Over the years, I have attended countless conferences, seminars, presentations, and expo about the subject of aviculture. I have learned from the best in the business and I? still learning as time goes on. What I?e discovered is that what we believed to be the best way of doing things or thought something was a fact may not necessarily be the way it is now. Science discovers new information every day and our knowledge expands.
It is the ultimate, “That was then, this is now?regarding how fast information changes and new ideas and concepts come about. These old ideas weren? necessarily bad per se, but as we move forward, we expand and improve our information bank. Keeping up with this rapidly changing stream of information can be a challenge. Attending the various expos, seminars, conferences and festivals conducted annually around the country can be immensely helpful in keeping up with these changes.
I asked some of the bird experts who attended last year? American Federation of Aviculture (AFA) Conference in Portland, Oregon what they used to believe to be true when they first got into caring for birds and what they now know is false. They had some pretty interesting answers!
“I used to not only think that you couldn? train a bird with a food reward because they were easily satiated and would get full quickly, I used to tell my clients this. I now know of course, that this just isn? true. This just demonstrates how ongoing learning is so important. Learning about birds is a journey, not a destination.?lt;/span>
?Jamie Whittaker, First Vice President of the AFA
“I used to think that there was only one right way to keep birds. Now I know that there are many right ways to keep birds.?lt;/span>
?amp;nbsp;Georgia Hayes, South Central Regional Director for AFA
“I used to think that the best bang for your buck was to have a cage with a playpen top so you didn? have to go to the expense of buying a separate playstand. Now I know that this perpetuates hormonal and territorial aggression. [Parrots] need a separate environment for playing, enrichment, toys and food.?lt;/span>
?amp;nbsp;Melanie Allen, Avian Product Specialist at Rolf C. Hagen
“I used to believe fat is bad. Now we know how important fats are in the avian diet.?lt;/span>
?amp;nbsp;Jason Crean, Biologist in Chicago
“I used to believe parsley was toxic to birds. I also thought birds absolutely had to be covered at night. Now I know that fed in moderation, parsley may have beneficial tonic properties. And as for covering my birds? It is a choice depending on their environment, based on their needs. Another good one is that sunflower contained addictive opiates and would get your birds hooked. I now realize that this is obviously not true. More knowledge and husbandry practices are now based on scientific data not hearsay or conjecture.?lt;/span>
?amp;nbsp;Mark Moore, editor of AFA Watchbird
“When I was growing up I had parakeets and they never lived more than three years. All we ever fed them was seed, grit, water and occasionally some lettuce. There were no formulated diets back then. Now I know how important a wide variety of fresh foods is to my flock.?lt;/span>
?Melissa Chun, member of the Quaker Parakeet Society
“I used to believe that change of any kind for birds was a bad thing. Now I know that change is essential when you consider the amount and variety of stimulation a bird has in the wild.
? Robin Shewokis, owner of The Leather Elves
“I used to believe, and I still think it? on one of my websites, that a perfect cage setup for a pet bird was to have four toys and a swing. I now know that that is a very boring and poorly enriched environment for any bird.?lt;/span>
?amp;nbsp;Concetta Ferragamo, owner of Parrot Safari Toy Factory
“When I bought my first golden conures in 1995, I was told that Queen of Bavaria parrots would not feed their babies. I absolutely believed this until I gave a pair the opportunity to care for their young and they proved to be excellent parents.?lt;/span>
?amp;nbsp;Nancy Speed, President of AFA
What did you used to believe?