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They come to us due to welfare issues, because they were strays and most often because they have outlived their caregiver.
It is frustrating that we are only able to help a few of the many needing an appropriate place to live.
Sadly the really unlucky ones find themselves often passed from pillar to post, re-enforcing their mistrust, confusion and fear of humans.
We do our best to give them the most natural existence we can and provide a range of enrichment which is very important to combat boredom.
Boredom can lead to feather plucking and stress*, although there can be many reasons for this, as each bird is unique.
We provide a varied diet* with fruit and vegetables, pulses cooked or sprouted, limited best quality seeds and Harrison’s, which is an organic kibble that provides all of the nutrients needed.
Parrots forge strong bonds with humans due to their desire to find a mate, but at the same time it is very frustrating for them, as they cannot satisfy their desire to procreate, this often leads to frustration* and aggression*, that they then take out on other family members.
This is an unnatural existence because in the wild they would find a compatible mate and often live in large flocks with sometimes hundreds of birds, depending on the species.
Although a desire to breed is natural, it is not one to be encouraged in captivity - There are already too many unwanted exotic birds.
As they get older this need can put a strain on their physical and mental health, often leading to very high vet* bills, due to the fact that they can live a lot longer in captivity than in the wild.
Generally, in captivity many parrots’ needs won’t be met, even partially, resulting in behavioural issues, such as aggression, destructive tendencies*, fear displays, screaming* and often dietary deficiencies resulting in poor physical health. Thus in captivity, they will survive but rarely thrive.
Unless we learn to see the world from a parrot’s point of view, we will never fully understand these complex and beautiful creatures. Only through education will we understand how they live in the wild and see how it is almost impossible to imitate this life in captivity.
At Raystede we do our best to give them the fundamentals in life, i.e. the five freedoms*.
Still nothing compares to living their natural life in the wild*, where they have all the freedom they need to thrive and be happy and fulfilled.
Rarely seen in the wild, for some species living in captivity, stressful events can be enough to trigger feather picking. Often this complex behaviour is due to mental trauma such as fear or boredom; infections; pain; dietary problems and allergies.