How to Choose a Responsible Breeder
Choosing a well known, highly respected breeder is important when buying your parakeet. Locate a breeder that specializes in parakeets. Don’t pick a breeder immediately. Visit several different breeders that have been recommended to you and take a look at their facilities. Check to see if the cages are kept clean and there are no bad smells. Make sure the birds look healthy and there is no discharge from the eyes. The birds should be alert and lively.
Questions to Ask the Breeder
I’ve placed this section under breeders because breeders are a very popular source of parakeets. However, these questions really apply to pet stores and other sources of parakeets as well. If you’re getting a parakeet from someone, you should always ask a lot of questions.
Find out as much as you can from each breeder. Have a list of questions in hand so that you won’t feel overwhelmed and forget what you need to ask. Some of the questions you might ask are:
- What food has the bird been eating? Making changes to a parakeet’s diet isn’t easy and shouldn’t be done right after you bring him home. Find out from the breeder what food he has been providing and continue feeding your bird the same thing. Make sure it is a healthy diet of seed and vegetables or pellets. Parakeets should not eat only seed. They won’t receive the full amount of nutrients unless they have a balanced diet of seed and vegetables or pellets.
- Has the breeder been hand feeding his parakeets and are they weaned? Hand feeding the parakeets at an early age helps them to socialize with people. And, unless you are an experienced bird owner, you will not want to buy a parakeet that has not yet been weaned.
- How has the breeder’s parakeets been bathing, if at all? Most parakeets love their baths. Some enjoy being spritzed with a spray bottle. Others like to play in the sink with a little dribble coming out of the faucet. Some parakeets would prefer a bath attached to their cage so they can take it by themselves. Ask the breeder what the bird is used to. If your parakeet hasn’t been introduced to water and bathing at an early age, he may not want to bathe. The best thing for this situation is to attach a birdbath to the side of the cage and let him check it out in his own time. Eventually, he will figure out what it’s for and how much fun it is.
- How old is the parakeet? You probably don’t want a parakeet that is less than 6 weeks old. There’s nothing wrong with getting an older bird, but make sure that he’s tame and the two of you are compatible.
- Is this bird a male or a female? If it’s important for your bird to talk, you can increase your chances by selecting a male bird. Female parakeets need to nibble and gnaw on things more than males. Remember, male and female parakeets both make great pets.
- What are the common health problems associated with parakeets? Knowing what illnesses might affect your parakeet will help you recognize when your bird is sick and when he needs to visit a vet.
- Is there a sales contract with the purchase? Make sure there aren’t any restrictions in the sales contract that you are not aware of such as whether or not you are allowed to breed the bird you purchase. There might also be restrictions on the resale of the bird.
- Does the breeder offer a health guarantee? This is probably the most important question for you to ask. Having a health guarantee from the breeder not only lets you know that the breeder is willing to work with you if your bird is sick but also gives you options if that turns out to be the case.
- How long has he been breeding parakeets? You will be better off buying a parakeet from someone that has been in the business for a while.
- Has the bird had its wings clipped and its nails trimmed? You will probably want to keep your birds wings clipped. Not only does it make the bird easier to catch if he becomes stubborn and won’t get back into his cage after being out for a while, but it is also a safety issue. There are many things in your home that could be dangerous to your bird if he is allowed to fly around such as hot stoves, hot water, toilets, open doors, and poisonous plants.
- Does the parakeet have a leg band? A leg band is a circular metal band on the leg of a parakeet. It’s basically an ID bracelet for your bird.
- Can you recommend a good avian vet? If you don’t already have an avian veterinarian, this is an important question to ask. In fact, it’s probably the best way to find a good avian vet.
- Can I call you with questions? If this is your first parakeet, you’ll definitely have questions later. Most breeders will be happy to help you out.
Don’t be surprised if a breeder asks you questions in return such as:
- Is this your first parakeet or even your first bird?
- Why do you want a parakeet?
- Do you have children at home and are they old enough to learn how to handle a parakeet?
- Does everyone in the household work during the day or will someone be at home with the bird most of the time so he won’t become lonely?
How Does the Breeder Answer Your Questions?
How does the breeder answer your questions? Is he helpful and honest? Does he listen to your concerns? You will also want to listen carefully to what your breeder tells you. He will be able to help you decide if a parakeet is the right pet for you and which bird is the right one for your family. He should be happy to show you around and let you view his birds. If he doesn’t want to answer your questions or let you look around, politely say goodbye and then find another breeder to visit.
Is There a Sales Contract and Health Guarantee?
Most breeders will be willing to provide you with a written sales contract and a health guarantee. They will be more than happy to help you after the sale if you have any questions or concerns. They are very interested in hearing about the home their bird will be going to.
What if They Don’t Have a Parakeet Available?
When you find a breeder that you like, don’t be put off if they don’t have any parakeets available right at that moment. Waiting for a new bird may be hard but it could be the best thing for you. You might even be able to specify how you would like your bird raised in the beginning such as if you want him hand fed, what type of food you want given to him, and how much you want him handled and out of the cage. Most breeders already have a way of doing things but they should be willing to listen to your requests and make suggestions if needed.