Making sure that your parrot maintains their ideal body weight is extremely important for their health.
Not only does a parrot’s weight affect their ability to fly, but they are also susceptible to a wide range of health problems if they’re over or underweight.
Because of this, it’s very important to know what the typical weight for adult birds of your parrot’s species is.
If you have an African grey, then you may be wondering how much they typically weigh so you can be sure to maintain that weight in your parrot.
To answer this question, a full-grown African grey parrot typically weighs around fourteen ounces. African grey parrots are considered to be fully grown between eight to ten months of age and their weight shouldn’t fluctuate very much as they continue to age.
In this article we’ll talk about the growth rate of African grey parrots, what health risks they may be susceptible to if they are over or underweight, and what you can do to help your parrot gain or lose weight if necessary so that you can keep your parrot as healthy and happy as they can be!
Let’s dive in!
How fast does an African Grey Parrot Grow?
African grey parrots typically lay clutches of up to five eggs, which are incubated for about thirty days.
When an African grey parrot hatches it typically weighs about half an ounce.
African grey parrots reach their full size fairly quickly, when they are about eight to ten months old.
When an African grey parrot is full-grown it will be about thirteen inches long with a wingspan of eighteen to twenty inches.
They typically weigh around fourteen ounces, or close to one pound.
This means that they put on about thirteen and a half ounces in ten months or less!
While fourteen ounces is average, some birds may weigh a little more, or a little less depending on their stature and the amount of exercise they get.
How can I tell if my parrot is over or underweight?
It can be hard to get a bird to sit still on a scale in order to get an accurate reading, but there are ways to tell if your parrot is over or underweight without a scale.
If you have a larger bird you may need to have a friend help you by holding your bird still.
In order to get a good idea of your parrot’s weight, you will need to be able to feel their chest.
Gloves will make it harder for you to get an accurate feel, so make sure to do this bare-handed.
If your parrot seems distressed about being held still, call your veterinarian to schedule a check-up.
You don’t want to risk harming or traumatizing them.
One of the things you’ll want to check on is the prominence of your parrot’s breast bone.
If you run your fingers down the front of your parrot you should be able to feel their breast bone.
If you are unable to locate your parrot’s breastbone they are most likely overweight.
If your parrot’s breastbone feels very prominent they are probably underweight.
Another good indicator of your parrot’s weight is their breast muscles.
Your parrot’s breast muscles should be a bit firm, sometimes quite firm if they’re active fliers, and you shouldn’t be able to feel much, if any, fat on them.
They should not feel like they’re sunken in.
If your parrot’s breast muscles feel large and fatty then they are overweight.
If they feel sunken, and their breastbone is very prominent then they are underweight.
What health issues can an over or underweight parrot be susceptible to?
Weight issues can either be a signal of an underlying health issue, or they can make your parrot more susceptible to certain health problems.
If you feel your parrot is over or underweight it is important to make an appointment with your veterinarian to asses their health and to get some recommendations on how to help your parrot gain or lose weight accordingly.
If your parrot is underweight they could be malnourished.
Undernourishment can lead to deformities, liver disease, skin problems, and more.
Be sure that you’re feeding your African grey the proper amount of the right kinds of foods.
Many parrot owners feed their parrots off the shelf seed blends, but parrots should eat a diet that is as close to what they would eat in the wild as you can get.
Wild African grey parrots typically eat a varied diet of seeds, nuts, fruits, berries, and a variety of leafy greens.
Commercial seed blends are usually filled with high fat and nutrient deficient so it is important not to make them a large part of your African grey’s diet.
There are pellet foods on the market that are much better for your parrot and will ensure they are receiving adequate amounts of the vitamins and nutrients they need.
Look to make these pellets 75-80% of your parrot’s diet.
The remaining 20 to 25% of your parrot’s diet should be fruits, vegetables, and healthy greens.
Prior to feeding your parrot a new food item make sure to determine if it’s safe for them to eat it.
Some foods that are healthy for humans, like avocados, can be toxic for parrots.
Parrots love most fruits, including citrus fruits, mangoes, melons, apples and bananas.
They also enjoy fresh veggies like broccoli, spinach, snap peas, and corn.
Offer your parrot a variety of healthy foods so you can determine their likes and dislikes.
Your parrot will be putting on weight before you know it!
Overweight parrots are at risk for heart disease, fatty liver disease, arthritis, and cancer. If you believe your parrot is overweight it is important to assess their diet.
Make sure you’re not giving them unhealthy human foods.
Providing that food you are eating is safe for a parrot to eat your parrot can have small amounts of healthy foods off your plate.
You should not be giving them foods like pizza, sweets, or highly processed foods.
If it’s unhealthy for you to eat, then you shouldn’t be feeding it to your parrot on a regular basis.
An occasional treat is fine, but overfeeding your parrot unhealthy snacks will cause unnecessary weight gain.
You should also make sure your parrot is getting plenty of exercise.
Let them out of their cage so they can walk or flap around your home.
If you have a secure outdoor enclosure then let them spend some time outdoors in the fresh air.
If the enclosure is big enough for them to walk around and explore, then that’s even better!
If you’ve noticed that your parrot has lost or gained a good deal of weight in a short period of time with no changes in their diet, then that could be a sign of an underlying health problem.
Things like cancer, bowel obstructions, heart problems, or parasites can all lead to weight fluctuations so be sure to see your veterinarian to check for possible issues.
The most important job we have as parrot owners is making sure our parrots are healthy and happy.
If you suspect that your bird may be over or underweight the first thing you should do is schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.
They’ll get an accurate assessment of your parrot’s health and talk with you about their diet and exercise habits.
If they find that your parrot is completely healthy then managing their weight is usually an easy fix with a healthy, varied diet and plenty of exercises.
If they find any underlying health problems you’ll be able to discuss treatment options and get your parrot feeling better right away.
If your parrot is a healthy weight now, then make sure that you are doing the right things to maintain that weight.
Don’t feed them too many seeds, instead, feed them pellets and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Make sure you spend ample time playing with your parrot or allowing them out of their cage to roam around and get some exercise.
With the proper care, your African grey can continue to be a great companion for the next forty to sixty years!