What to do if we don't have a baby for you??

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We are purposely not big breeders having only one to two pairs of most species. The only species I have multiple pairs of are the Green cheeks, for we enjoy raising all of the various mutations.  The only bird I can predict that I will for sure have available is the Green cheek because of this.  With only a single pair of birds, it is hard to predict a pattern, for their laying cycles are dependent on outdoor temperature and humidity.
 
The most I can offer is that I promise to file your email address and then try to notify you when I do have eggs. My file of "potential buyers" is overwhelming though and our babies are reserved best by deposit.

 

I wrote this article to those of you who have written us requesting to reserve a baby. I don't like just replying with "sorry" and a "hope you find your baby soon..." If it is our belief system of raising babies that motivated you to write to us, then here is a list of criteria to look for in a breeder. The list below is not exclusive, but just concepts for you to consider. I would look for:

 
* A small breeder who has multiple people in the home helping with their babies (so many breeders have just one or two people taking care of 50 babies or more at a time).
 
* A breeder with an active household with maybe even children and other pets. The more a baby is exposed to changes, people and situations, the more flexible that baby will be later on in life.
 
* A breeder who abundantly weans. If you don't know what this term means, look for "abundance weaning" and "Phoebe Greene Linden" using your Google browser. A breeder should not be able to tell you a date when your baby will wean. It should be up to the baby!
 
* A breeder who is allows their babies lots of fly time and doesn't clip till about the week before baby goes home. Read why here. As described on that link, flying to a young bird is critical to their emotional health and quality of a pet later on in life. Their first clip should be a "baby clip" and shouldn't be done until the baby is just about ready to go home.
 
* A breeder who keeps a closed aviary. This means also that the breeder is not a bird broker. Bird brokers greatly increase the disease risk. Brokers are those who buy and sell or raise babies for other breeders. This also means that the breeder does not take their babies to Bird Marts and then, return them into their home without quarantine. Read why by clicking here.
 
*A breeder who does not smoke. Read why by clicking here.
 
*A breeder who is willing to flight suit/harness train the baby. I like this because even if you don't use a flight suit later on in life, it does make the breeder touch your baby all over to get the flight suit on. It forces the breeder to really handle the baby all over, lift its wings and move its feet around. There are other ways for a breeder to teach a baby that touch all over is acceptable and feels good, but the flight suit has worked for us. It also encourages your breeder to take your baby on walks and outside so that the baby is more accepting of change later on in life. Read more here.
 
*A breeder who is willing to advise you on aspects of bird care before you buy the baby and afterwards. 
 
*A breeder who gives you a written health guarantee with time to obtain a vet check.
 
* A breeder who allows her chicks to remain with the parents for 2-3 weeks. This allows for the mom to pass on good digestive flora. When breeders handfeed from day one, the babies never are as big as when the parents feed for those first few weeks. Sometimes, it is necessary for breeders to feed day one chicks, so there are exceptions to this rule.
 
* A breeder who feeds both the parents and the weaning babies a diet complete with fresh veggies, fruits, pastas, grains.
 
* A breeder who either syringe feeds or spoon feeds the babies. These methods are slower means of feeding, but it is a time of gentle handling and cooing to the babies that makes them good pets later on. I do not agree with routinely gavage feeding chicks.  Using this latter method, the babies do not even taste or feel the food.

*A breeder who has past references and will share them with you.

 

I have learned the hard way not to recommend breeders unless I have gone to their place and seen it first hand. One example is when I sent  a buyer to someone who was smoking in the same room as their babies, and I did not even know this person smoked.

On the other hand, I also am not going to name names of bad breeders for these situations did not happen first hand to me and I don't want to  gossip. This is why I placed some criteria of what I would look for in a good breeder on the website. There are many breeders who do not wean their babies properly or give good advise. Click here to see a typical email I get on my computer. This so saddens me! But, there are many breeders out there who do a wonderful job, too.

If you are looking for a particular bird, you may want to contact the names involved with the various bird clubs and ask them for references. I have a link to names and clubs here in AZ. The members involved in the clubs often know who is raising what type of babies.

 
I would investigate first hand and decide with the criteria that I mention if you like our philosophy.  There is also a great article on Land of Vos that lists criteria to look for in choosing a breeder. Click here to read Carolyn Swicegood's advice.
 
Blessings,
Beth
 

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