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This is my review of Rob Harvey's Specialist Feeds for African Grey Parrots and also other Parrot diets. If you have any type of Parrot or feathered friend I am sure you will find this useful. I thought I would take the time to also tell you about my African Grey and include some information for anyone wanting to take one on.
I have had my African Grey, Millie for about 5 months now and she is really part of the family. I have wanted to have an African Grey for quite a few years but really needed to spend the time researching in order to find out as much as possible.
I would highly recommend anyone thinking about keeping a Parrot, do the same. There is such a lot to know and knowledge helps so much when your friend eventually joins your home. The African Grey can live for many years, there are reports of some living way past 50 years. It is a responsibility you accept for years to come and so an important decision to make.
African Grey's are very good talkers and it is amazing how much they actually learn and pick up from everyday situations (you have to think twice about what you say). They are also very intelligent and will actually answer questions correctly, if you take the time to train them.
While looking into acquiring my bird, I came across lots of advertisements from people trying to find new homes for their pets. Many of these birds had picked up quite colourful language to say the least. The owners had obviously found this hilarious when the Parrot first spoke these words, but this had then become too much over time.
Usually an African Grey will start talking when
they are around 1 year, they may learn to say a few things before this and will repeat them again and again but the continuous chatting and speaking starts at around a year or so. This is the best time to communicate with your parrot as they are learning the whole time, similar to a young child.
They love to play, Millie plays very hard with her toys and will talk to them as she does. Depending on her mood she will actually attack and chew them or the other hand she can be very loving towards them and give them head rubs. I don't have many toys in the cage with her as she can come out of the cage to play with them.
I had read in a book that when a new toy is introduced the bird can be nervous. This was actually amazing to experience first hand as I had not realised just what could happen. I had bought a new toy and when I brought it into the room Millie went berserk, I had to take it out of the room immediately. Over the course of about 3 weeks I moved it from the far side of the room nearer to the cage until she accepted it and now she is now very attached to it.
Millie's favourite phrase at the moment is 'What are you doing?' and constantly asks this at every opportunity. I can honestly say you are never alone and always can always chat away with her.
If you are thinking of getting a parrot, please carefully check out the breeder. I got Millie from a fantastic breeder, who is always at the other end of the phone for any advice.
Things to look out for are: Do they seem to care about the birds. Do the birds seem healthy. How do they feed the birds. When are they weaned and how many do they wean at a time.
Obviously there is far too much information to share in this review and I would recommend looking through books for further information. One called 'A complete owners manual' by Maggie Wright is a good one to start with.
Anyway while I was researching I came across Rob Harvey's website. He was the curator and owner of Birdworld, the UK's largest bird park for over 20 years. He is now selling a wide range of products and a selection of diets for Birds. He supplies more than 50 major zoos with foods, from sunbird nectars to ostrich diets.
Palm nuts are the natural food for an African grey and in the wild they make up around 80% of their diet. These are one item that is available from the website or mail order catalogue. They supply a wide variety of seed mixtures, soaking and cooking mixtures, vitamins and supplements, treat foods nuts and seeds as well as accessories, toys and ropes.
When I placed my first order I was a little dubious as I had not had any recommendation and was unsure if the service or products would be of good quality. I ordered a kilo of palm nuts, a seed mixture, a tropical parrot mix, monkey nuts and a tropical mix. I sent off this order with a cheque and I was amazed when my order arrived less than 3 days later. The packaging was tip top and the contents had been packed very well indeed.
The African Grey Select food contains fruits and nuts to offer a balanced diet. They are fussy eaters and do need a good variation of seeds. This contains things like banana chips, roasted maize, pumpkin seeds red paprika and many more. For further information and ingredients visit his website (robharvey.com).
The quality of the food was excellent and much better value than purchasing the items separately. Millie loves all of the foods and will quite happily take your hand off for the palm nuts (figure of speech, she is very gentle). A few weeks ago , they started to stock sugar cane and this is full of other vitamins that parrots like, so I placed an order.
The delivery company let me down on this occasion, they left no card and I was unaware that this had been delivered or that the package was taken back to the depot. As all other orders have been so super fast I called Rob Harvey's on the fifth day following my order, to enquire.
It turned out after investigating, that no dispatch note had been left by UPS and that that very morning (Thursday) they had sent the package back to Rob Harvey. I assumed that I would now have to wait until it had been received and they would resend it.
They have an absolutely fantastic customer service team who are second to none. I have never had such service from any other company. On Friday Morning my order arrived, again packaged very well and all the contents in A1 condition. The palm nuts and the sugar cane are sealed in airtight packaging and can be frozen as once the bag is open they will deteriorate as any fresh food will.
I can't stress enough the excellent quality of the food and I highly recommend the company. The prices are very reasonable and Millie loves the food. I can be confident that the food is fresh and has not been sat on some shelf somewhere for weeks and that the delivery is very speedy.
Thank you for reading my review and I hope you enjoyed it.