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Hand-Rearing Parrots - Why We Shouldn’t

Spreads for web 4

by Dr Tariq Abou-Zahr BVSc ECZM Resident(Avian) MRCVS
who explains the gist of the problem

For many people who decide they are going to get a parrot as a pet, the possibility of acquiring a parent-reared bird is not even considered. Why would you? Parent-reared birds are never likely to be as amazingly ‘silly tame’ or ‘cuddly tame’, as their hand-reared companions, plus it’s going to take a lot of time and effort to even get them close. A hand-reared bird is tame by default – which seems like a no brainer. While the message has, unfortunately, not yet reached the masses, it is well known that there are several disadvantages to producing hand-reared, imprinted parrots for the mainstream pet market.

I alluded to some of these problems in my article in Parrots magazine a few months ago on the welfare considerations of exotic pet keeping/parrot keeping. I was interested to see that a recent BBC documentary “Trust Me I’m a Vet” featured a segment on parrot keeping and pushed the message that hand-reared birds were far less suitable as pets than parent-reared. It is also interesting to see that commercial hand-rearing of psittacines is now an illegal practice in several European countries for example, in the Netherlands and in Austria, for animal welfare reasons.

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