Questions a Reputable Breeder Should Be Asking You

Over the years, we have had the privilege of matching the perfect homes for our precious Parrot Haven babies. Kirsten is one of the few breeders who takes her responsibility to her Eclectus Babies seriously. It’s not just about raising healthy, happy and confident parrot babies – our responsibility includes finding a home where our babies will be happy.

A breeder worth their salt cares more about finding the right home for their baby parrot than they do about making a sale

Reading through the long list of client testimonials on our site is one indication that we have successfully done this. This success is owing in part to Kirsten’s rigorous interview process where she puts potential Parrot Haven parents through their paces. While some may find this process intimidating, the purpose of this is to quite simply gage the level of commitment that a potential client has toward our Eclectus babies.

No one is expected to be an expert. It’s okay to not know the answers to her questions, but what we really want to know is; are you going to take your responsibility to our baby seriously?

An Eckie’s Life
A lot of sacrifice goes into breeding for both the breeder and the Eckie parents who made your baby for you. It’s not simply a matter of “just feeding” the breeding pairs and pulling babies. There are health checks, special diet routines, care and maintenance for the aviaries and thats before a baby is even hatched! Once the baby is hatched, specialised diets are provided so that the baby is getting the right kind of nutrition from their Mums (who are fed by the male Eclectus).

Once the babies are ready, they are removed from the nest boxes to begin their hand-rearing. Baby Eclectus Parrots are fed every three to four hours. Our babies are fed a non-diluted Tropican™ formula which is world renown for being the ultimate in nutrition for baby parrots. Each day we spend time socialising with the babies in preparation for life with their new family. After 2 ½ months, we then begin the transition to solid food as we introduce new babies to fresh fruits and vegetables. As they progress to their new diet they also start exercising their wing muscles with rigorous “flap-practice”. Not too long after they begin taking their first little flights.

Within a period of 3-3 ½ months a baby Eclectus Parrot goes from hatched to weaned. The process during those months is exciting, busy and exhausting. So while you contemplate buying a fully-weaned, hand-tamed Eclectus Parrot baby, remember all the work that both the breeder and the breeding parents have gone through.

What to expect from a reputable breeder
Naturally, given the hard work involved in breeding, a good breeder is not going to have the “first come, best dressed” attitude. No breeder should ever sell a parrot to an individual without first understanding a potential clients aptitude in caring for parrots. Each breeder will have their own process for handling this, but as a potential buyer, you should be wary of any breeder who doesn’t show this level of concern over their parrot babies.

If a breeder cares for their young parrots, then you can expect to be asked the following questions:

  • Have you had a parrot before? (if so, what kind?)
  • What made you choose this breed of parrot to buy?
  • What do you know about this breed?
  • Are you familiar with the proper diet these parrots require?
  • How much time will you be able to spend socialising with the parrot?
  • What is your family life like? (eg, are you single, married, with children? The purpose of this question is to gage whether a parrot baby that is more outgoing and energetic is more suited to you, or one with a calm demeanor)
  • What other animals do you currently have?
  • Do you know about the dangers of Heavy Metal Poisoning?

These are only a few of the most basic questions that Kirsten will ask of potential clients. The answers to these help her gage if the client is even ready for an Eclectus. Often, people will contact us wanting an Eclectus parrot without really knowing the level of commitment required to keep a happy and healthy Eckie. There have been occasions where once people realise how much is involved in an Eclectus, they decide to look into purchasing a smaller breed of parrot – or putting off their decision to buy altogether until they have done a little more research.

From a financial point of view, this might not make much sense – but that is what separates reputable breeders from the rest of the herd. A breeder worth their salt cares more about finding the right home for their baby parrot than they do about making a sale. In the 11 years that Kirsten has been breeding parrots – she has never once had a baby not find the right home. On occasion, it may require more time to find the right person, but it always happens.

Whether are looking to purchase a hand-tamed parrot or simply after reliable information about your parrot species be sure to find the right source. Look for a breeder or an individual that is passionate about parrots and their care. Make sure they have the experience to support their advice. Doing so benefits you, the breeding industry and most importantly the parrots themselves.

Beware of Unethical Breeding Practices

During this past year we have received an alarming number of emails from parrot owners who purchased their babies from seemingly reputable breeders only to find out later that their precious babies had pre-existing health conditions. When they tried to contact the breeder later they were either completely ignored or they could not provide the owner with information regarding the health and condition of the breeding parents – because they did not know.

After a bit of research, we’ve discovered a couple of practices that we believe are extremely harmful – not only to the unfortunate people who purchase these babies, but for the treatment of the breeding parrots in general.

Selling Third-Party Weaned Babies
One such practice that two of our Parrot Haven clients had experienced was the selling of third-party weaned babies. Third party basically entails someone outside of the breeder whom you are purchasing from is the one who has hatched and in some cases raised the parrot baby. What this means is that the “breeder” that you are buying from has not raised your baby. In the case of one of our clients, the breeder they originally bought from did not even know how to contact the individual who originally sold them the Eclectus baby!

The dangers of this practice are fairly obvious. The most detrimental aspect being that it encourages an anonymous breeding industry where the quality of life for the poor breeding birds and their babies is often neglected.

Aviculture is a serious profession. You are dealing with very fragile lives and the life of any parrot cannot be treated with a ‘trial-and-error’ attitude.

While Kirsten has always had a passion for Parrots – she did not even approach breeding until she had done extensive research both with Parrots and with the species she wanted to specialise in – Eclectus. This research took her years, during which time she consulted with other experienced breeders like Rob Pollard who is well respected in the field.

Breeding requires a lot of work and total commitment for the people involved. Eclectus Parrots are very difficult parrots to hand-raise due to their finicky eating bahaviour. Because of this, a breeder who wants to earn a solid reputation needs more than just passion. They need to be committed to their passion. This is where the anonymity of third-party breeders creates problems.

Answers to questions like these are difficult to impossible to ascertain:

  • How passionate are they about breeding?
  • How long have they been breeding?
  • What is their breeding setup like? (i.e. how are their breeding parrots housed, cared for etc.)
  • What diets are the breeding parents fed?
  • What formula are the babies fed? (With a lot of ‘backyard breeders’ babies are fed baby food designed for human babies not parrot babies. Each parrot species will have their own dietary requirements so it’s important to feed the right parrot babies the correct formula.)
  • Have the breeding parents ever suffered health problems?
  • Was the baby parent raised or were they hand-raised from the egg?

Answers to these questions help the potential parrot owner decide if they even want to purchase from the breeder and if your breeder is selling a third-party baby then they may not even know the answers to these questions.

It is important to ask any breeder the question up front: “Do you raise your own parrot babies or do you sell parrot babies from other breeders?” If they do sell parrot babies other breeders, then the choice is up to you whether to follow up with additional questions regarding the health of the parrot parents and the baby.

No Follow-up Service
Another problem we’ve helped people with, is the terrible lack of follow-up service offered by some breeders. One of our clients purchased their first Eclectus from a breeder with seemingly high reputation here in Australia, only to find that they would not offer any follow-up service after “the sale” was made. In the case of our client, they incurred a vet bill of over $1000 only months after they brought their new baby home due to a pre-existing condition.

Unfortunately – unless people know to ask – they often find out too late that some breeders really have no interest in their own parrot babies once they are sold.

This is a terrible practice because ultimately the parrot babies end up losing. Breeders who are not committed to their own parrot babies are probably not interested in finding appropriate homes for their babies and will typically sell to the first person who calls. This is extremely sad as Kirsten has turned more people down than she has ever sold to. After 11 years of breeding, that is a lot of people!

If you are looking for a good breeder, be careful of any wording that may alert you to a low level of commitment from them. Often if they advertise that “all sales are final” or that “the parrot is your responsibility once you have them in your possession”, then chances are you should be very cautious.

A reputable breeder does not need to worry about what happens when their parrot baby is sent to their new home if they have done their work and found the perfect home in the first place. If they keep their breeding parrots in good health, there is no reason not to offer follow-up service. If they have raised their parrot baby on a balanced, top-quality formula, then again they should have no worries about providing follow-up service.

Over the years, Kirsten has provided so many people with help at no cost because she cares about the welfare of pet parrots. Often, when she has asked people if they have contacted their breeder, the response is usually “I tried”.

We work extremely hard to encourage positive change in the way that parrots are kept as pets and how they are bred. The best thing you can do as a hopeful parrot owner is be aware of the dangers. Look for the warning signs of an unethical breeder. Most importantly, interview the breeder you are interested in purchasing from. If they are worth their weight in gold – then they will respect that you care about the health of your future parrot baby and how they are raised.

Hopefully, when enough people can do this then perhaps these breeders may change their ways and in the end, the parrots will win.

Eclectus Parrots – How Do You Source Reliable Information?

Over the years, we have helped hundreds of people with their questions on Eclectus Parrots. Everything ranging from Eclectus diets and behaviour to hormones and emergency care. Having bred Eclectus for over 11 years now, Kirsten has a unique perspective that  has proven invaluable to not only Parrot Haven clients, but for people  all over the world.

The internet is rife with “info” about Eclectus Parrots-and some of it is even true. Don’t always believe what you read. That is sound advice especially in the copy+paste internet age where bad advice can spread like a wildfire. Information repeated has the tendency to become fact when it shouldn’t. Accurate information is extremely important especially when the difference can mean life or death for your precious bird.

If you can’t get an impression of the person providing advice on their own website, chances are there is a reason for that. Be careful. People experienced in a breed of parrot are easily identifiable

Where to go for advice?
The responsibility for gleaning sound advice rests on your shoulders. Do your homework. Before taking anyone’s word for it-find out who they are. There are a lot of websites on Eclectus Parrots but sadly many of them plagiarise information in the attempt to sound like an authority when they are really nothing more than hobbyists who are ill-equipped to provide sound follow-up advice. There is nothing wrong with being a parrot lover and wanting to help, but often when people have to make someone else’s work look like their own, information becomes distorted. Suddenly advice on where to place your new Eckie’s cage goes from ‘a quiet area of the house’ (which is sound advice) to ‘a busy area of the house’ (which is not sound advice).

If you can’t get an impression of the person providing advice on their own website, chances are there is a reason for that. Be careful. People experienced in a breed of parrot are easily identifiable. Take a quick tour of any breeder’s website and get a feel for who they are. If you have trouble doing that then you should probably move on.

What makes good advice?
When Kirsten is approached by a parrot lover in need of help, she not only provides advice, but she explains the reasoning behind the advice. This is extremely beneficial for two reasons. First, it helps people understand the difference between the alternatives – why one method is better than the other. Secondly, it helps make advice memorable. People remember information that they understand.

When people have questions about why their Eclectus is behaving differently, Kirsten is able to explain the various phases of development that all Eclectus parrots have. She is able to do this because she has bred them for over 11 years and keeps companion Eclectus as well.

Help spread good information
For as efficient as the internet is for spreading misleading advice, it can be a wonderful tool for delivering good information too. Back when we setup our first website, our goal was just that – to help dispel so many of the myths about Eclectus parrots and educate people on the best ways to care for them. We have been elated to have helped several people reunite with their lost parrots through our blog. The Parrot Chatter forum that we setup two years ago has also been a fun way for us to keep in contact with our wonderful clients and other parrot lovers we’ve had the honour to meet.

We are working hard to help get the right information out there. The best way to help is to arm yourself with the right advice and repeat it. Information that is repeated has a habit of becoming fact and when it’s the right information then everyone wins – especially our Eckies!

Heavy metal poisoning in parrots

Heavy Metal Poisoning

I have received many calls over the years from people whose parrot died suddenly and for no apparent reason, leaving the owners baffled and distraught. After questioning them about the symptoms and the events leading up to the parrot’s death, it’s often clear that the most likely cause of death was heavy metal poisoning (HMP). Sadly, many people don’t know or understand the very real dangers that heavy metal poisoning (or heavy metal toxicity) poses to parrots.

HMP occurs when a parrot ingests a particle of heavy metal.  Once ingested it begins to poison the parrot, affecting the kidneys, blood cells, intestines and nervous system. This makes the parrot very ill and can cause rapid death. Continue reading

Eclectus Parrot Breeders

Parrot Haven has a new communal aviary

Parrot Haven's conventional avaries Our Eckies enjoying their large flight

Proof that you can breed Eckies in a communal setting.

Hand Raised Eclectus Parrots

Meet Parrot Haven’s latest baby boy ‘Jasper’, baby of gorgeous Cletus and Peggy Sue.

Hand Raised Eclectus Parrot

Hand Raised Eclectus Parrot

ABOUT US

All our babies are raised in a loving family environment, spoon fed and they spend hours socialising and playing with us. We raise only babies born here at Parrot Haven (we are a closed aviary, we do not take in other breeders eclectus babies and raise as our own) and all of our breeding birds have been chosen for their gorgeous natures and temperaments that they pass onto their babies.

Our website and blog is filled with a great deal of  information about these magnificent parrots so please take the time to read through my articles as becoming a parrot owner is a lifelong commitment and we only sell to the very best homes.

We have our own forum dedicated to Eclectus lovers and we  welcome new members, its a great place to meet other Parrot Haven baby owners, chat about what its like to own an Eclectus Parrot and see our Testimonial Page on our website to hear our success stories.

We offer full follow up service for our babies

Feel confident in buying an eclectus from the Top Eclectus Parrot Breeder in Australia.

Eclectus Parrots for Sale

Meet Parrot Haven’s new feathered kids

Meet ‘Bindi’, she is the gorgeous daughter of Cletus and Lez, two of Parrot Havens most popular parents

ABOUT US

All our babies are raised in a loving family environment, spoon fed and they spend hours socialising and playing with us. We raise only babies born here at Parrot Haven (we are a closed aviary, we do not take in other breeders eclectus babies and raise as our own) and all of our breeding birds have been chosen for their gorgeous natures and temperaments that they pass onto their babies.

Our website and blog is filled with a great deal of  information about these magnificent parrots so please take the time to read through my articles as becoming a parrot owner is a lifelong commitment and we only sell to the very best homes.

We have our own forum dedicated to Eclectus lovers and we  welcome new members, its a great place to meet other Parrot Haven baby owners, chat about what its like to own an Eclectus Parrot and see our Testimonial Page on our website to hear our success stories.

We offer full follow up service for our babies. Feel confident in buying an eclectus from the Top Eclectus Parrot Breeder in Australia.

Hand Raised Eclectus

Here at Parrot Haven we specialise in gorgeous hand raised Eclectus Parrots

We have over 11 years experience specialising solely in Eclectus Parrots and take great pride in selling only the very best hand raised Eclectus available.

ABOUT US

All our babies are raised in a loving family environment, spoon fed and they spend hours socialising and playing with us. We raise only babies born here at Parrot Haven (we are a closed aviary, we do not take in other breeders eclectus babies and raise as our own) and all of our breeding birds have been chosen for their gorgeous natures and temperaments that they pass onto their babies.

Continue reading