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Pionus Online - Purchasing a Pionus Parrot

A great discovery has been made...

Are you considering on a possible purchase of a Pionus Parrot?

This page will help you decide to what to look for in a Pionus no matter which specie of Pionus you may decide on. You first must decide on which of the possible 6 Pionus species that are in the pet trade, which one will fascinate you the most? Then you must decide on do you want a young one or an older one? Perhaps you would like to start off fresh with a newly hand fed weaned baby and how does this differ from acquiring an older one? Also, which sex will you prefer, a male or female? Does it matter on the sex of one on how its personality will be later on? All these are questions to ask yourself when looking for a Pionus parrot... or any parrot. Will a Pionus be right for you?  What do you look for when you go to pick up a bird whether it be from a breeder or  a store? Well, the list can go on and on! I will help you to decide if a  Pionus might be suitable for you, some differences and the personalities that may develop in a particular Pionus specie.

Oh boy, I can see this page getting really long all ready! Newly hand fed weaned birds are usually a first choice due to most think they will not have issues of problems such as not being set in their ways too much! Which is true providing they have had a good up bringing within their first few months of life which is at least the first four months while with the breeder or hand feeder.  Hopefully the baby has learned to eat well and has been fed a good diet of veggies and fruit because this will make it much more secure on eating various food items once you have the baby with you in your home. Their young personality has pretty much been formed before they leave the breeder and will of course will still develop more as they mature.  A young bird and a mature bird have many differences and if you get a 5 month old bird in two or three years from that time they will be very much different in many ways!

When trying to choose a bit older bird say a year or older, some can already be set in their ways, this is not always a bad thing but often some birds have not always been kept and cared for the way they should be.  No matter what, previously owned birds can learn a new environment and learn to love a new family, your children  and even other pets that might already be existing in your family. You must be able to be patient when getting an older bird and let them adjust in their own timely manner. With this in mind, they will thrive and be happy when they are ready! The Pionus... I find them to be one of the easier parrots to except new changes, they usually remain pretty calm and as a rule are easily adaptable.

Six species of Pionus, so which one do you like best? What attracts you to one and not the other? Is it the color or something else? Each specie of Pionus is remarkably great and you will find that you will maybe be choosing one over the other due to the availability to you in your area of where you live perhaps... maybe that is the determining factor or even pricing may dictate what you choose.  I think all the Pionus species are great and from my stand point, I would not rule any single one out as they are all great!. If it's a Pionus specie you want, do not settle for another parrot specie just to satisfy your need for a parrot. Sometimes you must wait a while before a Pionus becomes available. Believe me, settling for another parrot that you really did not have your heart set on can really be a big let down... even though you can always easily love any parrot... it's hard not to!!

I hear it over time in and time out - talking ability, which ones talk the best? The Maximilian generally is the best talker of the 6 species but then I have heard some Blue Heads talk very well too. They are all a bit on the raspy side and none will have near the clarity of an African Grey or an Amazon. Pionus are understandable in speaking, the White Cap & Dusky are pretty raspy sounding but so darn cute in the way their voices sound!

The size of the Pionus is not drastic from one to the other by real big differences. So any one of them will require the same cage size so with that in mind that is easy enough and you can read on the page about Cages and Toys. Toys play a big part in their well being so do not leave toys out of their lives. Read on the Caging and Toys page of this site or there is info on our sister site.

What to look for when purchasing your Pionus... as always - bright eyes, clean and clear sounding nostrils. The Pionus naturally has a "wheezing" sound as this is one of their traits when they feel insecure, excited or nervous... so do not think it may necessarily have a breathing problem, most likely it may be wheezing from being nervous or excited.  A bird in good health should not be sitting puffed up and shivering. Although Pionus can be known to puff up to look like are big and bad and want to show authority! Birds will also quiver or shake too when nervous or excited so you must know when and why the bird is doing it.

If you buy from a breeder, try to go with a reputable breeder.  Usually you can find out enough about them if you seek info and ask around. Breeders generally sell for less than pet stores do. Most breeders want appointments made in advance so that will need to be arranged. When going to a breeders place if they happen to have many birds... it is usually not 100 percent tidy as you know, birds are messy do do not discredit them for a certain amount of mess but you need to watch for cages being clean enough and feed bowls and water clean and cages not thoroughly piled high with poop and crusted and caked on stuff that you know has not been touched in a long time. That does not necessarily mean you should not buy from them due to that. Their birds should look healthy and pretty much the same would apply to going in pet stores. Breeders who do not let you come to their house is usually for a couple of reasons... perhaps to prevent spreading of disease, security reasons so one can not scout out how their set up is so they can return later to steal birds when timing is right. Some breeders want to meet in a location away from their home for these reasons. Breeders or pet stores should go over with you in detail about bird related information, if they are not willing to answer questions upon you asking and you have to dig to get it out of them, then you certainly will not get help after the sale of your bird should you need to ask questions later.

Does the breeder or the store offer a health guarantee? Typically breeders offer a 3 day health guarantee, this means you should have your avian vet appointment made prior to the sale of your bird and you should know the time frame of picking up your bird and you will have a 3 day limit to have your bird into the vet. Even with testing which takes longer, you will be covered under the 3 day period as long as vet record shows your bird was in for a check up within 3 days of the sale.  You can have the bird looked at for a "well bird exam" but it does always tell a whole story of what might be under lying if any at all. Doing cultures and blood test can be usually about close to $300 plus office visit so be prepared for that cost on top of  the purchase of your bird. Stores sometimes offer a longer health guarantee so each has their own policy... read them well no matter who you go with and ask to see one in writing if you have not seen it. If a bird should have a serious problem health wise after the vet check up - most breeders will have you turn the bird back into them in order to get a refund showing the vet report. Should you get a new bird and at any time you see a bird not doing well or unsure always make a quick judgment and get the bird seen as soon as possible as birds can be sick without realizing it.

Is the sex of your new bird important to you? To some people it is... usually they want to know for naming purposes but that's one reason to know, some like to know for later if the egg laying might be an issue later down the road should they have a female. Males can be known to be more on the aggressive side compared to females but then I have seen some aggressive females too! Some birds like men or women better... but it's hard to say does a male bird prefer women over men better? It could be hard to know... I think a lot of what birds like when it comes to the sex of people is what they are use to from when raised as a baby bird, like hair color, tone of voice, like a female voice talks softer than a man's voice. So if the bird was raised more by women then men, then they might be more inclined to prefer a woman over a man... but you never know what they end up liking or adapting to! It can be very situational.

Do you quarantine your new bird from existing bird(s) you may already own? YES! 30 to 45 days... please do it for both bird's sake. You can read more on this area on my main site www.pionusparrot.com/Quarantine.htm  Providing you have your new bird in quarantine then you must take the precautions that are outlined on the page link. The birds will already know of each other as they hear and will know of each other by sounds they've heard along the way. If this is your first bird, then no quarantine period is needed and therefore you can have the new bird directly involved immediately with the family but when quarantine has to take place this puts the new bird in another room and it is harder at first as you feel it's not part of the immediate action! If  the bird looks healthy at this point or you can make a new vet visit too so you can confirm its health... most people do not do this. If that's been the case then once past this 30 days of isolation from other birds, slow introductions are the best. Don't let birds come in contact, let them look at each other from across the room. So much of it depends on each personality as to how well they might do closer together. They can hurt each other so you would not want that to happen. They might even try to establish territory or be the alpha bird. One will try to be more domineering over the other. Depending on if your birds are the same sex or different sexes can make a difference in their behavior as well.

When you have a new bird, you should let him settle in by giving him some time to get to know his new surroundings.  You can handle the new bird as you go along but not by over doing it as when they are new to you and your home, they do get tired out more easily. Let them get acquainted with things at their own pace. Offer them the foods you want them to eat.  It's okay to let them out of their cage to play on the outside of it as long as you feel they will not freak out once on the outer side of the cage. Some birds may try to bite you as a warning to stay back.  Also, please keep in mind with parrots that they use their beak for stability to as they go to step up on your hand.

You should change water for Pionus on the average twice a day most likely, they are well known for dunking their food in their water so this you may find is at least a twice daily task! I have some Pionus who really make a mess of their water and some I have don't hardly at all.  Some people think Pionus drink a lot of water but usually die to them dunking the food, they are not usually drinking the water at the same time.

Cage papers should be changed once a day or every other day, depending upon how messy they are or if there is a grate below them or not, cages that do not have grates should be watched so your bird does not go down to fetch older food that may have been laying there for a day or two. Place cage so its not in a high traffic area with people walking by it constantly. I have found that Pionus don't mind being covered up at night, it adds a sense of security for them, only cover 3 sides of the cage leaving the opened side to where the bird does not see you. You should have a night light on in the room or a near by room to prevent night-freights. Although Pionus do not usually  have problems with night-freights but it helps to prevent them.

I hope this page has helped you in deciding on your purchase of a Pionus Parrot! Please see other sections of the site for more Pionus information or visit my main site.

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Oct. 2008