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Living with a quartet of extroverts

Parrots magazine 170, March 2012

by Pauline James

Wendy Holt-Billing from Lancashire has kept parrots for over 25 years, and used to run Pampered Parrots, a holiday home for birds, from her home. But, taking in other people’s parrots really opened her eyes to the bad practices and the poor quality of life that some parrots were enduring, and she made it her mission to try and help them. But, Wendy admits, very often she was left frustrated when her well-meaning advice wasn’t well received.

While taking an extended vacation in Spain, with her partner, poodle and four parrots, Wendy told Parrots magazine her story - offering loads of practical tips, and turning many a parrot-keeping myth on its head!

I started out, breeding and hand-rearing cockatiels, moved on to helping a parrot breeder friend of mine hand-rear parrot chicks, and ended up taking four of them home with me! The first was an African Grey that nobody wanted because he suffered with Constricted Toe Syndrome. The Grey was very much my bird, and neither the parrot, nor my husband showed much interest in each other. But, the Grey obviously felt some comfort in having my husband around, as he mimicked most of his pet phrases, imitating him to a tee, and when he died, the parrot never spoke again.

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