What Could be Harder than Finding Your First Pet Bird?
Being a pet bird owner is a huge commitment both financially and emotionally and not something to be taken lightly. After all, some birds, such as, Macaws can live up to 100 years old! However after much soul searching, you have concluded that you do indeed want to take on the responsibility of being a pet bird owner. So what do you do first?
The main thing to resolve is what species of pet bird is best for you and your circumstances. A good preliminary step is scouring the Internet for information in order to narrow down which type of bird seems most suited to you. Afterwards, you may wish to pick up a book on this pet bird species to do more in-depth research to insure you are heading in the right direction. You will also wish to consider whether to purchase a baby bird or an adult bird. Will you get a male or a female? Should you buy an additional bird for companionship for the times you are not around?
Once you have confirmed which type of pet bird to acquire, the next thing to do is find a reputable bird breeder. The best way to locate a breeder is through a referral from someone you trust. This may not be possible because you would have to know someone who has purchased from a breeder of the kind of bird you desire. Therefore, it might be unavoidable that you will need to deal with an unknown source. You should try to limit your chances of having a bad experience by following a few precautions.
It is preferable to try and locate an aviary in your area. That way you are able to visit the location and see how the birds are kept. Is the facility clean? Are the cages uncrowded and maintained? Is there adequate food and fresh water? Do the birds appear to be healthy and alert?
What if you have your heart set on a certain type of bird and there are no aviaries in your area that have them? You are now forced to purchase your pet bird from a distant source and have it shipped. You must be very diligent in your hunt for an ethical breeder so as not to be scammed. Search the Internet to help locate some breeders. Browse pet bird clubs and forums to request information and opinions. Contact the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed against them. Ask the seller for pictures with the date written on a piece of paper in the photo to make sure they actually do have the bird. Some warning signals are if the seller tries to pressure you into a quick sale, won't produce references when asked and the price is way too cheap. Let common sense be your guide.
Don't be afraid to ask questions and request references. Here are some things to inquire whether a local or distant breeder:
1. How long have they been a bird breeder?
2. What type and how many birds do they have? 3. How old is the bird? 4. Has the bird been sexed? 5. How has the bird been reared? Was it handfed and socialized? 6. What type of personality does it have? Is it aggressive or a biter? 7. Is the bird microchipped? 8. What is the leg band ID number? 9. What vaccinations has the bird had so far? 10. What is the bird's history? Has it had any injuries, diseases or conditions? 11. Is there a veterinarian health certificate? Obtain the vet's phone number and get in touch with him to verify the bird's health. 12. Will the seller allow a certain time frame for you to have the bird checked by your vet? 13. Is there a health guarantee and for how long? 14. What is their return policy...money back or another bird? 15. Do they take credit cards? It is a good sign if they do as you can always stop payment if there is a problem.
Get your agreement in writing and copies of all references, records and certificates. Likewise, be prepared to be asked questions from the breeder. Remember that they have put a whole lot of time, effort and money into raising these birds. Most reputable bird breeders want to know their birds are going to a good home where they will be cared for and loved. This may sound like a huge amount of hard work. However, once you get your new feathered friend home, it will all be worth it.