Steve Hartman

Steve Hartman Steve Hartman has a management degree from the Ohio State University, College of Agriculture, Department of Natural Resources. An interest in evolutionary biology and behavior, combined with 30 years of construction experience, has provided a unique combination of skills that enabled the development of Hartman Aviary.

He is has been a guest lecturer at The Ohio State University School of Veterinary Medicine and has lectured at over 25 major conventions around the world. Hartman Aviary opened its own lab facility to The Ohio State University Veterinary School to provide an accredited course for students interested in avian medicine and research. Steve also offers consultation to Aviculturists, Veterinarians and Field Conservationists.

With over thirty trips to Central America, South America and Asia Steve has developed significant knowledge of many aspects of parrots in their natural habitat.


History of Hartman Aviary and The Parrot University

Steve's initial goal was to Selectively Breed for Domestic Temperament to develop a better pet Blue and Gold Macaw over a 20-year period. A breeding facility was developed and 25 ex-pet Blue and Gold Macaws were collected. In 1980 the rule of thumb was that personality was 10% nature and 90% nurture. Today with gene mapping it is known that personality is at least 50% dictated by genetics and most scientist believe they will find the number is closer to 60%.

The initial strategy was to develop a well-functioning flock of parrots from stock that had been raised in a pet environment. These birds would eventually learn the appropriate social behavior necessary for a parrot to live in a flock, select a mate and then successfully reproduce. Housing large numbers of parrots in a breeding farm environment requires the individuals to be able to communicate well with each other. Most of these birds spent the first six months of life in a quarantine facility or pet store. By the time a parrot is six months old, they have learned approximately 90% of everything they will learn in their life. Most captive environments do not provide the stimulus necessary to develop a full functioning, flock oriented parrot. Over the past 20 years, Steve has studied the needs, wants and desires of parrots to determine what steps are necessary to reprogram their brains to a level acceptable for long term survival in our homes.

Due to a lack of interest in selective breeding by other psittacine aviculturists, Hartman Aviary expanded their attention to over 60 species. By determining the natural needs of parrots through insight and environmental research, Steve was able to develop the initial processes of domestication. This domestication process requires careful selection of appropriate genetic lines to enhance the kind and gentle traits of parrots and eliminate the aggressive traits that are useful in the wild. We have selectively produced several species to the third and fourth generation, including umbrella cockatoos and greenwing macaws. This shift to domestication will allow parrots to live happier lives in our captive environments.

Hartman Aviary may be the only large producer of high quality, selectively bred, domestic baby parrots in the world. It is a 20,000 square foot, high tech, indoor and outdoor facility providing the highest quality experience for parrots. Thousands of baby parrots have been produced at this facility. To date, we have no knowledge of any baby contracting a contagious virus while in our facility. Additionally, we have one of the best disease-free records of any breeding facility in North America.

The Parrot University evolved out of the need to develop new husbandry practices and educate others in the industry. It is necessary for all areas of the industry to cooperate and evolve symbiotically for all to thrive and provide the best long term pet experience for the parrots we raise.

One of the first priorities at Hartman Aviary was to set up our own vet clinic to provide for our flock. In 1980 Dr. Barbara Oglesbee, the professor of avian medicine at The Ohio State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital joined the team. Soon we developed an awareness of the veterinary advantages of having a long term association with a stable flock of 300 parrots. With Dr, Oglesbee on staff we developed a regular schedule of inspection and care of each bird. The huge time demand of taking care of normal problems and doing regular preventive physicals on all the birds required the readily available extra hands of the OSU vet students. In 1980 Dr. Oglesbee turned our regular schedule into an accredited course for her students. Over a 12 year period about 120 vet students were each able to get 40 hours of hands on experience. Because of the number of students and low number of avian cases that present themselves at vet schools most students get only a few hours of experience with parrots.

A very active involvement with many national and international avicultural groups and exposure to many collage level research and conservation programs greatly increased the aviaries exposure to information. This association led to many published articles, TV and newspaper exposure, and consult requests from zoos, parks and governments.

Allowing the birds to thrive in the semi-wild aviary and in pet environments required leaving all of the birds flighted. Experience with 2,800 flighted parrots since 1984 has revealed a great deal regarding the importance of flight on the mental and physical health of pet birds. This experience led to the development of products like The AVIATOR Harness, The AVIATOR Flight Line, The AVIATOR Yard Perch and the Bird Sitter DVD.

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Professional Affiliations

There are several professional parrot organizations in the United States and around the world. These groups have multiple agendas including conservation, medical research, parrot behavior and parrot reproduction. Steve has actively participated in these organizations for the past 20 years. His participation has ranged from advisor to board member to president while holding a variety of offices in several organizations.

Research at Hartman Aviary

In 1980 medical knowledge of parrots was primitive. Today we are achieving the diagnostic abilities found in other areas of veterinary medicine. In order to develop the medical knowledge needed at Hartman Aviary, Steve established his own clinic to satisfy many of the aviary's veterinary needs at the facility. This clinic, with its large collection of birds, allowed them to open the facility to Ohio State University Vet School Teaching Hospital. From 1990 to 2002 the Ohio State University utilized the aviary, for an accredited course, for training junior vet students in outpatient clinical care of parrots.

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Education Programs

Ohio State University College of Veterinary MedicineSteve has been writing and lecturing to students, aviculturists and pet owners around the world since 1984. These groups include parrot related magazines, OSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Big Walnut School District, bird clubs and all of the major avicultural conventions and symposiums. Topics have included: nutrition, selective breeding, sexual development, hormonal development and behavior, lighting, ventilation, disease control, aviary design, aviary management, flocking, conservation, pet behavior and sequential development of the avian brain.

Steve Hartman and Hartman Aviary have been featured on many television news shows, interviews, and agricultural oriented programs. Almost yearly, the aviary is a featured story in major newspapers. During 2001, Steve Hartman had a 15-minute monthly segment on a local Columbus, Ohio “News at Noon” television show.

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Veterinary Management

Dr. Oglesbee at Hartman Aviary with White Belly Caique Veterinary care at Hartman Aviary and The Parrot University is provided by Dr. Barbara Oglesbee, D.V.M., Diplomate ABVP-Avian Practice (Certified Avian Vet).

As the Hartman Aviary staff veterinarian for 20 years, Dr. Oglesbee has been involved with a substantial collection of parrots. Hartman Aviary has housed over 800 adult parrots and produced over 4,000 baby parrots.

Dr. Oglesbee toweling a White Belly Caique
Most avian veterinarians spend all their time in a clinic and have very limited field experience. As staff veterinarian at Hartman Aviary, Dr. Oglesbee has developed skills in many areas not available to most avian veterinarians. Her unique experience includes, incubation, nursery management, population dynamics, breeding husbandry and flock management.

During this time, Dr. Oglesbee also served as Professor of Avian and Exotic Animal Medicine at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. As Professor of Avian Medicine, Dr. Oglesbee developed an exclusive course at Hartman Aviary that provided over 100 veterinary students with significant outpatient clinical experience.

Dr. Oglesbee checking Moluccan Cockatoo Dr. Oglesbee and Hartman Aviary parrots







Dr. Oglesbee -  Certified Avian Veterinarian  

Med Vet Medical & Cancer Center for Pets
5230 Renner Road, Columbus, Ohio 43228
Phone: (614) 870-0480

Dr. Oglesbee's PRIVATE PRACTICE is an exclusive avian and exotic pet practice providing state of the art medical and surgical care for pet birds of all sizes.


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