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Dear Parrots magazine,


I refer to “Hand-rearing is not the answer” in the May 2010 issue of this magazine. When hand-rearing came into fashion some years ago I, like many others, thought this maybe the answer to stop the awful trade in parrots that have been ripped from the rainforest and travelled half away across the world in, often, appalling conditions. Well, of course, it has made a difference as buyers now choose the cuddly tame babies that have been captive bred, hand-reared and sold in pet stores. But having read many articles on parent-rearing, I am now of a different opinion.

I am convinced that many of the issues associated with behavioural problems, is a result of hand-rearing. I have visited ‘nurseries’ where parrot chicks live their first few months in ice cream tubs under bright lights and fed mixtures that must be totally alien to them. No wonder they suffer psychological trauma and sexual aggression in later years, and deprived of a ‘natural’ start in life.

I am encouraged by what appears to be an increasing interest in parent-rearing techniques and truly hope that this relatively new practice will increase with the result that, hopefully, future birds, and us humans, will enjoy our lives much better!

Bridgett Harper, Arizona, USA (by email)




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