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Old breeder parrots are frequently bald. While no bird should ever be subjected to commercial breeding, it is a frequent occurrence. Birds become bald due to the rigors of breeding and overzealous preening by their mates. Often, these feather follicles are damaged and the bird remains bald for the rest of its life. This is especially common in cockatiels. Often, these birds are at some point "liquidated" to the public as pets. People have purchased old birds who are bald and then become subject to prosecution for animal cruelty.
It is unjust and inaccurate to accuse these persons who currently possess them of abuse, starvation, disease, and psychological stress.
Fact #1 Most birds will die without food or water for 24 hours. Death results, not baldness
Fact #2 Breeding baldness is not contagious. It is not a "disease."
Fact #3 Birds that are distressed exibit pacing, rocking, feather chewing, feather plucking, self-mutilation, fearful behavior, and screaming. They do not sit placidly, play with toys, and greet persons with kisses. Emotional stress is alleviated in the absence of breeding.
Police and animal control and even shelters are not qualified to sex, age, or diagnose breeder birds and their behaviors. Only a qualified Avian Veterinarian can.
Prosecuting people who have adopted birds once-used for breeding and are now 20-25 years old is wrong and they should not be treated as criminals. It is unfair to the individuals AND the birds. It will make people reluctant to provide a home for a creature whose only "crime" is to be bald.
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