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Old 07-31-2020, 07:54 PM
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Another Negative Eclectus Breeder Experience

So... the first Aviary that I was planning on purchasing from, the bird ingested some bedding which got compacted in the crop and he passed away.

This second breeder experience (Mystic Moon Aviary) was almost as disconcerting. I'd put a downpayment on a brand new baby a few weeks ago and was waiting for him to be weened. Over the last few weeks I've been doing my research on cages, toys, gyms, food processors (for me and the bird), and other misc items.

I sent an email to a Mystic Moon last week regarding my baby Eclectus. I'm the type of individual that ALWAYS asks questions. If there's one thing I've learned in all of the research that I've done.. its that you should never be discouraged from asking questions.

I emailed this Aviary (Tonya) and asked her about the Eclectus temperament; yes I've read a lot of books on them, copyright dates ranging from the 90's all the way to 2018. I wanted to verify the temperament, the conditions in which the bird was being raised, and ask some questions about the parents. I was even questioning my own desire to have a parrot.... that's my personality, I realize the gravitas of owning a parrot; because I've owned multiple in my life, and still do. Yet I was questioning my choice between the Ekkie and the Grey. Don't we all do that? Or maybe I'm just a unique human being in that I don't make impulse purchases...

Her comment back to me instead of verifying my research on Ekkie personalities was..."You already gave me your downpayment, are you saying you want to switch to a Grey?" No that's not what I said, nor is it what I meant. I was asking for professional advice, from someone who breeds the birds, and I did apologize for waivering as I was 100% committed to the Ekkie...I just wanted reassurance. I'm confident in my husbandry abilities, and my parrot experience, however I've never owned an Ekkie before (duh!), and wanted multiple data points.

Regardless I called up the aviary and started out by joking with Tonya, just saying "Hey there, I like phone calls much more than emails...they're more personable, and this is a very personal life decision" She agreed and we moved on... so I started asking her for references and about the parents etc." Her response back was that she's uncomfortable and I have expectations that are way too high.

I'd asked her for a health guarantee for the bird from congenital defects; she was hesitant and the response was "we never walk away from our birds"... maybe, but you didn't answer the question. I then discussed their disease testing process, and confirmed that I had to take the bird to my vet for a checkup as well. However, the problem/conundrum is that she told me I needed to get him blood tested for disease, but as soon as I walked into a vet I voided their health guarantee because the bird could catch a disease while at the vet. **So get him check for diseases, but don't go to an animal hospital or vet"" "Do vets make house calls?"

The discussion spiralled out of control from there as she told me that she wasn't getting a "Good Vibe" from me...really unprofessional. She then gave me the option to think about the downpayment/bird and give her a decision later that evening. After I got off the phone with her I received a text message from my PayPal account, stating that she'd already refunded the money... this was after she'd given me the option... which I was probably going to take anyways, but wow.

Maybe I'm all wet here, or a complete jerk because I started asking all sorts of questions about the parents and the living conditions, when the babies were pulled etc... I just do my research...if I were an aviary, that truly cared about my birds, I'd ENCOURAGE the questions and the differential opinions, but instead of taking it personally or getting bent out of shape, I'd understand that the potential buyer is just looking out for the health of the bird that they're receiving.

Again, maybe I asked some faux-pa questions, I could be completely in the wrong here, but this is a large purchase, and a big life change. Now I'm left with a Kings Cages SLT Superior line double macaw cage, a T training stand, and a Prevue Pet large Java play tree (gym), several frozen bags of spelt mullit, 8 books on the eclectus, a couple hundred dollars of toys... all that I've been slowly purchasing over the last four months... and no Ekkie.

I'm certain I'll find my bird... God will see to it...I'm just a little disturbed at the moment by how people behave.
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Old 07-31-2020, 08:53 PM
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Re: Another Negative Eclectus Breeder Experience

As a dispassionate third party, I can see where some wires were crossed.

You did nothing wrong here that I can tell, though your tone and approach may have been off (can’t really say without hearing the conversation). But Tonya May not be accustomed to such intrusive questioning, and not really sure how to handle it. I know I can get flustered quickly when someone questions me more than other people do: it can come off accusatory if you approached the questioning poorly. , and business is a two way street.

But thats the challenge isn’t it? This is business. You can be the best breeder in the world but if you don’t know how to handle PEOPLE, business goes nowhere.

I think you’re probably better off with a more savvy breeder who better handle such line of questioning. I won’t say you dodged a bullet as I do think this is more miscommunication. But find someone else.
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Old 07-31-2020, 09:10 PM
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Re: Another Negative Eclectus Breeder Experience

Quote: Originally Posted by chris-md View Post
As a dispassionate third party, I can see where some wires were crossed.

You did nothing wrong here that I can tell, though your tone and approach may have been off (canít really say without hearing the conversation). But Tonya May not be accustomed to such intrusive questioning, and not really sure how to handle it. I know I can get flustered quickly when someone questions me more than other people do: it can come off accusatory if you approached the questioning poorly. , and business is a two way street.

But thats the challenge isnít it? This is business. You can be the best breeder in the world but if you donít know how to handle PEOPLE, business goes nowhere.

I think youíre probably better off with a more savvy breeder who better handle such line of questioning. I wonít say you dodged a bullet as I do think this is more miscommunication. But find someone else.
Probably right... after seeing my parents go through Beak and Feather disease with a baby cockatoo (another breeder that wouldn't stand by their parrots) when I was younger, then having a baby Eclectus die from another breeder recently, I'm really skeptical...
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Old 07-31-2020, 09:12 PM
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Re: Another Negative Eclectus Breeder Experience

Sorry you're having such a hard time finding your Ekkie. You're doing it right. Research, more research, and asking questions. Perfect. If a breeder can't/won't answer appropriate questions, they're not someone I'd trust doing business with. Always ask. Like you said, if they were a responsible breeder, they'd be glad that you're serious enough to be asking, and know what questions to ask.

You void the health guarantee by taking him to a vet? Woah! Red flag!!! My translation- if you take him to a reputable vet, you'll find out we're selling you a diseased or otherwise unhealthy bird, but we won't take him back because we wrote some bogus paperwork protecting us from the fact that you caught us being disreputable jerks. Awful!

I wish you well in your continued quest, my friend. The right one will find you.
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Old 07-31-2020, 10:02 PM
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Re: Another Negative Eclectus Breeder Experience

Yeah that last bit about the vet visit was pretty alarming, if that was they way they put it to you. Salty almost immediately developed a nasal infection when I brought him home, but the store I got him from covered the vet bill, it was like 48hrs later.

Sometimes peoples personalities can get in the way of good communication with each other.

CHin up, keep looking, the Sky Chief obviously didn;t want you to have either of these young feather angels. But yours WiLL come along!
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Old 08-01-2020, 01:20 PM
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Re: Another Negative Eclectus Breeder Experience

Thank you gentlemen... for easing my mind on this one. And thanks to the good DR. for his differential opinion as well. The very first communication I had with her went great, it was the follow up questions, and asking for her first hand experiences that things got terse rather quickly.

I do read a great deal and consider myself educated (Johns Hopkins), but I have a blue collar background growing up in motor city and Las Vegas. There's a huge difference between reading about a thing, and experiencing it, that's why we have internships etc. in professions from nuclear engineering to ERs, and why I spent the time that I did at my father's side while he was pulling '67 vette engines and working on cars; you can read about auto mechanics but until you start wrenching... you have no idea the amount of detail and experience that's necessary.

I am very direct, and I think that's why her personality didn't match with mine. There are other bad signals now that I'm watching her videos and reading some of what she writes; about cuddling with the babies and snuggling with them... though some of that is good, from what I've read there's a line that one shouldn't crossed, very similar to a student teacher relationship; better yet parront, son/daughter relationship. Your parents aren't your friends, they're your guardians, and there for support but also tough love. (The above is where I think I went wrong with my Conure... she's a fantastic bird, and amazing creature don't get me wrong... well-mannered etc., but she depends on me way too much for her own happiness, and that was because I coddled her as a baby.)

The above regarding my personality traits is most certainly why we didn't mesh. I have clear goals for the parrot I get, so they're both physically and mentally healthy and stable on their own and don't depend on me entirely for their happiness. Mainly because I want to train the bird for free flight and give them that gift of being a bird...which takes a lot of education, time, and hard work. Rather than cudding, snuggling, and fostering any long term unhealthy habits.

Last edited by cneuhauser; 08-01-2020 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 08-02-2020, 05:17 AM
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Re: Another Negative Eclectus Breeder Experience

If a breeder says they void the health guarantee if you see a vet, that is a huge huge red flag for me. I used to breed Persian cats (not the same, i know but bare with me) and we ACTIVELY encouraged the new owner to get a vet check with in the week of purchase and as part of the health guarantee they had 1 month to see a vet and return the kitten to us for either a refund or a different kitten if avaliable should the vet find a serious health issue that we didn't know about (all our kittens had 3 vet checks 1 at 6 weeks, 10weeks and 14weeks as they were sold fully vaccinated) we didn't refund/swap a kitten if it had something like v&d as that is causes by stress and new diet in 90%of cases but if it turns out the kitten had cataracts or PKD or some other issue that was found out with in those 30 days that the vet could say with absolute certainly that was from your breeder we honoured the guarantee.

You take your pet to the vets upon purchase to ensure its healthy and to make sure there are no issues going forward. If I'm told that, I wouldn't be purchasing a baby from them because I'd be concerned about what they were breeding from and if I'd be taking a gamble on my baby's health.

I'm sorry it's difficult, but when you find the right breeder they should be interviewing you as much as you should be interviewing them. Personality clashes shouldn't be too much of an issue as the breeder should ultimately be thinking about the future home of their bird and you being direct and asking questions is what you should be doing.

When I looked for a conure breeder, the first one I found was a small breeser with 2 pairs. They only wanted my money and I wasn't asked any questions at all and barely gave me satisfactory responses to my questions. The breeder who I bought albie from asked me so many questions about me and my lifestyle both over the phone and by email, it was like I was being interviewed. I didn't lay down any down payments and he kept 4 birds to 1 side for me to pick from (I didn't do the choosing, albie did) I still give Albie's breeder updates since he came home with me in March.

You will find the right breeder and the right bird for you. Don't give up hope!
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Old 08-03-2020, 10:28 AM
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Re: Another Negative Eclectus Breeder Experience

Thank you stich... much appreciated.

The more research I conduct, the more I hear about health paperwork and certificates; which is good, as this is how it was done years ago in Las Vegas when I bought my conure. Think I dodged a bullet with this aviary. I just feel bad for those folks that don't do the research that I do; and I'm partially wondering how places like this are able to exist.

She didn't even have formal warranty paperwork for the 72hr period or a purchase contract, she only sent me an email. Just really shady stuff, and how she's gathered her friends to email bomb me... just really bad stuff. Of which I do not respond well to bullying.

I've declined to respond at this point, and will not respond further. However, once I find my new family member I have a feeling that aviculture will become a hobby and I'm going to see what I can do to support more legit businesses, and make it more difficult for below board establishments to conduct business.

Again, this isn't to say that she was raising the birds improperly; I only had my concerns with how she was cuddling and snuggling with the parrots. This is ok to a certain degree, but I think it does create psychological issues later on. I know this... because I coddled my conure, and now she's unhappy unlesh she's playing on the human jungle gym.
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Old 08-03-2020, 09:23 PM
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Re: Another Negative Eclectus Breeder Experience

Have you considered rescuing ? Seems like you are very smart and can devote time to a bird in a tough spot ?
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Old 08-03-2020, 11:37 PM
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Re: Another Negative Eclectus Breeder Experience

As a breeder myself I have spotted a couple red flags here

*You did the right thing asking questions, and the breeders should have been and always should be prepared to answer any questions.....BUT...... when a breeder comes across someone that asks too many questions it can come off as yourself being extremely novice and sound possibly not ready. I myself have turned a couple people away from the birds I have bred as they are not ready by the questions they ask, because all I want to do is sell my birds to someone who has a good head on their shoulders and will be able to pick up the same duty of care as I have already provided. But in your case asking questions such as when the chick was pulled from the nest, current diet etc.. were basic questions that should have been answered by the breeder.

* In regards to the health testing, it largely depends on the scale of the breeder. If they are a big breeder they always should provide full paperwork. If they are just basic breeders they don't really. But the main thing is to check yourself. Look at the parents and/or siblings and figure out yourself by observing key signs of illness etc.. If they seem healthy to you, take them to the vet and get the tests done. If they don't seem healthy, don't buy them.

* You mentioned about 'below board establishments' for breeders and making them harder for people to be that. You would not realize but most of the best breeders on earth come from the humble backyard beginnings and breed incredibly rare species that even zoo's have trouble with. In aviculture us so called 'Backyard Breeders' which I think is a ridiculous name, we get a bad label already not because we are all bad, its because of the couple bad people that appear. The same stuff happens with dogs and cats, most do a fantastic job but there's a few that do the wrong thing. I'm a private aviculturalist, I'm not a registered business, yet I breed 3 of the rarest birds in Australia. So please cut the private aviculturalists a bit of slack, its only a few rotten buggers that we all hate that do the wrong thing.

My best tip, don't have too high expectations and don't stretch the breeders to their limits.
Ask the basics, and if they don't sum up and the breeder is not right just move on.

It takes a good respectable breeder, and a polite and attentive customer that makes a successful sale

I hope you are able to find a better breeder
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