The Sale of Unweaned Chicks

We've all heard about this issue before. I'd read about it many times in various sources but never really thought it was that much of a problem. I personally believed most pet stores, breeders and buyers were smarter than that. I was wrong.

Lately I've been hanging out in many of the various newsgroups available for bird owners. It astounds me how many posts are from people asking questions after they bought unweaned chicks from a pet store. Most of the fault lies with the stores for encouraging this sort of thing, but blame also lies on the buyer. Why would anyone unexperienced with this sort of thing want to try it out? Do they think there are no weaned chicks out there ready for purchase? Are they afraid the bird won't bond with them unless they handfeed it? Are they just ignorant of the number of things that can go wrong? It disgusts me how many chicks must be dying at the hands of inexperienced feeders who didn't know they were doing anything wrong.

Unfortunately I think much of this is caused by the "purchase now ask questions later" attitude of Americans. It is sad that so few people actually do research before buying something. Most people don't even research before buying any animal, let alone an unweaned chick. Why purchase a car without finding out what it drives like, what options it carries or even before you've learned how to drive? Just to give you an idea of how many things can go wrong, here's a list made from Parrots: Handfeeding and Nursery Management: aspiration, aspergillosis, bacterial infections, secondary infections, beak injuries, birth defects (left side esophagus, curved toes, distorted head and neck, short keel, missing crop, missing keel), bleeding (from injury, umbilibus, toes and feet), broken bones, burned crops, clogged cloaca, clogged nares, conjuctivitus, constricted toes, constipation, crooked beak, crop statis, improper feeding and brooding, cuts or lacerations of the skin, dark areas at the base of the skull, dehydration, diarrhea, dry skin, fungal problems, lethargy, malnutrition, stunting, nasal discharge, stretched crop, gasping, psittacosis, punctured crop or esophogus, skin color changes, skin temperature changes, sour crop, splayed legs, subcutaneous emphysema, deformed feathers, umbilical problems, viral disease, vomiting, blockage and yolk sac poisoning. Most breeders can't even deal with all of these; how could a novice possibly recognize these problems, let alone treat them?

Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with breeders selling unweaned chicks to people they know for a fact are competent handfeeders, but pet stores selling to anyone that walks in the door and slaps money on the counter?

TAYLOR IS GONE Selling Unweaned Babies So You're Going to Buy an Unweaned Bird?

Feisty Feathers
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