Philosophy or Heart?
I am a spiritual person and have been a teacher of spirituality for many years. This means that I do my best to practice no judgement. In turn, that means that I don’t judge whether people (or I) rescue or raise a parrot.
What’s the Difference? Why Rescue?
Parrots aren’t always kept the way you and I would want to live to be breeders. They are sometimes in small cages with nothing inside. Nothing to do, nowhere to go, no ability to spread their wings and no ability to socialize with other birds except their mate.
I’m surprised they breed under these circumstances because their emotional health affects their lives. I don’t know, maybe under those circumstances they breed because they have nothing else to do or maybe they know that they won’t be kept if they don’t breed.
Yuck. That will make you sad, maybe angry too.
I don’t believe anyone or any animal should be raised that way. I don’t believe it promotes health or happiness – and psittaciformes (parrots) are extremely social. They also burn a lot of calories flying, so being kept in a small cage with no real flock and nothing to do sounds cruel.
And that is why some people believe that birds should be rescued and not bred. Why encourage such breeding practices when there are birds that need a new home?
What’s the Difference? Why Raise?
On the flip side, not everyone breeds birds in such austere circumstances. A lot of breeders I’ve seen offer their birds large spaces to move in; some allow the birds to return to their flock in an aviary during the off season so that when they are not breeding, they are with their social circle.
We have re-homed several birds. Some are amazing and fantastic, one Green Cheek Conure (just 3.5 ounces) we fear! Will he ever stop his schizophrenic personality that is sweetly sits on your shoulder one minute and then draws blood the next? Fear the beak!
On the other hand, the babies we’ve raised are all loving and I completely trust them. They have only known love and caring, so they are only loving and caring back. We are bonded!
Had my first experience with a bird been our blood-drawing Green Cheek Conure, I would probably think that I really didn’t’ like birds.
Keep The Species Going
There’s another side to giving a home to a bird, rescued or raised: there are several species going extinct in the wild because they are running out of habitats. Birds like the Red-fronted Macaw, the Golden Conure, the Spix Macaw, Sun conures – are going extinct in the wild. I feel good about people returning a home by sharing their home.
After all, what’s the solution? Aren’t people and nature in competition for land and resources? Not an argument I really want to have – the point is, I feel good about people keeping the species going by keeping them. So, I aim to help offer information as to how to keep them healthy and happy so that you have a great experience with your bird.
The Heart Will Do
In the end, birds are a difficult pet. They make a mess, poop everywhere, can bite, demand a lot of time and require a lot of care-taking. They need to be fed fresh fruits and veggies daily in addition to their pellets, and their cages need fresh water and cleaning regularly (two to three times a day is not uncommon). And you have to buy them toys on a regular basis since they destroy them, as they are meant to.
If you are going to give your time, money and attention to a parrot, you are going to have a companion – probably for life. Most parrots live 20 to 80 years when kept happy and healthy. It’s a large life-commitment. It’s taking on a Parrot Life. If you are willing, excited and enthusiastic about it, then you should have the right parrot, rescued or raised!