It is often advisable for the beginner to purchase young birds as their history is obviously documented and probably have more virtues than vices. Older birds may be purchased if the reputation of the seller can be established. The question arises which species to begin with.
It is often the best policy to purchase inexpensive and fully acclimatised parrots initially. By doing so, the opportunity to gain experience without huge financial loss will derive benefits. Once the choice has been made and a pair of parrots has been selected, it is better to collect, even if this means a long journey.
An experienced parrot breeder will have little difficulty in diagnosing that a bird is healthy. Those new to the hobby may not find it quite so easy. A parrot should initially be observed from a distance to ensure the bird does not feel under threat. All parrots viewed at close distance tend to sit tight even if feeling ill. A healthy parrot should always be feather tight and active.
Handling your perspective purchase is also advisable but often quite difficult. The condition of a bird can be judged by feeling the breast bone which should not protrude sharply. Further inspection of the eyes, which should be round and bright, as eyes in parrots can be susceptible to inflammation. The loss of toe nails is not a major drawback in breeding parrots, although it is beneficial for the male to have these attributes for gripping when copulation takes place. Droppings should not be thin and watery and if the bird is in a cage and fresh paper has been placed under it for your benefit take great care that it has not been done for some hidden reason, i.e. the droppings are thin and watery and the seller does not wish you to be alarmed. The surrounding feathers of the vent area must be dry and clean.
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FROM "BREEDING PARROTS IN AVICULTURE" A PARROTCARE PUBLICATION FOR MORE
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