Hazards of buying an unweaned baby!

MikeyTN

New member
Feb 1, 2011
13,296
10
Antioch, TN
Parrots
"Willie"&"Lola"B&G Macaw,
"Dixie"LSC2, and "Nico" Scarlet Macaw.
I won't be traveling through CA anytime soon with my birds either as I am NOT a fan of banding birds either. I used to be at one point but after having to amputate a bird's foot because of leg band, never again....
 

KatherineI

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Mar 27, 2012
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Seattle, WA
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Loki (GCC) Sugar (Goffins)
I won't be traveling through CA anytime soon with my birds either as I am NOT a fan of banding birds either. I used to be at one point but after having to amputate a bird's foot because of leg band, never again....

But you can provide them with the band numbers and information for your birds. I cannot, thus I can't prove that she was captive-born as opposed to wild-caught and with an Appendix I bird, that's not a good thing. Especially since Goffins are still being imported, but heavily regulated for importation :(

It's all good, I only wanted to go to Cali to see the Redwoods anyway, which was going to be too far out of our way. I have no desire to go to Cali for any other reason.
 

SharlenaSharlena

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May 20, 2013
66
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Portland,OR
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Skittles - Blue Mnt. Male Lorikeet
Starburst -Blue Mnt. Female Lorikeet
Kiwi - Lutino Cockatiel Male
In my opinion I don't think people who have little to know bird experience should be able tp purchase unweaned birds. The two babes I have are currently unweaned but will be weaning in the next week or two depending on when they are ready. But then again I have worked for a veterinarian for a few years and a pet store so I am more familiar than most with hand feeding and what all of that entails. I do agree with the poster that too many people get unweaned birds without thinking of the consequences. If more people educated themselves on how to properly care for unweaned birds it would be less of an issue.
 

xreinx

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May 24, 2011
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Alaska
Parrots
-no parrots yet-
I do have two cats -Riply & Nano bites-
four snakes- china, dip & stick, and Grand Chahee-
Ive had experence with raising babies of all kinds during my life, but I have to say I would never get an unweaned baby from anyone, of anykind unless they didnt know what they were doing, and ive had sevral run-ins with people who know nothing of how to take care of helpless young animals.

It's hard at the best of times, impossable at the worst of times and you never know mentally what its doing to the baby your handling.

Wolf pups raised without their pack around them, milk fed by humans loose their Identity, they know they are diffrent then dogs, yet they dont have the "song" that the parents bring to the entire pack. Cats fed by hand from kittens with no Idea of who their mothers are become unballanced, have cronic illnisses, and have temperment issues. Ive seen it in 7 out of 8 litters. Falconers who raise birds of prey have an entire chapter on miss-imprinted birds and highly instruct leaving the eyas in the nest to the 10 or 12 week stage so they know their parents and dont become imprinted on their "human" mother, in fear and warnings of the trouble that happens later on in the young hawks life.

What happens with baby parrots? Ive never raised a baby parrot and if I ever had the chance, id buy one that was near as, or fully weaned by their parents. I want a bird that knows its a bird and chooses to bond with me on its own terms. Not a confused chick that dosent know who or what it is and may spend years learning that it isnt human and may accually be passed around to sevral familys before it (if ever) relizes that its not a human.

Animals watch, I know they know that family members wont give away its child, yet noone cares about giving away a animal, Parrots are smart enough to relize this, I know they are, and imagin their world when they suddinly "fall" into a new home.. or worse.. shelter. And it almost always starts with people picking up unweaned chicks, or thats what Ive learned anyway, 80% of the people Ive met, who have surrendered or had problem birds got them before they were fully weaned.
 
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sodakat

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Jul 15, 2009
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... 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 :(

I realize this post is almost a year old, but if anyone knows where this banding requirement is listed on the internet please post a link. I have traveled to California many times with my parrots and never was asked any question about them at the border ag stations. Thanks!
 

Sand

New member
Jun 20, 2013
53
0
thank goodness i read this, i spent a half hour on the phone with a breeder who was wonderfully informative and offered me to come by the aviary anytime, but she was fairly insistent that i wean and hand feed the baby , Conures are what we talked about.
i said repeatedly that i'd rather she do it and get to know then and tell me who's friendliest, but she said to stop by and the baby would pick me. well it's almost a two hr drive, and now that i read this, i won't be making the trip
 

riotheconure

New member
Sep 8, 2013
1
0
hello i know this thread is older but hoping someone can respond preferrably one of the experienced original posters.
i am buying my first green cheek conure i live in miami lots of bird breeders. i would say 9 out of 10 people i talk to want me to take the bird unweaned. i have found that eats on his own at 3 months old and another one im interested in is on twice a day feedings. when you refer to a bird as unweaned do you mean very young or is twice a day also considered unweaned. its best to buy a bird once he eats on his own completely? please help! :green2: these are some of my options the 3 month old bird is the first one.
8232g5a_27.jpeg

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mtdoramike

Supporting Member
Jan 18, 2011
3,987
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Mt. Dora Fl./central Fl.
Parrots
11 month old Senegal Parrot - 3 year old SI Eclectus
An un-weaned bird is a bird that hasn't learned to eat on it's own yet and has to be fed. YES, most back yard breeders prefer to sell you an un-weaned bird because if the bird dies while in your care, you have no recourse as far as getting your money back. So you will shoulder the full responsibility of the birds health and care.

Plus it's very time consuming to care for an un-weaned bird that can take 3 months or longer before they get weaned. This is why a lot of breeders will offer two prices One low price for an un-weaned bird and a substantially higher weaned price. Cheap people tend to gravitate towards the low un-weaned price with the mentality of "Awww how hard can it be" until after a few days and then start getting scared because they realize they are in way over their heads.

I would rather spend the $200.00-$300.00 more for a weaned healthy bird any day and let the breeder shoulder the responsibility of weaning.
 

Abigal7

New member
Jun 17, 2012
853
0
United States of America/ Kansas
Parrots
Captain Jack (Hahn's macaw)


Clover (green cheek conure)
Ive had experence with raising babies of all kinds during my life, but I have to say I would never get an unweaned baby from anyone, of anykind unless they didnt know what they were doing, and ive had sevral run-ins with people who know nothing of how to take care of helpless young animals.

It's hard at the best of times, impossable at the worst of times and you never know mentally what its doing to the baby your handling.

Wolf pups raised without their pack around them, milk fed by humans loose their Identity, they know they are diffrent then dogs, yet they dont have the "song" that the parents bring to the entire pack. Cats fed by hand from kittens with no Idea of who their mothers are become unballanced, have cronic illnisses, and have temperment issues. Ive seen it in 7 out of 8 litters. Falconers who raise birds of prey have an entire chapter on miss-imprinted birds and highly instruct leaving the eyas in the nest to the 10 or 12 week stage so they know their parents and dont become imprinted on their "human" mother, in fear and warnings of the trouble that happens later on in the young hawks life.

What happens with baby parrots? Ive never raised a baby parrot and if I ever had the chance, id buy one that was near as, or fully weaned by their parents. I want a bird that knows its a bird and chooses to bond with me on its own terms. Not a confused chick that dosent know who or what it is and may spend years learning that it isnt human and may accually be passed around to sevral familys before it (if ever) relizes that its not a human.

Animals watch, I know they know that family members wont give away its child, yet noone cares about giving away a animal, Parrots are smart enough to relize this, I know they are, and imagin their world when they suddinly "fall" into a new home.. or worse.. shelter. And it almost always starts with people picking up unweaned chicks, or thats what Ive learned anyway, 80% of the people Ive met, who have surrendered or had problem birds got them before they were fully weaned.

Agree with what you said. I would think though in general people that breed cats and dogs let the parents nurse the babies. My mom is a dog breeder and she lets the mom nurse the babies and care for them. It makes sense that falconers would let the parents care for them. I will never buy a unweaned bird nor have I ever rehomed a bird and given them to someone else (I do not plan to). Now I know observe parrots are different then dogs and cats. I had a budgie as a child who I had to tame. He got to the point he would sit in me and perch in my hand (I do not know if he was weaned by his parents). I do not know what experience you are looking for in a parrot but Clover (a green cheek conure I had till she passed away) was weaned by her parents. Yes, she was tame and a nice bird but I am sure she would have picked a green check conure over a human if given a choice. Captain Jack was weaned by his breeder and like Clover he is tolerant of other people (but he desires to be around me and on me). Now I do not think all birds weaned by humans have the same personality. As a child I had a cockatiel who was sweet to everyone and after my budgie died of old age my mom bought from a breeder a green cheek conure named Paulie (who got to the point he would bite anyone but me). He would lay in his back in my hands and wanted out of his cage when he say me. Of course Captain Jack also does those two last things.
 
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wjgonzalez

New member
Apr 9, 2013
44
0
On a youtube parrot site, there was a "breeder" advertising fertilized eggs for sale. Even worse, after posting a comment criticizing the practice, somebody defended it, and said I did not know what I was talking about, that it was perfectly "OK." Unfortunately there are a lot of unethical people in the pet industry.
 

MikeyTN

New member
Feb 1, 2011
13,296
10
Antioch, TN
Parrots
"Willie"&"Lola"B&G Macaw,
"Dixie"LSC2, and "Nico" Scarlet Macaw.
Of course someone would defend it, probably a friend or someone they're in the business together with. I actually hate those egg sellers, when you remove an egg from a momma bird, she's gonna lay more, basically becoming like a chicken egg farm. I know they do that with the endangered specie, but they're trying to preserve the specie to make more population, but these people do it for the money which is un-ethical.

Same with the one selling unweaned chicks, so they can move them out and go to the next one in-line. I can understand if they sell them to another breeder or an established hand feeder to feed them, but not novices....
 

xotamilxo

Banned
Jul 12, 2015
21
0
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...

soooo very true !!!
 

wrench13

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Nov 22, 2015
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I guess I was very lucky with Salty, he was on a 2X a day feeding regimen. I had no problems and he is fully weaned and eats his pellets, veggies and fruit like a champ.
It took him about 2 months to be fully weaned and I still give him a syringe of formula once every 2 weeks or so, which he loves.
 

sunshinemama91

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Nov 1, 2019
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Oregon
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Gracie, our Blue Fronted Amazon.
I'm glad I read this! I mentioned to my husband how I would like to order live eggs from some breeders and have them shipped and hatch them when we can afford to get all of the proper equipment and care supplies. I'd like to breed birds ♡ I think it sounds like my kind of challenge.
I cant have anymore babies and I'm one of those "constantly needs some kind of life consuming responsibilities" types. Birds are close enough ♡
 

Scott

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Goffins: Gabby, Abby, Squeaky, Peanut, Popcorn / Citron: Alice / Eclectus: Angel /Timneh Grey: ET / Blue Fronted Amazon: Gonzo /

RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
I'm glad I read this! I mentioned to my husband how I would like to order live eggs from some breeders and have them shipped and hatch them when we can afford to get all of the proper equipment and care supplies. I'd like to breed birds ♡ I think it sounds like my kind of challenge.
I cant have anymore babies and I'm one of those "constantly needs some kind of life consuming responsibilities" types. Birds are close enough ♡

Any source advertising the sale and delivery of live eggs is a 99.9999999% scam. Well, we can round up to 100%. One of the oldest and most malicious frauds in the business. No effective way to accomplish the task, and legitimate breeders have zero incentives.
 

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