lack of vitamin D can lead various issues including soft bones, bent keels, splayed legs, and abnormal beak development. There are anecdotal reports of low vitamin D levels leading to disorders of balance known as “stargazing” (twisted back). Skeletal malformations in chicks such as torticollis (twisted neck) may be secondary to low vitamin D levels and subsequent low calcium levels.
I know several Greys(all congo's) that have this. I also know one Ekkie.
Emma does a lot of flapping. Since they can't fly in a straight line perhaps this could be some sort of exercize that in their mind, may correct it. Emma will hold onto things and flap like CRAZY. Never really going anywhere.
Attached is a picture of my little girl who will be 9 in January.
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