I got my fourth bird, a Meyers parrot, in 2003 - then I began wanting another a few years later. In january 2006, I saw a brown-headed parrot that was going to be rehomed. One year old, and still she was already going to her fourth home!
I wanted that bird so badly, but still, I live in northern Sweden, and that bird was as south as you could get. So it was not really possible. Then I (this was more than a year before I started questioning breeding birds) thought I could get a baby pionus by summer.
Only days after that, I started thinking of getting my dream bird, a Mealy amazon. (Now that I know more about birds, I know that amazons are not for me) I had read a bit earlier that month about cockatoos and I thought that NEVER would I have such a horrible (...), biting, unpredictable terror of a bird! I promised myself that, NEVER EVER would I have a cockatoo. But still, naive fourteen-year-old as I was, I could not take my eyes of the cockatoos beauty and started looking at mostly the Eleonora, and chose that instead of the Mealy amazon.
I read, read and read for... about half a year (not much at all, but for a fourteen/fifteen-year-old, it's a lot of time, especially when you're impatient and want everything to happen NOW!), especially here, but of course none of it stuck in my head.
If I hade not had a cockatoo by now, and come here and read, I believe that I would have realized - the aggression issues with cockatoos are probably too much for me. But as a fourteen/fifteen-year-old, I thought (like any teen) "I can make it - if they can, why can't I?"
I read threads here about other teens wanting to get toos, and when they were told not to, I thought "Yes, it's them... but I
can handle it!" I didn't realize that all those that I read about had most likely thought the exact same thing.
I wanted to get a rehome, because I didn't really like this with breeding, but I was still miles away from the opinions I have today. So because I refused to wait more months, by june, I put a deposit on a cockatoo hatched at the end of march. His brother from the year before (and later, his siblings the year after) was parent-fed entirely, and I wanted "my" 'too to be parent-raised as well, but since I couldn't put the deposit soon enough, he was taken in to be hand-fed at two months of age.
I was to pick up the 'too (DNA-tested male) in the beginning of august because he was just supposed to have been weaned by then (I had read here about how long time these birds need to be fed, but I of course preferred to listen to the breeders here instead...
), but instead I got a message in the beginning of july that now, he's weaned and has been eating by himself for almost a week. I didn't think that sounded good, but not so much that I would not buy the bird anyway.
(If that had been today - not that I buy from a breeder anyway - I would have demanded of him to feed the bird longer or let him have my deposit and I would not buy the bird, but that was not the case then)
I never started a thread here because I knew what sort of answers I would get, and I didn't see what that would lead to. I was dead set on a cockatoo, and no one could convince me otherwise.
It didn't take many months for me with the "little" 'too to understand that these birds really do not fit in our homes. So since then, I have been a clear opposer of breeding of all parrots - especially cockatoos and the other large parrots - and have self-proclaimed myself as Swedens Mytoos-ambassador.
I have done mistakes that I will never do again, and I try to convince as many as I can NOT to get a cockatoo, or if they do, definitely not feed the breeders. Few people wants to see cockatoos out of our living rooms as much as I do, but I often meet rather odd questions at that opinion.
"If you don't think parrots should be pets, then why are you at bird forums?"
"To say that cockatoos shouldn't be pets is b***shit when you have one yourself!" (Sais one of the countrys few "rescuers")
"If you don't think parrots should be pets, why do you have them yourself?"
Etcetera. Rather tiring. I mean, I can't release my birds, they are hand-fed and would never survive in the wild.
But if I was assured that they would live, be together with a flock of their own kind and "live happily ever after" in the wild, I would go to their respective homelands and set them free, no matter how much I would miss them. But of course, that's not possible.
I'm working on a site similiar to this and other sites with honest
information (for some reason, people call me "overly negative"
), but in swedish. I read lots of english/american articles about parrot ownership and aviculture, but when I want others to read them, they say they'd love to but they don't want to waste energy when it's in english, they don't know the language that well, etc... so I'm making a site in swedish, since it's about time.
There is one swedish forum with opinions kind of similar to this - parrots shouldn't be in captivity - but that's about it, everywhere else there are fluff boards, breeder sites, etc. And of course, breeders (at least almost) always lie right up in your face.
My 'toos breeder for example, is a rather well-knowned person in swedish aviculture, definitely not seen as a "bad breeder", BUT - he sold a large cockatoo, an extremely intelligent, sensitive animal with high potential to be rehomed within the next months/years, to a fifteen-year-old girl (me) who he only asked whether she has a cage and if she knew that avocado is deadly to birds.
I could have been anyone who didn't even know that cockatoos were white birds, but why bother, I came over with the money first!
So, nowadays, I feel that parrot breeders (except those really breeding for conservation, release into the wild and only that) are amongst the scum of the earth... why?
Because they make money on wild animals. They steal the babies from their parents, raise them in totally unnatural environments to then force them to be on their own much too early, throw them out into a life where they are very likely to be thrown between many, many homes (the average parrots has about seven homes in its first ten years), never be able to act normally, never be able to exercise properly as in the wild, never get to know freedom... and they make money of it.