Cost-Benefit Analysis in Bird Care: A Path to Better Decisions

Cost-Benefit Analysis in Bird Care: A Path to Better Decisions

Are you tired of seeing animals struggle with outdated training methods? Are ear tags causing more harm than good? Today, I want to talk about the challenges we face when we encounter outdated information about caring for our birds and how we can progress beyond it.

Sometimes it’s really easy and obvious to see when something needs to change. But then sometimes we come across a new concept that doesn’t fit within our paradigm. How do we make these decisions? Is it based on what sounds good, where it comes from, or does it align with our values and intuition?

What it comes down to is evidence-based practices. Practicing good welfare is not just about feelings; it’s about the data. Whether we’re talking about wing clipping, using falconry equipment, or going equipment-free, evidence should guide our decisions.

Let’s take a step back and look at the basic principles. They exist on a continuum, each made up of different procedures. When we talk about positive reinforcement, for example, we need to consider where we fall on this spectrum of choice-based principles.

Navigating Debates

How do we make these decisions amid heated debates over procedures and principles? It’s important to consider the environmental conditions and stages in the learning journey of the individuals involved. Position statements often lack context and fail to consider these factors.

So, let’s talk about cost-benefit analysis (CBA). This analytical tool helps us measure whether the benefits of a particular action outweigh the costs. By understanding the benefits and costs in monetary terms, we can make more informed decisions.

The Importance of Evidence

We need to normalize evidence-based solutions to set benchmarks for when costs can be outweighed by benefits. This approach offers a realistic pathway to achieve higher training and behavior goals while considering factors like welfare and organizational impact.

Applying Cost-Benefit Analysis

Implementing a CBA involves identifying the welfare impacts and organizational costs of a decision. These costs and benefits need to be expressed in the same units, usually monetary, to compare them effectively.

Let’s take the example of changing mammalian identifications from ear notching to tags. While tags may seem like a better option initially, we need to consider the hidden costs, such as animal discomfort and increased energy expenditure.

How about free loft training? Free loft training with a hawk offers numerous benefits, including improved optics to guests and access to greater choices for the birds. However, we must also consider the costs, such as longer training time and potential reliance on weight management.

How do you make better decisions for you and your bird? Do you struggle with breaking free from loud, outdated voices?

If you want to dive deeper into evidence-based solutions and other revolutionary teachings and insights, be sure to watch the full Avocet conference!

Let’s work together to create a community focused on the welfare and well-being of all animals.