Lets clear one thing up. If you are to hand rear and wean a chick yourself, this will not help the bird bond to you. A hand rearing or weaning chick doesn't bond to the human. If this were to happen, then the rearing chick would have bonded to the breeder/rearer before the buyer buys the bird and finishes the weaning. Chicks don’t bond, adult birds bond. Chicks will grow into adults and form friendships in varying degrees with their humans. They bond to humans, to a point. They form stronger bonds to others of their own species and strong bonds can take years to form. So, don't buy a chick to wean just to help with the bonding process between the chick and yourself, it will not happen. A hand reared chick is one who is used to human contact and a little more socialised.

A parent reared chick is not an untameable bird, nor is it an unsocial bird. Receiving a hand reared chick does not guarantee you have a friendly bird to bring home either. This can depend a lot on the rearing of the chick as well as the rearer/seller. 

Birds can sometimes take months to years to form real friendships to humans, including hand reared birds. A hand reared bird is not already bonded as a chick just because people have fed and socialised it. It is just used to human contact and is social towards humans. This can make things easier for the buyer but in some cases it has made no difference.

Some hand reared birds do not take well to being removed out of the home they have known as a chick and placed into a completely strange new environment with humans and animals it has never seen before, so they shouldn't be expected to be well adjusted and friendly instantly in their new home. Most new Eclectus Parrots are generally shy, quiet and prefer to sit in a corner of their new cage for the first few days or so and observe and take in their new surroundings and humans. This is their settling in period.

Some hand reared parrots are very friendly and loving from the first day in their new home, for about a week or so, then suddenly things can change and they start to attack their new owners and become aggressive. Owners of these birds often make the mistake of presuming they’ve settled in 'instantly' and don’t give them the time they need to themselves to start with. It's easy to become excited about them being home and over do it with cuddles, being taken out of the cage and made to socialise and interact with everyone the minute they arrive home. This can become overwhelming for the new bird and they start to become aggressive as a last resort to get you to leave them alone. Even if the bird appears inviting at the beginning and friendly towards you, you still need to give the bird some space to adjust accordingly. This will avoid confrontations and behaviours a few weeks down the track. People in this situation complain that they had asked for a hand reared chick and the chick is not hand reared because it’s suddenly aggressive. It can be common for a hand reared chick to display aggressive behaviours. Aggression in a new environment is the only way some birds know how to react to such a big change, it is frightened and in unfamiliar territory for them and if they aren't left alone to settle properly, this is how they will react.

Parent reared chicks are more likely to be a lot healthier than a hand reared chick in some cases. Some parent reared chicks only take a little longer to become accustomed to humans. All hand reared and parent reared chicks are fearful of new surroundings. All hand reared and parent reared chicks are still young and have not yet learned anything from life. The imprint of humans in parent reared chicks takes time and the imprint of new strangers in hand reared chicks can also take time. Chicks do not bond to humans because they’re hand reared. They come to know humans and only form a strong friendship bond with their humans after they’ve moved into their new home and after several months.

Don’t expect miracles from any new bird and don’t think that just because it’s hand reared it’ll be a nicer or easier bird to handle. And there is no such thing as hand rearing for bonding purposes.

Hand Rearing to Bond

TIP: buying unweaned will not guarantee a bonded bird to you. Bonding takes, time, patients and trust from other bird.


Bird Hand-Rearer Assistance and Emergency Help Jen’s Facebook group is for people who have come into hand rearing Parrots and need help. This group DOES NOT encourage people to buy, sell or try hand-rearing chicks. It is only here to help those people who already have an unweaned chick and need help. This is dedicated to the help of birds.  Assistance in this area is provided for the sake of the chick’s survival.