You’ve fallen totally and deeply in love with that one special bird. It is sooooo cute and sweet. Only thing is, it isn’t weaned yet. The breeder or pet shop clerk tells you if you buy it now, you can easily finish the handfeeding and your bond with the baby will be much closer because it will see you as it’s parent.Does this sound familiar? It WON’T if you are working with a reputable store or breeder. Only irresponsible people will try to sell you on this idea. They are more concerned with their profits and losses than they are about you or the bird you are considering “adopting”.
A person who is inexperienced in handfeeding and the weaning process SHOULD NOT purchase a baby until it is fully weaned and has been eating on it’s own for at least a week to 10 days.
Don’t let the breeder or the pet store clerk convince you that you will have a closer bond to your new baby if you finish the handfeeding process! If the breeder properly socialized the baby during the handfeeding period, they will bond closely to any human even after they are fully weaned. This is just a lazy breeder’s (pet shop owner’s) way of getting out of dealing with one of the most difficult periods of handfeeding. The possibility of the baby dying during the stress of weaning and the trouble of handfeeding a bird who doesn’t really want to still be fed but can’t maintain their weight without it are greatest at this time. This is when some diseases such as Polyomavirus, Psittacine Beak and Feather, and other diseases present themselves. DO NOT fall into this trap. You are being conned!
Have you ever heard of a “bill of goods”? Well, don’t buy this one!
The weaning process needs to be monitored (weight gains/losses, food intake, droppings, etc.). This cannot be done properly by a person who’s had no experience with handfeeding.
Weaning is a stressful period for the baby as well as the handfeeder. When a baby is under the stresses of weaning at the same time as they are having to adjust to a completely new environment and schedules it leaves their systems open to too many opportunistic bacteria and some viruses. If you purchase a baby who has not been completely weaned by the breeder, you are taking a chance with the babies life being at stake. Nobody wants to lose the baby they have fallen so deeply in love with. The loss of your new baby would be hard enough to handle without the feelings of guilt you would feel from not knowing if you were in some way partially responsible for it’s death.
In my opinion, if a breeder sells a baby who is not weaned to an inexperienced person, the breeder is very irresponsible and doesn’t care about the baby, the buyer or their reputation.
If you want to be a good and responsible bird “parent”, PLEASE, DO NOT buy an unweaned bird. The bonding you’ll have with a well socialized baby will be the same as if you had been the handfeeder the last few days. The rewards of waiting greatly outweigh the risks of not waiting.