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What do you do ?

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This is a topic that many people do not like to discuss, as there are people who resent the loss of life often associated with selective breeding or excessive breeding.  There are those that feel that:

Conversely, there are those that think:

People probably think a lot more than what has been put up above.  Please e-mail me if you have something to add to either one.

The life of a bird is very important.  They are living, thinking creatures and we see this especially in parrots, where their ability to talk, their behavior, and their pugnacious personalities can light up a room.  So how do we deal with the issue of excess young, older birds or sick birds.  We know that the poultry world has always had very clear mechanisms for slaughter, because people need to eat, and chicken meat is a large part of the diet in many countries.  Many individuals seem to separate the functionality or livestock purpose of animals from the pet bird scenario, but the reality is that a full time breeder is producing birds as a business.  Breeders enjoy working with birds and they all hope to discover a new mutation. They also enjoy the challenge of raising the more expensive birds and that challenge never seems to dim, but at the end of the day, something must pay the bills and breeding birds does that.  As with chicken, increased productivity levels and research lead to lower prices at the store and surety of supply for the market.

Chicken and poultry have always been killed for food.  It is well known that a number of methods have been employed over the years and they include:

In the world of parrots, we are talking about a "pet bird" with little practical use as a "layer" or "broiler".  In so much as this difference exists it is always a good idea to know what to do with birds that you cannot sell or give away.  A point to make on the giving away and selling of birds is the potential economic harm it can do to experienced breeders who really care for their animals and have usually invested heavily.  A person who continually sells to a pet store (s) may unknowingly hurt these breeders because they lower the price of the birds in the area and the breeder cannot recover costs.  If the hobbyist's interests start to wane or time commitments prevent them from pursuing their hobby, the flow of birds stops and there is no one left to fill the gap.  The same is to be said of those that give their birds away.  The presence of free birds in an area will lead to pet stores seeking more lucrative product lines and the availability of certain birds is cut off, unless you know the individual breeding the birds.  This is another case of unintentionally undermining the breeder who depends on the sale of birds for their living.

How can one address the humane side of dealing with excess birds and the economic ramifications ?  I certainly don't know the answer, but one way is to inform people of the repercussion of their actions, and the second is to examine the humane and other ways to deal with large quantities of birds.  For example, I would expect that breeders would be loathe to sell nuisance or damaged birds to a store (autosomal recessives; naturally aggressive birds; hybrids, etc...) because of the potential for any negative consequences to destroy the credibility and trust in the breeder's production methods (this unwritten expectation leads to more docile birds in stores).

How have people dealt with large numbers of excess birds to date, and what have you done or read about? Following are some of the means I have read about: