What is hand-rearing?
In the world of rearing birds there are a great many different opinions on what method of breeding and rearing makes for happy, healthy birds that are suitable for a family life!
Here is a little information on my experience and understanding of the different methods and how I like to raise my little guys.
These guys are left with the parents until they have completely fledged and left the nest. Most often used in a colony breeding setting (where the birds are kept together in an aviary and make their own choice as to who they pair up with) these birds are as wild as the parents are, and tend to be bought as either breeding or ornamental birds for other aviaries.
Hand tame birds tend to be those raised by the parents but also handled by people during their time in the nest. Though these birds may be less fearful of their human keepers, they definitely know what they are and will tend to prefer the company of other birds to humans.
This is where birds have been raised by both the parents and people. This method can be useful for if parents are struggling to raise a clutch of chicks, or if a sick or weak chick needs a little extra help, but a breeder cannot commit to the schedule of hand rearing. Some people say that this method results in chicks that are just as friendly as fully hand reared.
To be considered hand reared, chicks are hand fed exclusively by their humans once they reach a certain age (between two and three weeks is usually considered the best time, any later than that and the chicks can find it difficult to adapt to the change in parenting style) It is my experience from my own pet birds that this is the best method for a confident and happy family flock member.