Cart Is Empty


Dear Parrots magazine,

Hand-reared parrots not for breeding

I am writing in support of the letter written by Roz Paterson, “Other options for loud Amazon,” in the February 2013 issue (181). I could not have said it better myself.

I have been involved with parrots for many years and in that time have served on a national committee as conservation and stud book keeper, have been a member of societies and was on Parrots magazine’s helpline. I have rescued parrots and rehabilitated them and I did breed, but my pairs’ parent-reared. Hand-rearing was only ever done to save a life. My comments that follow come from experience.

Pet parrots which have been hand-reared do not fare well when put into a breeding situation. They do not fare well when they are put into a colony aviary either. In fact a lot die when subjected to this alien environment, isolated from humans which they have been brought up to consider their only family. The latter is the fault of some humans not theirs.

Constantly owners are recommended by those in positions in societies, associations and sanctuaries to give up their noisy parrot for breeding or for life in a colony aviary, and so often the same recommendation comes with parrots that favour just one member of a family and dislike all others.

There are also many reasons for parrots having to be re-homed. I have personally stepped in on many occasions to stop a pet parrot, which was totally unsuitable for aviary life of any type, being subjected to what for the parrot would have meant a death sentence.

One parrot had been a pet for nearly 30 years, he/she could not fly but the powers that be had decided he/she would be paired for breeding. I was not going to let this happen and I was extremely unpopular. It would appear when parrots are free the value of that life becomes undervalued. I have consoled many, many owners over the years that have been advised to give up their pet parrot.

One case in particular was heartbreaking. The demise of the parrot in question was horrendous. In many cases the pet parrot given up had died and in some cases the parrot concerned disappeared without trace. Acclimatising parrots for a life outdoors takes a lot of time and a lot of care, but all too often I have heard of parrots going directly outside from a centrally heated home. The outcome of this in the colder months is obvious.

There are parrots that can successfully live with another parrot as a companion, but this ‘pairing’ takes a lot of experience on the part of the carer. The advice to give up pet parrots for breeding or colony aviary life is not in the best interest of parrots. Educating the owner and training the parrots is the way forward and both can be done. There is a lot of help out there.

Encouraging hand-rearing, is also not in the best interests of parrots. They are highly intelligent and do have emotions, proven by research. Constantly taking away their eggs and chicks, in my opinion, is an act of psychological cruelty. Hen birds all too often end up worn out, or worse, have an early demise, all because they are eager to do what nature intended. They do not deserve to be used as a factory machine.

Rescues and bird parks are full. We have a serious problem in this country with the over production of hand-reared and unwanted parrots. Parrots that are parent-reared, tame very easily, they do not suffer the physical and psychological problems hand-reared parrots suffer from, so please let’s put parrot welfare first and foremost. Encourage owners to parent-rear - surely that is the way forward for the future welfare and conservation of all parrot and parrot-like species?

Pam Fryer by email




Our Address

Parrots magazine is published by
Imax Visual Ltd, West Building,
Elm Grove Lane, Steyning BN44 3SA

Telephone +44 (0)1273 464777
© Parrots magazine 2023