Royal Bird Company Research Breeding Center
Royal Bird Company Avicultural Breeding Research Center (a division of Royal Bird & Supply Company) is one of the nations most successful, responsible and professionally run breeding facilities since 1982.
We have focus on several species of interest, with several programs on rare and endangered species and we have several programs on the study of genetic mutations. We have the worlds largest database of information on breeding and reproduction behaviors on several species, one being the Yellow Naped amazon. We have over 50,000 pages of data on this species gathered and collected from our 35 years of research. We have one of the largest selective breeding programs of Yellow Naped Amazons and yellow naped geo variations and true subspecies in the world to date. We have collected massive assets of information such as, clutch sizes, egg sizes and weight, seasonal diet impact on breeding, lighting, nutritional needs, incubation procedures, handrearing, pairing, pair bonding, nutritional impacts on breeding, proper identification and separation and pairing of geo variations and differences, socializing babies for pets, non socialization for future breeding stock and much more. The Yellow Naped Amazon species is in drastic decline in their home lands of central America and Mexico due to illegal trapping and massive deforestation. In some areas they have become totally extinct. We have shared our assets of research data and other info with Honduras Wildlife Ministry and several central american private conservation breeder groups helping to increase their knowledge of reproduction on this species and others. We have collaborated with world leaders in aviculture like Howard Voren on the Yellow Naped for 35 years. Unfortunately the most knowledgeable person on amazons, Howard Voren passed away in 2015, we had spoke with him thousands of times about what we were doing here and he shared his research data assets with us for many years, allowing us to assimilate our data base along with his. No one knows more about the Yellow Naped Amazon species than we do. We have 2nd and 3rd and 4rd generation of selective premium breeders. When a facility only pairs the best with the best, talking ability, sizes, coloration, temperament and separation and pairing of geo species you only produce the best.
We operate a closed facility, this means that we do not purchase birds for resell or for adding to our breeding collective, as we now are able to hold back babies for future breeders, also no one enters the breeding areas of our 19 acre compound. Our breeding farm is totally off limits to visitors, as people can bring in many diseases to our birds as well as theft. We take security very seriously here. We always stress that unauthorized intruders will be deemed as trespassers and will be treated as such and measures are taken to bring them under control as peaceful as possible. We patrol our compound many times during the day and night by ATVs by armed Kawasaki mules. As of oct 2018 we can view our compound and grounds from the air. We now use phantom arial drones with 4k cameras to be able to remotely monitor the compound from one location. We fly several times daily and with our infrared camera we can fly several times throughout the night.
We do sometimes purchase special birds when we need a different bloodline to help match up pairs, but these birds must go through a rigorous medical testing procedure before ever setting foot or feather into any of our breeding units. Clean healthy in, clean healthy out, that's our motto.
All of our babies are incubator hatched and handfed from day one. We have total control of their life from hatch till weaned. We only use the most advanced high tech machines for this part of our program. We use the Alpha Genesis 3000rc incubators. These are without a doubt the most sophisticated incubation units in the world. With total computer integration we are able to monitor oxygen and CO2 levels in the egg chamber, control turning variances, control cooling cycles simulating the incubating female leaving for feeding and or foraging, etc.
These hi-tech machines allow us to graph the oxygen and or c02 levels and other hourly functions such as egg turning, power usage, ambient temperatures changes and relative humidity. Our machines actually have a feature that many or no other incubators have. The cooling cycle feature. This feature allows us to set times for the machine to go into a cooling cycle, we can set the time to go into a cooling mode. This allows us abilityto set the amount of time to cool the temp and what temp to cool down to. We can set the duration to cool a few degrees down for several minutes and then start a slow warm back up to the correct incubation temp. This hi tech feaature simulates the female leaving the nest and feeding and then returning. Therefore the eggs would naturally cool and then return to the hens body temp upon her return to the nest. With the use of this technology it greatly increases our hatch rate and makes mortality almost 0%. We can do great research as where problems rise during incubation cycles and we can then correct any issues based on the gathered information. This gives us the up most edge on healthy productive incubation and embryo health with the highest quality hatched chick being the goal. We have absolute phenomenal success with these machines. Most incubators on the market today simply cannot compare to the Alpha Genesis machines we own.
All babies are maintained from day one hatching in THE BROODER by Deans Animal Supply. These are again the most advanced units for brooding critical care neonates. Total digital temperature controllers with the temp not changing .1 (1/10) degree +/-.
We use human infant isolettes as brooders for older babies as they move through the stages of growth. . Anti-bac filtered air and accurate digitally controlled temps help get babies off to a very healthy start.
One may ask why do you need all this technology to incubate and maintain baby birds when you may know someone that does it or try to do without this type set up.
Well, we found out early on by our own failures and successes that parrot babies that are "properly" maintained in the right environment during the most critical time of its life, will always be healthier in the long term. The critical time being the incubation and hatching. By not subjecting the eggs to slightest negative incubator changes or temperature extremes the hatched babies are always healthier when hatched. We also see that the good health continues long term without a doubt due these early measures we take. Where many long term heealth problems seem to relate directly to egg incubation and brooding temps being out of ranges.
Many hobby breeders will try poultry incubators or even some of the widely sold so called parrot egg incubators on the internet, some stating they are fine for parrots. Infact the ones we have tested and experimented with were more like kids toys. These so called incubators had no hi tech components, had very little temp control beyond a couple degrees variances. Most of these incubators we see just do not have what it takes for serious consistent environment control for healthy incubation of eggs. When using less efficient or cheaper methods like so many hobby breeder, for brooders some may choose such as heating pads under aquarium, hot water bottles, light bulbs and all the other "low tech" methods, even most of commercial brooders available to the breeder those also seem tohave temperature control problems. The research of brooders we have tried, the temps seem to fluctuate greatly. Growing babies not kept at correct temsp when young these babies most always have health problems early on, and may suffer other health problems later on due to the first early life crisis associated with the use of these methods. The end results are almost always the same, stunting, on going and long term ill health, behavior problems, and more.
Many bird breeders may blame it on many things during the course but most of the time that low grade bacterial infection or that over growth of yeast which many breeders just simply state "that's normal", we know its not normal at all, it almost never happens in the nest. And it never happens with us, due our preventive procedures. Here at Royal Bird Co. using good professional equipment and learning how to actually use the equipment, and years of hard work and research we have eliminated the so-called normal problems.
These so called normal problems are from incubation or brooding temperatures being out of range, due to the fact that you cannot properly regulate the temps of heating pads, light bulbs, hot water bottles and many on market incubators cannot be controlled to within 1-2 or 3 degrees with any accuracy. One must realize that the incubating or brooding parrot parents body does not change temp, even one degree, You see, that's the key, trying to be as efficient as mother nature, or better, or be as close as possible at the very least. To do this correctly it takes today's technology and total commitment from the breeder. Many years ago we ourselves used the old type chicken incubators, we used the heating pads, water bottles, we have used it all. It did not work then and it just cannot and does not work now.
That stuff simply does not even come close to what's really needed to "Properly" maintain and grow healthy babies. It may get them by, but at what cost? When we hear other breeders stating that they have this problem or that problem with their chicks, I always ask them...what temp are you brooding at, they always state "I think its around ??__ degrees". or i just keep them warm. They say the temp is close to what it needs. The babies feel warm they often say.
Well, being close is not good enough, or at least not for us. Often I ask what temp are you feeding the formula? Again they say "I feed around_?? degrees" or better yet how about this one " Oh I don't use a thermometer I use the back of my hand" or "I just know its right because I have been doing it so long". we have been in the business of breeding birds since before 1980, and I do not know the difference between 100-105 F degrees using the back of my hand. You try it, put hot water on the back of your hand, tell me what temp is it? 100-102-103-104-105-+??
Feeding too cool food slows the digestion and causes many problems such as fungal growth and bacterial problems that some breeders may blame on everything from the food they use to the birds themselves. Feeding too hot food is the most common problem breeders have, they think the food is a certain temp by guessing or use some type cheap thermometer or no thermometer at all and think its going to be OK...and then it can actually burn a hole in the baby stomach(crop). For the price of a good thermometer around $10-15.00 many take a stupid unprofessional chance..
So you see what the point is, we do not cut cost when it comes to our babies or our breeder birds. They are the most important things in our lives, this is what we do everyday and what we have done for the last 38+ years, this is not a hobby with us, this is not something we do after work, this is our work, the birds are not a fad with us, the birds are not expendable. We believe in keeping up to date and using and taking advantage of todays technology to better ourselves and the lives of our birds. This in return delivers you a much healthier bird in the long term but not a cheap bird. It does cost more to do things right, but look at what you get in the end, a wonderful, healthy baby.
Our complete facility is free of Chlamydia, Avian Polyoma and PBFD (beak and feather disease). These are all major viruses and diseases that can (will) kill your baby and infect other birds. You had better question any breeder or seller about this before considering purchasing a baby anywhere. Do they test their babies before being sold, do they monitor and screen during brooding?? Some illnesses can be carried by a host bird and spread it to other birds, also some birds can have an illnesss and show no signs only to break with it later. Many breeders may sell birds that look good at the time and they never know they may be sick. Do they test babies or breeders for these pathogens???? our babies come with DNA screening testing certificates.
When purchasing a baby from us you know what type guarantee and bird you will be getting. With our preventive programs for over 38 years and routine in-house DNA sexing and health screening, also ensures you a baby that is completely free from bad bacteria, Viral and fungal problems. While in our nursery all babies are screened for these potential problems to ensure us that our babies are healthy. This also benefits you, It also ensures that you will be receiving the highest quality baby bird your money can buy. However they are not the cheapest bird you can buy.
We do our job, its up to you to keep them healthy.
Are We Different? You better believe it.
We may be different from other so called breeders as we are professional responsible aviculturists and we would never peddle or market our babies at any type bird show, bird swaps, flea markets, etc. We never sell babies needing critical care, We would never market our babies at such places where the environment could not be controlled. You must understand that everyone coming in contact with the birds at these events could be passing on viruses or other pathogens from one sick bird to the next, or from one persons clothes to another. Remember the bird does not have to look sick to be sick. Therefore no bird or you can be safe in these environments. If you were able to touch it, then anybody-everybody else before you did too. What did they have on their clothes, on their hands, do they have a sick bird at home, did they just handle a bird that may have a sickness before this? Birds in these environments are problems waiting to happen, and the problems do happen a lot, and it mostly happens to you later.
Most of the horror stories we hear usually are related to the person purchasing a bird at a bird show, flea market, back yard hobby breeder, etc. Remember not all bird breeders are the same, not the same in action or thought. Thought being important as if one cares nothing about how they do something then how can they care about what they do. The mind set is the most important factor as how one cares for anything.
Most of these stories start out by "I Bought A bird from a guy at a bird show, or i bought my bird from a backyard hobby breeder, i got a good deal, it was cheap", they told me it was easy to handfeed it, "Now I am having trouble". WHAT DO I DO? HOW CAN I FIX IT?? TOO LATE.
We have actually heard breeders stating that "The bird marts and bird show is the perfect place to unload their problem birds". We hear many horror stories of people purchasing birds at these events and pet stores then bringing the bird home and they say it got sick a few days later and died. Well it was no doubt sick before you brought it home. And now you just can't seem to get any help or answers from the seller, sometimes you cannot even locate the nice man or lady in the van, or the flea market guy will not answer the phone or cannot get hold of the people that you met at the bird show, and the person you bought from at his home is not answering the phone, they are gone, remember you bought it cheap. Wonder Why??
One must also understand when purchasing at bird marts or shows or flea markets that its an open air event, meaning that all the birds there are exposed to everything and everyone that comes by. Maybe one of these people attending the so called bird show has a sick bird at home, they may not even know it, maybe they had one to die recently, from what?. Remember these same people are touching these birds that are for sale, IF YOU CAN TOUCH IT, EVERYONE ELSE HAS ALREADY TOUCHED IT. What did they expose this bird to, now you want to bring it home???....Its a bad thing for you and bad for the birds there as well.
ONE OTHER IMPORTANT THING IS THIS...Have you wondered how do these bird breeder hobbyists feed their baby birds, remember..many newly hatched babies need 24 hour care, If someone is working another job, There will be 8 hours or more that the baby did not and could not have been fed or taken care of properly, that's a fact..Many newly hatched babies need feeding every 2-4-5 hours, even missing one feeding will stunt the growth and cause other problems down the road due to improper care. These things matter, and we see it all the time.
We have people call us and say that they have one or have seen the small type blue gold or the small type amazon, or cockatoo... Well, Well, NEWS FLASH, there are no small type, your bird is stunted, How did it stunt?? most likely from improper care from the breeder, improper feeding or improper temps during brooding. Its just very unprofessional, irresponsible and dangerous. And these things put a black eye on our industry. And its just not fair for the birds.
We also do not sell birds needing critical care such as extensive hand feeding. Please do not purchase babies needing this type care when you and MOST regular people could not possibly give it the care needed to survive healthy and correctly. There is even some breeders that should not even be attempting this, as they have no real experience to speak of, these so called bird breeders use heating pads, light bulbs, hot water bottles for brooders. These breeders continue to loose baby birds and blame it on everything from the food they feed to the birds themselves...And then, these same breeders try to sell these babies to unsuspecting people (YOU) and tell them how easy it is to handfeed the bird, well it is easy to go through the actions, but doing it correctly is another story... Its just not right.
We hear horror stories about breeders/sellers telling someone "Oh its easy, just heat the food and feed it to the baby". There is more to it than that as some people soon find out the hard way and baby birds suffer for it (SAD). Then the new baby bird owner finds out what's really at stake. You need real equipment, hi tech equipment brooders (not heating pads or light bulbs) and other equipment not normally kept on hand by most people. Without the proper knowledge and equipment, Then the problems start. The baby does not want to eat. The baby seems lethargic. What is the correct temp for feeding or brooding?, The baby is regurgitating. The baby still has food in the crop from the night before and so on and so on. What do you do now? Remember the breeder sold you the baby cheap so they would not have to deal with these problems, or you. The seller/breeder sold it to you cheap, they are not going to help you. If they was going to do this work or wanted to deal with that, they would have kept it, raised it, and sold it for more money. You are pretty much on your own, and its sad because the bird will suffer, You will also suffer mentally eventually, you saved some money for now, but at what cost to the birds life or long term health. Was it worth it now?. You saved some money...But lost your sanity and possibly your birds life..or health.
What should I do?, the bird acts sick, what temp should I feed the formula?, what is the correct temp of brooding?, when should I start to reduce the temp?, my baby seems cold, My baby seems lethargic, My baby regurgitates, My baby still had food in the crop from last night. How many times should I feed my baby?, If you have to ask these questions then you should not have the bird at that critical age in the first place. ITS YOUR FAULT. Now what do you do? Remember, the breeder/seller said it was easy. And If it was soooo easy why do you think these seller/breeders are selling them cheaper? I will tell you why..So they can move them fast as possible? Its more profit for the breeder if they can move them as fast as possible before problems could start. The breeder does not have to purchase expensive brooders and incubators and even have to have knowledge at all as long as they can sell them out of the nest or before they have to start the work. Most reasons given to why these breeders are selling this young and cheap is they work a job and just do not have time. Do you work? Do you have time? Do you have the expertise? Do you have the equipment? Do you have the answers when it goes wrong?
It is not fair to endanger any baby birds life to save a couple dollars. We have a strict policy toward the purchase of our birds. We would never let a baby go home until we feel very comfortable that the baby and you are ready. If you have to take this risk and endanger a birds life to save some money, maybe you should not be purchasing an exotic bird anyway. Long term ownership of these birds is not cheap, as they do require cages, food, toys, vet care, etc. forever. Sometimes we have had people ask us "How much does this bird eat a month? " How much does food cost?" Our answer is normally very blunt "If you have to count pennies on a monthly basis to have the food for this bird, you maybe do not need this/any bird." Maybe you do not need our bird...and you will not get one from us. We are selective breeders but we are also selective sellers.
Yes some people get insulted, but we have to make sure our birds are going where they will be taken care of, safely and correctly. To properly maintain a amazon size bird up to a large macaw can expensive. Cost can range $30-$40-$50 or more on a monthly basis, not counting the initial cost of cages and other supplies and vet care.
Some breeders/sellers think and teach wrongly that a bird will bond better to the person that handfeeds it. Well, that may have once been thought by some experts and maybe some so called experts today, think this even now. However it has been proven at our facility and by other REAL experts that baby birds being handfed and even weaned by a person does not make the bird any more attached to that person on a long term, with exception of some cockatoos, cockatoos get attached to everything and everybody. After a few days at home with the new owners even long weaned cockatoos settle in and bond with the new owners. Its all up to the bird, each has a personality and its very different from one bird to another.
Its pure nature to leave the nest and start to look for your own family, whether it be birds, animals, humans, etc. When you purchase a weaned baby you become the birds family or mate not its mommy or daddy. For over 35 years we have never seen any baby get overly attached to us or our nursery care takers, which do spend a great deal of time with the babies daily. No doubt they are very dependent on us and their caretakers for a short while and special bonds could happen. Its normal, as babies get attached to their real bird parents in their native wild habitats, But its not permanent Its the same with their natural bird parents, however as soon as its time, they will leave the nest. If birds only bonded with the hand feeder or who or what was feeding it, a bird would never leave their real bird parents in the natural habitats. Handfeeding a baby bird would not make that bird any more bonded to you than if you were the babies natural bird parents. Think about it..