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Old 03-27-2015, 10:07 PM
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Hand reared, co-parent raised or parent raised?

I am not a breeder, nor am I going to breed birds in the foreseeable future. I am just curious about everyone's thoughts.

Do you think that a bird should be hand reared(Hand fed by people), parent raised(Raised solely by bird's parents) or co-parent raised(Compromise between the two)?

I've known for quite sometime that hand reared chicks often face behavior and dependency issues later in life. However, for the first time I have heard the term "Captive-Raised Syndrome". The topic seems to be controversial.

So, do you believe that hand rearing chicks causes "Captive-Raised Syndrome"?

Do you think parent or co-parent raising makes birds(especially Cockatoos) less demanding?

Do you believe co-parent raising is a solution to the problem?

Please explain in detail your experiences with hand-reared vs. parent raised vs. co-parent raised birds. Your input is greatly appreciated.
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Last edited by Nathan1; 03-27-2015 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 04-01-2015, 11:01 AM
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Re: Hand reared, co-parent raised or parent raised?

I've had experience with both hand-reared and co-parent raised.

Two of my TAG babies were nicely raised by their parents until they were hand-fed by my mom to imprint them as pets. Both were tame, but somewhat standoffish and merely tolerated people.

Three Goffins were born to parents who abandoned all semblance of parenting within days of hatching. They were hand-fed by my mom who had the good fortune of a benevolent boss allowing her to care for them at work. All three matured into wonderfully sweet pets! None are terribly clingy and are comfortable in a mostly open-cage environment with other birds.
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Old 04-01-2015, 06:29 PM
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Re: Hand reared, co-parent raised or parent raised?

I have read convincing research on the damage caused by hand raising birds, however I think it is important to realize that a lot of that research focuses on parrot-mill style raising rather than flock weaning where birds are constantly surrounded by other chicks, and later adult birds so that thy suitably understand their own species. I personally prefer co-parenting as it provides a tame bird without depriving them of their natural families. In my experience it produces a MORE CONFIDENT and MORE SOCIAL bird with other birds as well as humans and new situations. It also reduces certain health risks like crop burn, sour crop, etc and provides the natural antibodies a baby needs, similar to how we know breast milk is healthiest for baby humans, but many of us drank formula and are fine.

I'm a huge advocate of co-parenting. What most people don't realize is that the practice of hand feeding became the normal rule not becausew it was the only way to make tame babies, but because removing the babies from the nest usually Spurs the parents to go down again, increasing the number of babies a breeder can get from a single pair. It was then of course discovered that hand raised babies were tamer than the average parent raised bird (not co parenting). Most new breeders never question the system; they just do as the thousands of breeders around them, and hand feed. Co parenting can be done with a few minutes a day of attention, increasing as the bird gets older.

My own experience is that there is no difference in tameness between a properly co parented bird and a properly hand raised bird, but co parenting also helps to prevent imprinting on humans which includes SEXUAL imprinting; you know, where your bird wants to have your babies, because he thinks he is human? this is greatly reduced in co parented birds.

A friend of mine breedes several species of Asiatic parrots, and has discovered that the famous "bluffing stage" of IRNs and their relatives is conspicuously missing from the development of coparented birds as well.

But above all I think it is important to member that "hand raised" or not is not the main issue; I have seen hand raised birds, freshly weaned, who are terrified of humans, bite before they think, won't try new foods, are afraid of everything, etc. There are crucial developmental stages a bird goes through and they need to be allowed and nurtured through those stages, or damage will be done. Some birds who suffer force weaning, environmental deprivation, early clipping, etc, learn to cope very well with the right owners, but they SHOULDNT have to COPE they should be given their best chance to THRIVE with techniques like abundance weaning, full fledging, proper socialization with humans AND birds, etc.
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Old 04-01-2015, 07:55 PM
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Re: Hand reared, co-parent raised or parent raised?

I think silversage really hammered home some good points above and would just like to add my 2 cents...

For me it's a matter of responsibility, a hand raised bird carries so much more responsibility with it than a parent or co-parent raised one would. They not only require the large amount of time, money and energy that every other pet bird needs but they also require you to be both mum and dad as it is solely down to you to teach this clean slate everything it needs to know to live in this world. I'm not talking about tricks and things we want the bird to do but the fundamentals of being a bird (something we humans like to think we know vast amounts about but in reality we're clueless).

I believe that the main reason you see an abundance of parrots for sale online all only a couple of years old, usually about the time they hit their hormonal stage is because we have a massive amount of owners who buy these hand raised babies who they do genuinely love but never think to teach right and wrong, what is acceptable behaviour and what is not. And so these sweet little babies grow up into hormone surging teenagers who don't know how to behave as they've never been shown and then before you know it their being passed on to the next home. This is not giving our birds the best start in life and unless they are lucky enough to end up in the care of someone who genuinely knows what they are doing then they will more than likely be passed from home to home.

In regards to cockatoo's specifically i can't speak from experience as i have never owned a too but have researched them greatly, i even started looking for an RB2 breeder and one of my terms with getting a baby too was that it had to have at least been weaned for several months before available to collect as from what i understand a lot of information does seem to point to cockatoos weaned at too early a stage are more likely to have self destructive tendencies such as feather plucking.

I hope this didn't come across as one long rant... it does sound a bit ranty, i just feel quite strongly about this particular issue as i only stumbled across information on as you put it "captive raised-syndrome" after i had adopted my very own hand raised bird, it left me feeling very conflicted inside (i'm sure there's a really good Sam Foster article about this somewhere, i think it is mainly to do with cockatoos but still worth a read) anyway I've rambled on for long enough =)
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Old 04-02-2015, 05:42 AM
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Re: Hand reared, co-parent raised or parent raised?

I have a gcc, I'm not sure but I think my fid was hand raised but they were weaned and then given a week to make sure everyone was fine before selling them. I was advised due to time that it was better to get one sooner because as time went on the breeders wouldn't have as much time for one on one (sometimes with their own pet bird) which they did. My bird was and still is a happy social soul and loves meeting new people and was very easy to handle (he's cheek but not a little bum too much).
What kind of behavioral ticks could I expect besides the clinginess? he's getting less clingy and more dependent as time goes on but this topic has had be curious as I've not read any of these studies you've talked about.
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Old 04-02-2015, 09:49 AM
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Re: Hand reared, co-parent raised or parent raised?

Zephyr - Sounds like your doing all the right things, most of the studies I've read go into detail about early socialisation in hand raised birds going a long way to developing them into independent, stable adults and also makes the hormonal period a tad more bearable.
When they say early socialisation they don't just mean meeting other birds, this is more about establishing early boundaries as well as introducing your bird to as much as possible during it's first few years so that is not frightened by change or new experiences. A few things to prepare for in these early stages would be things like
2nd Caregivers. Socialise your parrot with a close friend or family member, have them come over, take your bird to their house, once their comfortable with this you can even try letting them spend the night. This not only will help when it comes to meeting new people but is handy if you should ever need help with your bird or have to go away for the night somewhere they can't go.
New experiences in general are a great foundation for your bird, the more foods you introduce in this early stage the less picky an eater they will be. Time spent showing them how to play with their toys will help them to be a little more independent and not so needy...etc.

These are obviously quite basic points that go along way to helping any pet bird not just a hand raised one, i can't seem to find the specific article i was reading on this matter but i have found a link to one of Sam Fosters other articles concerning early weaning and hand raising issues in cockatoos and african greys though the theory is pretty sound for most parrots so definitely worth a read. =)

Parrot Behaviour (behavior), cockatoos, greys, Sam Foster
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Old 04-02-2015, 09:54 AM
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Re: Hand reared, co-parent raised or parent raised?

Thank you sunblaze, I'll be giving that a good look.
I agree with that for all animals, more life experiences help round a lot of animal and peoples characters. More understanding, less fear.
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