Breed or rescue

As a bird rescue organization, we are painfully aware of a huge overpopulation problem we are currently facing with Parrots, Parakeets, Cockatiels, Lovebirds, Budgies, etc. So, we encourage would-be breeders to reconsider their decision to breed and to become involved in rescue work instead.


If you are getting into breeding to further your involvement with birds and dig deeper into their lives, we would highly recommend that you consider working with a rescue group instead. In rescue, you can meet and work with many different birds, with different behaviors and life histories that give them unique and interesting characters.


If there is no bird rescue organisation near you, you can contact your local Animal Care and Control or Humane Society; most rescue birds in need as well as cats and dogs.


If you do that, you will be helping improve the overall welfare of our bird population, instead of contributing to a growing crisis. It can also be much more emotionally rewarding; while chicks can be cute, the moment you gain a lost or abandoned birds trust is truly magical. Try this website to find rescue organisations in your area that may need volunteers. www.animalrescuers.co.uk


It’s also important to consider the sheer cost of breeding. When you introduce two birds with the intention of raising their young, it is important to make sure the parents are healthy and in good condition to breed. Genetic testing to determine gender runs in

excess of £90 per bird, and a fitness to breed check up with an avian vet, which is needed both before and after the clutch, to check for deficiencies and transmissible genetic diseases can run up bills in excess of the value of the bird very quickly. If anything does go wrong, such as dreaded egg binding in the female, you can kill your bird.


If you breed, you may have to be prepared to hand feed the chicks. Parents in captivity didn’t always have the social environment necessary and youngsters to learn how to rear their chicks properly. This can lead to parents behaving in dangerous ways and injuring or mutilating their chick, or simply ignoring it and leaving it to starve.


The owner will need to step in and invest in a humidity and temperature controlled brooder box and hand feed every two to four hours. This can be difficult and very time consuming, with an inherent risk of asphyxiating the chick. We have had birds for more than 10 years and still don't feel comfortable hand feeding; it is best left to the birds and the expert rehabilitators. You must be prepared to keep a close eye on the parents and babies, without disturbing them too much during the raising of the babies.


Finally, you must be able to find all of the babies loving, responsible homes. This can be the hardest part. Trust us on this one, there are many more birds out there who need loving homes than there are good homes for them. It is very difficult to hand over a baby bird who was born in your home to someone you are not completely comfortable with and finding someone you are completely comfortable with is even more difficult.


We also ask you to think about all of the little faces on rescue websites. All of those birds are already here and have been abandoned, abused or neglected. Every time a new baby bird is sold, that baby is indirectly taking a home away from a bird who has been waiting for months or even years to go to a permanent home.