Developing confidence in exotic practice: Birds

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About the course

Developing confidence in exotic practice: Birds: How to help clients to meet the welfare and behavioral needs of pet parrots. 

It is a sad but true fact that the majority of first time parrot owners when asked 6 months after acquiring their bird 'if their new pet has met their expectations' that they state they are disapointed, all too often resulting in the parrot being rehomed.  In truth very few owners, vets or vet nurses, understand the needs of the pet parrot.  As the owner or would be owner's professional advisor, we have a vital role to play in providing realistic guidance on the needs of parrot ownership and are able to detail the welfare needs of birds.  Parrot owners should be directed to suitably trained and experienced avian vets, where all new owners should be offered appropriate training consultations soon after acquiring a parrot, such that welfare and behavioural problems can be avoided.  In this course we aim to describe the up bringing and psychological development of a wild parrot, that of a typical captive bred parrot, contrasting the two and to consider how the difference between the two effects the outcomes so commonly experienced in the pet parrot.  The common behavioral complaints and how to address them:  Aggression (fear or controlling) and biting Screaming Mal-directed sexual orientation  Boredom Phobia and fearfulness  Feather plucking Each presentation will be considered in respect of their cause, signalment, modification methods, and prevention.  By the end of the course, we anticipate that delegates feel confident in giving advice to owners, demonstrating handling and behavioral modification training, with the goal both parrot and owner will have a happy and stress-free life enjoying each other's company, for the duration of their respective life span. 

Learning Objectives

  • To understand the psychological and development needs of a captive parrot. 
  • To be able to provide a comprehensive 'new bird training session' for inexperienced owners (training, health, nutritional needs)
  • To be able to recognise and advise on correction of common behavioural abnormalities
  • To be competent at handling captive parrots in a positive manner To be able to work through a behavioural consultation, to include work up for a feather plucking parrot. 

Speaker CV

Neil taught avian medicine at Bristol Vet School from 2001 - 2011. Neil has lectured internationally for many years, contributing to many papers and publications. Neil is a past president of ECZM and EBVS. Nei directed the only UK, ECZM Avian residency from 1999 - 2017. He consults at FitzPatrick Referrals plus conservation work with critically endangered vultures (

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