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Breeding Parrots, Cockatiels and Lovebirds.

Did you know that parrots have feelings of hate, love and jealousy?

Did you know that every parrot needs a natural partner?

Did you know that in the spring every parrot screams for a partner?

Did you know that about 3 to 6 years after buying a parrot you would have problems because it wants to breed?

Did you know that parrots prefer to live in an aviary rather than your living room (even in winter)?

Did you know that only 10 out of 100 parrots learn to talk?

Did you know that most parrots die of the same conditions as humans? (Too much fat and stress, too little exercise!)

Did you know that many parrots have to live in too small a space?

Did you know that a parrot needs a great deal of attention, namely about 8 hours a day?

Did you know that of all birds the parrots are the most threatened by extinction?

Did you know that it is not at all difficult to breed parrots and therefore it is not necessary to import them?

Did you know that a macaw or a cockatoo living in an apartment would cause much annoyance to neighbours?

Did you know that about 70% of parrots suffer from miner's lung from living in a dry and stuffy room?

Did you know that many parrots have more than 5 different owners because they live so long, about 50 to 70 years?

Many parrots are brought in pet-shops for all kinds of reasons, due to which their owner can no longer care for them. Of course, it is absurd but people buy parrots just because they are beautiful birds that may learn to talk or do tricks. Before you get a parrot, think through properly what is going to be involved in looking after it. As an ecologist I cannot forbid you to get one, however, we can try to tell you what is involved. Many parrots are well loved and have a good life with caring owners but it is our job to make you aware of the less attractive aspects of this type of bird too. Think twice!

Points to think about before buying a parrot:

Parrots are highly intelligent, social birds. In the wild they live in groups. A bird that is kept alone all day in a cage may become bored and develop behavioural problems.

Before you get a parrot you must have a good think about how much time, money and attention you will have to invest.

Some owners and biologists say that the amount of time and attention required is the same as for a toddler.

Parrots live for a long time - perhaps your parrot will outlive you.

Parrots are very destructive. They love to chew up furniture, electrical cables and wooden fittings!

Parrots can bite very hard. Some parrots are able to crack open a walnut. Think what they could do to a finger!

Watch out for their feet: they are strong and have sharp claws.

Parrots may start screaming out of boredom or jealousy and this is very irritating for the neighbours!

A parrot often selects a 'partner' such as the person who is most involved with him. People other than the partner may be rejected!

Parrots are very valuable and must be protected from being stolen.

It is possible for a parrot to pass on a fatal disease (psittacosis) to humans.

Don't keep a parrot unless you are certain you can meet all his needs.

So, think about this:

If you keep just a single parrot, he will have many requirements, for example:

Human company and attention, Toys, Things to climb on, A new environment to investigate or at which to look, Interesting and varied food, Exercise.

Put the curiosity of your parrot to good use and occupy him with new challenges.

Do not buy a wild-caught parrot!

Many species are rare and are threatened with extinction and considerable numbers die during transport. Although parrots that have been bred in captivity are more expensive, they are healthier; more relaxed with people and become better pets. Some wild-caught birds never become tame enough to be good pets. If you buy from a recognized aviculturist you can be certain that your bird has a good background.

The trade in wild parrots has serious consequences for their well-being:

For every wild-caught parrot that is offered for sale, four others have died. Many parrots die because of shock or injury sustained before they are exported. Still more may die in transport due to overcrowded cages, starvation, illness and stress.

Young parrot chicks may have been taken from the nests and in the process, good nest sites that were already in short supply, destroyed.

Parrot flocks or families may be broken up.

Documents may have been falsified or the birds may have been dyed in order to get round the trade regulations.

An investigation in England in (about) 1989 showed that out of 30,000 parrots known to have been imported illegally there were 4,000 deaths in transport or during quarantine. However, there were almost certainly far more illegal imports so the actual death toll must have been much higher.

Take care that you do not contribute to the wild-caught parrot trade!

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