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Is there a discussion in the Talmud about why the Mitzvah of shooing away a mother bird before taking her chicks only applies to wild birds rather than all birds, including domesticated ones?

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The derivation is pretty straightforward -- the verse says "should you happen upon ..." which sounds like it's in the wild.

As far as the underlying lesson, the point is not:

Oh the mother bird doesn't see what happens to the babies.

The point is:

Normally the mother bird would flee, but because of maternal instinct it's staying. Don't take advantage of that when you're taking the babies.

So it makes sense if it only applies to wild birds. Domesticated ones wouldn't flee regardless.

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  • Thank you, I am familiar with the reasoning but would like to know if this is specifically discussed in the Talmud.
    – Debra
    Commented Sep 24, 2015 at 0:44

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