Birds in captivity are not just for hobby and it is not a new trend in the last few decades. There have been records to indicate that birds have been kept in captivity as far back as 2000 years B.C. This was the foundation for the poultry industry as birds were being used for food (meat and eggs), but they were kept for entertainment as well. Can you imagine how our lives would be different today, if we had to “hunt” a chicken every time you wanted to prepare a meal for your family?
Certainly, the domestication of jungle fowl and subsequent aviculture has had one of the most significant impacts on the lives of humankind today.
In entertainment, history is littered with royalty that were fascinated with birds in their menageries from all over the world. Additionally, in the sporting industry pigeons and raptors can be found. Primarily in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, people have hunted with trained raptors or even kept them for sport, for many centuries. Pigeons have been bred and kept in aviculture for racing; they have used their homing skills for message delivery for over 2000 years. They were even used during wars to carry these messages and they were known as war pigeons.
Photo credit: Unknown - Harper's New Monthly Magazine, No. 275, April, 1873.