Yes, I find it VERY difficult to balance having so many parrots. I often feel very guilty, and most of the time for several months now I have felt that I messed up and acquired just one too many birds, specifically, the grey herself. I cannot tell you the number of times the thought has pressed on my mind that I should never have gotten Ashlynn.
I am not alone in my parrot endeavors. My ten year old daughter is actually the owner of Stanley, the bourkes (who is a hen, by the way
), Doug, the parrotlet, and Daisy, the Maximillian pionus. My son is actually the owner of Elisa, the linnie. My daughter does all of her cage cleaning and most of the socialization for her birds, although I usually do give the spray baths for everyone and I cut up the fresh foods, grow the sprouts, and feed all of the fresh stuff to all of the birds. My daughter clicker trains her own birds when the mood strikes her. The bourkes and the linnie live in the same cage and are totally bonded. They will also sit with us and on us, participate in clicker training, and the bourkes still enjoys being petted, although the linnie never did and probably never will. Those two birds are fairly independent. They are content no matter how little or much time we spend with them, because they have one another but still like us as much as they ever did. They are perfect for one another and perfect for us. The parrotlet loves petting and playing, but in short spurts. The maximillian is a retired breeder, so she is amazingly undemanding yet totally accepting of any amount of attention you wish to give her, no matter how short or how long. No matter how much attention I give all of these birds, I never feel guilty because they are my kids' birds, anyway, and they give them most of their attention. I just get to play with any of them whenever I feel like I want to. Additionally, all four of those birds play well together and can share out of cage time.
The three birds that are mine are, in my opinion, much more demanding. Each of them is more demanding than any of the kids' four birds, and in many ways more demanding than all four of their birds put together.
You have a sun conure now and you had a black cap previously, so you know how special they are, and how much attention they eat up and thrive on. My green cheek, Shira, does at least have this to her advantage, she is also able to play well with all of the four birds that belong to my children. I can have her out while those birds are out. That is highly appreciated.
Roni, my senegal, was the first bird of this group who belonged to me. I find that a senegal is as entertaining as a grey, as lovable as a grey, and as accepting of attention as a grey. I don't mean this to sound crass, but I don't feel that Ashlynn added anything to my life that Roni had not already given me. Nevertheless, Ashlynn is bigger, louder, dustier, messier. She is just big enough that I do not feel comfortable letting her on my shoulder, which is ok because not all birds need to be shoulder birds, but she is also big enough that it hurts when she grips me tightly and flaps her wings, which she does often and the vet instructed me to encourage for her health. She eats twice as much as Ashlynn and destroys toys at least six times faster than Roni, and her toys cost more than Roni's cost. She never screams, but her normal honks and beeps, while not irritating, are just louder than those of all the other birds, and she vocalizes a lot more often. She has the dusty type feathers, and Roni has the other type feathers, and on top of the feather dust, Ashlynn constantly blows her down feathers, leaving white fluff balls the size of a quarter everywhere. She makes a big mess eating, and she flings her destroyed toys all over the place, and she can and will destroy expensive items in a flash if she can get to them. She won't stay on a play stand the way Roni and Shira will. She jumps off and tries to fly every few minutes. On the plus side, I do think she may be trying to learn to talk, and if she does, that will be delightful, but before I got all these other birds Roni was talking quite well for a senegal, and now she hardly talks at all.
Roni and Shira were absolutely the perfect birds for me, and I couldn't content myself with them, and that knowledge bothers me a lot and often. Most days now I feel that none of the birds gets what she deserves. If I were young and inexperienced, maybe I could excuse this, but to be old and make a mistake like this is doubly bad.
All that having been said, I still love Ashlynn deeply and I do not want her to go to anyone who wouldn't give her more than I can now. I have taken behavioral classes from my avian vet, and I am really sold on the things we were taught there, so I would not want Ashlynn to go to anyone who hadn't taken those classes and fully bought into their ideas. I don't have a problem with anyone else purchasing any grey baby or adopting any other grey, old or young, and interacting with it as they see fit, but for Ashlynn, for the bird that I took the responsibility for, I would not want any other type of handling. She really likes having the other birds to watch all day and communicate with all day, so I would not want her in a single bird home, yet most people with other birds already have as many or more birds as I have, and especially those people who took the classes I took. Additionally, even though I think I took on more responsibility than I had to give when I got her, I know I would miss her terribly. On top of all of that, Ashlynn and Roni, perhaps because they are the only African birds in this house, have developed a very strong bond, even though I have never let them actually touch one another at any time other than when showering together in the tub.
So, yes, I think at least once every day I feel I am not balancing having so many parrots in the same household. I take comfort in the fact that all day, every day, they have one another to chatter to and play beside. I would never want to have just one bird in my home, but I think seven is way more than I needed to give them a sense of having a flock. I think I could have handled a lot of little birds, but I think three medium to large birds are difficult to provide well for. I'm just trying to do the best I can and take comfort in the fact that they do really enjoy one another's company when caged.
I definitely prefer females to males when it comes to greys. This is based on what the folks at the bird store told me and my own personal observations. If you have the option when making your selection, look at as many females as you can until one tugs at your heart in a special way. I think there is always room for two parrots in a home, lol, so I think you will be fine.