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nia

why handreared?

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hi,

 

this may be in the wrong place-sorry if it is.I am wondering why most birds I come across are hand-reared?why are they not left for the parents to rear?I'm not judging or anything,I'd just like to know the benefits/advantages/disadvantages to both so I know which to look for when finding my birdie-friend,

 

thanks,

 

Nia

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Hi Nia

 

I can only speak of the little I've learnt but the experts will be along soon I'm sure :wink:

 

As I understand it (and I'm only talking about Greys as they're all I know a little about), research has suggested that the best adjusted parrot (adjusted for life with a human that is) is one which has been reared by it's parents for the first few weeks (so it knows it's a bird) then brought indoors for hand-rearing at about six weeks.

 

I'll leave it to those in the know to go into just why this is the 'best' method!

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so the "best" method is mixed rearing then?LOL I took hand-reared literally-thought they were taken from parents like the second they hatched lol.

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so the "best" method is mixed rearing then?LOL I took hand-reared literally-thought they were taken from parents like the second they hatched lol.

I think some are... I think its so they more people friendly like Pippy says.

 

But I'm sure the others will give you a better idea, I barely remember my own name at times :mrgreen:

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so the "best" method is mixed rearing then?LOL I took hand-reared literally-thought they were taken from parents like the second they hatched lol.

As far as I'm aware some breeders do hand-rear right from the start, I think they incubate the eggs indoors. I really don't know much about it though so don't take it as Gospel! :lol:

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Guest ramagel

I think this is quite an emotive topic. From what I recall reading 'hand-reared' birds, taken quite early from the parents (not sure how early this should/can be done) turn out generally to be immediately tame and therefore easier to sell - a pretty significant motivation for any breeder.

 

But if they've been taken too early and not had time to learn from their parents that they are BIRDS not humans, there is a potential for this to manifest itself in psychological issues later in life - by that time the breeder's guarantee (and interest in the welfare of the bird) is long over and it might be on the rehoming merry-go-round.

 

I guess my bias is showing: I'm just not in favour of any animals being bred as pets or for financial gain (except accidentally) while their older cousins are languishing in rescue centres and unsuitable homes across the country. YMMV of course. I have only ever bought 2 animals from a breeder in my life: a pair of budgies - I didn't expect such delightful creatures ever to be in need of 'rescue' so I didn't look. All my dogs and other birds have been rehomed.

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Guest ramagel

so the "best" method is mixed rearing then

The 'best' method of obtaining a bird is to rehome one, not create more incentive for breeding for commercial exploitation.

 

There: that's one of my hobbyhorses taken out for a quick canter around the paddock! :) Only a few more to go now.

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so in a way hand-rearing from the start almost "humanises" the bird?Does that not possibly lead to some confusion in the bird as to how it should behave etc?

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Guest ramagel

so in a way hand-rearing from the start almost "humanises" the bird?Does that not possibly lead to some confusion in the bird as to how it should behave etc?

That's pretty much the gist of what I understand ..... it's cute for the new owners, profitable for the breeders, but maybe not so good for the bird in the longer term.

 

I understand there's a halfway house that allows the young bird enough time to learn from the parents, but then readily learn to be acclimated to humans, but that takes longer and costs more to do.

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remember that some birds dont know how to rear, chicks dissapear as soon as they hatch, toes wings might get bitten off etc, also i have a couple of pairs that throw their eggs out of the nest and wont even incubate. this is no doubt due to eggs been removed from them which was "normal" practice years ago. thank goodness things have changed and breeders do leave babies with their parents much longer, and some thank goodness leave them to be fully parent reared so hopefully these will eventually make good birds that rear their young in the future.

many breeders are unfortunately left with birds from the "dark ages"

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Mojo and Shinda would have been parent-reared for about six weeks if not for their dad attacking them.

 

Mojo escaped with just toe injuries discovered when Lesley (threeladdies on the forum) went to put her ring on at two weeks old, at which point Lesley brought her in for her safety.

 

Shinda was brought in pretty much as soon as he hatched as Lesley witnessed dad throwing him about the nestbox. He would undoubtedly have been killed (as was the fate of another chick from the same clutch) had Lesley not rescued him. As it is, he has quite severe damage to his toes, worse than that of Mojo's toes.

 

Yes, ideally I'd have wanted birds who'd been with their parents for at least six weeks but once I'd discussed it with Lesley, then met Mojo and Shinda, I didn't hesitate to go ahead and have them and I feel no guilt for doing so.

 

I view Lesley as a conscientious breeder and value her advice greatly.

 

For me personally, an older bird wasn't something I was ready for as a novice (other than looking after Mark's YCA but he is so easy to look after as he rarely flies and isn't too keen on being touched so can't be compared to a 'normal' parrot in my opinion) but I hope that at some point in the future I will add another bird to my family and this will be an older, rehomed bird.

 

I can't contemplate doing this until my two have reached maturity and beyond as it's possible they may need to be caged separately in the future, who knows, they may end up not getting along as they do now.

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As I understand it, CAG's will spend up to a year with their parents in the wild. All that learning missed out on...........!? When you think about it, it is no wonder they are so prone to behavioral problems. Doesn't make me feel too good!

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Just to add to fannyanns quote "many breeders are unfortunately left with birds from the "dark ages" I have one pair of greys which will only rear their young until 4 weeks, this is because their previous owner pulled them for hand rearing at 4 weeks. Some people may say well everyone could say that but on my part and other good breeders i have tryed many different ways of trying to get them to parent rear such as increasing the parents food intake gradually on chicks hatching as to encourage them to think food is plentiful i"ll keep feeding my babies or at 3and a half weeks suddenly double the feed available etc, but to no avail. Also just to add to the other "hot" subject on the forum at the moment i for one do not feel at ease on the forum one reason why i dont post that often, i believe myself to be a good breeder who has been keeping birds since i was 11 years old (now 28years old) and has the birds welfare at num 1!

Luke :D

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I take Pippy900's point - that handrearing is necessary for protection (for the bird) if it is going to be hurt or not looked after. I wasn't sure how I felt about handrearing from 6 weeks just for a "friendly" bird but since I came to the forum I'm changing my mind somewhat. Again, as Pippy900 says, as a novice she wanted to be able to give her parrots the best life and for her that was to have them from handreared friendly babies. I ended up with a 15 year old OWA who although delightful was not handreared. His human "mom and dad" had him from when he was just a baby (a runty one at that) and spoilt him rotten so I have to deal with his neuroses and the fact that he was not handreared. Luckily I am mentored by the man I live with who's kept birds as pets for 30 years but to be honest...in retrospect although I wouldn't want to give Limey up and I love him...part of me wishes that I'd had the experience of a "friendly" bird. Limey likes head scratches and allows step ups and comes to beg for food (which is really annoying) but he doesn't really know how to play with his human or his toys, he doesn't know how to give kisses (just puts his head down for scratches if I put my face near his), and is a spoilt brat who is taking a long time to accept other birds! In some ways he's humanised in others he is still so wild. I sometimes long for that cute handreared bird but most of the time I love the fact that he's a wild boy!

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