When buying or selling birds; both the seller and the buyer has responsibilities to ensure the birds move to their new home without their welfare being compromised, and with as little stress as possible. The two most likely ways birds change hands these days is; the birds are either bought from a breeders table at a show or taken to a show to be handed over on a prearranged agreement. The other way being collected directly from the breeders aviaries

Which ever way the bird is purchased travelling is necessary, so the way it is transported is very important. In my view show cages for transporting grass parrakeet are not suitable, they have perches just at the right height for the birds to continually hit their heads or the birds continually keep trying climb up to sit on them and get their wings damaged in the wire front throughout the journey. Small travelling boxes are far safer, something like 150mm wide x 180mm deep and 125mm high. Better to travel birds separate that way they do not continually jump over one another throughout the journey.

If the bird is to be in the travelling box for less then 4 hours water is not in my opinion necessary, just seed on the floor and a small piece of apple is sufficient, but if a longer time, then the box needs to be made in such a way that it has a drinker fixed to the front rail so that it can be filled from outside the box.

In the UK our bird sales start early in the morning, most of the birds that are taken, will have been caught from their cages and aviaries the afternoon before, bearing in mind that most birds are exchanged during late autumn and early spring with short daylight hours means they will have been boxed for 12-15 hours before the show starts.

When I take birds to a show I always use travelling boxes with drinkers. I catch the birds about one hour before sunset and then place the boxes in a room and leave the lights on all night, making sure that the light does not shine into the back of the box, that way the bird has light at the front if it wishes to fed or drink and then can go to the back away from the light to sleep, the birds that are to be displayed for sale are transferred into the show cage at the show.

The new owner’s responsibility is to make sure that the new purchase is looked after so as to minimise the stress the birds has had in the transportation and to make sure that the bird’s new environment is as suitable as possible, It is essential that all new acquisitions are quarantined. Never put a new bird into contact with all your own birds.

It is important to get the bird to feed as soon as possible. When I bring birds back from an event, I put them back into the show cages I used at the show, put them in artificial light for at least 3 hours. In this time they will feed and drink before the light are dimmed to a night light. I feel that it is very advantageous for a bird to sleep with a full crop of seed.

The new birds after couple of days in isolation and if they look fit, I then place one of my own birds in the cage with them; I consider that if they have a problem my guinea pig bird will catch it.

Always take the name and telephone number of the seller. If you do have a problem often the vendor can give advice on the way forward. Vets in the UK are very expensive to consult, always ask the vendor before taking this road. In my view is unreasonable to expect the seller to pay for vet’s advice unless they have agreed to do so.