Tour Hartman Aviary

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Over 300 adult parrots from more than 40 different species call Hartman Aviary home. Selective breeding for domestic temperament to produce parrots with friendly personalities is our main objective. To accomplish this, we continually house 100 extra adult parrots from which we choose our future breeders. We are very careful to obtain only the friendliest adult birds and then carefully select the individuals we allow to breed.

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The initial goal was to selectively breed 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. Due to a lack of interest in selective breeding by other psittacine aviculturists, Hartman Aviary expanded their attention to over 40 other species.

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The strategy is to develop a well-functioning flock from parrots that had been raised in a pet environment. Once at the aviary these birds are exposed to, and eventually learn, the appropriate social behavior necessary for a parrot to live in a flock, select a mate and then successfully reproduce.

Most captive environments do not provide the stimulus necessary to develop a full functioning, flock oriented parrot. 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 a captive flock environment.

New birds to the aviary need to learn how to be a bird before they can survive in a flock. Individuals are integrated into a flock of similar species as they begin to understand birdie body language, flock etiquette and parrot vocalizations. This introduction cage is centrally located so new arrivals can safely view over 200 fully functional parrots from a partially secluded location.

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 gentle traits of parrots and eliminate the aggressive traits that are useful in the wild. We have selectively produced to the third and fourth generation on several species. This shift to domestication will allow parrots to live happier lives in our living rooms.

 

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Parrots at Hartman Aviary are only in breeding cages when they are breeding. During breeding season they appreciate a smaller cage, which to them is an easily defended territory. As soon as they are finished breeding, they are moved to a large outdoor flight with the other birds from their own zone. All of our birds choose their own mates from the flock.

All of our birds have a constant supply of fresh drinking water from our automatic water system.

There are sprinklers over each indoor cage for showering.

For ten years, The Ohio State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital used our facility to provide outpatient clinical training experience for their junior students. Unfortunately, budget cuts caused the university to eliminate their avian program in 2000. Fortunately, all of our birds fly, eat an excellent diet, and rarely get sick.

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Everybody eats well at Hartman Aviary. The circus diet consists of 25% Pretty Bird pellets, 10% seeds and about 30 other items, including a wide variety of fruit, vegetables and beans.

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Over 200 babies hatch and spend time in the nursery each year.

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Something new is always happening. Here you see volunteers helping to build a 2,500 ft.2 flight-training cage for older macaws.

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Research and education has always been of interest to everyone associated with Hartman Aviary.

Hartman Aviary is much more than just a really great place to live if you are a parrot. We have lots of wildlife in an exotic natural environment. Lots of habitat for deer, coyotes, mink, beaver, musk rats, squirrels, chipmunks, skunks, opossums, raccoons, turkeys, pheasants, all native Ohio birds including water fowl, turtles, frogs, bass, koi, cat fish, and just about any native Ohio species.

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Many sorts of insects and butterflies are attracted to the abundant supply of flowering trees, bushes and flowers growing at the farm.

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Since all of our indoor flights are full of plants and flowers we have choosen to use more exotic palms and ferns. These plants can be seen outside in the summer around the flights and gardens. It makes Ohio look and feel like the tropics.

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