If you’re looking to purchase a pet bird, there are a variety of places to choose from.
1. Pet Shops
Pet shops have a notorious reputation for not taking care of their animals. But this is not always the case. Some pet shops provide outstanding care and housing. Others are mediocre and some are downright horrible. You’ll be able to determine which kind of shop you are in by making a few simple observations.
Your Trip to the Pet Shop
Anxious to purchase a bird, you head off to your local pet store and take a look around. The first thing you notice is a strong, offensive odor, no doubt from animal urine, fecal matter and rotting food. You notice that the floor is untidy and probably has not been swept in a few days. As you walk over to the bird section, you notice the bird cages are small and the birds appear cramped. The water dishes are half empty and have soggy pellets and other food crumbs floating around or sitting at the bottom. You approach an employee and start asking about the birds. By his short, vague answers you can tell he probably doesn’t know the first things about proper bird care.
By this time you probably have guessed you’re in a crummy pet store. It’s time to leave and take your business elsewhere.
What to Look for in a Pet Shop
Reputable pet stores should be neat and tidy. The birdcages should be clean and full of a variety of fun, colorful toys. The birds should have perches, swings and other items to keep them entertained. There should be adequate lighting and no draft in the room.
Also, make sure the birds are not crammed into parrot cages that are too small. These types of conditions breed disease and you could end up purchasing a sick bird. Larger parrots should be kept in a macaw cage or an African Gray cage, which are nice and roomy. Smaller birds can be housed in small parrot cages such as love bird cages or Cockatiel cages.
The birds should be fed a healthy diet with lots of variety. If a pet store only feeds a pelleted or seed diet, look out. This is a sure sign that they are not concerned enough about proper nutrition to go the extra mile for the birds in their care. A seed-only diet can cause nutritional deficiencies and should be avoided.
In addition, the store owner and employees should be enthusiastic and knowledgeable about their birds. They should be willing to recommend books, help you find an avian veterinarian and offer various recommendations. It’s also important that they are interested in providing their pet with a quality home—not in selling them off to anyone who walks in the store.
2. Bird Shops
A bird shop is a pet store that specializes exclusively in birds. This can be a good place to start your search for a pet parrot. You can locate bird shops in your area by contacting a local bird club. Oftentimes, these places will keep listings of stores and shops specializing in birds.
A bird-only shop generally offers a wider variety of different species, so you will have more options to choose from. Owners and employees tend to be knowledgeable and extremely conscious about the health of their birds.
Even if you are not ready to purchase a bird just yet, a bird shop is a good place to ask questions or gather research. One of the first things you will want to discuss is what type of bird cage is best for the type of parrot you are interested in. The store owner can advise you in finding the perfect habitat for your parrot. There are dozens of bird cage options on the market– enough to fit every bird, owner, decoration style and personal preferences. Decorative bird cages can grace your home with their beautiful design and overall appeal.
Cages’ By Design’s Majestic bird cages are beautifully designed and come with a solid oak frame. Various stains are available to match any décor, including a natural oak stain, dark walnut and autumn cheery. Attractive hoods and stands are also available to give your cage a look of elegance. You may also want to consider purchasing custom parrot cages to suit your exact preferences. Discuss these options with the store owner or other knowledgeable bird expert.
Other options also exist, including glass bird cages, for a classy, upscale home. Or an acrylic bird cage for an exceptionally strong or rambunctious bird. Acrylic panels are the hardest clear plastic available. They are five times stronger than glass and are extremely hard to break. They are difficult to scratch and offer excellent UV protection.
3. Newspaper Ads
The classified section of your local newspaper is always a good place to look when trying to purchase a bird. You will generally find several ads, placed by a variety of different people. An ad could be placed by a pet shop, local breeder or an owner who is looking to re-home their bird and is willing to throw in all the bird-supplies and the bird cage for free. Before purchasing a bird through a newspaper ad, take your time to talk to the owner or breeder on the phone.
Make sure they sound reputable and concerned about the birds in their care. If they simply want to shove their Amazon parrot off to you, this could be a red flag. If the price seems exceptionally low, take that as a precaution as well. The bird may have behavioral problems or other issues that will be difficult to deal with.
If you decide to purchase you bird from a breeder, look for someone who is an avid bird lover and heavily involved in the bird fancy industry. They should be members of bird clubs, organizations and involved in other avian activities. Their birds should be in good health, receive regular veterinary care and a healthy diet, with lots of variety. Purchasing your bird from a breeder has its advantages. You are able to see how the bird was raised, meet its parents and get to know everything possible about its background and genetics.
The Health Guarantee
You just purchased your first feathered baby. You’re thrilled to death. You’ve carefully selected the proper parrot cage for your bird’s complete comfort. You’ve purchased a variety of bird-supplies including toys, perches, playstands and a bundle of food. But after a day or two you suddenly realize that you bird doesn’t seem well. She’s not playing with those toys you bought. She doesn’t seem playful, refused to eat and appears to be ill. She’s simply huddled in her bird cage in a miserable heap.
This is why you want to be absolutely certain you receive a health guarantee when purchasing your bird. Never purchase a bird from a breeder or pet shop who refuses to give you a guarantee. The seller should offer a minimum of a 48 hour guarantee, with 72 hours being preferable. The guarantee enables you to make certain your bird was healthy at the time of purchase. If you find out the bird is sick, you can return it and get your money back. Some people may opt to keep their bird and nurse it back to health. Either way, a health guarantee is important and gives you the option of returning a sick bird.
Evaluating the Health of the Bird
Before purchasing a bird, take some time to evaluate it in its parrot cage. A healthy bird will be alert, inquisitive and interactive with its environment. The eyes and nostrils should be open and clean. Feathers should be shiny and luster.
An unhealthy bird will huddle in a heap with its feathers puffed up and it’s head tucked into the chest. Eyes may be half closed and the feet may be crusty or swollen. The feathers may be dirty as the bird does not have enough energy to properly preen itself. Observe the bird for any missing feathers, especially on the chest or stomach. Feather plucking is a sign of an unhappy, psychologically-traumatized parrot.
Find a bird breeder near you with this bird breeder directory http://birdbreeders.com/
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