A better bond? The plight of unweaned chicks.

This article first appeared in 'Parrot News' the Parrot Society Of Australia magazine in the May - June 2021 edition. All photos included provided by Linda Plumstead of Macaws and More.

Purchasing unweaned chicks has become increasingly popular recently. Chicks ranging in age from as young as 3 weeks old are often sold by breeders to inexperienced and experienced companion parrot owners. The primary driver behind this fad is the misconception that by hand-raising a parrot from a young age you will “have a better bond” with them. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

In fact, when we consider the natural ethology of parrots we can see how this belief is highly flawed. In the wild, parents hatch and raise chicks before becoming independent and socialising with other flock members. The age at which a parrot would fledge and wean depends on their species. Parrotlets and Budgies may only be a few months, others such as Black Cockatoos may take upwards of 18