we have two local bird breeders here in the area. up until recently, it didn't even occur to me to think about getting a bird from a breeder (mainly because i didn't know of how to find one around here), but now, i can't really see myself ever getting a bird from a store again. well, that's not entirely true. but, i guess i'd rather buy from a breeder since 1) almost all the birds are hand-fed and tame and generally 2) they're cheaper to purchase.
so anywho, back to my question. there are two bird breeders here that i've dealt with. one does both of my birds' nails and wing trimmings, when needed and the other i have bought two hand-fed parakeets from.
1) bird lady #1 is about 40ish and knows a TON about birds. she's been breeding / taking care of birds for over 5 years now and she's pretty great. she's a very involved member of the local bird club and i trust her a lot. she has no less than 150 birds in her house. she breeds cockatiels, parakeets, english budgies, conures, rosellas, bourkes, etc. nothing bigger than sun conures. she also has a few other birds, too, like quaker parakeets and parrotlets. her whole house, from what i can tell, is full of birds. there seem to be a lot of birds in each cage, but none of them look sick or anything. she just has a TON of birds. you almost can't believe it when you see it. bird lady #1 lives with her two children and possibly a hamster or two. her house, if i had to guess, is about 1500 - 1700 square feet.
2) bird lady #2 just started breeding / selling birds. she's in her early 20s. i just went to her place for the first time today. her house looks to be of a comparable size. on the main level and in the rooms i saw, she had about 20 or so birds. some finches, parakeets and cockatiels. my mom told me she heard a lot of chirping, possibly from a basement. this might be where the breeder birds are kept, i don' t know.
now i know when you're a bird breeder, you have to have a lot of pairs to breed. i know you can't be a breeder and have 4 birds that mate. and i know your place will never, ever be really clean. however, that being said, both of these places were really dumpy. the birds seemed to be in good condition, with the exception that their feathers always seem to be a mess, probably since they are always in close quarters.
my mom kept saying at bird lady #2's house today, "oh, that one's pretty" and then we'd realize that was OURS!
so, how many birds is too many for a bird breeder to have? i have to admit, when i am at bird lady #1's house, it makes me think someday i'll see her on animal cops for bird-hoading. i don't know. she just has a ton of them!
what do you guys look for in a local bird breeder? what are your local breeder's places like? if you ARE a breeder yourself, what condition do you keep your birds in? how many per cage? how many per type of bird? each time i visit my "bird lady", it makes me wonder what other bird breeders across the country are like.
please share your stories, i am very curious!