The following info is intended for my customers so that they may know what their babies have been exposed to and experienced during the weaning process. I will also explain the purchase process to you and what you can expect when purchasing a baby from us.
First, about our breeding pairs. My pairs live in our full Sun light basement in large cages which are spacious and arranged with lots of toys and foraging opportunities. They are fed a quality seed, pellet, sprouts, and fresh foods diet. I give them opportunities to nest when appropriate and give them resting periods when needed.
When my pairs decide conditions are just right they bless us with their babies. Some of my pairs are great parents and some aren't. When possible I leave the babies with their parents for at least 2 weeks. If things aren't going well in the nest I will take the babies away earlier.
Babies are placed in brooders and fed frequently between sun up and late evening.
My babies are sold from my waiting lists. Once I see how many babies hatch in a nest I will contact my customers from the waiting lists. If you are first on my waiting list you will have first choice of the group of babies, second on my list will have second choice and so forth. Customers do not have to choose which baby they want until the babies are feathered.
If you do not live close enough to pick up your baby I can send your baby home on a Delta flight. The price is about $150 for the flight and we charge $40 for the travel carrier. I have been sending babies home on Delta flights for many years and have never had a problem. Experience has taught me how to prepare the flight carrier for the comfort of your baby. If the flight is long babies do tend to be a little tired upon arrival, but after a good night's sleep they are ready to bond with their new families.
I will ask for a deposit when the babies are taken from the nest. Please read our Deposit and Health Guarantee agreement. Final payment is due two weeks before expected weaning date if your baby is being sent to you on a Flight. If you are picking up your baby you can pay the balance due when you pick up your weaned baby.
From the time the babies are removed from the nest I take weekly pictures and videos of the babies for their new parents. Picture and video updates are posted on Facebook. If you are one of my customers and would like to download the pictures I also post them on my Flickr. I do not email the links to videos and photos directly to my customers each week, so please check for updates on my Facebook page.
Babies are kept in heated brooders till they have a few feathers and begin walking around and exploring. At this stage they are moved to a larger unheated brooder with perches, and toys, a water bottle, and food bowls. They are kept in the large containers until they start to fly.
Once the babies start trying to fly I move them to cages. At this stage they are perching well and adapt very quickly to a cage. Just as in nature the babies are learning independence now. They are learning to eat on their own, practicing their flight skills, and learning how fun it is to play with toys, us and each other.
Our babies are played with at each feeding time and during brooder and cage cleaning times. They are allowed to fly, use us as their own personal play gyms, and explore different rooms in the house. When they go home they are used to being a part of the family. They join us for TV watching, they often "help me" clean cages, do laundry, and chop their veggies. They often will join us in the shower also.
I haven't talked about flight much, but I would like my new parents to read about how we teach our babies to fly and live in a home as fully flighted birds. Here is a link to this info.
Babies are introduced to a pellet mix called Hagen Tropimix in their weaning brooders. This food has pellets, dried fruit, dehydrated peas, and peanuts in it. Babies seem to love this mix. Once I see them starting to eat this food I begin offering them our sprout mix. When they are moved to a cage and are eating the sprout mix and fresh veggies I offer them a seed mix. Right around this time they will not want baby food any longer and will be eating quite a bit of the sprouts, veggies, and seed mix. They pretty much ignore the pellets at this time. Once they stop asking for the baby food and are eating enough food on their own to begin gaining some of their weight lost during weaning they will be ready to go home.
Once the baby goes home I recommend you have a good seed mix available, fresh vegetables, sprouts, and pellets. I know lots of vets will tell you DON'T feed SEEDS!! However, seeds are not so bad. You just don't want your bird to eat ONLY seeds. The seeds and the fresh foods are comfort foods to your baby bird. Birds will often be nervous about eating in a new home so don't worry about what your bird eats....just make sure he is eating. If all he wants to eat is seeds, then that is fine for now. After a couple of weeks you can start giving less seeds, and more fresh foods and pellets. Eventually you will want to be giving your bird a diet of pellets with fresh foods. Seeds can be given as treats at this stage.
A baby should have food in their cage at all times. Fresh foods should be fed when you are able to remove them after a couple of hours to prevent spoilage. Of course water should also be available at all times. Our babies learn to drink from water bottles in their weaning brooders. However, I also give them bowls of water to play and bathe in. If you decide to use a water bottle, please make sure your baby is drinking from your bottle before you take away the water bowl.
For a full description on how we feed our flock please read this info
Many new parents will ask me how to handle the first few days with their new baby. Each baby is different, but most babies will be ready to play with you as soon as you get home. Some may be a little shy and scared. Just follow your Baby's lead. If the baby is looking right at you and paying attention to you....then they are interested in interacting with you. If the baby continues to turn away from you and flies away, then it may be time for them to rest in their cage. Just take things slow and pay close attention to your baby's body language. Remember, your bird is a baby and will adjust to your life quickly, however make sure to give your baby time to sleep and rest in their cage. On the first day you will especially want to make sure your baby has time to get comfortable with his new cage and find his favorite perch and food bowls before bedtime.
Weaning times are unpredictable in birds. I will give you an estimated weaning time, however, I wont let a baby go home until they are not only eating on their own, but also gaining some weight. If a baby is not allowed to wean at their own pace they can become insecure and can have lifelong confidence issues. I will usually give you a heads up when I think your baby will be ready to go home, and then I will confirm a go home date when the baby is fully weaned.
While you are waiting for your new baby to wean you are welcome to email me at any time with questions. I am happy to answer them. I also ask you to read this info on Safety and Precautions in your home before your baby comes home.
I think it is important that my customers do their homework before adding a parrot to their family. I am happy to answer any of your questions, but I think it is a good idea for you to get information from other sources than just me.
I recommend the Avian Avenue Parrot Forum to my customers. The posters on this forum are very knowledgeable about pet parrots and are willing to give great advice.
I also recommend the following web page: The Bird Channel. This web page has alot of useful information not only for a new parrot owner but for all of us who live with parrots.