The controversy between parent reared and hand reared baby Parrots is not new. It has existed since the early 1970s when I began to breed birds on a small scale. I raised Budgies and then Cockatiels for many years. Over the years I added several species; Conures, Indian Ringnecks, Bourkes Parakeets etc., but always held the strong opinion that larger species of Parrots should never be raised in captivity. There always seemed too many of them, and many had problem behaviors. I began hand feeding in the early 1980s and did so until the early 2000. At that time I began to realize several things.
First, I became aware of the abuse and neglect inflicted on Companion Parrots. Second, that we, the breeders were setting up our Parrots for disaster in many cases by pulling the unweaned chicks from nests as young as seven days old to hand feed. Some never even meeting their parents, being artificially innovated. The third thing that came to light was that parent reared babies, handled at weaning were as tame, or tamer then their fully hand fed counterparts. Removing chicks from their parents did not produce long-term improvement in behavior, it weakened the over-all health of the baby from lack of important anti-bodies derived from their parents and many of the hand fed adults were unsound temperamentally, compared to the parent reared individuals.
What I have learned over the years in this regard made me take a step back to take a long hard look at what we are doing to our Companion Parrots by forcing a false-bonding to humans at such an early age. If I had known the things I do today, I would have stopped breeding parrots forty years ago.
However it takes a turning point in all our lives to allow changes to take place. Today, my life's focus is on rescuing and rehabilitating unwanted Parrots. My breeding parrots are now retired and my energy is spent is on their happiness and the work of rescue. Adopt, don't shop. Rescue a parrot rather than buy a baby, the bonding and companionship you seek is in the heart of every parrot. Together we can give every parrot, everywhere a happy home.