The effect of early environment on neophobia in orange-winged Amazon parrots (Amazona amazonica)

Early experience is often a significant factor in shaping animals’ later behavior. Early maternal separation is associated with negative behavioral outcomes, such as increased fearfulness in rats, while higher levels of maternal grooming during the neonatal period are associated with decreased fearfulness and increased exploratory behavior. This finding may have implications for the welfare of […]

Environmental enrichment affects the fear and exploratory responses to novelty of young Amazon parrots

The development of techniques to reduce fear responses of captive animals is important because fear is generally considered an undesirable emotional state that is related to increased risk of injury and decreased biological functioning. We tested the effects of environmental enrichments designed to increase the physical complexity of the cage and to provide opportunities for […]

Foraging opportunity and increased physical complexity both prevent and reduce psychogenic feather picking by young Amazon parrots

Although many authors have suggested that the quality of the cage environment contributes to the development and performance of psychogenic feather picking by parrots, there is little scientific evidence for this relationship. In chickens, there is an established relationship between absence of foraging opportunity and the performance of a similar behavior, feather pecking. Thus, we […]

Isosexual pair housing improves the welfare of young Amazon parrots

It has been suggested that isolation from conspecifics may contribute to the development of abnormal behaviors that are common in captive parrots, including stereotypy, feather plucking, excessive fearfulness and aggression (e.g. [Proceedings of the European Symposium on Bird Diseases, Beerse, Belgium (1987), p. 98; Kleintierpraxis 38 (1993) 511]). Thus, we assessed the influence of isosexual […]

Semen characteristics of the quaker parakeet (Myiopsitta monachus)

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.10060.abs This report describes characteristics of semen samples collected from eight captive quaker parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus) using the massage technique. Overall, semen characteristics were (mean±SE, range in parentheses, n=8 males): ejaculate volume 1.96±0.26μl (1.02–2.96), sperm concentration 346.6±64.6 million/ml (74.8–579.3), and number of sperm per ejaculate 0.71±0.16 million (0.09–1.53). Significant differences were observed between males […]

Thresholds for sweet, salt, and sour taste stimuli in cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus)

Abstract 10.1002/zoo.1001.abs Little is known about avian taste perception and how taste affects food choice. We designed a study to determine the concentrations of aqueous solutions of common chemical taste stimuli that result in altered consumption patterns. Using two-choice taste-preference tests, we studied the taste thresholds of caged cockatiels (Nymphicus hollandicus) for aqueous solutions of […]

Feather-picking Psittacines: Histopathology and Species Trends

Histologic findings are described for 408 feather-picking or self-mutilating psittacines with the use of biopsies from clinically affected and unaffected skin. Inflammatory skin disease was diagnosed in 210 birds, and traumatic skin disease was diagnosed in 198 birds. Criteria used for the diagnosis of inflammatory skin disease included the presence of perivascular inflammation in the […]

Efficacy of foraging enrichments to increase foraging time in Grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus erithacus)

Foraging enrichment is considered one of the most effective strategies to improve welfare and reduce stereotypies and other abnormal repetitive behaviours in captive animals, including parrots. Few studies, however, have investigated the effects of the different types of enrichment and determined their effect on increasing foraging times and foraging-related activities. To study the effect of […]

The effect of auditory enrichment, rearing method and social environment on the behavior of zoo-housed psittacines (Aves: Psittaciformes); implications for welfare

The psychological and physiological effects of different genres of music are well documented in humans. These concepts have also been studied in kenneled dogs and some exotic animals, implying that animals may experience benefits similar to those of humans. This study tested the hypothesis that auditory enrichment changed the behavior of ten zoo-housed psittacines. All […]