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In issue 279 -
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Lesser Known Pet Parrot Species that Delight and Inspire. Part 4

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Complete Psittacine by Eb Cravens

This is part four in a series which looks at several lesser-known psittacine pet species in western aviculture, and the captivating personalities of these parrots. In some cases, it may take time and effort for a prospective pet buyer to locate and obtain such a hookbill, as waiting lists might be required. These species of hookbill are not always uncommon, merely infrequently promoted by those shoppes or breeders offering higher-profile Cockatoos, Macaws, Amazons, and Conures.

Acquiring one is also a significant encouragement to breeders producing these ‘sleeper’ birds when pet owners seek out and purchase one. Continued health and genetic viability of captive parrot populations strongly depends upon public demand. In this sense, we pet owners have much to say about world avicultural conservation.

The Derbyan Parakeet is undoubtedly one of the most underrated mid-sized parrot pets in the USA. There are several reasons for this with the most prevalent being that many pet owners simply do not understand how to raise and care for this large member of the ‘Ringneck’ genus in order to bring out the best personality traits. It takes perseverance and time to allow the baby Derby to develop into a prime ‘sleeper’ pet.

Truly this is one of those psittacine species that gets better in the home as it gets older. Youngsters may sometimes be moody loners that grumble if forced to step up, and do not want to be petted. In hand-fed insensitively, their strong beak and chewing tendencies may turn to snapping or pinching human fingers. Even in the nursery tubs, derbiana chicks may shy away from contact with their brothers and sisters or other parrots. Especially with the young females when approaching fledging/weaning, can develop an independent streak which, if misunderstood by prospective owners, can seem like poor pet potential. The key with Derbyans, indeed all Psittacula, is to provide them with excellent socialisation and stimulating lifestyle, and then wait.

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