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#255827 - 06/22/14 06:29 PM what a difference a decade and a half makes  
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Specialist Elbru Offline
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At one time, readily available hand-fed fledgling parrots seamed to be the solution to the human-caused problems for psittacins. Now, it seems that readily available hand-fed fledgling parrots is the human-caused problem for psittacins.

I started visiting mytoos.com in early May, it has really changed the way I see psittacine ownership. I should say my prior research was about 15 years out of date. To explain my journey of enlightenment, I need to start in the 1980's.

Back in the 80's, I was a high school student who was interested in nature and wild creatures. At that time, I had no interest in psittacins as companion animals. I was however interested in nature and wild creatures including birds. In magazines, I read about the horrors of wild caught parrots. There were two awful sides to the horror of wild caught parrots. One side was the depletion of parrots in their native habitat. The other horror was, the deadly treatment of those parrots smuggled out of their native country and how many would die during transit.

It wasn't until about '92 after I met a Rose Breasted Cockatoo named Heidi up close and personal, that I had any idea of what a parrot was like as a companion animal. I fell in love with that pink and gray fellow. His friendship sparked my interest in cockatoos.

Fast forward to 1997. I read books and searched The Internet for all I could to learn about about parrots and parrot ownership. In addition I joined an on-line community learn from people who had parrots, including sub-forums for cockatoo owners. During that time, I learned about the revolution in the parrot world called domestic breeding (inside the USA). As a learned more, I talked with a Texas parrot breeder. Back in the 90's, domestic breeding was viewed as the panacea that would cure all problems. No more depletion of the natural resources, to more birds that would choke to death crammed in a tiny cavity of a car as it crosses the border. All those horrors were magically eliminated with the advent of domestic breeding.

The cockatoo sub-forum members were not completely naive, we knew that companion parrots were not for everyone. It took someone that was committed to providing their birds with the right environment. We knew that if someone got a bird without being prepared, the results would be disastrous for the bird. We were against unprepared people getting a bird and shops that encouraged unprepared people to get birds. The consensus of the forum was, that with adequate reading/preparation and community support, the best bird to get was a hand-fed just-fledged parrot. The community was appreciative of those people who took in rescue and re-homed birds, but we recommended young hand-fed birds to make the best companion animals.

I would say that I was not completely without reservations. I knew that we were moving into a new age of companion parrots and that these creatures could live for many decades. It seamed scary because it was such a mass social experiment. This lead me to posting a survey on the cockatoo sub-forum. I was still surprised that of the 16 respondents, 11 were people who took a just-weaned bird than one year prior to the survey. Only 3 people who purchased just-weaned had owned them for more than two years. Only one person who purchaser a baby had it long enough to reach full maturity.

Many of those 11 with new birds added additional comments to there survey such as respondent #15, "Do you still have the bird: Absolutely; I made a lifetime commitment to this little girl!" Looking from 2014 back to 1997, I only hope that in the years since, those care givers were able to fulfill their commitment, even as the bird matured, and owners went through life-changes of their own. Now that I can no longer find those people or there post (see community notes), I can only speculate what has happened since.

After I visiting your side, I can see that the hand-feeding of baby parrots itself is a problem. Was I simply naive, willfully ignorant, or was the problem just not evident in 1997. I can only say what a difference a decade and a half makes!

++++ Community notes ++++
In researching for this topic, I tried to retrieve information from the forum that I joined back in the 90's. I found that while the forum is technically operational, it is dead as a community (3 post per year since 2010). I discovered that all post prior to 2006 are gone. My last post was in 1999, as a result all my posts are gone. The only thing from that era I can find is a few post and drafts that I saved to my hard drive. The responses to my survey are one of the few things I can find on my HD.

Searching the wayback machine, I was able to view some snapshot of the website from that era. As of yet, I only found a few forum threads, and I did not find a single thread that I participated in. I also tried searching the post-2006 archives for screen names of those who responded to my 1997 survey, I was not able to match a single name. I wonder why they stopped posting, did they just switch screen names, did they give-up the birds, did they give-up posting, did they just switch to other communities.

The forum is/was supported by those with a vested interested interest in parrot breading. I was able to locate a '09 tread where a member blamed problems on hand-feeding, and that user was made to seam crazy for even suggesting it. So it could be that the original people were just forced out once they found out there bundle of joy was more than they could handle.

#255828 - 06/22/14 09:10 PM Re: what a difference a decade and a half makes [Re: Specialist Elbru]  
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BE2Cassie Offline
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Are you referring to the Mytoos forum? I have to say I certainly hope not. If you are you need to go back and reread the front page of Mytoos. http://mytoos.com/main.shtml


Nancy & Cassie BE2
#255832 - 06/23/14 03:59 AM Re: what a difference a decade and a half makes [Re: Specialist Elbru]  
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I'm very glad to see your post and address it. This forum started early in 2002 but you will find, in your wanderings here, that we are a model of consistency.

The problems you experienced in that early era with breeders boils down to one thing that you have not already figured out. Breeders can and will sell a long lived, unweaned chick to anyone with a credit card! They want money and they could care less about parrots. If they were honest about raising an unweaned chick through maturity and beyond, they would go broke the first month.

I think you have already figured out that over 99% of the general population would never be good candidates for long term cockatoo caregivers. If one has a cockatoo, that they love and really properly provide for, they know within a year or two that their own life is going to change. These are very demanding creatures and they live a long time. They can be the best of companions but only if their caretakers are willing, and able, to meet them half way and give them some modicum of a natural life.

Now we know why fluff forums from many years have died. What happened to all those parrots? I hate to think. What happened to all those people? They got rid of those birds that were tying them down and now are back to living their own lives, on their own terms.

Our goal, now and always, will be to try to get some of these larger cockatoos acceptable lives through education and support for the few, and rare, people that seem to really care. We, Mytoos, have been called names and slurred by many for many years but we are still here and our message is the same. We are here for those birds. People don't really matter much to us beyond their concern to help.

We are not a very social site, although we do have many members that are "getting it" and they will always be supporting each other. With all the research you are doing, I think you will fit in perfectly. We will not be shutting down anytime soon and we need all the help we can get to help all the cockatoos that are out there through no fault of their own. Humans brought them into this world to make a buck and forget about them and some of us are here to TRY to make up for that insensitivity to a unique and creative creature, with wings, that may be here longer than many of us!

Welcome to Mytoos! We are glad to have you, for the long term! cool

#255846 - 06/24/14 04:19 AM Re: what a difference a decade and a half makes [Re: Specialist Elbru]  
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I saw a survey once that the average parrot stays in its home less than 5 years. Given what I saw at the rescue where I volunteer, I wouldn't be surprised if it's actually less than that.

I bought a baby parrot in 2002 before I knew about the parrot overpopulation problem or even knew that rescues existed. I still feel guilt over that purchase -- her breeder told me so many lies. I'm just lucky that there was a good bird rescue in town where I could learn the truth, and then that I found mytoos.

I think that we will see many more issues as we continue to breed more and more parrots, and as people remain willfully ignorant. It's so sad, and it's one of those things that once you see, you can't unsee. My heart is continually broken by these beautiful creatures who are put through so much suffering because of humans.

Last edited by Beeps; 06/24/14 04:26 AM.
#255849 - 06/24/14 04:11 PM Re: what a difference a decade and a half makes [Re: Specialist Elbru]  
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Thanks for your post. There is consistency here and we don't see which way the wind blows each day before deciding on the tone and manner of dialogue and answers. The mytoos website www.mytoos.com has been cited in two textbooks of veterinary medicine and numerous lectures at The University of Pennsylvania College of Veterinary Medicine. I was just at Penn. Vet Hospital a few weeks ago with a parrot having surgery and during the waiting before the surgery I asked the residents if any knew of the online site mytoos and several answered Yes! and the site really showed me just what it's all about (in parrots as pets in captivity) and they praised the site. I heard the words honest, for real, truthful and also 'confirmed what I aleady thought but I never had a parrot to know for sure'. How many other online parrot websites and message boards can say this? Only here to my knowledge because few vets. are willing to put their name and reputation on the line for any source which they see as unstable. To me this proves I'm sharing, learning from others and helping others on the correct online forum.

You may get to 'know' people in time here and we are always here for each other when experiencing a tough time with a parrot. Also I look at the time any avian/animal online venue has been around and if more than a couple years read the posts from the start, the middle and current. If I see major change in tone, message or constitution it's a fluff board to me. If I see consistent truth combined with a sense of pride in the job and a touch of kindness which doesn't come across as a weakness it's a good source to me. I've read Many posts/threads here from years ago, a couple years ago and recent and I cannot detect any shift at all which tells me I'm not wasting my time here as it's the real thing which I appreciate.

This is the most plagiarized parrot message board! People steal posts here and change the wording very slightly or not at all and post it as their own on other boards! I've found posts of several members here to include me on fluff boards! This is how desperate some are for quality information for answers to tough questions which they cannot provide and again it only tells me I must be participating on the right forum for my online avian welfare time. I have learned so much here from the great and high quality members, shared here and educated a few as well. Your post rocks! Welcome.


The Heavens Created Birds, then man created cages, shame on man.


#255866 - 06/25/14 08:30 PM Re: what a difference a decade and a half makes [Re: Charlie]  
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Specialist Elbru Offline
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Back in 97, we thought that that other board was a reliable source of information. I now know that it was NOT the case. I suppose that because the other site was one of first sites (wayback machine verified to pre-Oct 1996) it was undeservedly though to be have intellectual authority. We went there inquire about problems that came up.

Originally Posted By: Charlie
What happened to all those parrots? I hate to think. What happened to all those people?


I know it is just blind hope, but I would like to think that just some of those people found this site where they could get real information. To any of those people who got baby cockatoos in 1996 or 97, who left that breeder supported fluff board and made it to here, I solute you

#255867 - 06/25/14 08:32 PM Re: what a difference a decade and a half makes [Re: Specialist Elbru]  
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Thank you I misunderstood your original post.


Nancy & Cassie BE2

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