Why the relationship between breeder and “aviary bird” matters

One of the things that really impressed me about Kirsten before coming to Australia was how involved she was with her breeding birds. As an Eclectus owner myself, I was always curious about what the parents of my Eckie hen was like. What kind of personality did they have? Were they quiet, curious or playful?

Unfortunately in the avicultural industry, it is a common belief that a breeder must not interact very much with their breeding parrots. “Feed them and leave them” was the phrase that I heard a lot. For other parrot species that may indeed be the case, however for Eclectus parrots Kirsten has proved otherwise.

Being a parrot lover, taking such a hands-off stance was something that Kirst could not do. Having raised her very first Eclectus pair (Red and Sprout), she was heavily involved in their everyday lives. They grew up in her home and she included them in many of her daily activities like cooking, cleaning and taking care of her son. To this day, Red still loves to be included when Kirst is preparing a meal – helping chop up fresh vegetables (taking small ‘tasting bites’) and talking extensively while we both work in the kitchen.

As she grew her Eckie flock, the routine stayed the same. Once they all had a large outdoor aviary to share she would spend a lot of time with them watching their personalities grow and seeing friendships and couples form. This became invaluable as they started breeding.

Having such a strong bond with her breeding Eclectus enabled Kirsten to know what personality traits her babies would develop

This insight helped Kirst to pair a baby with a client in a way that few other breeders have. During her interview process, Kirsten would try and understand what a potential client was like and what kind of baby they needed. If the individual was approved for one of her babies, then she could pair them up. Sometimes this process required the client to wait as much as a year before they could have a baby, but the results were worth it.

Our testimonials page is full of clients who have been matched perfectly with a baby Eclectus – because of the time Kirsten spent with her breeding kids.

This interaction has not inhibited their breeding. Red – one of our best breeders – often hatched and raised 3 babies at a time. All of her babies and in fact all of our babies raised here at Parrot Haven have always been extremely healthy with very strong personalities.

Kirsten has always believed that if her parrots were happy, then they would breed happy babies–and that has proved true every time

We have recently taken some video footage of us in our communal aviary which shows the kind of relationship that we have with our kids. Not only do they enjoy our interaction with them but sometimes it is difficult for us to leave as they simply will cling onto us and not want us to leave the flight!

Aviary Time from Parrot Haven on Vimeo.

Having this kind of bond with our parrots is absolutely heartwarming and we wouldn’t trade that for anything. Now that our kids are retired we’re able to enjoy a perfectly healthy ‘pet’ relationship with them because they have always been treated as members of our flock. This has helped their transition from breeding to pet happen seamlessly.

If you are looking to buy an Eclectus parrot – please do as much research as you can about any potential breeders you wish to purchase from. Not all breeders are the same and in our experience, many breeders can be downright deceitful. It is important to ask any potential breeder the kind of questions that will help you ascertain whether or not they are worth their salt as an aviculturist. If you have any hesitation about a breeder, then move on until you find the right one. When you do find a reputable breeder then spread the word. Once enough people start demanding better standards in the industry then the industry can make a change for the better!

From Breeding to Companion – Red’s Story

At the beginning of this year, Kirsten made the decision to give our breeding parrots a break from breeding. Some of our kids had been breeding for over a decade and while they’ve enjoyed some breaks throughout the years we felt that a longer term hiatus was needed.

Even before I became involved in the breeding side of Kirsten’s work, I was always amazed at the relationship she had with all of her breeding parrots. One of the things that fascinated me about her breeding technique was that it was ‘unconventional’ in the sense that she would interact with her breeding pairs. Because of this interaction, she knew each and every one of their unique personality traits. This in turn gave her the ability to match the personalities of their parrot babies with her approved clients.

Red was always one of our best breeders. She would consistently hatch and raise three Eclectus babies when she bred. After about 3-4 weeks she would tell Kirsten “I wanna come in for a shower”. This ‘call’ was Red’s way of telling Kirst that she was ready for her babies to be picked up and for Kirst to take over the rest.

Every time we pulled babies from her nest box, Red would always watch us while Sprout – ever so curious – couldn’t resist the urge to hop onto our shoulder and watch what we were doing close-up. Once we gently placed her babies into their mini carrier, we always showed Red that her babies were okay – and we always made it a point to thank her. We respect the work and effort that all of our breeding kids put forth.

We’ve never treated our breeding parrots like machines and we honestly believe that they can understand this.

When we pulled all of the nest boxes, the majority of the hens adjusted to this change quite easily. We stocked their flight with plenty of toys and fresh parrot-safe branches and they have been getting along quite happily.

Eclectus hen enjoys a snack of popcornRed on the other hand showed a great deal of interest in where ‘Mum & Dad’ lived and soon began lifting her foot up and looking up at the house when we would visit with the kids. We brought her a travel carrier which she stepped into quite happily and we brought her inside with us. Ever since then she has been an amazing pet. She helps Kirsten cook meals, prepare the fruit and veg that we feed the kids every day and she quite happily perches next to us when we work inside. She showers regularly with us and her vocabulary has grown amazingly!

So what makes all of this newsworthy? Red has been breeding for over 10 years. Typically when a breeding bird is retired, if they are sold as a companion parrot, the transition from ‘work’ to ‘play’ can be quite difficult for birds to adjust to. If the breeder has spent little time with their breeding parrots then suddenly being put into a situation where they are surrounded by people can be extremely difficult for them to handle.

Eclectus parrot henKirsten has tried very hard over the years to balance her breeding technique with an insight into what the parrots experience. Being empathic is a good way to live not just when it comes to human relationships. While her method may be non-traditional from a breeding standpoint, the results speak for themselves. We both have the most amazing companion parrot in part due to the way Kirsten has raised and cared for her all these years.

Red is just one story, but each of our kids has their own equally unique story. Our hope is that over time other breeders who share this same level of care for their birds will also enjoy the success we have.

Beware of Unethical Breeding Practices

During this past year we have received an alarming number of emails from parrot owners who purchased their babies from seemingly reputable breeders only to find out later that their precious babies had pre-existing health conditions. When they tried to contact the breeder later they were either completely ignored or they could not provide the owner with information regarding the health and condition of the breeding parents – because they did not know.

After a bit of research, we’ve discovered a couple of practices that we believe are extremely harmful – not only to the unfortunate people who purchase these babies, but for the treatment of the breeding parrots in general.

Selling Third-Party Weaned Babies
One such practice that two of our Parrot Haven clients had experienced was the selling of third-party weaned babies. Third party basically entails someone outside of the breeder whom you are purchasing from is the one who has hatched and in some cases raised the parrot baby. What this means is that the “breeder” that you are buying from has not raised your baby. In the case of one of our clients, the breeder they originally bought from did not even know how to contact the individual who originally sold them the Eclectus baby!

The dangers of this practice are fairly obvious. The most detrimental aspect being that it encourages an anonymous breeding industry where the quality of life for the poor breeding birds and their babies is often neglected.

Aviculture is a serious profession. You are dealing with very fragile lives and the life of any parrot cannot be treated with a ‘trial-and-error’ attitude.

While Kirsten has always had a passion for Parrots – she did not even approach breeding until she had done extensive research both with Parrots and with the species she wanted to specialise in – Eclectus. This research took her years, during which time she consulted with other experienced breeders like Rob Pollard who is well respected in the field.

Breeding requires a lot of work and total commitment for the people involved. Eclectus Parrots are very difficult parrots to hand-raise due to their finicky eating bahaviour. Because of this, a breeder who wants to earn a solid reputation needs more than just passion. They need to be committed to their passion. This is where the anonymity of third-party breeders creates problems.

Answers to questions like these are difficult to impossible to ascertain:

  • How passionate are they about breeding?
  • How long have they been breeding?
  • What is their breeding setup like? (i.e. how are their breeding parrots housed, cared for etc.)
  • What diets are the breeding parents fed?
  • What formula are the babies fed? (With a lot of ‘backyard breeders’ babies are fed baby food designed for human babies not parrot babies. Each parrot species will have their own dietary requirements so it’s important to feed the right parrot babies the correct formula.)
  • Have the breeding parents ever suffered health problems?
  • Was the baby parent raised or were they hand-raised from the egg?

Answers to these questions help the potential parrot owner decide if they even want to purchase from the breeder and if your breeder is selling a third-party baby then they may not even know the answers to these questions.

It is important to ask any breeder the question up front: “Do you raise your own parrot babies or do you sell parrot babies from other breeders?” If they do sell parrot babies other breeders, then the choice is up to you whether to follow up with additional questions regarding the health of the parrot parents and the baby.

No Follow-up Service
Another problem we’ve helped people with, is the terrible lack of follow-up service offered by some breeders. One of our clients purchased their first Eclectus from a breeder with seemingly high reputation here in Australia, only to find that they would not offer any follow-up service after “the sale” was made. In the case of our client, they incurred a vet bill of over $1000 only months after they brought their new baby home due to a pre-existing condition.

Unfortunately – unless people know to ask – they often find out too late that some breeders really have no interest in their own parrot babies once they are sold.

This is a terrible practice because ultimately the parrot babies end up losing. Breeders who are not committed to their own parrot babies are probably not interested in finding appropriate homes for their babies and will typically sell to the first person who calls. This is extremely sad as Kirsten has turned more people down than she has ever sold to. After 11 years of breeding, that is a lot of people!

If you are looking for a good breeder, be careful of any wording that may alert you to a low level of commitment from them. Often if they advertise that “all sales are final” or that “the parrot is your responsibility once you have them in your possession”, then chances are you should be very cautious.

A reputable breeder does not need to worry about what happens when their parrot baby is sent to their new home if they have done their work and found the perfect home in the first place. If they keep their breeding parrots in good health, there is no reason not to offer follow-up service. If they have raised their parrot baby on a balanced, top-quality formula, then again they should have no worries about providing follow-up service.

Over the years, Kirsten has provided so many people with help at no cost because she cares about the welfare of pet parrots. Often, when she has asked people if they have contacted their breeder, the response is usually “I tried”.

We work extremely hard to encourage positive change in the way that parrots are kept as pets and how they are bred. The best thing you can do as a hopeful parrot owner is be aware of the dangers. Look for the warning signs of an unethical breeder. Most importantly, interview the breeder you are interested in purchasing from. If they are worth their weight in gold – then they will respect that you care about the health of your future parrot baby and how they are raised.

Hopefully, when enough people can do this then perhaps these breeders may change their ways and in the end, the parrots will win.

Eclectus Parrots for Sale

Parrot Haven kids in their new home

 

Here at Parrot Haven we love to keep in contact with our lovely clients long after our babies have flown the coop. We have set up our own  forum to enable us to do this many members of our Parrot Haven family use this forum “Parrot Chatter’ daily to share stories, photos and their life with their spoilt kids.

Gorgeous Jax enjoying a day at the beach

 

Sweet Ollie playing with his brothers

 

Mango enjoying his night time story with his sister

Rock me to sleep daddy!

 

Gorgeous Tilly in her Pack O Bird

Jax and Zen, like an old married couple taking a stroll on the beach . . .

Here at Parrot Haven we pride ourselves on raising the most confident, healthy and happy companion Eclectus possible. We have been breeding Eclectus for over a decade and have carefully chosen our eccy pairs for their personality and temperament which is passed on to their babies. We take great pride and care in matching each of our babies with their perfect owners getting to know our clients before we choose their perfect feathered kid.

Take a look at our forum to see more photos of our Parrot Haven babies and learn what it is like to share your lives with these amazing parrots.

Eclectus Parrot Diets – Do you know what your breeder feeds their breeding parrots?

When choosing a baby Eckie, it is imperative to ask about the health and diet of the parent birds.

The following  is a small excerpt from our book: The Ultimate Guide to Eclectus Parrots. This chapter explains the importance of choosing a top quality breeder and the   questions to ask when buying your companion Eclectus.

What diet are the parent birds fed?

Parent birds must be fed a top quality diet. The health of the parent birds directly influences the health of their babies. Feeding Eckies a diet lacking in calcium, protein, vitamins and minerals, will produce weak babies prone to illness.

Ensure that you purchase your baby from a breeder who feeds their breeding Eckies a variety of fruit, vegetables, proteins and legumes. Request a photo of their daily diet and photos of the parent birds. Their condition will help you gauge whether they are in good condition and excellent health. Look for shiny plumage, bright eyes, shiny black beaks on the hens, and bright orange beaks on the males.

book-cover

Available now

View on the iBookstore

 

Hand Raised Eclectus Parrots For Sale

Welcome to Parrot Haven, specialist breeders of gorgeous hand raised Eclectus Parrots.

Parrot Haven Baby Update

Last week Jaffa and Banjo made the long flight from Cairns down to Hobart arriving safe and sound.

After spending the night sleeping and recovering, they were fully rested and ready to spend time with their new family. Dan and Sarah are so happy with their new babies, both Jaffa and Banjo have been enjoying lots of cuddles and spending time getting to know their new family. Jaffa is already starting to talk and they have settled in perfectly.

Thanks to Dan and Sarah for giving our gorgeous Eclectus kids such a wonderfully loving home!

Cuddly hand raised Eclectus Parrots 'Jaffa and Banjo'

 

 

 

At Parrot Haven, all our babies are raised in a loving family environment, spoon fed and spend hours socialising and playing with us.

We pride ourselves in raising healthy, confident and top quality Eclectus Parrots who are hand raised specifically to become a lifelong member of your family.

We have our own forum dedicated to everything eclectus with a special focus on Parrot Haven Kids, we update photos of your babies regularly and are in contact with our clients on almost a daily basis, helping when needed, sharing the successes of our birds in their new homes and chatting about our gorgeous parrots.

Our website and blog is filled with all the information you need to know about these magnificent parrots so please take the time to read through my articles as becoming a parrot owner is a lifelong commitment and we only sell to the very best homes.

All babies sold are been born here at Parrot Haven, we know the personalities of each of our babies parents, this is very important when purchasing a companion parrot. We are a closed aviary and we do not take in outside babies and raise them as our own.

If you are interested in become a Parrot Haven baby owner, please email me to organise a time to chat over the phone. I match all my babies with the perfect homes as every one of my kids is different and care needs to be taken so both our parrots and clients are 100% happy with their new baby.

info@eclectusparrotbreeders.com

Join our forum to meet other Parrot Haven baby owners, chat to them about what its like to own an Eclectus Parrot and see our Testimonial Page on our website to hear our success stories.

Feel confident in buying an eclectus from the Top Eclectus Parrot breeder in Australia. See our testimonials and join our forum to meet many happy Parrot Haven clients.

Eclectus Parrots For Sale

Parrot Havens gorgeous Eclectus male

CHIKO

Chloe, Chiko, Blue and Miko


Fresh outta the shower n he still gets food on him ;)


Temperature tolerance for Eclectus Parrots

We recently had a great discussion in the Parrot Chatter forum about Temperature Tolerance for Eclectus Parrots. Feel free to click on the link below to view the forum thread and as always, if you’d like to join the discussion you can register here. Enjoy!

http://www.eclectusparrotbreeders.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=69&t=121