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Old 05-25-2012, 02:22 AM
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Exclamation Hazards of buying an unweaned baby!

This is the time of year I start to see so many people bring new babies into their homes. Unfortunately, some people think it would be fun, save them money,a great learning experience and an opportunity to bond with a new baby by purchasing one unweaned. I can assure you this is unfounded!

I as a breeder( no longer breed now), never sold one baby that left my home unweaned. Ever! I don't care if the person who purchased a baby from me was a breeder themselves. It was my responsibility to make sure my babies were well socialized, weaned, fledged and ready for their new homes. It has been proven that purchasing an unweaned baby does not promise a better bond with your bird. Many things come into play. How the baby is taken care of, socialized and hopefully abundance weaned at the breeder"s. The parents of the baby can genetically influence the personality of the baby. When baby birds mature and reach an independent age they leave their parents. So it is quite natural for them to form new bonds as they grow. Coming into a new home as a fully weaned, well rounded baby will tip the scales in the positive direction.

A responsible, caring breeder WILL NOT sell an unweaned baby, ever! Let me clarify this by saying a baby that leaves their home before being weaned and fledged. I always welcomed new owners to visit their babies. And all of them did. If they balked a red flag would go up for me. NEVER would I allow a new owner to handfeed their baby in my care. There is absolutely no purpose to it! I wonder how many of us get to bottle feed our pre purchased puppies and kittens?

So lets say you purchase and unweaned baby on 3-4 feedings a day. Here is what you will need to absolutely ensure you are heading in the right direction.
A brooder-either homemade or pre-purchased-set up and ready before baby comes home-$50-150
Formula, syringes, thermometer-to start $50+
An avian veterinarian for when things go wrong-$75+ per visit

The baby will need to eat every 3-4 hours from 6AM to 10PM. Not when you want to feed baby but when baby is ready to eat.
Prep, feeding, brooder clean and clean up after feeding you can count on 45mins-1hour

Now remember this is barring any problems that arise. Aspiration, slow crop, yeast or bacterial infections, burnt crop, baby falls off table while your head is turned, (Yup it happens!) When a baby aspirates it is horrific to witness! They squeak, flap, rush at you and drop dead. End of story....How do I know? In my 15 years as a breeder it happened to me twice. It was tragic and I will never forget it.

When having a baby to handfeed you must plan your day around the baby's feeding schedule, not yours. No vacations unless you plan on taking baby and brooder with you. Oh! And don't get sick! There is nothing worse then prepping and handfeeding while you are running to the bathroom throwing up!!

You want the experience of hand raising your new baby but do you want the experience of seeing it ill, paying hundreds of vet bills and possibly seeing it lying dead on your table because of your mistakes? I hope not.

You think you are also saving money because you will finish the weaning. Take into account the formula and supply costs. The vet bill when something goes wrong, and it will! Your little cockatiel that cost you $75 could end up costing you over $300+ easily.I know because I have been there too!

As babies grow and fledge and it so very important to socialize them. Allowing them to fly for several weeks prior to clipping(if you wish) is extremely important. Flight helps build self confidence, strength, balance and muscle. Taking that ability from them at such a young age is extremely harmful to their development and future as a companion bird.

Great breeders will not be so selfish and try and cut corners or look for the easy way out. The breeder who sells an unweaned baby are just as guilty as the buyer who wants to save money or "experience" handfeeding their little charge. In my opinion and experience it is just not worth it! I have cried to many tears and I hope you will think twice before you may too...
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Last edited by greycloud; 05-25-2012 at 02:46 AM.
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Old 05-25-2012, 02:41 AM
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Re: Hazards of buying an unweaned baby!

Well said. I would never sell one of my babies before they are weaned even if the person has been handfeeding for 30 years. Changing handfeeders can be very traumatic to a baby bird so I would never risk it.
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Old 05-25-2012, 02:48 AM
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Re: Hazards of buying an unweaned baby!

It is against the Law, here in the UK for a Breeder to sell Unweaned Birds! If they are found to be doing this, then they are heavily fined!
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Old 05-25-2012, 02:55 AM
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Re: Hazards of buying an unweaned baby!

That is wonderful! Unfortunately it is not against the law here!
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Old 05-25-2012, 02:57 AM
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Re: Hazards of buying an unweaned baby!

Perhaps you could start some sort of campaign to try and make it Law there as well
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Old 05-25-2012, 03:34 AM
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Re: Hazards of buying an unweaned baby!

Where I live most breeders encourages you to take your new bird unweaned(thar's if it's handreared). They say that it "improves your bond and it' a great experience". I know now of being on this site that it's unwise to do so and I never will.

Last edited by Ash; 05-25-2012 at 03:37 AM.
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Old 05-25-2012, 03:55 AM
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Re: Hazards of buying an unweaned baby!

Unfortunately many breeders look at it as an easy way to get out of taking care of babies. Handfeeding is extremely time consuming as well as expensive. It's an easy out for them. The baby is the one who suffers as well as the buyers heart.
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Old 05-25-2012, 04:56 AM
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Re: Hazards of buying an unweaned baby!

My opinion is that perrot should be with other perrots a time so they lear that they are perrots. So taking unweaned babies is not a option for me.
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:15 AM
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Re: Hazards of buying an unweaned baby!

i weaned my green cheek conure but it was only on 1 feed a day and i took it because the breeder had just got 30 babies from another breeder that was shut down by the spca and was a bit short of hands and he knew i would be okay because i spend loads of time helping him out on weekends and holidays but normally he insists they are weaned first
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:28 AM
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Re: Hazards of buying an unweaned baby!

I was told at the recent Phoenix Landing class I attended that the law regarding selling unweined babies is state specific. In some states it is against the law. The speaker gave an example of California where she is from. GC you may know the law better than I do for Md.
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