Bird Purchasing Etiquette


After 7 years of raising and selling birds, I understand I probably strained the patience of more than one bird breeder. Most of the persons I spoke with regarding buying birds were really friendly and courteous, and they took the time to address my inquiries.

When I tried to buy cheap birds, none of them shouted at me or questioned if I was crazy. I cringe when I think of how much of their time I spent asking questions about what they raised or asking them to clarify my “what’s that?” enquiries. So here goes………………

  1. Have a least a broad notion of what you’re searching for – species, mutation, sex, pairs or youngsters, age of birds, a pet, or cage birds.
  2. Respect the time of a breeder. Believe it or not, the most of them are really busy. Many hold down full or part-time paid jobs in addition to bird care, meeting with possible clients, and engaging in bird organizations or clubs. When you phone, ask the breeder whether it’s a good time for them to chat. They’ll be more amenable to answering questions and spending the time with you if they’re not right in the midst of feeding, cleaning, eating themselves, or maybe even having a little time to relax with friends or family.
  3. Don’t ask for a tour of the breeder’s aviary. It’s not that a breeder has an unclean bird area or is concealing badly managed birds. Most breeders who persist with breeding birds have learnt a lot about aviary care and seek to practice appropriate cleanliness with our birds. We study about nutrition and health needs and aim to give a nutritious and comprehensive diet.

It is our responsibility to safeguard our birds from unknown disease germs as well as the stress of having visitors disrupt rest and breeding seasons. Many breeding birds are anxious when someone other than their normal keepers passes through their habitat. Some birds are so flighty that when frightened, they may hurt themselves. Some birds may fight a partner, come off the nest, or harm a clutch of offspring. While birds have been reared in captivity for millennia, they are still not considered a domestic animal. They are also primarily a prey animal in the wild, and their initial impulse when frightened or disturbed is to flee or fight, with flight being the preferred choice. Many species that were formerly common in American aviculture are no longer accessible. Breeders guard their flocks fiercely.

  1. Request pricing quotations. These may vary considerably. Breeders with a good reputation may and will typically fetch a higher premium. Breeders that have received show prizes or have rare mutations sometimes demand higher fees. Breeders that grant health assurances may charge extra for their birds. Breeders that employ veterinary services, immunizations, and test for species-specific health risks may be more expensive. Some amateurs only have a few progeny to sell or give away. Some breeders can offer you a discount if you buy in bulk. An cheap bird may be a nice bird and be in great condition, but if your objective is reproducing yourself get the highest quality from a recognized breeder.
  2. Inquire about a health guarantee, but keep in mind that you, as the purchasing party, are responsible for quarantining and testing the birds once they arrive at your home or aviary, arranging for a vet exam within a certain time frame, and providing excellent care for your purchases once they arrive. The baby chick is more sensitive to stress responses and disease during the transfer time from the breeding facility to it’s new home.

Breeders do not always provide guarantees on their birds. They are not seeking to avoid replacement or refund obligations. Some of the bigger or rarer species may breed rarely, and the young are spoken for long in advance of their actual hatch date. Furthermore, once an exotic bird leaves the breeding facility, the breeder has no idea whether their instructions for care, quarantine, or transportation will be followed. If anything goes wrong with your new acquisition, talk to the breeder.

Some breeders may request that if a new bird dies within a specific period that you have the bird necropsied at your own cost to test for suspected disease or genetic flaws. Expect to be asked to give confirmation of this, such as a copy of the report identifying the bird by color, species, and band number. Many breeders will refund your purchase price or swap a bird if the issue is inherited or could be an ailment they don’t realize they have in their own aviary.

Moving to new quarters is stressful for both the new bird and any existing birds you may have. They need quiet time, a nutritious food, and time to acclimate to their new owners and surroundings. If you buy the bird(s) directly from the breeder, don’t expect the breeder to return your money if the new bird gets sick or dies, or if any of your other birds do. It is your job as the purchaser to safeguard both your current birds and the newcomers from organisms that might harm either. What is fatal to one species may not be lethal to another. The recommended quarantine period will vary from breeder to breeder. Remember quarantine implies no shared air space.

  1. If an issue arises, contact the breeder immediately. Most of us desire a good reputation and are eager to work with you if issues arise. It is conceivable for a breeder to have an issue and be unaware of it. To resolve the issue, be courteous and deal with them directly.
  2. Shipping is the responsibility of the customer. While utilizing the USPS is a low-cost option, it is also unlawful. Fines, prison time, and seizure of the birds without return are all possibilities. Ignorance of the law will not exempt you from harsh punishment.
  3. Inquire about a deposit for the birds. This is often non-refundable. The breeder then fails to sell those birds to other interested parties, and if you withdraw, he or she is left with unsold birds. Individual circumstances are often considered by the breeder, and your money may be returned in the event of an unanticipated event. I’ve have to back out on purchases on occasion. Sometimes it was because I was impetuous and made promises for birds I couldn’t afford, or because family issues arose that necessitated the use of bird purchase funds. I’m now willing to make a down payment. Things enables me to consider it out before I commit. If you cancel once, you are typically pardoned; if you cancel twice, you may be requested to pay the whole amount before delivery.

Each breeder takes care of their flock in the best manner they know how. We’re all different. Just try to appreciate each of us for the quality of birds we aim to breed. We have both good and bad days. Our distinct characteristics may annoy or inspire you. We realize we’re on display too and aim to do our best to help you in making decisions based on the facts you provide us.

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