Will a handfed bird lose the ability/skill to breed and to raise chicks?
Posted 23 February 2011 - 05:17 AM
Rembrandt "Remi" - 7 year old male white bellied caique :wbc:
Tiki - 1 year old male?? white bellied caique :wbc:
Lily - 1 year old female goffin's cockatoo :i.batan:
Many thanks to Renae for the adorable signature picture!
Posted 23 February 2011 - 02:10 PM
Generally speaking, pets don't make good breeders, and breeders don't make good pets - but there's always an exception to the rule. First time parents are often *not* good breeders, and usually take at least 2-3 clutches before they get things right. Just because a pair are good breeders doesn't mean that they will remain so in the future.
There's a lot of variables, and a question like that would be the same as asking us if two complete strangers would get along or if they would hate each other. We don't know these strangers, nor how they will react.
Posted 23 February 2011 - 03:50 PM
From what I've been told by an experienced breeder, if a baby is raised, including the hand feeding time, with other birds of the same species, it is more likely to know it's a bird, and consequently more likely to mate with a bird.
I think, and this is only my opinion, that a bird that becomes sexually mature alone, using inanimate objects or their human as a sexual outlet, is less likely to accept a mate. However, I've also heard of persistant females who basically "taught" a male how to mate. Those females were experienced though, having lost their previous mates.
BTW, my two are still my pets, although they, especially the male, do not want me to get too involved when there are chicks in the box. I held the chicks, regardless, explaining to him what I was doing and making sure he could see that the babies were okay. This was after they were feathered out, of course.
I'm just giving my perspective, not saying this would be the case for others. Just saying it can happen. I think the young raised from my pair will be successful breeders even though they are also pets.
Posted 03 March 2011 - 01:26 PM
Taken by itself, this statement implies that birds learn how to breed from their parents. As someone said, there are many variables that apply to captive situations. But, taken by itself the implication is faulty. Breeding in birds is too important a task to be left to learning. It's instinctive. Instinctive patterns (called "fixed action patterns") of behavior triggered by stimuli. Like a mating dance in a male triggered by longer days, which in turn triggers hormone production in a female who sees it and therefore gets her in the mood to mate, etc. Generally, animals in the wild can't afford "trial and error" for something they may not have many chances at. The learning element is very small as it's been shown that there's a small difference in sucess rate of new parents as opposed to experienced ones.
Food gathering on the other hand has a larger learning component where experience and learning are more necessary to success. As, likewise, in studies, it's been shown that there is a much higher rate of failure in inexperienced birds when it comes to finding food, hunting (in raptors), etc. than those who have more experience.
This is general for birds in the wild. I know your question has to do with captivity and that has it's own unique variables, again, because no two situations will be the same. By definition the normal triggers are not there and I think the industry as a whole is still learning as it goes. That makes it hard to answer these types of questions aside from personal experience and individual anecdote.
Edited by SDavid, 03 March 2011 - 01:40 PM.
Posted 03 March 2011 - 02:13 PM
Furthermore, it has been my observation that many eclectus parrot males that are raised and kept as pets during the first two years of their life, without any females around during that developmental stage, are NOT good candidates for being future mates. Many of these kinds of males are so bonded with people that they see ANY other parrot as "the enemy" to be dispatched. But birds are very individual and one must observe the bird's behavior over a period of time to really know something about the bird's reaction to other birds, in or out of the cage, in or out of a breeding situation. And a bird may have one reaction to a second bird and a very different reaction to a third bird. Birds have their individual preferences just like we do.
Posted 25 March 2011 - 01:44 PM
Rosie + Remy - Roseifron conures
Cinny + Blu - GC's
Mac + Saphy - GC's
Gramps + Ruby - GC's
Tango + Fanta - GC's
Charlie - English Cocker Spaniel
Gizmo - Long Haired Chihuahua
Dan - The Thoroughbred
Posted 20 April 2011 - 09:55 PM
I don't think birds loose their ability to breed and lay eggs. I think the tame ones have found out that it is more fun to stay out and play than to sit on eggs or feed babies.lol! Maybe they are a lot smarter than we give them credit.
Most of mine are still pets even after they have raised chicks or fed them until I pulled them to hand feed.
Posted 20 April 2011 - 11:15 PM
I don't think birds loose their ability to breed and lay eggs.
Tell that to my hand raised from day one of hatching cockatiel, Casey! She knows how to lay, although she never becomes protective of her eggs. Her issue is that she doesn't know how to mate! Or perhaps she just hasn't been with the right male... Granted, I've never tried breeding her, and since I've owned her, she has been around 3 males, with only one taking interest in her. She would masturbate on a perch, and this male (at the time, had just previously lost his mate), all happy as can be, would strut on over, singing his heart out! Casey would stop, get up and leave! Interestingly enough, she's been with two other males that have mated with hens, and I still have one male and his mate. I still don't know if she understands that mating = chicks.
Doesn't matter, as I don't want to breed her anyways, and have no plans to try.
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