My ideal situation would be to have three pairs of Greys and three pairs of Senegals (Poicephalus senegalus senegalus ). “Be careful what you wish for,” as the adage goes. In 1984, I began attempting to breed African parrots. I detected extremely evident behavioral tendencies in the Senegalese early on. Because I had so many pairings, I learnt what displays, behavior patterns, and body language meant. I had the five pairs of greys around the time I worked out the Senegals, and because my production on the greys wasn’t great, I decided to apply some of what the Senegals had taught me. As we all know, the only actual visible manifestations of greys are fears and plucking. After then, it’s anyone’s guess what they’re thinking or why they do certain things. I had no idea how difficult my task would be.
Fortunately, I only used newly imported stock for my breeding birds. This eradicated many of the infections associated with quarantine facilities containing a wide range of bird species. I was aware of the illnesses they may bring with them from Africa. It was unknown what the birds may have come into touch with after being held in a warehouse, aviary, or shop with other birds from various continents. When purchasing freshly imported stock. I was quite sure I knew what illnesses they were carrying. All incoming birds had a thorough vet examination, or as thorough as it could be in those days, around two weeks after they arrived in my confinement. I attempted to acquire the majority of my birds in groups. Working in groups is significantly easier than working with just one or two couples.
I am a great believer in preventive veterinary medicine. Margaret W. Wissman, DVM, DABVP, Avian Practice has been my veterinarian since 1988. I don’t have a single year of low output, low fertility, dead-in-the-shell, or the dreaded FIRES to deal with. When deciding on treatment procedures for my birds, I consider the severity of the sickness, the simplicity of administration, the effectiveness of the therapy, the cost, and the long-term repercussions. We can only accomplish this because Dr. Wissman is so well-versed in my flock. Her education includes blood testing, virus screening, serology, hands-on medical exams, culturing, prophylactic deworming, and performing necropsies on eggs and birds. I applaud her for viewing this as a tool for learning and getting to know my flock, as well as offering her perspective and sharing some of the weight. She is constantly eager to educate and share her expertise with me and anybody else who would listen to her. She also contributes to Bird Talk as a subject matter specialist.
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