WHY is this okay?
We would find this completely unacceptable in any other arena. There is no debate over whether or not a facility breeding 500 dogs and producing over a thousand puppies annually for the pet trade is a bad idea, not only because of the health issues plaguing puppies produced in this manner, but because we cannot tolerate the abject suffering of dogs being bred literally to death under horrific conditions. But, in fact, between 80 and 90% of parrots produced for the U.S. market are production bred, and this is accepted – or at least not questioned – by the industry, by consumers… and even by the avian veterinary community. We condemn the practice when it applies to dogs or cats or even bunnies. Why is it that we can accept the practice as it applies to an animal that is even more highly evolved cognitively than a dog? Why are we completely disconnected from the harm this is doing to parrots?
Species of higher intelligence like primates, elephants, dolphins and whales – and parrots – require a sustained parental nurturing period in order to develop into normal healthy, well-adjusted adults. In the wild, parrot babies remain with their parents often for up to two years or more while the parents teach them all the things they need to know about their world, about themselves and about their species in order to survive and thrive. Adult parrots continue to feed their offspring well after the babies are able to feed themselves. This is an aspect of the nurturing and sustained parental support process that is essential to the healthy development of parrots.