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Pet of the Day
Today's Pet of the Day
Nigel the Congo African Grey Parrot, the Pet of the Day
Name: Nigel
Age: Two years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Congo African Grey Parrot
Home: Blantyre, Malawi, Africa
   Nigel is our Congo African Grey (CAG) parrot. He is two years old and lives with us, his human servants. What makes Nigel special is his sweet demeanour and intelligence. He lives a separate life online on where he creates havoc and mayhem! :-)

     Nigel is not my first parrot, I have been owned by two other CAGs in my lifetime. One of the two was a foster that I rehabilitated. I have also had a green-cheek conure, cockatiels and budgies. Nigel is our only parrot now and most likely will remain that way, and gets our entire family's attention. He came to us at three months old in a poor state but has since moulted (almost finished) and looks so beautiful. His cage (we call it a penthouse it is so big) is in our main sitting area of our home so he is with our family all day long and spends hours outside destroying various things and plundering the house.

     While most CAGs are generally not cuddly, Nigel loves to sit with us on our laps and enjoy head scratches and even the odd cuddle. He has an amazing vocabulary already and speaks in context. He will say "nooooo" when asked to do something he doesn't want and asks for "popcorn" his favourite treat. He mimics chickens, the neighbour's cat, whistles a huge repertoire of music my husband has taught him and sings "yo ho ho ho a pirate's life is for me."

     Nigel's diet is mainly fresh vegetables, grains (cooked), and some fruit. I also make him birdie bread. Since we live in Malawi, we get creative about foods and I believe he's better off for it. CAGs need extra calcium in their diets so I make sure that his birdie bread has crushed egg shells in it to help keep calcium levels up. Nigel is also toilet trained (most of the time), however, when he is angry, he is known to unload on the offending person (usually me).

     He is independent but at the same time loves to be with all of us. I love this about him, he is not a needy or neurotic grey, he self-entertains but loves time with his people. His favorite activity is adventuring on the living room floor (always supervised) with my daughter who plays with him and offers copious treats.

     CAGs are not difficult birds for those who love to cater to animals that are super intelligent. They need lots of stimulation and socialisation. But those can be in the general goings-on of a family if the family pays attention. CAGs need 10-12 hours of sleep every night and need natural light to keep them in a good mood and daily rhythm.

     Nigel has a hypnotic effect on those of us who live here with him. My husband, who isn't usually an "animal" person, has also bowed to the powers of Nigel. He now makes popcorn for Nigel and serves it to him. This says a lot!

Nigel the Congo African Grey Parrot, the Pet of the Day Nigel the Congo African Grey Parrot, the Pet of the Day

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