These are extremely important questions to ask before you purchase a bird!
If you do feel as though the person selling you a bird
is not answering the following questions truthfully or does not know the answer, DO NOT purchase a bird from that pet store or breeder.
Questions to ask a breeder:
1. How often do you breed your pairs?
2. Have the birds been hand-fed or parent raised? If hand-fed, what techniques do you use?
3. Do you handle and socialize your babies?
4. What sort of written health guarantee do you offer?
5. What foods do you wean your birds on?
6. Can I call you with questions and concerns after taking the bird home?
Questions to ask a Pet Store:
1. What qualities do you expect in a breeder who supplies your birds? Are they local? Do you inspect their premises?
2. Did you or the breeder wean the bird?
3. Have you handled the bird regularly?
4. What foods have you been feeding the bird daily?
5. What sort of written health guarantee do you offer? (I personally would never purchase a pet store bird without a health guarantee)
6. Can I call with questions or concerns after taking the bird home?
Recognizing Signs of Illness:
It is unfortunately difficult to recognize illness in a bird, they have a natural defense to hide illness as protection against predators, many birds will attack and kill a bird that is injured or sick. Subtle signs to look for:
1. Fluffed appearance, when not sleeping
2. Discharge from nares (nasal area)
3. Stained and/or dirty vent, soft droppings, diarrhea, etc.
4. Wheezing sound
5. Feather deformities, obvious missing feathers, bald patches, etc
6. Lethargic or uninterested in activity or interaction
A Healthy bird will:
1. Have bright eyes
2. Have full healthy feathering
3. Have a well-groomed appearance
4. Have a clean nare and vent
5. Be active and alert
6. Interact and vocalize with cage mates