Parrot Parrot

The Educated Bird Buyer – Part I

Ringneck and Mustached Parrots

The most important step in getting a pet bird is the research you do before you run out to get one. Study up on each species to make sure it is a bird you can live with (and a bird that can live with you). Once you have decided on which species is most appropriate for your lifestyle, the next step is to decide where you will find your pet. There are a number of places you can purchase a bird, and each has its advantages and disadvantages.

In all cases, if you already have birds in your home, new birds should be quarantinedfrom them for at least 6 weeks.  A full veterinary checkup with blood tests is advised to prevent the spread of disease to your current flock. The two most common place to buy birds are pet shops and bird marts or fairs.

Pet Stores

Although many bird owners refuse to buy birds in pet stores, there are a number of reputable pet stores where you can purchase a healthy, well-adjusted bird. You will probably get better information at a store that specializes in birds. A store where birds are on perches outside their cages where store workers interact with them regularly tend to have tamer parrots. For canaries and finches in large flights, check to make sure they aren’t eating from dirty communal feeders. Birds in mixed flights that appear picked could be victims of more aggressive species in the flight (not exactly a vote of confidence for a store) or they could have mites or another skin disorder.

It is best to buy a weaned bird.  A well-socialized bird will bond to a new owner, you do not need to be the one who handfeeds the bird. This is a myth that has resulted in some very terrible and needless deaths of baby birds.

Bird Marts

You have an increased risk of infectious diseases at marts since hundreds, even thousands, of birds from various breeders are all brought into the same airspace. Avoid sellers who let everyone play with their baby birds. Hand cleaners are useless because people often hold one breeder’s babies against their clothing, then go hold another breeder’s baby against their clothing. If you have other birds at home, resist the tempation to touch birds at a bird mart. You may bring home a disease to your own pet. Wash you clothes and shower when you return home before touching any of your own birds.  There are a number of these events every month.

Read Part II

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Parrot Gallery

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