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Here's just a few ideas of what to consider when you first go to see a (non baby) bird with an eye to perhaps buying him/her:

Take time, if possible sit away from the cage and watch, make the visit as long as you can. See how the owner inter-reacts with the bird. Ask the seller to get the bird out and let you see how they get on.


Can the owner give food by hand, is the bird confident and wanting to be near the owner etc?


Is there a battle to get the bird to go back into the cage?


Does the bird look bright and busy (good) or is it puffed up/uninterested (maybe ill).


Look at the droppings in the cage. Are they definite white with dark green/ blackish squiggles (good) or watery and mixed colours (may be ill)? One tip here - a bird that has eaten a lot of fruit or as a reaction to you (a stranger) may do a runny/watery dropping and this is normal.


Does the cage look regularly cleaned? If a bird is out of favour with the owner cleaning often gets reduced to basic bottom of the cage changing.


Are there toys in the cage?

Do they look scruffily chewed and beaten about (good) or brand new but ignored (not so good)?


If your household has children, dogs, cats partner etc ... try and work out if the bird is good with either sex and these animals. Ask if you have to but observation is a much more honest way to find out.


If the bird is friendly and happy with the seller then that is a fair indication that he or she will be the same with you once settled and come to know you and the new home.


Keep in mind one of two 'bad' things could be happening:

~ The owner may be lying about how the bird is in reality (hence watch and see rather than ask)

~ The owner may be nervous/upset if this is genuine and a treasured pal is having to be sold which the bird may pick up on and behave differently to normal.


If you handle the bird check how fat or thin it is ... to do this run a finger down the front of the bird (or ask the owner to hold it so that you can). A sharp ridge with no padding either side is too thin. An indented dip with raised pads either side is too fat. This may upset the bird so ask last about it and don't be surprised if the bird doesn't like this handling by a stranger.


Once you are about to leave - hang around in the hall or by the door (anywhere except the room where the bird is kept), chat but listen ... is the bird making a noise once the owner has left the room? Could be a clue to why he/she is for sale - neighbours complaining, contact calls annoying the owner etc.


If you decide to have the bird ... pick the owners brain as much as you can for clues on how to settle him/her with you. Such things as:

Words used to the bird (Step up, go in your cage, hiya pretty one etc)?

Food likes and hates?

Goes to bed when, for how long and is the cage covered?

Showers, feeding - routines in general?

Favourite things?

Hated/feared things?


The above is designed for those going to see a non-baby bird.  Below is an extract from a thread about a member going to see a Macaw baby but much of it applies to other species of baby parrots too:

Some tips for when you visit a baby bird at the Breeder's:

~ ask for details of the parents, ideally see the parents - if this is not possible due to them being on eggs/breeding again .... can you be sure the person bred this bird rather than bought him/her in to handrear? (I would expect them to tell you if they did not breed this bird from their own adult pair). In other words are they the breeder or have they bought the bird to rear and so are the seller not the actual breeder

~ how long has the breeder been breeding big birds like Greenwings which are very different from the smaller birds in their dietary requirements

~ is the beak straight - as in top and bottom beaks meeting nicely in a good straight line (as Macaws can sometimes have a tendency to hand feed so enthusiastically that they may push the beak out of line which will mean Vet visits regularly throughout his/her life to be trimmed)

~ at what age will the bird be expected to be fully weaned (to avoid early/forced weaning) as Macaws do take longer than, for example, African Greys

~ how interested is the seller in what you can offer the bird ... are you questioned about cage size, time you are at home, taking out insurance, diet sheets given, whether you have met adult pet Greenwings to be sure they are the bird for you, other pets in the house etc and etc

Evaluating Health (thanks to Showgirl for this find):




Remember - any Cites listed birds must have full relevant paperwork and matching closed ring or microchip number to be legally offered for sale














"Cube breeding? Why?":


a long but very important thread about where your baby bird may have started life

(At the very least, please, click on the links on page 14 & 21 and look at the picture on page 17)


= from the INFORMATION TOPICS© section: https://www.parrot-link.co.uk/forum/22-parrot-link-information-topics/

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