Buying a Bird
You’ve finished your research. You’ve concluded that you can live with the majority of typical parrot features (both good and negative), and you’ve identified a handful of species that you believe would make excellent pets. What should I do now? Of course, additional study is required! When it comes to purchasing a new parrot, you have various options:
Pet Shops: Every strip mall in certain areas has a pet shop. This makes them useful. Unfortunately, employees and business owners are unlikely to be up to speed on the most recent bird knowledge. They have most likely not examined the reputations of their bird breeders, and the living circumstances for the bird in the shop are often inadequate. (This is not to suggest that there aren’t any exceptions…) Furthermore, the bird care advice provided at these sites is often inaccurate. Be very cautious. You may spend more for a bird here than elsewhere, and you are not guaranteed to obtain the healthiest, highest-quality bird for your money.
Bird specialty stores are a relatively recent alternative for bird consumers. They are pet shops that solely offer birds and bird-related items. You are more likely to receive a decent bird here since their reputation and livelihood are dependent on the quality of their birds. Also, the proprietor generally has a particular passion of parrots, which is why he or she started the firm. As a result, the items and information discovered here are more likely to be trustworthy. Birds are often hand-raised or even produced on-site, and even those from breeders come from well-researched and reputable sources.
Breeders: Bird breeders, like dog and cat breeders, come in various “shapes and sizes.” Many are beautiful compassionate people who raise birds for love. However, others breed just for the sake of making a buck, therefore their scruples are frequently in poor condition. Before you purchase, pay a visit to your breeder. Examine the location, speak with the breeder, inspect the cages, and inspect the infant area. Also, before you purchase, request references and contact them!
This may be a potluck, according to the newspaper. Birds of various kinds and ages may be found here. If you are purchasing a newborn, go to the breeding facility first. If the bird is older, inquire about its past (behavioral and medical). Be careful that older birds may have behavioral or health issues that you may not discover until after you acquire them.
Rescue Organizations: This is a relatively new option for obtaining a bird. These organizations accept unwanted parrots (sometimes with medical or behavioral issues) and place them with persons who satisfy rigorous adoption standards. This sometimes entails enrolling in bird-care lessons (which is a fantastic idea for any bird owner!) The issue is that you are not creating a baby from scratch. The incentive is that you are providing a home for a bird who does not have one – you are providing it with a second opportunity. Furthermore, after you adopt, you will have the help of the rescue group if you have issues with your bird ownership.
Remember to utilize your resources while purchasing a bird. Talk to your friends, your avian vet, or your bird club to discover who or where they would suggest for getting the bird you want. Whether you have a certain location in mind, ask your sources if they have had negative experiences there. You could also check with the Better Business Bureau.
Finally, while looking at a bird, search for the following characteristics:
1) Make sure the breedery and nursery (or bird shop) are clean and neat. It is preferable not to stack bird cages on top of each other since this is an excellent method to transfer sickness. The more crowded a facility, the easier illness spread and the more difficult it is to confine sick animals. Examine the perches, ground, and food bowls as well. They should be somewhat clean (realizing of course, that birds are very messy, so it is impossible for it to be totally clean). The birds should have access to clean water and a diverse diet. If the facility owner is unwilling to give you a complete “tour,” you should be wary of purchasing.
2) Adults: The breeders should seem to be in good health. They should seem bright and attentive, and in excellent feather (be aware that some birds choose their own or their mates’ feathers). Also, keep in mind that birds maintained in the sun may have a more “bleached” hue than those kept inside or in the shade.
3) Babies: Babies’ eyes should be bright (if open) and receptive (although very young babies to sleep a lot). Their bedding should be spotless, and they should not be placed in small spaces. Their skin should be free of adhering handfeeding formula and healthy.
4) The Owner/Staff: Speak with the breeder or a member of the staff. Find out what precautions they have in place to prevent illness transmission. Inquire about the “evidence” they have that the bird you choose will be healthy. The individual you speak with should be eager to provide information and demonstrate the health of the birds they are selling.
5) The Warranty: All birds sold should be backed by a solid guarantee (this does not apply to rescue birds). The vendor should promise in writing a complete refund if the bird becomes ill shortly after purchase. This assurance should be good enough for you to take the bird to an avian doctor, get it tested, and wait for the findings (remember: most veterinarians will prescribe a culture and sensitivity test). This exam may take at least 5 days to complete). Keep a signed copy of your receipt and guarantee until your bird’s post-purchase exam results in a “all clear.”
Your bird’s cage will quickly become a feature in your house. More and increasingly cage models are hitting the market as birds become more popular in the pet sector. Finding the ideal cage might be a difficult undertaking. Because your bird will spend the most of its life in its cage and you will be investing a significant amount of money in its purchase, it is critical that you choose your cage properly. When purchasing a cage, consider the following considerations.
Size: Choosing the right cage size might be difficult. The usual guideline is to acquire your bird the largest cage feasible. However, you must balance this with your home’s and budgetary requirements, as well as the bird’s safety. Your requirements: Consider how much room you have in your house before purchasing a cage (ideally, if you have no space in your home, you will not choose to purchase a gigantic Macaw!). Determine how much you can afford to spend as well. Cages are pricey, but you frequently get what you pay for, so don’t skimp too much. You want the biggest cage you can afford in terms of both money and space. Your bird’s requirements: When it comes to cage size, these are the most critical factors to consider. At the very least, your bird should have enough space to fully swing its tail around and fully spread its wings (when fully grown in). Because birds prefer to climb, hang, and so on, it is essential to obtain the biggest available cage, even if it exceeds the tail/wings requirement. However, before you run out and buy your conure a cockatoo cage, read the following section as a precaution.
Cage Bar Spacing: While we all want to see our pionus parrots in a cage designed for a macaw, there are certain hazards to purchasing a cage that is too large. The space between the cage bars may pose a major risk to certain birds. If your bird can get its head between the bars, it might be injured or even killed! Because birds’ heads are trapezoid in form (narrower on top than by the jaw-line), they can (and will!) push their heads out between the cage bars if the distance is too big. Once out, the breadth of the jaw-line prevents the bird from pulling its head out. Serious harm may occur if your bird attempts to release itself or if you attempt to assist. If you have a tiny bird, be sure you choose a cage that fits. Your bird shop, breeder, or avian doctor can advise you on bar spacing.
Cage-Bar Orientation: When purchasing a cage, purchasers seldom consider the direction or orientation of the cage bars. However, if you recall that your bird like climbing, it will make sense that horizontal cage bars are the best choice for the cage walls. At least two of the cage’s walls should be horizontal, allowing your bird to climb and hang if she so desires.
Color is the first (and most minor) concern when it comes to cage paint. While this is unlikely to be essential to your bird, you will have to live with it, so select a cage color that complements both your house and your bird’s hue! Custom cages may now be painted in practically any color, so have fun with it. The kind of coating on your cage is the most crucial factor. The older covering is a regular spray paint. This paint is typically safer and less costly than other alternatives, and it is a good choice if you know you may need to repair or repaint the cage in the near future. The second option is to coat with powder or enamel. This is a modern coating option in which the cage is powdered colored. The cage is then cooked until the powder has melted all over it. When the coating has cooled and dried, it adheres to the “nooks and crannies” of the cage and leaves a smooth surface. These cages are less prone to chipping and rusting than their painted equivalents. This enamel comes in a variety of colors and looks great on a cage. If the enamel does chip, there are companies that will sandblast and re-coat the cages (make sure the company you use has done cages before – your bird club or veterinarian may be able to give you names of reputable people). Stainless steel is the ideal material for a cage. Coated cages are typically built of wrought iron and then coated. These stainless steel cages have a smooth, silver surface and are uncoated. These cages are the most easily cleaned, never chip or rust, and are much less prone to house germs. However, stainless steel is unappealing to many people and is rather pricey.
Check the Welding: When inspecting cages, look for welding places. Make sure there are no holes (where it may get trapped) or sharp edges. Look for places where your bird might damage itself or get tangled.
The Locks: Many parrots attempt to escape from their cages, frequently for the sake of challenge. Check the locking mechanisms on the door and feeding hatches before purchasing a cage. Remember that basic locks pose little difficulty for a Cockatoo, Gray, or Macaw. Keep in mind that there have been tales of parrots cracking combination locks by listening to the drop of the ball-bearings inside (similar to a safe-cracker), so make sure your cage has some kind of security lock!
The Playpen: Many parrot cages now include gyms or playpens on top. This solution is convenient since it provides a safe haven for your bird when it is not confined in a cage while taking up no more room in your house. However, keep in mind that a bird standing above an owner’s eye level is less likely to “obey” (come down, step up, etc.) since they feel “powerful.” If you are doubtful of your bird’s “obedience,” or if you have a bird that is a biter, screamer, etc., a floor-standing playpen may be a better option.
The Extras: There are many more alternatives that are less vital when purchasing a cage, but they are worth considering. Cage or seed guards (a plastic or metal “skirt” that goes around the bottom of the cage to collect waste), stands or cabinets on which the cage is situated are examples of these.
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