Hazards of buying an unweaned baby!

greycloud

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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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cdog

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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.
 

wenz2712

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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!
 
OP
greycloud

greycloud

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Sunshine-12 yo CAG-adopted
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That is wonderful! Unfortunately it is not against the law here! :(
 

Ash

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Hamilton, New Zealand
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.
 
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greycloud

greycloud

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Sunshine-12 yo CAG-adopted
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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.
 

oled

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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.
 

solobaby

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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
 

Spiritbird

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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.
 

mtdoramike

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Thank you, thank you, thank you! I see it all the time on Craigslist and especially on Ebay classifieds of folks selling unweaned birds. They say in their ads, that they will not sell to someone who doesn't know how to hand feed, but then they offer to give you a 5 minute lesson on hand feeding when you come to pick up you bird.

With this kind of monetary investment in a pet, why in the world would someone want to cheap out just to save a couple hundred dollars and take the chance of killing their new baby.
 
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greycloud

greycloud

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Sterling-CAG-rehomed retired breeder.
Sunshine-12 yo CAG-adopted
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I would like to ask that this be made a sticky please if possible?
 

KatherineI

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As someone who has seen the results of Crop Burn, as someone who was sold an unweaned baby before she knew better (with no tragic results, THANK GOODNESS!) and the bird didn't bond with me even though I did all the handfeedings... I couldn't agree more. Handfeeding your bird yourself does not mean your bird will bond with you. I was also duped into believing that that would be the case and was extremely disappointed when the bird bonded with my husband to the point where I couldn't handle her at all (this result was no good since he was/is in the Military). I'd never ever ever buy and unweaned baby again and strongly advise against it.

Perhaps you could start some sort of campaign to try and make it Law there as well :)

In the US, that's a little more difficult. Most things are done State-by-State and animal related issues are one of the things that would be done on a State-by-State basis. Much like the Exotic Animals Bills that have been pushed around the southeastern states of late (aiming mostly at Reptiles, but punishing responsible owners and breeders, sadly). Some States won't find this issue to be worthy enough of a cause right now, considering all the other things going on that they would (and in most cases, rightly so) consider of a higher priority.
 
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cdog

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breeding pair of gcc, Scooter & BeeBee-Sully and Bella's normal son's, Rosey- Bella and Sully's cinnamon daughter, Ella & Sunny-American budgies
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.

I was unaware that it was illegal to sell unweaned babies in California, I have seen people on craigslist trying to do just that.
 

LolaLowlie

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I just can't imagine undertaking such a task/risk, and can't imagine why anyone else would want to either. Just sad. Thanks for the educational thread!
 

evesta

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House and Wilson-Lineolated Parakeet Brothers
I just saw on craigslist today someone selling budgies that were only a couple days old!!!! So sad...
 

MikeyTN

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I have posted similar posts in here, thanks to greycloud bringing this backup as I see post after post in here with newbies purchasing an unweaned baby. As I am highly against it since I was a breeder at one point as well. It's not easy to witness aspirations!!! It has happened to me in the past as well!!! It should be against the law everywhere selling unweaned!!!!
 
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greycloud

greycloud

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Sammy-Umbrella Too-rescued,
Dexter-CAG-rehomed handicapped,
Sterling-CAG-rehomed retired breeder.
Sunshine-12 yo CAG-adopted
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BTW, I did some investigating and California is the only state the bans the selling of unweaned baby companion birds.
 

KatherineI

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BTW, I did some investigating and California is the only state the bans the selling of unweaned baby companion birds.

Good to know. California also requires all Apendix I species to be banded. We won't be driving through California on our way to AZ because Sugar doesn't have a band and I still do not have the information requested from her previous owners :(
 

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