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Old 12-03-2018, 07:07 AM
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Re: Remembrance, but also a warning on inbreeding

Quote: Originally Posted by ChristaNL View Post
Thank you for posting this.


It sounds you did you very,very best for all of these birds, but were indeed the victim of the shop/breeders etc aka 'the industry' as much as those poor birdies.




I feel blessed to live in a country with a lot of 'hobby-breeders' -> people who only let their petbirds breed if they have enough people on the waitinglist to have a home waiting for each and every carefully produced and loved baby.
(Esp. the more common species like the tiels, budgies, lovies etc. - because nobody wants them.)
Of course there are money-hungry breeders here as well, but since the prices are much lower the smaller birds get spared from these practices (the larger/ more expensive species still get the short end of the stick sometimes).
We always like to think the high prices will protect the birds from 'impulse buyers" but it will not deter the money-hungry"producers"
See, the situation is the exact opposite here as far as I can tell. The larger species get more respect as they're expensive to maintain and purchase. So people pump out the small ones like hotcakes, with no concern for the animals. Trust me, the high prices don't deter impulse buyers here either. In my short time working at the shop I purchased my cockatiels from, I saw multiple people come in and randomly purchase $2000 birds. Its disturbing. Also sorry, I meant to reply sooner but I haven't really had the heart. Also sorry for the weird format, I'm typing into a blank screen so hopefully I spelt things right...

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Old 12-03-2018, 07:20 AM
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Re: Remembrance, but also a warning on inbreeding

Quote: Originally Posted by EllenD View Post
I'm very sorry for your losses...As a long-time breeder/hand-raiser of Budgies, Cockatiels, and Conures, I can tell you that yes, there are many, many irresponsible breeders out there...Recently the biggest issue by-far has become breeders selling unweaned babies/babies that are far too young to go to leave the breeder, because they want to save money on hand-feeding formula, don't want to spend the time doing the hand-feedings, and because they want to make room in the Brooders for more babies to sell quickly. These "breeders" have no regard for the people buying these birds either, as I always here "The breeder told me it was easy, no big deal at all to hand-feed a baby bird"...They don't even typically show the people once how to do a hand-feeding, and they seemingly NEVER even mention the proper ambient temperature a bird without down or it's mature feathers grown-in needs to be kept at, or the extremely small temperature-range that the hand-feeding formula must be kept at throughout a feeding, nor the rapid and sudden Fungal Infection and Crop-Stasis that will develop as a result of ignoring these temperatures. In the past 10 years or so I have come to believe that the main reason that these "breeders" are doing these horribly irresponsible things like selling unweaned baby birds, selling baby birds that are far too young to sell,
sometimes so young that they don't even have down, not educating buyers about proper ambient and formula temperatures, not teaching/showing buyers proper hand-feeding techniques, etc., because more and more often these sellers of baby birds are not breeders in the first place, they are simply laypeople who put two birds of the opposite sex together, allow them to mate/breed, allow the eggs to hatch, and get on the internet to figure things out as they go along...
More and more often, the sellers you see on websites such as Craigslist and Hoobly are not bird breeders in any sense of the word, and they themselves have absolutely no idea what they are doing, and this is the reason they are making these mistakes and not educating or training buyers about hand-raising and hand-feeding, because they themselves don't know anything about breeding or hand-raising/hand-feeding!!! That's what we're dealing with now, people who want to make some extra tax-free cash, and suddenly a lightbulb goes off in their heads and they say "Hey, I've got two Cockatiels, I could breed them and sell the babies for $100 a pop!"...Or even worse are the people who have never even owned a pet bird at all, ever, and know nothing at all about birds in-general, and they see a breeding-pair of Green Cheek Conures on Craigslist for $300 and say "I could buy these guys, breed them over and over and over again, and I can sell the babies for $400 a pop! Easy money!"...And unfortunately that's exactly what they end-up doing, breeding their birds literally to death...

***And while yes, there is a lot of "inbreeding" done by these amateur bird "breeders" (usually because the start with one breeding pair of birds, breed them, and then keep their babies and then allow them to pair-up and start breeding, and then they lie about their bloodlines), in addition to the "inbreeding" that these people are allowing to happen or purposely doing, a lot of these illnesses, diseases/health conditions, physical deformities, etc. are not actually a product of "inbreeding", but are actually congenital diseases/conditions/deformities/defects that are being created and propagated throughout the parrot population, mostly of the US, by these horrible "breeding" practices of the literally thousands of people breeding parrots in their homes as a "hobby" for "extra cash" while they have no idea what the hell they are doing, and certainly know nothing about genetics or choosing birds that are suitable to breed in the first place... So yes, "inbreeding" is a large part of the much, much, much larger, overall problem of what we can unfortunately call "Backyard Bird Breeding" in the US...

And these rapidly developing Congenital health issues/conditions that have invaded the pet/captive/domestic parrot population of the United States is developing EXACTLY the same that it developed and spread like wildfire through the pet/domestic Dog population of the US. It's no different at all. People who knew nothing at all about dog breeding went out and bought themselves two AKC-registered, full-blooded/pure-bred Dogs of the same species and started breeding them over and over and over again. Then to save money and increase their production they took the offspring of those first two unrelated dogs, falsified paperwork for them that stated they were from totally unrelated, registered bloodlines (which was not at all hard to do before computers/the internet was used by the AKC), started mass-inbreeding, cross-breeding, breeding of dogs born with serious health issues, etc. And as time went on the domestic "pure-bred" US dog population of every breed became riddled with Congenital health issues, most of which were actually developed by these "backyard breeders" who knew nothing about what they were doing...They actually created the common Congenital issues that each breed is known for...And this is EXACTLY what is happening to the US parrot population. Same thing. Parrots are "hot" right now, they are a multi-billion dollar industry in the US, between the selling of the parrots themselves, and more-so the parrot food industry, the "Exotic" Veterinary industry, etc...They even have their own cable TV shows...Money, money, money, with absolutely ZERO concern about the health or well-being of the birds..or the dogs, or the rabbits, and most-recently REPTILES, specifically Bearded Dragons, Geckos, and the big one, Snakes...Same Congenital issues developing like wildfire throughout the Reptile population of the US, just a bit younger and a bit behind where the parrot population is...It's so sad, but Americans as a whole are greedy and possess a total and complete lack of empathy or any sense of responsibility to anything or anyone...
My apologies for my late reply, I haven't really had the heart to reply to these messages.

I'm quite familiar with that situation. I didn't think much of it at the time being a lot less experienced, but both of my tiels were not weaned when I purchased them. Thankfully I was shown how to feed, and managed to do so successfully at home; and even more thankfully they did also mention the temperature. Of course looking back, it's not because they cared for the birds. Its because they didn't want customer complaints.

Unfortunately that's the situation almost exclusively here it seems. I'm unable to find any real breeders here, only people who are backyard breeders, so of course my thought was why not purchase from a reputable parrot shop? Mistake. I worked there for four weeks, (volunteer work as well!!) and was absolutely horrified by their practices. I scrubbed so much **** I couldn't even tell you, but if a bird was sick it was thrown in the back and I would never see it again. And of course the lovely purchasing of boxed babies from strangers, who were then dumped in with the others without any sort of health check. I wish I had seen that before I had bought mine.

All of this truly just makes me agree more and more with the people who believe parrots shouldn't be kept in captivity at all. I don't think a lot of animals should. We obviously aren't capable of controlling ourselves.
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  #13 (permalink)  
Old 12-03-2018, 07:49 AM
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Re: Remembrance, but also a warning on inbreeding

Uhuh, I agree-- parrots are great, but it is a bit onesided, not a win-win situation for them.

NO matter how hard we try:



I spend yesterday afternoon listening to the heart(s)breaking story of a woman who got a babymacaw and made her *entire* life about the bird and his needs.
(She kept it going non-stop for about 2 decades -or longer- till her health failed to a point she could no longer even lift him anymore.)
She did EVERYTHING for that bird and it still was not enough...because she was a human, not a fellow macaw!
There is only so much you can do...

They were bonded like crazy and she was in tears several times through her story ( I was too, how could you not?).
And even though her story has a semi-happy ending: he is living in a huge aviary (outdoors and indoors options) and has got a lovely same-species girlfriend to keep him company and there are other birds around there as well (different aviaries); the pain of having-to-let-him-go she still feels was deafening, but also the years and years of trying like crazy to meet every need of that bird and feeling guilty about failing him definitely took their toll.
She just had her first week-away-vacation with her hubby and kids *ever*.
That kind of dedication to a bird is wonderfull, but she almost lost contact with her own species (and family) because of it, and there is more tragedy in that as well if you stop to think about it.




There is no right way ... only a lot of very difficult and far-reaching decisions.
Let us all choose wisely!

Last edited by ChristaNL; 12-03-2018 at 07:51 AM.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Old 12-03-2018, 08:01 AM
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Re: Remembrance, but also a warning on inbreeding

Quote: Originally Posted by reeb View Post
I feel like you have come to terms with this experience, and I sense that you have reached some closure. I remember quite clearly how upset you were when this happened, and I am glad that you are no longer blaming yourself! It takes a lot of strength to accept that there was nothing you could have done.

I lost three of my aviary budgies this year, all of which were show budgies from breeders, who I am pretty sure just inbred their birds to get the most "desirable" birds for shows. My vet reckoned that all three of my birds that died came from bad breeding. I was broken with each loss, I blamed myself, my care, even though I always do what is best for my birds and I have an aviary of 18 happy, healthy budgies that prove that. The show circut is toxic in the show budgie scene, it's awful, they really mistreat the birds (pulling feathers out to get the right look on the mask, 'training' them by putting them in tiny show cages for 24+ hours, poking and prodding them with sticks to make them sit upright, overfeeding them baby bird food to fatten them up to be as large as possible, etc) on top of over-breeding and inbreeding them!

Unfortunately it is a universal problem, and it exists in a lot of pet breeding.

"Pedigreed" dogs that are bred grandfather to daughter, cousin to cousin, even worse, father to daughter or mother to son, simply to carry on a specific trait (particularly in the show circuit). There was a BBC documentary about it once that I watched, and its truly horrifying how much the health of these animals suffers due to human egos.

I can even speak from experience. My two, ultra pedigreed mini schnauzers were half-sisters. Both had awful health problems towards the latter halves of their lives, and both died at 8 and 10 respectively, even though schnauzers are meant to live to 15. My cousins got puppies from the same breeder, one of their dogs died extremely young at only 5, and the one that is still alive has so many health problems and came from the same litter as one of my dogs did.

What is most messed up about this stuff is how small gene pools have become - certain of the currently most popular dogs, such as pugs (with their many health problems), have a tiny gene pool that would be equivalent to an endangered species in the wild, yet there are so many of these dogs in the world.

Snakes are also inbred to an extreme. I literally watched a YouTube video once where a snake breeder said "oh but its fine, it isn't the same in reptiles as it is in other animals or humans." Take ball pythons. They have bred into all these morphs, some of which are, admittedly, very pretty, however, it has come with a health cost for many of these snakes. Some are born with neurological problems, such as spider morph ball pythons. Some are born with terrible spine defects, where they will only be a couple of days old and they have to be put to sleep as it would be cruel to keep them alive. It's called a "kink" I believe. Another example is how, in other snake species, like corn and rat snakes, some snakes are bred to be "scaleless", which is just so unnatural - snakes need their scales, and this is particularly important when they shed, as the scales provide friction as they rub against a surface to have an even shed. This is, obviously, less worrying than neurological and physical disabilities, but it can still lead to a less prosperous, comfortable life for snakes, and a stuck shed can lead to more serious problems. I am not a reptile keeper, but they do fascinate me, and everything I've read about some (not all) reptile breeders disgusts me. It's all about producing something pretty to sell at a high price, not something healthy.

There are, of course, ethical breeders too, and one just has to be so careful when looking for any pet, because even breeders who claim to "reputable" just aren't. Pearl and Opal came from an ethical breeder, and even though they are show budgies and I expect a shorter lifespan than wild-type budgies, I know that, at the very least, they did not come from a direct line of inbreeding. It probably is in the ancestry, but at least they came from one of the better breeders out there. Nevertheless, you never know, and we can't predict the health problems our birds, or other pets, may have

In the end, unethical breeders are driven by their greed (making money) and/or their ego (wanting to have award winning specimens).

EDIT: I wanted to add something else. What I find so messed up about all this, is that it is EERILY similar to the eugenics movements of the first half of the 20th century. I covered it in Gender History this semester. For example, Hitler wanting to have a race of "perfect" humans, literally controlling the reproductive rights of women (such as the right to abort any pregnancies the government saw as unfit, mass-sterilisation etc. - if you're curious, look up sterilisation laws in Nazi Germany in the 1930s). And of course, the mass slaughter of Jews during the Holocaust. This happened elsewhere in the world prior to this too, it only really took the horrors of Nazi Germany for some world powers to acknowledge how truly terrible it is.

If we look at animal breeding, these eugenics principles are still carried out. Picking and choosing perfect traits, rejecting "bad" ones, etc. Having a "breed standard" of perfection. And worse, some breeders even "cull" animals that don't fit their standards. For example, some Rhodesian Ridgeback breeders will immediately kill puppies that are born without a ridge, which actually happens pretty frequently. It's scary honestly. If people were doing this to other humans, it would be horrific. Yet with animals, humanity cares less.
I have, and I haven't, to be truthful. I still can't look at photos of my birds at all, it ruins my entire day. I know I did what I could for them, but I'm absolutely gutted to think they died so young, and for absolutely no reason other than people wanting a quick buck. Thank you though, I appreciate you.

I'm so sorry that you've had this happen as well. I also didn't know that about show budgies, and to be honest I'm a bit sick after hearing that... I hate people who are impulse buyers and simply ignorant of their treatment of their birds enough, but to think people who show these birds would treat them so horribly. I know that's a thing with other animals as well, but when you take into account how intelligent, and how fragile they are, it makes it so much worse.

Pedigree dogs are pretty awful, I agree. Pugs, for example, absolutely disgust me. It's not their fault by any measure either, it's their breeders. You just decided it was ok to breed a dog that's in constant respiratory distress because it's cute?

I'm so sorry to hear about your dogs. That's extremely young for those dogs to die... My dog recently passed in June, and she was only 11, but it was kidney failure partially due to her being injured as a puppy we believe. (We adopted her and she had been run over by a car, her entire back end was destroyed, she essentially had no connection between her hips and pelvis) Your dogs, having been "healthy" from the start, should never have had that happen. I can't even believe that right now- They were cheated basically half their lives because of their breeding...

It's fine though! Because even though we could breed in healthy stock and be back to relatively the same look in a couple generations, that's expensive and tough! So let's let them suffer and continually inbreed with each other.

Oh, thank you for sharing that with me. I knew the reptile industry was very bad, as of course because its not an animal that can be seen as "affectionate" they somehow don't deserve as much respect- I didn't realize snakes born with kinks were because of their breeding. I thought that was just something that happened occasionally. I knew about the neurological disorders, but not that, or the fact that being scaleless is potentionally harmful. I love reptiles as well, but I'm not as heavily invested and I guess I've been mislead by these breeders as well.

I agree. My budgie, Stanley is from an ethical breeder. They produce small clutches only on occasion, and what do you know, Stanley is healthy. The same with my new puppy, thankfully. She's my first purebred dog, and she's a doberman. Her breeder tests each parent for the common diseases, and publicly posts her records. She also only breeds her dogs once every couple years. See, by you purchasing your birds from their specific breeder, you've done them a favor. They may have certain issues they are predisposed to, being show line, but they haven't been bred irresponsibly on top of that, and you can prepare for issues they may have better. They have a much better shot at life, and while we can't predict what will happen, you're much better prepared.

It's an epidemic. So long as their animals win in show, people don't seem to care what their quality of life is, or lifespan.

That's an interesting connection you made with that. It really is similar especially in the respect that those people, and these animals, are powerless to help themselves. It took, and takes, others intervening. Fun fact, the ridge of rhodesian ridgebacks predisposes them to a spinal issue, which basically is fatal unless treated with surgery. So the dogs that are being culled are truly actually a healthier animal than those being let live and bred later on. Oh yeah, it would be a absolute storm of fury if this sort of thing happened to anyone now. It drives me absolutely crazy that people think animal lives mean less than human lives. We're more intelligent, that's the only difference. Our lives all have the same value, but nobody seems to believe that.
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:14 AM
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Re: Remembrance, but also a warning on inbreeding

There is so much more involved with ethical breeding than just not pairing related birds as well that makes it more lucrative for the people just looking to make a quick buck to not bother.

Not only do you need to make sure your parent birds are not related, but you have to make sure they are healthy and that their genetics are compatible. And that's not as simple as just not pairing a lutino and lutino together. Each species of parrot has certain genetic variations that should never be paired and a breeder is responsible for knowing all of those and why they shouldn't be paired.

Without touching on how the parent birds are being cared for, because that is a hot topic for me, as a breeder myself, paperwork is an extremely important part of good breeding practices. Not only to keep track of bloodlines for myself, but I keep track of where every single one of my babies has ever gone, their band number, and who their parents where, for multiple reasons. First, if someone that already has a baby from a specific species wants another baby, we refuse to send home oppose sex babies that are related, specifically to prevent accidental inbreeding because s&#* happens. Also because people lie. Also, because if we ever find out that a pair is producing babies with genetic issues, we know where all of those babies have gone, and can contact their new families to make them aware. Would that really suck for business? Oh yes. Is it the ethical thing to do and the best chance the birds have for getting vet care right away if they also develop an issue? Yes.

Ethical breeding is A LOT OF WORK and very often it isn't profitable. That's why it can be hard to find good breeders. But they are out there.

I am heartbroken for you that you have been a victim of money hungry people that call themselves breeders. I sincerely hope that in time you can see that you did everything you could, including giving them all the love and care you could while they were with you, which is what matters. You couldn't change their genetics, that was decided before they hatched. But you gave them love and made them happy with the time they had.
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Old 12-03-2018, 11:07 AM
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Re: Remembrance, but also a warning on inbreeding

Quote: Originally Posted by outlawedspirit View Post
there is so much more involved with ethical breeding than just not pairing related birds as well that makes it more lucrative for the people just looking to make a quick buck to not bother.



Not only do you need to make sure your parent birds are not related, but you have to make sure they are healthy and that their genetics are compatible. And that's not as simple as just not pairing a lutino and lutino together. Each species of parrot has certain genetic variations that should never be paired and a breeder is responsible for knowing all of those and why they shouldn't be paired.



Without touching on how the parent birds are being cared for, because that is a hot topic for me, as a breeder myself, paperwork is an extremely important part of good breeding practices. Not only to keep track of bloodlines for myself, but i keep track of where every single one of my babies has ever gone, their band number, and who their parents where, for multiple reasons. First, if someone that already has a baby from a specific species wants another baby, we refuse to send home oppose sex babies that are related, specifically to prevent accidental inbreeding because s&#* happens. Also because people lie. Also, because if we ever find out that a pair is producing babies with genetic issues, we know where all of those babies have gone, and can contact their new families to make them aware. Would that really suck for business? Oh yes. Is it the ethical thing to do and the best chance the birds have for getting vet care right away if they also develop an issue? Yes.



Ethical breeding is a lot of work and very often it isn't profitable. That's why it can be hard to find good breeders. But they are out there.



I am heartbroken for you that you have been a victim of money hungry people that call themselves breeders. I sincerely hope that in time you can see that you did everything you could, including giving them all the love and care you could while they were with you, which is what matters. You couldn't change their genetics, that was decided before they hatched. But you gave them love and made them happy with the time they had.


we need more breeders like you!! ❤️
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Old 12-03-2018, 11:31 AM
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Re: Remembrance, but also a warning on inbreeding

Quote: Originally Posted by reeb View Post
Quote: Originally Posted by outlawedspirit View Post
there is so much more involved with ethical breeding than just not pairing related birds as well that makes it more lucrative for the people just looking to make a quick buck to not bother.



Not only do you need to make sure your parent birds are not related, but you have to make sure they are healthy and that their genetics are compatible. And that's not as simple as just not pairing a lutino and lutino together. Each species of parrot has certain genetic variations that should never be paired and a breeder is responsible for knowing all of those and why they shouldn't be paired.



Without touching on how the parent birds are being cared for, because that is a hot topic for me, as a breeder myself, paperwork is an extremely important part of good breeding practices. Not only to keep track of bloodlines for myself, but i keep track of where every single one of my babies has ever gone, their band number, and who their parents where, for multiple reasons. First, if someone that already has a baby from a specific species wants another baby, we refuse to send home oppose sex babies that are related, specifically to prevent accidental inbreeding because s&#* happens. Also because people lie. Also, because if we ever find out that a pair is producing babies with genetic issues, we know where all of those babies have gone, and can contact their new families to make them aware. Would that really suck for business? Oh yes. Is it the ethical thing to do and the best chance the birds have for getting vet care right away if they also develop an issue? Yes.



Ethical breeding is a lot of work and very often it isn't profitable. That's why it can be hard to find good breeders. But they are out there.



I am heartbroken for you that you have been a victim of money hungry people that call themselves breeders. I sincerely hope that in time you can see that you did everything you could, including giving them all the love and care you could while they were with you, which is what matters. You couldn't change their genetics, that was decided before they hatched. But you gave them love and made them happy with the time they had.


we need more breeders like you!!
I second this. I wish I could purchase a baby from you, I would feel so good about its health!

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