Speaking For Parrots

Parrots need your voice

Calling On Dog and Cat Advocates: Parrots Need Your Help, Too.

Last year, I was taken to a “parrot party,” which was a gathering of parrot people, speakers and vendors. Also there, were a couple of tables set up for dog and cat rescues. I started chatting with one of the volunteers at a dog rescue. As we discussed the similarity of the needs of dog and parrot rescue, the over-population problems, lack of suitable homes, and bird/puppy mills, she mentioned how much she loved the vet who was having the gathering. I asked her if she knew that this vet was also a parrot breeder, to which she said, yes.

clubb-aviaries-3

One of the enclosures that is in a public area of the vet’s property. The breeding birds are kept in a secured area, away from the public eye. Notice the lack of enrichment in this cage, among other things.

So, I asked why she could be so critical of dog breeders, but not apply the same to bird breeders. She looked at me like I had three heads, and changed the subject as soon as she could. At that moment, something became completely clear to me. Many dog and cat rescue people aren’t onboard with the plight of unwanted, homeless, neglected and abused parrots. Somehow, they don’t see the suffering of parrots like they do mammals.

Let me be clear, this post is not about that vet/breeder, although I anticipate some might make it into that (if there are comments with regard to that, I probably won’t approve them, although I will consider them on a comment-to-comment basis). This is about the disconnect dog and cat people have regarding birds.

After thinking about that conversation with the dog rescue volunteer, I remembered that it wasn’t the first time I was confronted with this. I was at an event with a dog rescue, and was introduced to a man from another dog rescue. It was mentioned to him that I work with parrots, so he told me he was good friends with a woman who also works with parrots. That woman I know to be a bird breeder and a bird flipper.

As an aside, a flipper is a broker, and Howard Voren perfectly described what brokers do in the HSUS article, “No Fly Zone:

“The old breeder parrots are sold at auction. ‘When a pair reaches the end of their productivity [they no longer can bear offspring, i.e., generate income], they go to a broker,’ he [Voren] says, ‘to be sold to other breeders. Only not with my name on them.’” [i.e., a scam].

HV Enclosures Nandays

Voren’s aviaries, still in operation even after his death where hundreds of parrots are bred for big-box pet stores. Voren, along with Rick Jordan, literally wrote the book on breeding parrots, a go-to reference for most breeders and wannabees. The conures pictured here have very little head room, barely room to stretch out their wings, one perch, and a nest box. (Photo from HSUS, “No Fly Zone”)

 

Perhaps dog and cat rescue people don’t understand what a bird flipper does, but certainly something should connect when they hear “bird breeder.” Parrot breeders, like so many other animal breeders, do not have the best interest for the birds in their charge, and compromise their health and well-being with their bottom line, their profit. These are the same problems with cats and dogs, but there are other issues that complicate the problems involving parrots.

Parrot advocates face a strong, well-run propaganda machine, the American Federation of Aviculture, that spreads misinformation in order to continue breeding parrots, and gain support from the general public.  What sets parrots apart from dogs and cats is that they are not domesticated, and are wild animals, like chimps, tigers and dolphins. They are also endangered, some critically, so one of the lies told by parrot breeders (also known as aviculturists) is that they are part of the conservation effort to save parrots by breeding them for the pet trade. Nothing could be further from the truth. Any contribution to the pet trade makes them a desirable “commodity,” subject to the impulses and trends of supply and demand. No other endangered species are traded in such ways, and no true conservationist would consider the pet trade as anything but exploitive and harmful for the long-term outlook of parrot species.

Another lie disseminated by parrot breeders is that there is no captive over-population problem. This campaign has been so successful, it’s been adopted by aviculturists in countries outside of the US. Some of these are EU countries, South Africa, and in particular, Australia, where breeders say they don’t have the same problems we see in the US. However, not only does Australia have a parrot over-population problem, they have too few rescues and sanctuaries where unwanted birds can go. Instead, parrots languish in small cages in people’s driveways because their care became too difficult. To add to this denial of any problems, American aviculturists blame rescues and sanctuaries for overflowing with parrots because they are too strict in adopting out. Perhaps if they applied stricter criteria for their buyers, parrots wouldn’t see multiple homes in one lifetime. The HSUS states that, “The average pet parrot will go through seven homes in the first 10 years of her life.” I don’t know how they came to those numbers, but I do know after 20+ years of working with parrots, most will have several homes in one lifetime. And another…. the problem isn’t too many birds, it’s too few homes.

Huh?

Yup, that’s right, Jamie Whittaker, president of The American Federation of Aviculture (AFA) said in an article in The Dodo titled, “It’s Time To Admit Birds Shouldn’t Be Kept In Cages” (no longer available, but saved to my hard drive): 

“Jamie Whittaker…believes more households with pet birds would be beneficial. ‘The problem appears to be less an issue of too many birds than it is an issue of too few homes with birds,’ she told The Dodo…This is why, Whittaker says, AFA supports breeding birds: ‘There simply are not enough of them for the world to enjoy.'”

If it were true that there aren’t enough parrots for the world to enjoy, then there wouldn’t be “too few homes” (insert face-palm).

So, the reason for writing this is to reach out to dog, cat and any other rescue people, and anyone else wanting to help animals, to apply the same criticisms to bird breeders as they do other breeders. Don’t support bird breeders, and help us educate the public on parrot issues, the third most popular “pet” in the US. Many of us crazy bird people are also involved in dog and cat advocacy, and would never promote a dog or cat breeder in any way, regardless of what else they do. A breeder is a breeder. Period.

Don’t Shop, Adopt.

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31 comments on “Calling On Dog and Cat Advocates: Parrots Need Your Help, Too.

  1. carol gelfand
    October 18, 2016

    owning a bird is a lot more work than owning a dog or cat. owning a dog and cat is a lot of work if you care for them properly i think many people become attached to bird they own but become overwhelmed with the daily clean up,the noise, specialized food and time and attention needed for owning a bird. walk in any pet store and there are shelves and shelves of specially cat and dog foods. birds don’t have this unless you just put them on a plain bird mix sold in pet stores and then they are not healthy and have a very short life span. birds bite. dogs and cats bite. the shelters are full of dogs and cats that bite. dogs and cats probably have a good reason for biting but a bird bites because it is angry for a moment , something scared him or is trying to tell you something or maybe just feels like playing rough. birds have a very long life span. people get bored and want to move on and really don’t care if it bothers the birds so they dump it. many responsible bird owners are seniors. they laugh and say the bird is willed to my kids when i die. the first thing the kids do is dump the bird at any shelter that will take it after the demise of parrot owner parent. cats and dogs live about 15 years. shelters are full of senior pets dumped their by children of deceased dog and cat owners.

    a lot of people are always asking to friend me on Facebook since i post a ton of environmental, animal, bird videos and photos. i alway check out who they are first but am not always successful. am so saddened when i see the tons of african greys in cages piled on top of each other being sold in african market places. many people are responsible bird owners and sometimes life circumstances overwhelm them and they end up in hospice and can’t even care for themselves let alone any pet. when any animal moves into my home they never leave since they then become part of the family no matter what problems they have. anyway i am rambling so forgive me. i think its ok to breed if you are not doing it for profit but to help a species by building a better genetic line. flippers and breeding for profit suck.

    • sharon tompkins
      October 19, 2016

      great article. birds are a flock animal, they need people or another bird to interact with constantly. I also take in birds that people no longer want. they are just as loving as a dog or cat, you just have to treat them like you have a 2 yr old for the 50 yrs of their life. amazing how many people have no idea how to care for a bird, they just think they are beautiful, so they want one and then know nothing about their care and as a result the bird gets passed around and around.

      • Shari Mirojnick
        October 19, 2016

        …. and around.

      • Tom
        November 1, 2016

        Listen. Same way we can say people have no idea how to take care of children so we should ban having children. Unfortunately for pets there are many more restriction than for having children thats why they are being rehomed. I have been around Birds for years. They do adapt to new owners quickly as long as you match proper specie with proper owners. I do accept unwanted birds and have no problems finding right homes. As to breeding there are species of birds going extinct almost daily and captive breeding is the only way to preserve them.

      • Shari Mirojnick
        November 1, 2016

        I’m not sure why you started your comment with, “Listen,” but it seems like you’re going to tell us a thing or two.

        There’s a difference in captive breeding for conservation with a scientific protocol that involves breeding, reintroduction, habitat restoration, and community education, and letting anyone get a pair of parrots and breed them for the pet trade. You can’t save a species if its placed on the free market and at the whim of supply and demand. Conservation projects protect fragile gene pools, and aviculturists inbreed for color mutation. There isn’t one facet of breeding endangered species for the pet trade that has any conservation merit. In fact, it’s a detriment to conservation, and that’s why we don’t do it with any other endangered species.

        I don’t know what it is that you do or for how many years you’ve “been around” birds that gives you such an air of authority, but this isn’t about birds adapting quickly or not to new homes, but about the over-population problem of an animal that is not a domesticated “pet” and an endangered species. It’s about me as a parrot advocate reaching out to others who advocate for other animals, that it would be so helpful if they applied their dog and cat beliefs to parrots, as well. If you’re against dog and cat breeders and mills mills, don’t support a vet, or postal carrier, or mother, or school teacher who also happens to be a parrot breeder or mill.

        Regarding your assertion that “there are species of birds going extinct almost daily….” perhaps you should read this excerpt from BirdLife International:

        “At least 140 bird species are believed to have become extinct since 1500. Avian extinctions are continuing, with 19 species lost in the last quarter of the twentieth century and three more known or suspected to have gone extinct since 2000.” http://www.birdlife.org/datazone/sowb/casestudy/102

        My point in citing that is not to downplay the crisis we are seeing of the threats for extinctions, but that your credibility is about nil when you start out with “Listen,” and end with an assertion that has no basis in fact.

  2. Lila Lou
    October 19, 2016

    They these sick people in the media

  3. Ivy
    October 19, 2016

    Birds are wonderful companions. All must be done to protect them. There are few things sadder than a neglected bird in a cage.

  4. beejaymeade
    October 19, 2016

    I’ve befriended some cat and dog rescue people and when they hear that I’ve worked with parrots, they always, always always want to introduce to to their friends who have “raised parrots for years”. I wonder how they’d react if I wanted to introduce them to any friend of mine who had “raised puppies for years”?

    • Shari Mirojnick
      October 19, 2016

      Do you have any insight into why this is? I’m at a total loss.

  5. Brenda Richard Milligan
    October 20, 2016

    The problem is they keep breeding parrots that live 80 plus years, and people toss them out like a piece of clothing. I figured this one out three years ago when I rescued a male cockatoo that sat at Iowa Parrot Rescue for almost a year. Since then we have rescues a couple more cockatoos and each one has their story from inside their previous cage. Was their diet correct and were they given water? Feeding them is another issue as many people still think they need seed instead of pellets with fresh fruit and vegetables with nuts in the shell. Vet bills are over the top for parrots and many vets say they are avian vets….and you end up paying a dog or cat vet to guess on your bird. Please check out Iowa Parrot Rescue as my thoughts are this one is the best in the US and has been in Bird magazines, fully functions on donations and is inspected by the state. Two of my cockatoo’s came from there and he is strict on his rules, you sign a contract that you will not breed them, if your life changes and no longer can take care of them they go back to the rescue. A household also has guidelines you have to meet to adopt and their is no cost…you can do a donation. Not many rescues do this as they acquire the 503 and do the paperwork as a charity…but attempt to make money as they flip the birds. My first red flag of a rescue is when they receive a parrot with a proper cage and they take that bird out of that cage and sell the cage for profit, then charge a fee for the bird and that poor bird is tossed into another venture in their lifetime. Many are flipped several times because they are wild animals who should be out in the wild….and humans decide they need to live in a cage in our houses.

    • Shari Mirojnick
      October 20, 2016

      How funny that I read this while wearing my tye-dyed IPR t-shirt!

      Yes, some rescues have turned into flippers, themselves. It’s all the more reason to have more regulation protecting parrots, no matter if an entity is for profit or nonprofit.

      I don’t know what species of cockatoos you have, but only a few can have an eighty-year lifespan. The sad thing is, regardless of lifespan, most parrots in captivity will not reach old age. I have a previous blog post discussing this issue. Because of this, (among many other things) I can’t see how anyone can defend the idea that parrots, their entire Order benefits from captivity.

      Thank you for making those cockatoos members of your family. They can be the hardest to place, suffering the most emotional damage.

  6. Jean Pattison
    October 20, 2016

    What breeder do you know that lectured at Golden Cockatoo about Cape parrots, as a fund raiser for the conservation of the Cape Parrot in S. Africa. Don’t tell me breeders don’t contribute to conservation. And as a breeder, in the picture above, the conures with little head room, are not in their cage, they are in the food access, which is attached to their flight cage. Made so their food stays clean. So unfortunate that there is so much misinformation reported by people that don’t know the ins and outs of breeding birds. Most assume what they see in pictures, but don’t really know. And referencing an H$U$ article which took many comments out of context, and twisted words, (which it usually does) is really surprising that you would use them.

    According to Charity Navigator, the HSUS pays out zero dollars to their affiliates. Zero. Zilch. Nada. Nothing. They pay lobbyists to lobby against even owning animals.

    • Shari Mirojnick
      October 20, 2016

      I reread what I wrote about breeders and conservation, and the words I chose don’t say what I mean. I edited it to read, “….is that [breeders think] they are part of the conservation effort to save parrots as species by breeding them for the pet trade.” The part about breeding for the pet trade as conservation isn’t the truth. It was not meant to imply that breeders don’t do things like you have done, i.e., raise money for conservation projects, but in the end, breeders do more harm than good. Putting parrots onto the free market makes them into a commodity, and that is controlled by profits, supply and demand, and economic fluctuations. That is not conducive to the long-term survival of any endangered species. You and I have been on the same threads where breeders throw out that “breeding-for-the-pet-trade-is-conservation” line, so with this clarification, I hope it is now clear as to my point.

      As for Howard Voren, I knew Howard, and I know people who knew him well, for many years. Howard never denied anything that was credited to him in that article. In fact, the only statement he gave regarding the article was that he knew all along it might be a “set-up,” so he figured it would be best for the author, Charles Bergman to see his facility. He mentioned that some things were out of context, but didn’t elaborate, and defended his whole operation by saying that all his babies were clean, as were the bins they were in. Clap…….clap. The one thing that convinces me, and anyone who knew Howard, is that there is no way Bergman could have made up the quotes attributed to Howard. Those words, from his diminishing comment about fat women in polyester to his egotism that he was the pioneer and pioneers take all the arrows, are ALL classic Howard Voren,.

      Regarding the conure caging, I don’t think you’re seeing it right. I’m not sure why you wouldn’t think they are as small as they are, because breeders like Howard, Tony Silva, Rick Jordan, and you have published books on breeding and care that give caging sizes that aren’t all that big. So,if you look at the end cage, you can see the nest box in the back. You can see the path between that row of caging, and the next, and so on. Then, if you look at the second cage in from the end, you will see two birds. Look above them and to the left, you will see another two. Those cages are stacked, like bricks, one row on top of the other. There are no flights there. But let’s say there were flights. Where is the enrichment? Do they only get to procreate, lay eggs and then have Howard (or whomever is running the mill today) take the eggs away? What kind of life is that? And for what? So someone can walk into a Petco and buy a sun or nanday conure? Probably where we differ is, I believe those parents in those cages pay too high a price for our wants and desires.

  7. Beth
    October 21, 2016

    Any species of birds and reptiles should not allowed to be pets period! For all the reasons you states in the article. If people stopped destroying animal natural habitats and hunting them for sport we wouldn’t need conservation. I rescued a Mollacan Cockatoo 7 years ago. He has been through 11 homes by the time he was 7 years old. The reason being He screamed constantly to get attention. When he was given attention and you went to put him back in his cage. He would bite the shit out of who ever was tring to put him back in his cage. My fear if he out Lives me will he find someone who will understand, love and care for him as I do. It is just not right when we as human beings can stop this, but greed wins. It is so sad and breaks my heart how we treat all animals on this planet.

    • Shari Mirojnick
      October 21, 2016

      I don’t envy your position. I’ve been bitten by all kinds of parrots countless numbers of times. I always say that the last bite I want is from a male umbrella or Moluccan cockatoo. It’s not the biting that makes me say I don’t envy your position, it’s your worry about where he will go should something happen to you.

      I’m so glad you brought up the issues of habitat destruction, because rather than tackle that, breeders would just assume say there’s nothing that can be done, so breeding for the pet trade is necessary to save parrots. Yes, it’s throwing the baby out with the bathwater, and it needs to be said that it will only be too late, if we adopt that kind of thinking.

      Thank you for sharing.

  8. Zazu
    October 21, 2016

    I also find that the difference is that cats and dogs are meant to be companion animals for human beings. Birds aren’t. They should not be pets and need to be in the wild. Breeding and selling birds (and many other living creatures) should be illegal. Period.

    • carol gelfand
      October 21, 2016

      hey Zazu did you used to be on bird channel. i recognize the name

  9. yvonne pruett
    October 24, 2016

    parrots make excellent and loving pets. I haven’t seen this over-population problem where I am. I rarely see parrots for sale. People give their birds to rescue not because they can’t find homes for them or the market is flooded with birds, but it’s easier to give them to a rescue that will screen customers than to deal with it themselves. It’s odd to me that people who bad mouth keeping parrots as pets always seem to have a house full themselves. I suppose the only way they can feel it’s okay for them to own parrots is to convince themselves they are “saving” parrots. I haven’t figured out who or what they are rescuing or saving these parrots from.

    • Shari Mirojnick
      October 24, 2016

      I can understand you saying this from personal experience, but that doesn’t mean that all the issues I’ve raised aren’t true. It just means that you aren’t aware of them. If there’s one thing that might convince you otherwise regarding people giving their parrots to rescues because it’s easier that way, peruse Craigslist. There are plenty of parrots listed who are unwanted, but for sale. There are also many breeders on there selling parrots, regardless of it being against Craigslist’s terms of use.

      I don’t know where you live, but I can go to any Petco, Petsmart, Pet Supermarket, or Petland and buy a parrot. I can go to Google and search a species and “for sale,” and there will be all kinds of hits. It’s so easy to get parrots, that I can go right now to a small bird shop and buy rare, Appendix I and/or ESA-listed parrots like hyacinth macaw, blue-throated macaw, golden conure, blue-throated conure (yup), vinaceous Amazon, and several others, without any problem.

      I think you’re being very unfair by criticizing people who take in unwanted parrots. Even if it’s not for altruistic purposes, at least it gives a parrot a home.

      If you don’t know who we are saving these parrots from, I can only say that you are willfully ignorant. I personally can give you the stories of my own parrots, others I have rescued and placed, and the parrots who came into a large rescue where I worked. I can also put you in touch with people who do rescue, but somehow I don’t think you’d be willing to see the problem. I don’t think it’s people who rescue who rationalize, but the people who want to continue keeping parrots as pets for their own needs and desires. Because there really is a problem regarding too few homes (as stated by the president of AFA), and because there are so many parrots with problems, people who want to continue the practice can only deny that any of it exists. That kind of makes more sense, don’t you think.

    • Brenda Milligan
      October 24, 2016

      Try to figure out why people choose miniature chickens and reptiles in their homes as pets. This is not just a Parrot issue. The sad part about parrots is avian vets are not plentiful and everyone has there own idea on what they should eat. My thoughts are people attempt to make money from them an you can look at the ARL in a large city and how they turn strays into profit.

      • Shari Mirojnick
        October 24, 2016

        I’m not sure if you understood my point. It was about dog and cat rescue people not recognizing parrots breeders as being the same problem as dog and cat breeders, and the over-population problem they all have in common. I don’t know about an over-population problem in miniature chickens or reptiles. Reptiles are in a similar boat as parrots because they’re not domesticated either, but there doesn’t seem to be that much of a lack of homes.

        I’m often disturbed when I’m discussing breeders, and the subject is changed to rescues, ARLs, local Humane Societies, HSUS, ASPCA, SPCA, and/or whatever entity is brought up to take the spotlight off of the real problem: too many animals, not enough homes, and human greed. Some rescue organizations are not good, in fact there are some who are terrible, whether it’s due to their lack of care for the animals in their charge, or bilking the public; however, most are good people doing good work, and using their own money and time to run their operation. If you want to do away with bad rescues, then we need to first do away with breeders.

      • carol gelfand
        October 24, 2016

        ok i am changing the discussion briefly to focus on rescues. I think most rescues are started with excellent intentions but life changing events which people don’t anticipate and being overwhelmed with the exorbitant cost and time of maintaing a good parrot rescue can sometimes lead people to maybe sell a few of the birds allowed to breed to help with operation costs. owners of operations my become sick and die without any legal guidelines setup to continue the operation such as in the canadian parrot rescue. ok i am done now.

      • Shari Mirojnick
        October 24, 2016

        All that is true, and I can’t think of anything worse than a rescue who breeds. If you breed, you are the problem. But in no way does any of this compare to the suffering of parrots who are breeders. I go into more detail about it in an earlier post: https://speakingforparrots.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/people-are-the-same-all-over-a-hidden-truth-in-aviculture/

  10. Carol stevens
    October 26, 2016

    How could a parrot adopted .

    • Shari Mirojnick
      October 26, 2016

      I’m not sure I understand. Would you like to know how to adopt a parrot?

  11. Phyllis Seager
    October 31, 2016

    I found this very informative. The only thing I know about parrots is that they have long life spans, longer than many humans. I house/birdsat for my uncle years ago when he visited Brazil and found just the correct feeding and addition of vitamin drops (I think that’s what they were) required me to get up 1 hour earlier for work. He had a huge parrot (mean to strangers which I was) a small parrot(also mean) and a friendly cockatiel. I think many dog/cat advocates are like me, and just don’t know enough about birds to feel competent to speak out. Obviously the sight of dirty, filthy cages would get us angry but it’s obvious we need to educate ourselves in the plight of birds.

    • Shari Mirojnick
      October 31, 2016

      Thank you, I’m glad you read it. As you know from caring for someone else’s parrots for a short period, they are time consuming, expensive, and complex. They are highly intelligent, and need so much to keep them busy. A wild parrot spends a lot of time doing parrot things, like feeding, making nests, feeding chicks, preening, playing and flying from food source to food source. Yes, there are a lot of dirty cages out there where parrots endure horrible lives, but even the cleanest cage is a cage. Parrots who are used as breeders live in the confines of that cage for years on end, with no enrichment, no medical care, and lack of proper diet (if these things were offered, aviculturists wouldn’t be able to turn a profit). To really understand, see my post, “People Are The Same All Over.” https://speakingforparrots.wordpress.com/2015/01/04/people-are-the-same-all-over-a-hidden-truth-in-aviculture/
      (there are some pretty interesting comments, too).

      Parrots are long-lived in comparison to other companion animals, but the evidence doesn’t point to the ages of 70-, 80-, or 90-year lifespans. Only a few species are capable of living as long as humans, but a recent study shows that most parrots in captivity live very short lives. Most medium to large parrot species have a lifespan of about 40-50 years; however, many captive individuals die well before that, usually around 12 years old. I wrote another blog post about that, too, “Realistic Lifespans Of Parrots In Captivity:” https://speakingforparrots.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/realistic-lifespans-of-parrots-in-captivity/
      In both of the blog posts, the comments make it evident how those in the parrot pet trade are angered by us talking about these issues. They disseminate a lot of misinformation to fool and confuse people, and that’s part of the problem parrot advocates face, on top of the homelessness, overbreeding, health, death rate, miserable conditions, and many things other animal advocates face.
      If there’s one thing that might help others understand, it’s that parrots aren’t dogs and cats, yet they are the third most popular pet in the US. Parrots are wild animals, never having been domesticated, and keeping them is just like keeping other animals in captivity who belong in the wild. They also comprise many endangered species, some critically, and they are all on one of the Appendices for CITES. There are no other endangered species whose genetics are so compromised by breeding for the pet trade. Whether backyard or mill, there is no consideration given to genetics. Anyone can buy a pair and start breeding willy-nilly. Anyone can purchase some endangered species, and inbreed them for color mutation. These are some of the issues that need to get out there, so people understand how unsuitable parrots are as pets, and really, how morally wrong.

  12. Anna Bookelaar
    October 31, 2016

    Some of the aggression that is the reason owners give up on their birds is due to hormones. I have always wondered if there was a procedure to spay or neuter birds not meant to breed. Many people get two birds to keep each other company but end up with babies that they sell because it’s what birds do.

    • Shari Mirojnick
      October 31, 2016

      That’s very true. Just like other wild animals, they are cute and cuddly as babies, but once sexual maturity sets in, things change. This is why young wolves, chimps, tigers and bears become so dangerous as adults. Unfortunately for parrots, they can’t maul or kill you, so somehow we’ve decided that this makes them good pets. No wild animal should be a pet. As for some kind of neutering, hysterectomies (partial or full) are a last alternative for a parrot hen who has issues with chronic egg-laying and egg-binding. It’s a risky surgery, because of the amount of blood that can be lost, along with all the other risks associated with surgery and recovery. Probably really expensive, too. But the problem is, it’s really just one of the many reasons why parrots are not suitable pets. Humans keep trying to mold them into pets, but it’s always at the detriment to parrots. And breeders keep breeding them, and they never tell people what can happen once a baby reaches sexual maturity (but that wouldn’t sell baby parrots, now would it). And biting, territorial, aggressive and screaming parrots are an excellent way for aviculturists to get free or near-free breeder birds.

  13. Sandy Merriman
    October 31, 2016

    This is such a great read. I thank you for posting. We had a Blue Fronted Amazon and we love and miss her dearly. She was to out live us and when we found her at 4 years old passed away i feel it had to be something I unintentionally did. I love all animals but parrots hold a special place in my heart. I sometimes wish to volunteer my time. I don’t know why ours passed so young i have read up i found a few things I didn’t know and maybe one day will have another.

    • Shari Mirojnick
      October 31, 2016

      I’m so sorry about your blue-fronted Amazon. Before I go any further, you might be interested in reading this post, “Realistic Lifespans Of Parrots In Captivity:” https://speakingforparrots.wordpress.com/2016/01/20/realistic-lifespans-of-parrots-in-captivity/
      You’ll find that you’re not alone. It’s one of the things that not only breaks my heart for the parrots, but also for the people. It’s so easy to scapegoat the guardians of parrots when there’s a premature death, illness, or self-mutilation (that’s my latest post, “Parrot Feather Picking, Self-Mutilation, and Other OCD Behaviors: It’s Not Your Fault.\:” https://speakingforparrots.wordpress.com/2016/10/23/parrot-feather-picking-self-mutilation-and-other-ocd-behaviors-its-not-your-fault/ )
      Shortened lifespan is one part of why parrots are not suitable pets, and also that we are not suitable guardians. It’s impossible for us to even come close to creating a life in captivity that reflects their life in the wild. There are many parrot organizations who would be so happy to and benefit from you volunteering your time. There are also so many parrots in need of homes, and that might be an option for you.

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This entry was posted on October 17, 2016 by and tagged , , , , , , , .