There are few topics that elicit as much debate as the sale of unweaned baby birds. Some believe that it creates a stronger bond between the bird and the owner, while others believe that it traumatizes the young bird and that birds weaned by knowledgeable breeders are more emotionally healthy and thus bond better with their new human family. Furthermore, inexperienced or incorrect handfeeding can harm a young bird both physically and emotionally, leading to lifelong health and behavior issues.
The average pet bird buyer should only consider purchasing a fully weaned bird. If the breeder did his or her job correctly, both in terms of raising the bird and educating and screening you as a prospective bird buyer, your bird should bond completely with you. If the breeder does not do a good job of raising their birds as well as educating and screening their buyers, you should look for a better breeder.
Handfeeding and weaning are best done by people who are very knowledgeable about what they are doing, whether they are experienced bird owners or breeders, according to BirdHobbyist.com. If a breeder sells a handfed bird, we recommend that the future owner come to the aviary several times for instruction and supervision in handfeeding their new bird. Breeders should not release the baby to the person until they are confident in the person’s ability to hand feed, and they should be available by phone to answer questions.
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