How Young Birds Should Be Socialized?

The Importance of Socialization of Baby Birds With Humans

A debate that may be defined as heated and controversial has been going on between people who keep birds as pets and those who breed birds over the subject of how young birds should be socialized. This debate has taken place over the last several years. When an owner of a pet bird is concerned that their bird may have a behavioral issue, the owner will look for a solution to the issue as well as the underlying cause of the issue. Sometimes the owner may place the blame on the bird breeder, claiming that the breeder did something wrong during the raising process that caused the troublesome bird to be developed.

Baby birds are normally born and nurtured by bird breeders, who may do so in nurseries located in modest backyard facilities or on big breeding farms. Breeding facilities may range in size from very small to very large. Breeders of birds frequently sell their offspring at a young age, either before or during the weaning process, to pet shops or brokers, and occasionally even to the owners of the pets themselves. Interacting with other clutch mates or other baby birds in the brooder or baby cages, interacting with the hand-feeder while being handled or fed, and possibly learning the “Up” command from the hand-feeder are the primary forms of socialization that take place in the case of baby birds that are sold prior to weaning or near the end of the weaning process. Since a result, the bird has the chance to learn that people are safe, as they provide both food and comfort to the bird. In addition, the bird becomes used to being around other birds when they are housed together in the brooder or cage. Even if their physical abilities are not developed enough for them to effortlessly comply with the aim, most parrots can learn the “Up” command rather fast.

Baby birds that are then sold to brokers and pet shops will continue to socialize with humans as well as other species of birds in their new surroundings. They can discover that a lot of people point fingers at them through the bars of the cage. They could discover that there is a diverse range of humans to interact with, not all of whom treat the birds with the same degree of kindness and respect that others do. They could discover that they have to share cage space with unusual birds of a different species. They can discover that not everyone who touches them is proficient in doing it in a smooth manner. No matter how well the young birds have been nurtured and cared for by the bird breeder, the introduction of all of these new experiences, people, locations, foods, and routines may be confusing and stressful for the birds. Each young bird will go through all of these activities, whether it is in the pet shop or with the bird brokers, as part of their process of becoming socialized.

The owner or manager of a pet store that specializes in birds will provide careful training to the employees in the care and handling of baby birds. Additionally, the store’s protocols will include guiding customers who are purchasing baby birds on how to properly care for and handle the baby birds in the store. The bird will then acquire good socialization and will have feelings of comfort and security as a result. The greatest shops for birds provide their personnel with training and set high standards for the care that must be provided to the young birds. The greatest businesses that sell birds also provide education to their customers on how to properly care for the birds they sell. This instruction is provided by them via the use of direct demonstrations of handling, written information about the particular species being acquired, and the suggestion of a qualified veterinarian. This procedure requires time and work, but in the end, both the bird and its owner are satisfied with the outcome.

Bird breeders that sell their wares directly to members of the public often supply their customers with a substantial amount of information that is species-specific on the bird that is being bought. The person who breeds birds for sale to the general public could also maintain the young birds for a significant amount of time after they have been weaned. The young birds are given the chance to learn about different kinds of meals, how to play with toys and with other birds, how to move about in bird cages, how to fly and land skillfully, and how to react to orders such as “Up” and “Perch.” During this time, they also gain self-assurance and are prepared to go home with their new owner at the end of the term. This is the post-weaning stabilization phase, which typically takes place in the month that follows the month in which the young chick was weaned from its dependence on formula feedings.

Large-scale bird breeders simply do not have the time, the workers, or the cage space necessary to put all of their birds through this procedure for an additional month after they have been weaned. If they did so, the cost of the bird would go up, which would result in a significant price rise for the bird. There are several species for which it is strongly advised that the breeder not keep them at this period. These animals are able to make the change far more simply and at a younger age. Nevertheless, this does not mean that the management and employees of the breeding farms are providing less than great care for the birds in the event that they do not put the birds through the stabilization procedure. Large farms are required to have effective disease prevention measures and to do all in their power to ensure the physical and mental well-being of their offspring. Their ability to provide for themselves is contingent on their ability to create a superior product that will lead to more revenue the following year. They simply cannot afford to create infants that do not meet the demands of their market, or else they will be forced to close their doors. Large bird farms often have avian veterinarians on staff to advise them on any and all matters pertaining to the birds’ health, and they also have enough staffing levels to handle the day-to-day tasks that need to be completed.

Now, let’s circle back around to the topic of how young birds should be socialized. During the process of being hand-fed, birds go through multiple stages of the socialization process, not just one stage. After leaving the bird breeder, the bird either travels to a pet shop or is given to its new owner, at which point these steps of socialization continue to take place. In point of fact, the bird will continue to go through several stages of socialization over the course of the next five or six years, until it achieves maturity. Even while the majority of bigger parrots may become sexually mature as young as 5 or 6 years old, this does not mean that they have reached their full potential until this age. The smaller the parrot, the sooner it will develop. Therefore, all of these conversations regarding the “correct” way to socialize birds should probably be directed at the person who will be with the bird throughout the various stages of the socialization process – the pet owner.

The fact that some people who possess birds as pets just want to love and enjoy them rather than train them is a contributing factor to the issue (as if the bird should come in a “ready-to-use” package). The owner of the bird has developed an emotional attachment to the bird, but it’s possible that he or she is unaware of, or just does not care, that the young bird has a significant need for direction as it matures over the next several months and years. It’s possible that the bird’s owner doesn’t know much about the particular kind of bird or the traits that come naturally to it. In point of fact, the owner of the bird may have very little knowledge about birds in general. As Gail Worth said in a recent comment, “Many people who own pets believe that birds are similar to dogs. They want the bird to change a behavior that they do not like, but the behavior is natural for the bird. They want the bird to change the behavior.” Many people who keep birds as pets have, it would seem, a tendency to have preconceived notions about what the bird ought to be and how it ought to behave. When problems develop, it is far simpler to place blame on someone else than it is to acknowledge the real issue, which is a lack of fundamental understanding about the behavior of birds and, more particularly, a lack of information about the type of bird they have. Bird breeders, pet bird owners, and proprietors of bird shops and bird behavior experts all need to be aware of the following situation: To put it more simply, young birds will always need direction, and nobody is to blame for this situation. To mature into healthy and happy adult companion birds, birds need to have their different stages of socialization guided by an experienced person over the course of many years.

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