Saturday, April 2, 2011

To Buy a Baby Parrot or Adopt an Older Parrot? – That is the Question!

I’ve been asked this question so many times! The answer is not easy, even for me, “Einstein”! Before I give you my opinion, let me tell you my story.

I was hatched in a closed aviary (A closed aviary restricts the introduction of new birds to prevent infectious diseases.) located in Garland, Texas in June of 1997. The breeder raised the chicks in her home, so my first months of life were in a home environment. The home was clean and well kept. I was held by humans and fed by the breeder’s grandchildren. I learned about the sounds of a vacuum cleaner, a dog barking, children playing, and all the other sounds and activities of a home life! By the time I was old enough to go to my new home with Jeff and Marcia, I was ready! The breeder was responsible! She made sure that Jeff and Marcia knew what getting a parrot was about! Before she accepted their down payment she told us about books to read and she told them it was like having a 2 year old child for the rest of their life!!! She did not paint a rosy picture and told Jeff and Marcia to go home and think about it! They started to read everything they could find! Remember this was 1997, and the internet was still in its early days! There was not a lot of information to be found on the internet! The rest is history; I came to live with Jeff and Marcia. To this day, they continued to read and learn about parrots and how they should be trained and raised.

It was a couple of years later that Marcia and Jeff learned about parrot rescues. These are places that are filled with birds that were not as lucky as I was! The parrots were purchased as babies and then for some reason or another, the owner did not have time for them or they developed behavior problems. It was heartbreaking to hear stories about people who could not spend time or make a commitment to their feathered friend! It was then that Marcia began my website in 2001 to educate people. To let people know that parrots need interaction and companionship to thrive in captivity! Given that, we make pretty entertaining and wonderful companions!

My opinion…
80% For the adoption of older (re-homed) parrots
20% For the purchase of baby parrots from RESPONSIBLE Breeders
100% Against the capture and importation of wild caught parrots.

It’s a fact, everyone loves baby kittens, puppies, and parrots. We live in a free society and we cannot stop people from going into business and breeding parrots. However, we can decide who to purchase those parrots from, and we should only do business with those breeders who are responsible and who look out for the welfare of the parrot. Breeders should screen prospective owners, educate the buyer, and refuse to sell to someone who is not suitable. Prospective owners should do their homework and be prepared for parrot ownership. If you are making your baby parrot purchase in an informed and responsible manner, I congratulate you!!!

Unfortunately, parrots will continue to be placed into rescues due to the irresponsible decision to purchase a baby parrot. These birds need your help! Here is a list of Rescue Organizations. If you own parrots, like parrots, or thinking about getting a parrot you have a responsibility to support a rescue organization. Go visit a rescue, ask questions! You may find that the parrot of YOUR DREAMS will be right there waiting for you!!!

Sponsor a parrot! This is a terrific idea if you don’t have time in your life for a parrot right now! Did you know many parrot rescues have programs where you can donate toward a particular parrot while it is being kept at the shelter until it is adopted? People don’t think twice about donating to a dog or cat shelter, parrot shelters need donations too! (I donate to several organizations, and whenever I’m in a contest, all my winnings will always go to a parrot rescue!)

More importantly, my opinion doesn’t really matter! People need to make their own decision. It must be an educated and researched decision. Be a responsible pet owner! There are Pros and Cons to owning both a new baby and an older parrot. (There are plenty of websites that address these Pros and Cons*.) Let it be said, a parrot is not the right pet for ALL people! We live in a busy society and people should realize that owning a parrot is a commitment for the rest of your life!

Lastly, I’d like to share a quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, “Many have forgotten this truth but you must not forget it. We remain responsible forever for what we have tamed."

*Pros and Cons: Baby vs. Older Parrots

Still wondering if you should own a parrot? Read This


Unknown said...

Thank you, Einstein. Your opinion DOES matter - you are a valuable spokesbird for the sake of companion birds and animals (I don't like the word "pets"). Keep on talking - we are listening! -Berry & Yogi

Penguin said...

This is a great post, and kudos on quoting The Little Prince (best book ever!). Thank you for getting the word out there. :)