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Breeder Vs Pet store

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Breeder Vs Pet store

Postby TreyRust » Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:09 am

I don't feel a need to post in the introductions forum, because theres not much for me to say, sense I don't have any birds currently, which is going to change soon, hopefully... ;)


so, basically the title says it all, why would I buy from a breeder when I can buy from a pet store? and vice versa.

I currently have my sights set on a blue parrotlet, and I have certainly look through my options, and it boils down to a parrotlet.

last summer, I was at the "fish bowl" (a pet shop in griffin, GA), and they have parrotlets there, two specifically, one was kinda shy/aggressive, and only wanted to play with the other one, but the other one was really outgoing, he came up to the side of the cage an nibbled on my finger, not biting, just a curious nibble. He (or she, I didn't really pay much attention to that) really stole my heart, really sweet, cute, curious, to this day I regret not buying him on the spot, but I wasn't planning on getting a parrotlet at the time, so I let the opportunity slip up.

and now that I am planning on a parrotlet, I have begun the great search... but, its hard, lol

part of me REALLY wants to buy one at that pet store, the other part of me really wants to find a good breeder and buy from them.

the main reason its become hard is, I don't want to have a bird shipped to me, mostly because of the price, now, if it was a big expensive bird, that would be different, but the money managing side of my says, for a $100 bird, I shouldn't spend $100 to get it to me.

and I have found a couple of breeders I am considering contacting, but then I come right back to just wanting to buy a "ready" bird at the pet store.

so, if the bird is well taken care of, and really sweet, why would it be bad to buy from a pet store? I haven't done much business with the people, but I haven't noticed them doing anything bad. sure, theirs your common, teenage, just got a job paying $5 an hour that I really don't want to work at managers, but they are everywhere.

and I wouldn't mind also some tips on finding a good local breeder?

Thanks, Trey.

P.s. sorry, to tired to proof read it, any grammar and overly long sentences will have to do
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Re: Breeder Vs Pet store

Postby Natacha » Wed Feb 02, 2011 6:38 am

I would personally choose to buy from a good breeder over a pet store any day.

Thing is, unless you go to a very reputable pet store that really takes optimum care of their birds, buying a bird in a pet store just means that you will be helping the "system" - helping them cram yet another bird in the empty cage with little interaction, questionable diet, sometimes questionable living arrangements, and possibly less interaction that it should get.

Now, there are some breeders out there that I wouldn't for the life of me buy a bird from. What is important is that you talk with the breeder quite a bit before making a commitment - find how their birds are being kept, find what they are being fed, find their approach with the babies (when do they start handfeeding if they do or if they leave them with the parents and handle them to socialize them). Get a general sense of why they are breeder - is it a true passion or is it because they think it's an easy way to get extra cash?

Yes, buying a bird in a pet store is much easier - but again, taking your time and researching breeders and talking to them about their birds might push you to consider another species, possibly realizing that what you had in mind wasn't quite what you wanted (not saying it's the case here, but it has happened) - it deters from impulse purchases.

And...generally, a baby bird from a breeder will cost less (just talking about the actual price of the bird here) than if you bought one in a pet store.
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Re: Breeder Vs Pet store

Postby zazanomore » Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:56 am

Natacha wrote:And...generally, a baby bird from a breeder will cost less (just talking about the actual price of the bird here) than if you bought one in a pet store.


I remember when I bought my cockatiel's first cage at a pet store, we asked the shop owner how much their hand raised cockatiels were. They said that they cost between 200 and 300 dollars! I got my white faced cockatiel for 150.

Have you looked in your local ads yet? You'd be surprised by the amount of breeders are actually out there. Go look them up, check a few of them, remember to pick a healthy looking one, from a clean home. It's also important if you meet the bird's parents.

Are there any rescues near you? Check your local humane society or bird rescue. You never know what you will find.
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Re: Breeder Vs Pet store

Postby Roger P » Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:49 pm

I agree that going with a reputable breeder is far better than a pet store. First off, the pet stores buy from breeders too, then add a mark up to the cost to cover their profit margin. That almost always means that the pet store will cost you more for a bird than a breeder will.

Second, remember that while both breeder and pet store are looking to make some money, the pet store does not have to do much but order the bird from the supplier, put the bird in a cage (usually too small for the bird), occasionally throw in some food and water (if the bird is lucky, maybe a toy), and sit back. There is no investment in the temperment of the bird, the socialization, etc. In contrast, the breeder has the bird from day one and has a vested interest in seeing it grow up healthy and happy to ensure that the breeder can find a home for the bird. If the bird in the pet store does not sell, it becomes neglected, and may end up transferred to another location. Not all pet stores are like this, but too many seem to be, especially the big chain stores.

Breeders gain their reputation largely by word of mouth and testimonials, far better and more accurate advertizing than flyers and promotional sales. I agree that searching for a breeder or rescue organization is a far better way to go, if you can. If not, then make sure the pet store is one you trust, that treats their animals well, and provides interaction as well as the basic necessities.

Maybe if you need to go the pet store route they would let you spend some time with the birds prior to taking one home, maybe by volunteering there for a time. That would allow you to spend time with the birds and find out what the store is like at the same time.

Let us know what you decide and how it turns out.
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Re: Breeder Vs Pet store

Postby entrancedbymyGCC » Wed Feb 02, 2011 4:34 pm

A breeder will cost less typically, and you may get a chance to follow along as your special baby grows up. On the other hand, there are reputable bird stores and I don't see anything wrong with buying from them either. Locally we have a couple that appear to be breeders-with-a-storefront and I would not hesitate to buy from them. An advantage to buying from a store, particularly a good one, is that you can interact with a number of birds and buy one that you think is a good personality match. When you select in-the-egg you get whatever personality you get.

Then there are the chain pet stores that sell birds. Scooter came from one, but that's not the most desirable scenario. Nevertheless, he is a wonderful bird, none the worse for wear after nearly a year at Petsmart. The main reason not to buy from chain stores, even the best of them, is that many -- not all -- but many -- such stores lack personnel that really know about birds and they not only don't handle them the way they really need to be handled, but they sell to anyone who will put the money down. So when you buy a bird from that situation, you are encouraging the chain to keep stocking birds and in general it is better for the birds and prospective owners that sellers be knowledgeable and able to steer buyers towards suitable pets, A knowledgeable breeder or specialist store can also help after the sale.
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Re: Breeder Vs Pet store

Postby lotus15 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:24 pm

Like Natacha said-- I'd pick a GOOD breeder over a pet store, any day. It's a lot harder to find a good pet store than it is a good breeder.

I don't want to repeat everything everybody else said but just one thing to add: I'd never, ever, ever, buy a bird from PetSmart or PetCo because they support Kaytee's Preferred Birds Program and I will never give a cent of my money to them for it (whether I'm buying a bird or food or supplies or whatever. They also have some horrible products and until those are all off the shelves, nope!).
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Re: Breeder Vs Pet store

Postby entrancedbymyGCC » Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:35 pm

I don't know about Kaytee's Preferred Birds program, can you explain? Ah -- it appears to be an east coast based bird mill. Bird mills are definitely not a good thing. I wonder if there is similar on the west coast?

I find my local PetSmart to have very well-intentioned staff and they support local cat and dog adoption programs. They don't sell all the products for birds that I like, but their stock for cats covers a wide range, much of which I find fully acceptable. The only thing I don't favor is that they do sell birds, although they have not had anything larger than a 'tiel in over a year. The local Petco brought in a big shipment of Green Cheek's just before Christmas and I haven't been back since.

Here is an editorial about the Kaytee/Petsmart program: http://prettybirds.net/Kayteepetsmart.htm . It is an opinion piece but it reads fairly informed and balanced.
Last edited by entrancedbymyGCC on Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Breeder Vs Pet store

Postby lotus15 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:45 pm

entrancedbymyGCC wrote:I don't know about Kaytee's Preferred Birds program, can you explain? Ah -- it appears to be an east coast based bird mill. Bird mills are definitely not a good thing. I wonder if there is similar on the west coast?

I find my local PetSmart to have very well-intentioned staff and they support local cat and dog adoption programs. They don't sell all the products for birds that I like, but their stock for cats covers a wide range, much of which I find fully acceptable. The only thing I don't favor is that they do sell birds, although they have not had anything larger than a 'tiel in over a year. The local Petco brought in a big shipment of Green Cheek's just before Christmas and I haven't been back since.


Yup, you've got it. It's basically a glorified bird mill. If you google it, there are lots of sites that expose some of the "problematic" practices.
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Re: Breeder Vs Pet store

Postby entrancedbymyGCC » Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:30 pm

lotus15 wrote:Yup, you've got it. It's basically a glorified bird mill. If you google it, there are lots of sites that expose some of the "problematic" practices.


Actually I did and the editorial I posted is one of the more informative things I found. The message I got from that is that is may not be ideal, but it's not quite as bad as the puppy/kitten mill scenario. Still, it isn't ideal. Scooter we were told came from a local breeder. So it isn't clear if it is a universal arrangement. I'll stick with the notion that I'd prefer they didn't sell birds and I'm not inclined to encourage that again, but I don't mind shopping there for supplies. I don't think the organization is "evil".
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Re: Breeder Vs Pet store

Postby lotus15 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 7:44 pm

entrancedbymyGCC wrote:
lotus15 wrote:Yup, you've got it. It's basically a glorified bird mill. If you google it, there are lots of sites that expose some of the "problematic" practices.


Actually I did and the editorial I posted is one of the more informative things I found. The message I got from that is that is may not be ideal, but it's not quite as bad as the puppy/kitten mill scenario. Still, it isn't ideal. Scooter we were told came from a local breeder. So it isn't clear if it is a universal arrangement. I'll stick with the notion that I'd prefer they didn't sell birds and I'm not inclined to encourage that again, but I don't mind shopping there for supplies. I don't think the organization is "evil".


I definitely agree it's not as bad as the puppy/kitty scene. Still, there are so many things I take issue with. You mentioned it in another thread and I don't want to go off topic there, but their idea of a "quarantine" ranges from 3 days to 2 weeks depending on the store. I did actually call all the stores in my area at one point to look further into it and all proudly responded 3 days. So to me that doesn't qualify as a quarantine.

The reason I don't shop there for supplies is because 1. I don't shop where there are other birds, especially not ones liable to be sick, and 2. I am stubborn as an ox and refuse to shop anywhere that will sell sandpaper perch covers or recommend grit for budgies or sell mite protectors and things like that. Just makes me sad :(
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