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Buying A Parrot As A Pet – How To Find A Parrot Breeder And What To Ask Them
We have been successfully breeding and raising parrots for over 20 years. During this time we have seen and experienced many changes and developments. Not only in technology and welfare but also in the understanding of keeping parrots as pets. This includes all types of parrots including macaws, cockatoos, african and timneh gray parrots, amazon parrots, pionus parrots and conures.
These wonderful creatures can be, not only the joy of your life but in some cases, if the wrong decision is made, the bane of your life.
If we were to buy a parrot today these are some of the things we would like to know, and some of the questions we would ask, before we commit ourselves to the purchase.
At first we were looking for a parrot breeder. These can be found through recommendations from friends or your local avian vet. You can also find ads in parrot and bird publications, and many breeders now have their own websites.
As with all things there are good and bad parrot breeders around. So how do you try and make sure you find a good one.
Here are some of the questions we would ask a parrot breeder if we were thinking of buying a parrot from them.
- Do you own the parents
- You have been breeding for a long time
- How do you raise your children?
- Individually or together
- How you feed them
- What did you wean them on
- Do you let them go before they are weaned
- What backup service do you offer?
- Is the baby parrots rung or micro chipped?
- Can I contact any previous customers
- Do you have an avian vet?
- Do you provide a written health guarantee
- Do you have a waiting list for your babies?
- Can we visit the baby?
- Can we see the parents
- What information do they give you when you buy a baby parrot
- How much research have you done on the species you want to buy.
- What are your criteria for choosing the parrot species you are interested in buying.
- What are your circumstances, for example do you live in a flat or a house.
- Do you have close neighbors where noise could be a potential problem.
- Do you have enough space to accommodate a case of the appropriate size.
- How much time can you spend with your bird?
- Do you intend for your bird to live with you as part of the family?
- How much time will he spend in the cage by himself?
- What do you expect from a parrot.
- Have you thought about all the potential problems you might have with the types of parrots you are asking about.
- Have you seen your nearest avian vet.
This will tell you if they will buy the chicks, or leave the birds behind for someone else. Either way, it can be a very dangerous thing to do. Birds raised together from multiple sources may be at risk of infection, from disease, bacteria or viruses.
It is better to choose someone with experience.
It is best to have a baby raised by others because it will think of itself as a bird and have less potential for behavior problems than a bird raised alone.
Tube, gavage, syringe, spoon. It is a matter of choice, which you consider the most appropriate, but to put a tube or gavage directly to the children’s crop in our opinion is not one of the choices.
Fruits, vegetables, soaked seeds and pulses are the answer we are looking for. No matter how many people today use a complete food, we prefer a natural food.
The answer to this must always be no. Especially for someone who has no experience with parrots. I always hear people say it’s better if you feed it. This is not the case and weaning a child on his own is not an easy task.
They should always be there to help you if you have any questions or problems. Avoid anyone who just wants to wash their hands of the baby when it leaves them.
All baby parrots must have some form of identification. We have had problems with ringing in the past so we no longer use this method. We use micro chipping as a means of identification for all our children. We feel this method is safer and more accurate. If you buy a ringed bird, pay attention to the ring. If it’s too tight it can get caught in the skin and if it’s too loose it can get caught in toys. Sometimes if you have two or more parrots together they can play on each other’s steps and squash them with their legs cutting off the blood supply.
Again this should be offered by any breeder to any potential customer.
This is a must for all parrot breeders, they are priceless.
If the answer is no go
Also the sign of a good, reputable breeder.
If the answer is no again walk away.
This is sometimes difficult because they are in a breeding situation, or the breeder may be worried about theft. The real reason you are asking this question is to try and find out if they are raising the children themselves. Many people buy eggs or babies from other sources and raise them for sale. These are not breeders. This practice can be fraught with problems, such as disease, infection, viruses and bacteria, which can occur when birds are purchased from different sources and combined. it only takes one to become infected and it can infect all other birds in the nursery.
The minimum you need is a hatching certificate. It is best to have a sample of the food the parrot is used to eating, some notes on how to care for your new baby parrot. A recommendation about the size of the cage the birds need and something suitable for the bird to carry. A list of possible questions and answers that you will look at, especially if this is your first parrot and above all a written health guarantee and a full service after the sale.
This may seem like a lot of questions but remember this bird is for life, and the life of the parrot must be a very long time. You really need to try and make sure you get it right and make the right decision the first time. Obviously the answer to these questions will vary from breeder to breeder, but any breeder should be confident in answering all of them without hesitation. A reputable breeder should also ask you questions, things like…
A good breeder should always give you help and advice in your selection of species, and not just sell you what they have available. They should advise you on which type is best for your individual situation. If they do not breed that species they may be able to recommend a breeder who does.
We cannot stress enough how important it is to do a lot of research before you buy a parrot.
Get the right species for your situation.
Find out, not only, how wonderful they are as pets, but also, the potential behavior problems that can occur.
Find out where you can get good advice from people who have experience with that species as a pet.
We feel it is very important, not only for you to find someone who is respectable and trustworthy to buy your baby parrot, but also for you to feel confident and comfortable with them when you do so.
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