I truly love my birds, they are some of the fortunate ones. They get our devoted love, regular avian care, healthy and well-balanced diets, loads of toys and things to tear up and destroy, sunshine, showers and fresh air, and above all else they get to fly. This is still not enough though. These angels were born to fly in the skies and play in the trees. They were not meant to be in cages and homes. As my love and passion for my own birds grew, I began to study and research more and more. What I have found has made my heart ache and I am sickened by all that I have learned about the bird trade industry.
The parrot population in the U.S. is growing to uncontrollable proportions. It is estimated that there is somewhere between 40 to 50 million companion parrots in the U.S. today and an additional 2 to 5 million more being added each year. The sanctuary’s, rescues and shelters are full. Most are over full and trying to survive on non existing funding. Why are we allowing and accepting this to happen? We stand up in outrage when we see puppy mills in operation, why are we not doing something more about the parrot mills? Those who live their life as breeders are suffering and then tossed aside once they cannot produce any longer. The conditions in which these lost angels live in is just sickening. These are highly intelligent creatures that have emotions and are living breathing thinking creatures. They are made to live their lives in some of the most unbearable conditions one can imagine. Prisoners have life in better conditions than these magnificent creatures who have been condemned without a trial. They are looked at as a commodity rather than a living being. Breeding mills are in existence for one purpose only and that is to make a fast buck! They do not care about these wonderful angels that they have flooded the market with. To make more dollars they quickly send unweaned chicks to the retailers and there the myth about bonding by hand feeding these unweaned chicks was born. It is far easier to sell a quiet little baby, than a full-grown loud parrot ( THIS IS WHY THE RESCUES ARE FULL). Selling these sensitive creatures by lying to the public and therefore making more profit by not allowing the parents to raise their chicks. This puts the parents right back to breeding because they are trying to replace what has been taken from them. When chicks are removed from their parents, the parents will call and look for them for days and weeks. They feel emotions folks, and they are searching for their young.
When chicks are removed from their parents they miss out on a great deal of training that would normally take place with their parents. They learn all the things needed in order to be the species they were born to be. This knowledge is crucial to them as they grow up and by depriving them of this experience is one of the main reasons we see so many tragic cases of birds who have psychological issues as they mature. Their parents teach them how to play, forage, relate to their flock, and many other social behaviors. And above all else their parents teach them to fly. Flying defines who a bird is in every way imaginable. It is key to their very existence in their physical and psychological well-being.
Chicks who survive the transport to retailers are then hand fed and sold long before they are weaned usually. Most retailers spew out the false information that chicks can be weaned by 12 weeks. In the wild babies are fed by their parents for over a year and sometimes up to two years. Very little of the actual facts are ever given to potential customers. They are not told that these precious little souls need to have constant companionship. They are not told that this amazing creature is going to require as much time and interaction possible to prevent it from self destructing. They are not told the importance of fledging this creature in order for it to maintain part of his very reason for existence. They are not told that they need constant out of cage time , toys and mental stimulation. They are not told that they need far more than seed to remain healthy. They are not told that these precious little angels are gonna grow up and start screaming and plucking without the proper amount of care. Some retailers don’t know the truth and even more just don’t care. Otherwise why would they allow these precious creatures to be sold, knowing that they will most likely be rehomed many times in their lifetime, or worse end up being abused and neglected. Because in the end it is always about the dollars. If they told the truth, not many would ever purchase this wild animal knowing full well that they could never provide for its happiness and well-being.
There are many of us who do educate ourselves and do everything possible for our feathered companions, however we are in the minority. Sadly the majority of parrots living in homes today are confined to cages while their family is off working etc. Parrots are flock creatures, they are not meant to be alone. They have no way of dealing with loneliness, they were not intended to spend their lives like that. Most owners clip their birds wings, this in itself is very detrimental to a parrots sense of ability to deal with danger. They are prey animals and their only means of escape would normally be flight. Not being able to fly can lead to phobias, aggression and many other issues. As parrots mature it is hard-wired into them to find a mate and reproduce. This can bring on many behavioral issues which most owners are just not equipped (or even want) to deal with. At this age is when most parrots are being rehomed, placed in rescues or put into even worse conditions by being put in back rooms, basements, the garages etc. They are confined to live their lives alone because the owners do not know how to cope with them.
Everything I wrote here is easily found in many places. This is not just my own thoughts and ideas. All of this information is readily available to anyone who takes the time to look it up. I have spent countless hours researching, reading and crying over this. While my heart just aches and it would be much easier to just turn away and pretend I didn’t know, I cannot and will not do that. I love my own Angels far too much, to not stand up and try to do something about this. For all of you who truly love your parrots, then we must be the voice for them. We must be willing to admit that parrots should not be pets! It is up to us to question and challenge the standards that are in place for breeding parrots. We have to be willing to admit that we have failed them and that something needs to be done to stop the breeding! I refuse to put my head in the sand and pretend that this devastation isn’t happening. I urge each and every one of you who loves your parrot to be willing to do the same.
YOU Can Help: When Radical is Responsible
from the Avian Welfare Coalition
The responsibility and power to improve the lives of birds everywhere lies with all of us who share our lives with these magnificent creatures of the wild. Whether you already live with birds, support their preservation in the wild, or want more protection for birds in captivity, YOU can DO your part in achieving these goals!
Please take a stand for these precious creatures, We are their only Hope!
Copyright © 2011 Deborah FeatheredAngels
All rights reserved
(My articles are free to repost, just do so in their entirety)