My Thoughts on “responsible” breeding of parrots

I was reading a discussion on responsible breeding of parrots and how some breeders are very careful in who they sell their babies to. It also went on to say how much they love those babies and how careful some are in screening possible owners. As I look around at the thousands and thousands of homeless birds in rescues and sanctuaries, I have to wonder how anyone can ever argue that there is such a thing as responsible breeding? You can ask all the questions you want of possible buyers but these parrots live long lives and lets face it the longevity of these birds far exceeds what most people are willing or able to commit to. Even with the very best of intentions…lives change, circumstances change, people die, grow up, move, have financial changes….the list goes on and on. No matter what kind of questions are asked prior to purchasing a bird, the bottom line is that there is no way of telling if that person will truly keep that bird forever and in fact it is almost impossible to expect it will happen. How many birds have lost their owners due to them dying. It is a harsh fact of life and happens frequently. The rescues are crowded now and with each passing year it seems they are taking in more and more birds. I know it would be impossible to find out the beginnings of each of these birds, however they were all bred somewhere. I highly doubt only the “irresponsible” breeders are the ones to blame for the overpopulation crisis. The simple fact is that birds live very long lives and while many people have the very best of intentions when they purchase a bird….more than likely that bird…no matter how loved it once was…will end up being rehomed at some point in its life.

Now I am not so naive as to think that breeding will ever end. Sadly I am sure it wont due to the fact that it is a very profitable business. Breeding is never done for the love of these precious Angels. If a breeder loved these babies so much…they would never send another precious Angel out there on a journey that will most likely end up in heartbreak for them. The only responsible breeding is done through conservation and not for profit.

I cannot stop breeding, or it would have been done! However I will continue to Educate, Share and Pray for these Angels each and every day of my life. I implore you to do the same.

Some Say we can’t save them all….I say WE can Try!

“A time comes when silence is betrayal.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4, 1967

5 thoughts on “My Thoughts on “responsible” breeding of parrots

  1. Your opinion is very valid and well written.I agree with you on almost all of your points while I know that there a some very uncaring and negligent breeders out there ,completely stopping breeding is not something that is desirable nor is it something that should even be attempted. People are always going to want to have Parrots as pets. They are willing to pay a lot of money for a nice parrot. So the demand is already there and once demand is in place SOMEONE will SUPPLY it simple economic law.If no parrots are available in the breeders network then the poachers will supply the birds to extinction and that is something that must not ever be allowed to happen. So breeders must be allowed to continue perhaps better oversight on the industry is the answer I don’t know but making breeders stop is no solution to anything at all.

  2. Responsible ones have contracts that force new owners to give their birds back to the breeder(or if the breeder has died, a ‘backup’ person the breeder has chosen) if they cannot keep them for whatever reason. So unless new owners have illegally broken contract and are still waiting to be sued so the breeder gets the bird back, there should be no birds bred by responsible breeders in shelters or rescues.

    That doesn’t address the issue that you bring up that birds living with humans is a tragedy in itself so even breeders with contracts like above are still not technically breeding responsibly, but then… are rescues and shelters being responsible? Wouldn’t it be kinder for shelters to euthanize all parrots instead of rehoming them?

    • I will politely disagree with your second paragraph. Many, many parrots can and do have wonderful lives with humans (I myself have birds, and they have wonderful, happy lives). I have seen it with my own eyes, and I see it every day. Yes, many, unfortunately, do not, and the blame/responsibility for that lies with none other than the humans, but to claim that birds’ life (that implies all birds) with humans is a tragedy is completely false. Again, I see it every day.

      When a parrot that comes from a poor situation (which admittedly, is very sad) ends up in a rescue, he/she ends up in a much better, good situation (simply because good rescues are able to and do care for their birds well), and hopefully eventually he/she finds a loving home. The same goes for a parrot that comes from a loving home that has been unable to keep the bird due to circumstances outside their control. Rescues do their best to find wonderful homes for their birds (such homes DO exist), that’s why their screening process is so strict, and all that is a good thing.

      When euthanasia is performed to end the extreme physical suffering of a living being, that is an act of mercy. When euthanasia is performed to end the life of a creature that is healthy and has the potential to have a good life, that is killing – nothing more, nothing less.

      None has the right to decide whether the heart of a bird should stop beating because it has had a sad life. None has the right to decide that this bird should not draw a next breath, because it has had a sad life. Knowing the instinct for survival of any living creature, that is nothing short of cruel. There is no kindness in the act, NONE.

      You wrote: “Wouldn’t it be kinder for shelters to euthanize all parrots instead of rehoming them?” – according to you the only two options are to kill or to rehome. Knowing that rehoming means adopting the bird out to a caring and loving person where the bird will flourish, how can this question even be asked?!

  3. Most people know instinctively that catching and caging a bird is not right. we have all seen the endless anxiety, agitation and eventual learned helplessness that ensues when you trap a wild creature and hold it against its will (think ie. bears). humans are by nature selfish. we need what we want. most wild animals including ie. orcas will show affection towards its carer in time. that doesn’t mean breeding it and raising it to be a captive is in the best interest of the animal. regardless, the breeding industry whether it is back yard “hobby” breeders or big farms will continue because WE want them. It is all about us, what we want. it is all consumer led. That said..an individual can make a difference and not support the breeders, choose not to buy the budgie in the pet shop or market stall and educate themselves to fully appreciate the realities of what a bird needs to be fulfilled. And if that individual finds they really do need what they want they might consider the ethical choice of adopting or fostering a parrot and saving a life- double barrel joy – new friends, new support networks and heroic status!!!

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