My heart breaks as the baby macaw’s eyes lock with mine, and he begins his last few labored breaths. He knows what’s about to happen I can tell, and so do I. Deep down in my heart of hearts I hope he knows that I did everything in my power to save him. The vet gave him a simple diagnosis, but this baby’s fate had other plans. The question is why? If it was such a simple diagnosis, and it was such a simple cure – why did I just have to witness him passing before my eyes? My stomach churns. I want to vomit. Deep down I know the answer. Most likely because he’s a hybrid, and there’s much more wrong than anyone can begin to imagine. It’s a topic that many in the avian world will keep quiet about whether or not they agree with it or not. The topic can get ugly, and many a time downright disturbing. Maybe people choose not to talk about it, because if discussed out loud, they will begin to feel that nagging feeling that it’s wrong. I have chosen to talk about it, because it frames my choice for the future of my business. I will no longer sell hybrid macaws, or hybrid avian species. Let me tell you why. It bothers me when the breeder calls me and tells me a hybrid baby macaw has a body too big for it’s legs and the legs broke underneath him. I’ve heard all of the nice explanations. Oh it’s natural genetics. Sometimes babies come out “chunky”, or it’s life’s “natural selection.”. The question is is that true ? Is that why the other baby’s head was so big that the head fell all the way back and fractured its neck? Is that why customers have reported that their hybrid bird had passed away, and the necropsy showed a too large liver, or a too large heart, or deformities in their organs? Or is it the fact that a Scarlet Macaw was unnaturally bred with a Green Wing Macaw who is almost double the size, and the baby came out disproportionate because “natural selection” wasn’t so natural? Unfortunately the examples I am giving are based on real situations. And then the dreaded question arises – what happens to the hybrid babies that are born sickly or crippled with disproportionate limbs or organs? I’ve heard responses from breeders that ranged from “I just have to wait for it to die” or “I”ll just have to put it down. It’s not like it will make a good pet anyway.” And again my stomach churns, and I wonder how the hell we have gotten so desensitized with this process. How the hell is this process even viewed as humane? Different species of birds are stuffed in a cage together, given food and different formulas that raise their hormones so that they want to nest, and eventually they mate because their hormones are raging and they need a release – different species or not. Then when the hen lays an egg, most likely than not if the egg comes out a different size than what her instincts say is normal, she most likely will abandon the egg. This is when most breeders take the egg, and incubate it claiming they are “saving” the babies from being abandoned – but yet when the babies hatch the breeder will do his own picking and choosing of any babies that “look” healthy from the outside and dispose of the deformed or sickly. My analogy of this process is a box of ugly wrapped up into something beautiful. I understand the majority of people don’t understand this process, that this process is hidden from their knowledge, but I still don’t believe it makes it okay for me to sell these birds knowing what I know. A friend of mind once told me she witnessed a situation where a Rottweiler bred with a Daschund. The puppies came out extremely cute. Huge heads with tiny little bodies. All of the puppies eventually sold except one. It was the smallest, most crazy, most bipolar little puppy you’ve ever seen. Everyone thought it was so funny just to watch him attack people’s shoes one minute, and then turn around and go beg for petting and attention the next minute. Nobody thought it was much more than a puppy with a “crazy” personality. Eventually a vet inquired about the puppy. She was a friend of the family, and out of curiosity, she asked if she could do some tests. The family agreed. Right away the vet took a CT Scan of the puppy’s head. She was not surprised to see the results. It was as she expected. The puppy’s brain was being smashed in by the skull, because the brain was too big. She explained to the family that this happened, because of the extreme difference in dog species, and unless they wanted the puppy to live in misery and pain, they needed to put the puppy to sleep. I understand that dog breeding is a different ballgame from avian breeding. All this story was meant to point out was how unnatural the process is to breed two different animals that are so different, and the problems that can arise. Please note that I’m not here to preach like I’m a perfect animal activist. All I am saying is that I truly do believe these babies have hearts and souls, and my heart hurts when I hear an innocent baby, who just hatched into the world, will be “put down” or left to die because of hybridization. I’m not saying I am right in my opinion or wrong. All I am saying is it breaks my heart. There’s so much more to say about this topic, but I will end it here. I can’t wait to see all of the hate mail I receive from the avian world because of this haha, and I do expect to probably lose business over this. But I have accepted the consequences. Again, this is just my opinion, and this is just me letting everyone know that our store officially will no longer sell hybrid avian species. I prefer pure blood – I prefer healthy.