Some one in South Africa has bred the first ever all red African Grey Parrot! Here is a photo of the bird, in the centre.
I was reading an article about this in Parrots magazine whilst I was at work at the weekend. I already know about the existance of what is known as a 'King African Grey', which is a grey parrot with red feathers on it's belly, like the two either side of the red grey above. In fact I think the Red Grey was bred from two King Greys. Basically, breeders have cottoned on to the fact that sometimes you see greys with the odd red feathering on the chest, and have bred them as such to create the red bellies and called them King Greys, and as you can imagine, sell them for quite a profit. I have always had a worry about this, because very often, when an african grey presents with the odd red feather on the body where they should be grey, it can be a sign that there is something wrong with the liver. In some of the few cases I have seen, this has turned out to be true, in the others that were not diagnosed, so the liver problems were not ruled out.
To me it seems like breeders have taken something that is an indicator of poor health, and bred with it to create colour mutations in order to make a profit. I know that this hasn't been proven, but I have concerns that breeding these King Greys, or Red Greys, could seriously be breeding birds with health problems. Maybe these birds are more prone to liver problems? Maybe not. I just can't help feeling concerned.