The Sale of Unweaned Babies


This problem keeps coming up again and again. Regarding this subject, we can anticipate the introduction of proposed rules and regulations. On the surface, the problem seems to have a simple solution, but actually, it is not that simple. Complaints are going to be made by members of the general public when they attempt to nurture birds that they have purchased as unweaned baby birds but are unsuccessful at doing so. At bird fairs and marts, where members of the general public can interact with baby birds and the vendors proceed to sell unweaned infants to them, it appears that the source of many of these complaints is the selling of babies that have not yet been weaned from their mothers.

When it comes to the proper brooding and hand feeding of these babies, some vendors at bird marts often supply very little in the way of information, instruction, or equipment. The majority of these infants find their way into veterinary clinics, where they are examined and given diagnoses that include being short for their age, suffering from malnutrition, and having bacterial illnesses. When purchasing a baby bird, an inexperienced buyer typically is unable to notice indicators of distress or illness until the problem has reached a severe stage. It is possible that the baby bird cannot be saved in some cases. It would appear that larger psittacines, such as cockatoos and macaws, are more susceptible to this threat.

These issues do not appear to arise when unweaned newborns are sold to pet stores whose employees have been taught in acceptable ways of hand-feeding, nor do they appear to occur when unweaned babies are sold to experienced hand-feeders. Neither of these scenarios is ideal for the baby. All bird breeders are unable to hand-feed the offspring of their breeding pairs for a variety of different reasons. Some of these reasons include: In most cases, the baby birds will need to be sold without having been weaned if they are going to be offered for sale in the market for pets.

It is a cause for concern that planned laws would make it impossible for breeders to sell babies who have not yet been weaned to hand-feeders with prior expertise or to stores that have trained employees. Some operators of bird marts are instituting policies that make it illegal to sell babies that have not yet been weaned. When the avicultural community addresses this issue in a proactive manner, the lives of many infant birds will be better, and there will be less pressure placed on states to control the sale of unweaned babies. In addition, the lives of adult birds will be enhanced as well. Without a doubt, this kind of self-regulation is more desirable than governmental regulation.

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