One of the things that really impressed me about Kirsten before coming to Australia was how involved she was with her breeding birds. As an Eclectus owner myself, I was always curious about what the parents of my Eckie hen was like. What kind of personality did they have? Were they quiet, curious or playful?
Unfortunately in the avicultural industry, it is a common belief that a breeder must not interact very much with their breeding parrots. “Feed them and leave them” was the phrase that I heard a lot. For other parrot species that may indeed be the case, however for Eclectus parrots Kirsten has proved otherwise.
Being a parrot lover, taking such a hands-off stance was something that Kirst could not do. Having raised her very first Eclectus pair (Red and Sprout), she was heavily involved in their everyday lives. They grew up in her home and she included them in many of her daily activities like cooking, cleaning and taking care of her son. To this day, Red still loves to be included when Kirst is preparing a meal – helping chop up fresh vegetables (taking small ‘tasting bites’) and talking extensively while we both work in the kitchen.
As she grew her Eckie flock, the routine stayed the same. Once they all had a large outdoor aviary to share she would spend a lot of time with them watching their personalities grow and seeing friendships and couples form. This became invaluable as they started breeding.
Having such a strong bond with her breeding Eclectus enabled Kirsten to know what personality traits her babies would develop
This insight helped Kirst to pair a baby with a client in a way that few other breeders have. During her interview process, Kirsten would try and understand what a potential client was like and what kind of baby they needed. If the individual was approved for one of her babies, then she could pair them up. Sometimes this process required the client to wait as much as a year before they could have a baby, but the results were worth it.
Our testimonials page is full of clients who have been matched perfectly with a baby Eclectus – because of the time Kirsten spent with her breeding kids.
This interaction has not inhibited their breeding. Red – one of our best breeders – often hatched and raised 3 babies at a time. All of her babies and in fact all of our babies raised here at Parrot Haven have always been extremely healthy with very strong personalities.
Kirsten has always believed that if her parrots were happy, then they would breed happy babies–and that has proved true every time
We have recently taken some video footage of us in our communal aviary which shows the kind of relationship that we have with our kids. Not only do they enjoy our interaction with them but sometimes it is difficult for us to leave as they simply will cling onto us and not want us to leave the flight!
Aviary Time from Parrot Haven on Vimeo.
Having this kind of bond with our parrots is absolutely heartwarming and we wouldn’t trade that for anything. Now that our kids are retired we’re able to enjoy a perfectly healthy ‘pet’ relationship with them because they have always been treated as members of our flock. This has helped their transition from breeding to pet happen seamlessly.
If you are looking to buy an Eclectus parrot – please do as much research as you can about any potential breeders you wish to purchase from. Not all breeders are the same and in our experience, many breeders can be downright deceitful. It is important to ask any potential breeder the kind of questions that will help you ascertain whether or not they are worth their salt as an aviculturist. If you have any hesitation about a breeder, then move on until you find the right one. When you do find a reputable breeder then spread the word. Once enough people start demanding better standards in the industry then the industry can make a change for the better!