Buying unweaned conure - Talk Parrots Forums

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-12-2014, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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Buying unweaned conure

Ok, I am not sure if I posted on this forum yet or not, but I am bringing home a new GCC soon. The breeder will allow unweaned chicks to go home provided the new owner has shown proficient capability (by spending time at the home actually feeding there) and knowledge to finish the weaning process at its new home.
I'd really like this post not to end up being a long touchy debate about the ethics of the situation as I'm sure there are strong feelings on both sides of the issue. I have done a lot of research about this breeder and I am very happy with what I have found.
Anyway, what I'd like, is to hear from people who may have been through this. Does it help with bonding or has anyone experienced OVER bonding due to this? I got my first tiel years ago and now I think he was probably too young to bring home. I think he was probably force weaned and he was very needy and hard to break of his borderline obsession with me. Everything is wonderful now but it was definitely a learning process for both of us.
This is my first conure though so I am open to advice. I'd like a well bonded, well adjusted baby. I am very comfortable with my own ability as I have bred and raised and hand fed many kinds of birds and mammals. With my work schedule I couldn't bring it home more than a week or two before it is done weaning, so it's not all that big of a deal, really. I am just looking for input from anyone with firsthand experience. Thank you in advance and sorry for the long post!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-12-2014, 11:50 PM


 
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I highly doubt you will find anyone "strong feelings" in favor of bringing home unweaned babies...just saying.

Let us say, for the sake of making a point, that the baby did bond more strongly to you because you hand fed it; it would see you as its parent, no? And what happens when that baby bird grows up? Would YOU want to mate with your mother? Of course not. A parrot going through adolescence is naturally going to want to distance itself from its mother and find a mate. Which can lead to aggression, or the bird suddenly "switching" allegiance on you and favoring someone else. Of course this can happen with any baby bird, not just one you hand-fed, but that's kind of what I'm saying. A lot can be wrong when you are seen as the parent, which is why I prefer to work with adult birds.

(Also, would you buy an unweaned puppy or kitten in the hopes of it bonding more strongly with you? Why should it be any different with a bird?)

I got all of my parrots as adults and we have wonderful bonds (except one, who came from an abusive past and is not tame at all, but she is a different story; and even she likes me in her own way). You can forge a bond with a bird at ANY age...it doesn't have to be a baby, let alone an unweaned one.

Buying unweaned is NOT worth the risk...so much can go wrong.

Last edited by aether-drifter; 05-12-2014 at 11:55 PM.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2014, 01:07 AM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aether-drifter View Post
I highly doubt you will find anyone "strong feelings" in favor of bringing home unweaned babies...just saying.

Let us say, for the sake of making a point, that the baby did bond more strongly to you because you hand fed it; it would see you as its parent, no? And what happens when that baby bird grows up? Would YOU want to mate with your mother? Of course not. A parrot going through adolescence is naturally going to want to distance itself from its mother and find a mate. Which can lead to aggression, or the bird suddenly "switching" allegiance on you and favoring someone else. Of course this can happen with any baby bird, not just one you hand-fed, but that's kind of what I'm saying. A lot can be wrong when you are seen as the parent, which is why I prefer to work with adult birds.

(Also, would you buy an unweaned puppy or kitten in the hopes of it bonding more strongly with you? Why should it be any different with a bird?)

I got all of my parrots as adults and we have wonderful bonds (except one, who came from an abusive past and is not tame at all, but she is a different story; and even she likes me in her own way). You can forge a bond with a bird at ANY age...it doesn't have to be a baby, let alone an unweaned one.

Buying unweaned is NOT worth the risk...so much can go wrong.
Thank you for your input. All I meant by my comment about "strong feelings" was that I was specifically Not trying to be inciteful or create a negative thread. I was trying to preface that I would like the thread to remain positive with feedback and welcomed everyone's thoughts.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2014, 07:57 AM


 
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Good luck, I didn't think it was legal to sell unweaned baby birds, although I may be wrong on that, just thought it was something I have heard. I personally would not want an unweaned baby, too much can go wrong. I hope your baby turns out to be everything you are hoping for.. I have a beautiful pineapple green cheek and love her to bits!
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2014, 09:50 AM



 
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I think a lot of breeders and stores try to put the idea in to customers heads that they have to buy an unweaned bird for that bond to be there. If you can bond with a parents raised, hands off aviary bird that has never been handled before then what difference would it make? I'm in no way having a go at you what so ever, I'm just saying it is a very dangerous experience as if anything happens, it's your responsibility. On this forum we have seen people both unexperienced and experienced buying unweaned birds and I don't think there's been many with a good out come

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2014, 11:40 AM


 
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I think some shady breeders will tell people that they need to finish weaning a bird themselves for a closer bond, but in reality it's just because it means faster turnaround/more profit for them. A breeder that will sell unweaned is irresponsible at best; not someone I would want to buy from on principle.

Since you are worried about over-bonding, I would look for a breeder that coparents, or lets the parents raise the babies and simply handles them a lot. These types of birds tend to be the most well-balanced, since they know they are birds but have been socialized with both their own species and with humans. It's win/win! Just my two cents.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2014, 12:47 PM


 
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I agree with Aether-drifter, the best adjusted birds are babies that were co-parented. I don't buy baby parrots (all of mine are rescues, rehomes or adoptions) and I have no experience handraising them for pets so I can't help you with your question. I've raised quite a few baby birds but they were all wild birds like robins, blue jays, a raven, a couple of canaries (not good, they never sing as much as the parent raised ones but there I had no other option as I had no hens I could use as nurses at the time) and quakers when I was a very young bird but these quakers were raised to be released back to the wild.

I have to tell you, though, that I don't agree with selling unweaned babies and I would automatically distrust any breeder who would. I don't even agree with taking babies from their parents and hand-raising them.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2014, 02:27 PM


 
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An unweaned solitary kept conure baby can't build up a normal parrot personality.
You might get a needy parrot with "borderline obsession" again.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2014, 05:41 PM


 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aether-drifter View Post
I think some shady breeders will tell people that they need to finish weaning a bird themselves for a closer bond, but in reality it's just because it means faster turnaround/more profit for them. A breeder that will sell unweaned is irresponsible at best; not someone I would want to buy from on principle.

Since you are worried about over-bonding, I would look for a breeder that coparents, or lets the parents raise the babies and simply handles them a lot. These types of birds tend to be the most well-balanced, since they know they are birds but have been socialized with both their own species and with humans. It's win/win! Just my two cents.
That's actually easier said than done....I've been looking (not that I can handle one yet) for amazons--I remember when I was younger we had a wild caught amazon....and although a little timid, it wasn't as neurotic as some of the birds I see in petstores. All the birds I come across are either hand fed or parent-raised aviary birds--actually from reading between the lines, they look like "leftover" breeders.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2014, 06:23 PM


 
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You're right, sadly. There aren't enough breeders who coparent. I suppose the next best thing would be a breeder that at least waits a few weeks to pull the babies for hand-feeding, and socializes them with other birds.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-14-2014, 10:53 AM


 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wyrinth View Post
That's actually easier said than done....I've been looking (not that I can handle one yet) for amazons--I remember when I was younger we had a wild caught amazon....and although a little timid, it wasn't as neurotic as some of the birds I see in petstores. All the birds I come across are either hand fed or parent-raised aviary birds--actually from reading between the lines, they look like "leftover" breeders.
I might know one from another forum. I am not 100% sure she co-parents her amazons but I can ask her and, if she does, I could put you in touch with her. She is actually quite knowledgeable about parrots and appears to take very good care of her birds...
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-14-2014, 04:37 PM


 
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Oh, I'm in no way ready for an amazon right now . Just looking to see if there is availability . A wish list.....but thanks anyway.

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