The Tip of the Iceberg

Holland passed a law that bans the hand feeding and hand raising of parrot chicks. There are pros and cons in this situation, and I have yet to come up with enough information to decide for myself. So I’m going to throw some links up and see if there is anything that stands forth on either side.

The new rule prohibits the removal of birds from their parents before they can feed themselves. Even the removal of eggs is prohibited in this law. The reason given is that the parents stress when their chicks are taken away, and it can lead to behavior problems like plucking and self mutilation in the chicks.

When the US banned the import of wild-caught birds in 1992, breeding became the only way to get some of the more popular species. I’ve seen wide-scale operations with round the clock care for baby birds, and I can’t help but think it’s a little unfair to the birds. They would have gotten better care and attention in a clutch of four than in a batch of twenty. But even small scale breeders who hand feed can get it wrong, and cause the death of a baby one way or another, and even inadvertently spread a disease throughout a flock.

The biggest problem I have seen with hand-raised birds is that they bond with humans and not other birds. My Amazon is sure I am his mate. Also some chicks bond with the hand feeder, and then don’t adjust well to being placed in a new home with new humans. My Indian ring-neck suffered that problem.

Well, I find lots of negative opinions in this debate, even if they aren’t fanatics, but what is there that’s positive about hand rearing? I don’t mean the odd incident when a chick is abandoned or rejected, and this is the only way to save it. I mean as a business and a way to bond with a bird.

Co-parenting has always seemed to be a better option to me. And with my budgies, it worked very well. But it doesn’t work with lovebirds at all. And it doesn’t work, apparently, with Chris Biro. He’s adamantly against the law.

This video shows hand-raised parrots helping out with younger chicks. I don’t see a problem here.

Well, no closer to a position, but lots to think about. I will be back on Sunday.

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