Phoenix Feathers & AZ Parrots

hand raised conures & macaws


Phoenix Feathers - Frequently Asked Questions


Purchase Policy

1. You must be an adult - age 18 years or older. If you are an adult, but still live at home, or need your parents permission to own a parrot, you cannot be added to the waiting list until we have acknowledgement from your parents that they are on board with having one in their house. If we reach out to offer a bird and discover that you are under the age of 18, you will be deleted from the list.

2. We will notify you when a baby is available. This is usually when the chick is 3 - 4 weeks old, out of the nest, and is being hand fed. Macaws breed when they breed and we don't force them to breed out of season. A bird may come available when it's not the right time for you. We want what's best for our babies so if the time isn't right, please let us know. We will move to the next person on the list and make the next chick available to you.

3. Only a deposit will hold a bird for you. Once you are notified that a chick is available you have 7 days to respond and place a $500 deposit on the bird. If you need additional time, please let us know. If we have not heard a response or received a deposit in 7 days the bird will be made available to the next person on the list.

4. If the bird makes it clear that it doesn't like you, the deposit is refundable. We would never send a bird home with someone it doesn't like.

5. We try our best to keep in touch with buyers during the weaning process. You must give us a valid email address and phone number. Contact through Facebook is great, but accounts disappear or get deactivated for reasons sometimes out of your control. If you put down a deposit and disappear without us having an alternate way to contact you, the deposit is non-refundable.

6. Please come to visit the bird before it is weaned and ready to go home with you. Leaving our home is a traumatic experience for the bird. Visiting frequently will make that transition easier because the
bird will be with a familiar person.

7. We will not take a deposit or full payment to move you to the head of the waiting list. It's bad business, and reputable breeders won't do it. If you offer this, you will be removed from the waiting list and we will not do business with you.

8. If you are on the list and find a bird elsewhere, we would appreciate you letting us know.
Bringing Your Bird Home

Bringing Your New Bird Home

This is long and dry, but we encourage you to read all of it so you know what to expect when you bring a new bird into your home.


Coming Home

Moving to a new home can be stressful on a young bird, especially if they have had a long trip to get to you. They may be tired, thirsty, hungry, and stressed. Once you arrive home with your little one, we recommend you put them in their cage and give them some quiet time. Put the cage in a quiet part of the house and just let them rest. Make sure they have dishes of fresh food, and clean water. Having grown up in a cage with their siblings, or cage mates, they may call out for them. Rest assured, this will pass in a few days. By nature birds are curious, and when you start to interact with them and integrate them into your family, they will quickly bond with you and forget the world they left behind.

Cage

This is home to your new bird. We prefer to keep our pet's cages in a quiet place, free from drafts and extremely bright lights. The cages get covered each night and this is when they learn to settle in for the night and sleep. Eight hours is a good rule. Some birds do really well with 10 hours. A grumpy bird is a sure sign they aren't getting enough sleep. For young birds, an afternoon nap isn't a bad idea either. You don't have to cover the cage, but an hour of quiet time in the middle of the day is a good way for the chick to relax after a few hours of family time. Birds tend to eat constantly, so putting them back in their cage after some play time gives them a change to eat or drink. Make sure you have some toys they can interact with. Some they will like, some they won't. It's a personal preference. Our pet green cheek doesn't like toys in her cage, but she loves them on her play stand. Keep a variety that you can switch in and out to prevent boredom. We suggest one hard plastic toy, and at least one toy that they can shred. Simple things like squares of cardboard, 3x5 plain index cards, bottle tops, and plain popsicle sticks can provide hours of fun. You'll figure out what works and what doesn't. Plain dowel perches are not good for birds. Holding their feet in the same position for years on end causes arthritis in their feet. Rope perches, manzanita branches of different sizes, as well as some larger concrete perches gives a variety of surfaces for them to grip and is better for their feet. The concrete perches also help keep their nails from becoming sharp little daggers. There are a variety of smaller, edible perches available that contain bee pollen and calcium. These are great for their feet and also gives them something to chew on.

We use smart LED lights in the room where the cages are. The light comes on very low and takes 15 minutes to reach full brightness. This lets them wake up slowly without being startled by a bright light coming on without warning. When the light is at full brightness, we uncover the cages and get the day started for them. We do the same thing in the evening. The light slowly starts to dim and they take this as a cue to start settling down in preparation for sleep. As the lights start to dim, we cover the cages and say goodnight. It also allows us to keep them on a consistent schedule during the year. The days getting longer in the spring kick off mating season. Having a constant light schedule can help avoid hormonal periods and breeding behavior. Few things are more unpleasant than a hormonal bird. You may want to consider a night light as well. Sometime things go bump in the night and in complete darkness, a bird may get startled and fly directly into the side of the cage. This can be dangerous, if not deadly. With a dim light the bird will be able to see around them and there is less of a chance they will have a night fright and hurt themselves.

Basic Training

We work with all of our chicks to give them some basic training before they go home. We let them free fly during play times and while they are being fed. Potty training is not always easy, but we try to reinforce going in the cage, and not on people. Chicks are socialized with multiple people and one of the fun things we do is get them to fly between us as we call them. This helps them become comfortable with more than one person and in case of trouble, they will fly to the closest person for safety. They also learn to step up when offered a finger. Birds are like toddlers and will explore their environment with their mouths. Chicks bite. It's not them being mean, it's curiosity. They don't always know their own strength, and sometimes it can hurt. Keep a close eye on children with your new bird. Little fingers can get hurt pretty bad and with a surprised reaction, a child can hurt a bird without intending to. When a chick bites, I pull them away from me and say "No Bites!", then I redirect them to something else. This takes patience and consistency, but is well worth the effort. Sometimes having a popsicle stick nearby helps. When one of them gets a little too wound up, I offer the stick. They can bite that as much as they want. Eventually they learn the difference between biting people, and biting the stick. One is ok, the other is not. Some people suggest shaking your hand and putting them off balance. We're not a fan of this for smaller birds and we feel it can cause them to be nervous and lose trust in you. Another way of discouraging biting is to gently blow a puff of air at them. They feel something touching them, but don't see anything. It's a quick distraction and then you can tell them to step up and direct their attention elsewhere. You'll also need to learn the difference between biting, and using the beak as leverage. If a bird feels unsteady, or they are about to fall, they will grab on with their beak. This isn't biting, it's self protection.

Clipping

Our chicks are not normally clipped before they go to their forever home. There are many opinions on it, so we leave that choice up to you. When your little one comes home, make sure all the windows and doors are closed, and turn off all fans. Close the curtains or blinds. It only takes a second for something bad to happen, so be aware of your environment if you're going to leave them flighted. Some chicks are attracted to windows and others don't seem to care. Flying full speed into a glass window can be deadly, and that's why we recommend closing the curtains if you have them. We've had chicks they would never stay away from windows. In this situation, we clip them for their own safety. If you're going to clip, at least make sure the bird has spent some time being able to fly so their chest muscles are well developed. We recommend what's called a "baby clip", or a "show clip". This take just enough of the primary flight feathers off to prevent the bird from getting lift, but leave enough of the wing intact that they can glide to the floor and avoid injury. We think a full clip is dangerous. A full clip removes the ends of the primary and secondary flight feathers. This removes their ability to fly and steer. If they fall, they drop straight to the floor. This can be just as dangerous as flying into a window and puts them at risk for a cracked breastbone or broken legs. It should be a last resort for a bird that is a clumsy flyer, or constantly heads towards windows.
How Do You Hand Feed Your Baby Birds?

Hand Feeding

What a chick experience in its first few months shapes that bird for the rest of its life. Hand feeding, and socialization with humans will give you a well behaved, trusting, healthy bird. We will never sell an unweaned bird.

A hand fed chick usually makes a better pet. They are socialized with humans from a very young age. They grow up with no natural fear of humans. When raised in a household of other pets, they may not have the natural instinct to be afraid of dogs or cats. A chick is typically removed from the nest between 2 and 3 weeks of age, just before their eyes have opened. When they open their eyes for the first time, they easily associate humans with food and caring.

Where do we keep them?

Newly hatched chicks are not capable of regulating their own body temperature. Chicks are kept in closed plastic tubs lined with bedding for small animals. This is usually a compressed shredded paper with aspen wood chips on the bottom. The tubs sit on top of a small heating pad that maintains the temperature in the range of 95 - 98 degrees. Each tub has a thermometer on the side so the temperature can be checked at a glance. The tubs are kept closed to maintain the internal humidity. As the chick starts to grow its feathers, the temperature can be slowly lowered until the fully feathered chick is maintained at room temperature. Very young chicks aren't able to stand on their own right away, so we use a rolled up paper towel, or small cloth towel to give them something to lean against. This keeps them upright and prevents them from rolling over onto their back. This helps prevent their legs from splaying to the sides, which can result in deformities as the chick grows. The bedding is changed every other day, or sooner as it gets fouled with droppings. Being able to see the bird droppings will give you a sense of overall health. Well formed droppings indicate a healthy chick that is digesting food properly.

Feeding

We use a commercial baby bird formula for parrots and other hook bills. We use the same formula from the beginning of hand feeding to the end. Changing the formula can cause stress on the birds digestive system. Due to their small size, we use Mini-Measure shot glass. This is broken down into teaspoons on one side and ounces on the other. They are very easy to clean and sterilize. To keep the formula warm during feeding, we run hot water over the glass prior to mixing the formula. The glass retains heat long enough to prevent the formula from cooling off while feeding. This works out really well as some chicks take longer to feed than others and it prevents the formula from getting cold. One tablespoon of the formula we use is enough to give three chicks a feeding of 10 ML each. This scales up really well. When feeding 12 chicks, a quarter cup and three table spoons of powdered formula mixed with a half cup and quarter cup of hot water was enough for each bird to have at least 10 ML each. What was left over was enough for the older chicks to have an additional 5 ML at each feeding.

How often do we feed?

For chicks that are 2 weeks of age, we feed three to five times each day. We usually let the chick determine this the first week after being removed from the nest. Being hand fed is different than being fed by a parent bird. Some parents feed many times a day, some feed less. We also check the chick several times between feedings and if we notice the crop is empty earlier than expected, we give a small feeding to hold it over. As the chick grows we try to get them on a schedule and then they are fed 3 times each day. First at 5am, second at 1pm, and last at 9pm. The bird formula for each feeding is mixed as needed and never saved for the next feeding. Each chick is weighed prior to the morning feeding so we can get an idea of how much weight the bird is putting on each day. Just like children, each chick is different. Some want more at one feeding, but may want a little less at the next.

We prefer to use plastic syringes for feeding. Each syringe holds either 5ml or 10 ml of prepared bird formula. It gives a better measure of just how much the chick consumes at each feeding.

Weaning

Weaning is not a set in stone process, and we never force wean our birds. As chicks mature we start to offer small, shallow dishes of pellets. Some chicks will start exploring and sampling the offerings earlier than others. We prefer pellets to start with because with seeds you can't always tell if you're looking at a shell, or an intact seed. With pellets, they get ground up as the chicks eat them, so when you start to see powder, you know the chicks are at least crushing them with their beaks. As the chick displays more interest in the other foods, we may stop one feeding a day. This is usually the afternoon feeding. For some chicks this can start at 6 weeks, for others, it may start as late as 10 weeks. Most birds are fully weaned by the age of 3 months, but some may hold on to one hand feeding a day for another few weeks. Each bird progresses at their own pace. You can expect a small weight loss as the transition from hand feeding to self feeding begins. This tends to coincide with flying. As the chicks start to fly they build up muscle but burn off some stored fat.

Post Weaning

Once a bird is fully weaned and eating on their own, we feed them a diet of pellets, a small amount of seeds, and fresh fruit or vegetables. In the wild they eat leaves, flowers, whatever fruit that may be available and sometimes small insects. A diet of pure seed does not provide the full spectrum of nutrition that a bird needs. Birds that eat nothing but seeds have a shorter lifespan, and can have health issues such as obesity and vitamin deficiencies. In speaking to a vet professional that works for a world renowned zoo, they feed only pellets, along with fruits. Vegetable is a culinary term that usually describes the non-fruit parts of plants that are edible. We feed both fruits and vegetables, but reserve the high sugar fruits for treats, and then only in small portions.

Hygiene

Every single utensil involved in hand feeding is washed with soap and hot water after every feeding. Chicks do not have fully developed immune systems, so we take every precaution we can to avoid any possible contamination. Formula that is leftover from feeding is discarded.
What is "Bird Chop"?
"Chop" is a term used in aviculture for a mixture of fruit and veggies. There isn't one particular recipe for chop. It's more based on what's available and what your bird likes. We have some birds that love strawberries, and others that hate them. With multiple breeding pairs, it's impossible to make individual dishes for each pair based on what a particular bird likes. Here is a basic guideline for bird chop.

1. Carrot - Whole carrots that you cut up, or sliced whole carrots. Don't use the baby carrots. They can have a lot of bacteria on them.

2. Green Beans - Fresh or frozen. Sometimes you can find them dehydrated, just be careful to read the ingredients as they can have a lot of added salt.

3. Broccoli - Cut into small pieces.

4. Peppers - You can use bell, or even hot peppers like jalapeño. Birds seems to love either. Just make sure you wash your hands after cutting anything hot.

5. Kale or mustard greens - Our birds like kale, but not mustard greens.

6. Apples - make sure you remove the seeds. They contain arsenic and can be deadly to your birds.

7. Sweet Potato - Cut into small cubes and microwave before serving. Avoid regular potatoes; they have too much starch.

8. Berries - blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries all make a nice treat. You can also add pomegranate or cherries to it. If you give your birds cherries, remove the pit first. Stone fruit pits contain arsenic. Some birds love cranberries and they are full of antioxidants.

9. Celery - cut this into small slices or pieces. The longer pieces have fibers running through them that birds should not eat whole. The smaller pieces guarantees that the fibers won't bundle up and cause an intestinal blockage.

Make sure you wash and rinse everything before you prepare it. This helps remove surface contaminates like pesticides and anything that may be on your hands. When feeding apples, we wash them in hot water to remove the wax coating. You can use a gallon of fresh water and a 1/8 cup of apple cider vinegar as a good rinse for anything your birds eat. The apple cider vinegar can kill any parasites the bird may have. Wash apples first, then cut them before rinsing them off. This helps keep them from turning brown. NEVER feed avocado (or the seeds) onions, garlic, shallots, or anything related like spring onions, green onions, etc. They are deadly to parrots. We NEVER feed canned veggies of any kind. You can never tell what other things have been added to improve the flavor. If I don't know what's in it, I certainly don't want to feed it to my birds.

All of this can be cut into small pieces, or chunks that you then run through a food processor. Pulse until you get small pieces, but don't puree it.

We give a 1/4 cup each day. Here in Arizona, the summer temps can get incredibly hot. If we have birds outside during the hot months, I like to use a plain frozen mixed veggie blend. Always check to make sure it doesn't contain onion, or any spice blend which may be hiding onion as an ingredient. With the heat, I don't bother to defrost them. It keeps them fresh longer outside, and the birds seem to enjoy playing with it while it is still frozen. Birds Eye makes a good frozen mixed veggie blend that contains carrots, peas, corn, and green beans. There is no seasoning on it and it comes in a 5 lb bag.

Experiment and see what your bird likes. It can be fairly cost effective to make it in large batches and then freeze it. You can put it in a Ziplock bag, and flatten it out before you freeze it. Just break off what you need for the day, or defrost a day ahead of time. If the temps are hot, break it into small pieces and give your bird a frozen treat.
Beans Etc…
Beans, grains, and small size pasta is something we feed once a week in place of chop.

It is not recommended to feed this every day. We only feed this to adult birds. Beans can have a lot of iron and too much is not good for your bird.

I buy the items below either in a 1 pound bag, or the smallest size box available.

Black Beans
Kidney Beans
Garbanzo Beans*
Barley
Lentils
Split Peas
Orzo Pasta
White or Brown Rice

* Garbanzo beans can take forever to cook, and may not soften up in the microwave. You usually have to soak them overnight. Birds tend to like them, so it's worth it as a treat to keep some on hand. You can also cook them until soft, then bake them in the oven until crispy. It makes a nice snack for birds, and people. You can buy them already dried as snacks, but they tend to have seasoning on them. You can't always tell if onion or garlic is included in that, so it's best to avoid it for your birds.

You can use a bean soup mix, as long as it has the spice mix in a separate package and not already mixed with the dried beans. A lot of those have powdered onion or garlic as an ingredient. Those two are deadly and should never be fed to birds. I save the spice mix for something else.

I mix this all together and store it in a sealed jar or dry pet food container. On the day I'm going to feed beans I take out 1 1/4 cup of dried beans and put it in an 8 cup glass measuring bowl. I add enough water to cover it by about a half inch. Then it goes into the microwave for 12 - 15 minutes. Once it is done cooking, I let it cool to room temperature, then drain the water. You can also do this the night before and keep it refrigerated overnight. Just let it warm to room temp first. Each pair of birds get a tablespoon along with their pellet mixture. They usually attack it first before they touch the pellets. As with any bird, some like certain beans more than others. Some pairs will eat all of the beans, some will pick at it.

These items in their dry form are fairly inexpensive; usually $1.00 or less per bag. You can mix and match this to whatever the birds prefer. For around $10 you will have several months worth of a weekly treat.
What Plants Are Safe For Birds?
These plants are considered to be safe for birds. Please consult an avian vet for specifics.

Acacia
African Violet
Aloe Plant
Asparagus Fern
Baby’s Tears
Bamboo
Begonia
Boston Fern
Bougainvillea
Chickweed
Christmas Cactus
Coffee Tree
Coleus
Corn Plant
Crab Apple
Dandelion
Dogwood
Donkey Tail
Dracaena
Dragon Tree
Easter Cactus
Ferns
Figs
Gardenia
Grape Ivy

Hens & Chickens
Jade Plant
Kalanchoe
Magnolia
Eucalyptus - fresh branches are ok. Dried and processed are not.
Monkey Plant
Nasturtium
Oregano
Palms
Pittosporum
Petunias
Prayer Plant
Rose
Rosemary
Rubber Tree
Schefflera
Sensitive Plant
Spider Plant
Snake Plant - not safe for cats
Swedish Ivy
Thyme
Thistle
Wandering Jew
Wax Plant
White Clover
Zebra Plant
What Plants Are Toxic To Birds?
These plants are considered to be toxic for birds. Please consult an avian vet for specifics.

Amaryllis - poisonous to dogs and cats as well
Andromeda
Avocado
Azalea
Baneberry
Bean Plant
Belladonna
Bird of Paradise
Black Locust
Bleeding Heart
Boxwood
Bulb Flowers
Buttercup
Braken Fern
Caladium
Clover
Coffee Plants
Cherry Tree
Chestnut Tree
Clematis
Coral Plant
Cowslip
Crownvetch
Daffodil
Daphne
Delphinium
Dieffenbachia
Elderberry
Elephant Ear
Eucalyptus-dried
Euonymus
Felt Plant
Ficus
Firethorn
Flame Tree
Four O’ Clocks
Foxglove
Heliotrope
Holly
Honeysuckle
Hyacinth
Hydrangea
Iris
Ivy
Jasmine
Jerusalem Cherry
Jimsonweed
Juniper
Marigold
May Apple

Milkweed
Mistletoe
Mock Orange
Monkshood
Morning Glory
Mountain Laurel
Mushrooms
Narcissus
Nectarine Trees
Nettles
Nightshade
Nutmeg
Oak Trees
Oleander
Peach Tree
Periwinkle
Philodendron
Pigweed
Plum Trees
Poinsettia - poisonous to dogs and cats as well
Poison Ivy
Poison Oak
Poison Sumac
Pokeweed
Potato Plants
Pothos
Privet Hedge
Prune Trees
Purple Seabane
Ranunculus
Red Maple
Rhubarb Leaves - toxic to people as well
Rhododendrons
Rubber Plant
Sandbox Tree
Shamrocks
Skunk Cabbage
Snowdrop
Sorrel
Spurges
Sweet Pea
Tobacco
Trumpet Vines
Tomato Plants
Vetch
Wattle
White Cedar
Wisteria
Wild Sunflowers
Yews
What Not To Feed Birds

Here is a list of things you should NEVER feed your birds.

1. Onion, garlic, and related plants - While tasty to us, onion, garlic, and anything within that family of plants should be avoided. They can cause digestive distress in small amounts. In large amounts they can be deadly. There are articles about people giving small amounts of garlic supplements to their birds with no harm, but it's not something we're willing to do. If you buy pre-packaged dried bean mix, make sure that the spice packet is separate, and not already mixed with the beans. Save these and use them for something else like soup.

2. Caffeine - No coffee, tea or soft drinks for your feathered friends. Great to give us humans a kick start in the morning, but not so great for birds. Caffeine has the same effect on birds, but due to their small bodies, a little bit of coffee can cause seizures or heart failure. Some herbal teas, like chamomile are ok for birds, but check the label to make sure it doesn't have caffeine. It
must say Caffeine Free, not Decaffeinated. Chamomile can work as a natural calming agent for stressed birds.

3. Artificial Sweetener - There have been cases of birds developing an intolerance to artificial sweeteners. This can cause seizures, panic flights, badly formed feathers, poor appetite, and lethargic behavior. Most of what we've read shows that birds can recover from this if it is identified quickly. Xylitol can be particularly toxic to dogs and cats. It's better to avoid it for all of your pets.

4. Chocolate - Who doesn't like a nice piece of chocolate once in a while? It just makes the world better. Unfortunately it's bad for birds. The stimulant in chocolate, theobromine, which makes humans feel good after eating it, can cause heart attacks, depression, regurgitation, seizures, liver damage, and death in birds.

5. Alcohol - This should be obvious. A very small amount can cause organ damage and death in birds.

6. Avocado - While some people claim that birds can eat the flesh of an avocado without ill effects, it's best to avoid it entirely. The pit of the avocado contains a toxin that can leach into the flesh and skin. A small bit of this can cause breathing, digestive issues, and death.

7. Mushrooms - Many types of mushrooms are perfectly safe for humans, but are toxic for birds. Some can cause death within minutes, or a more lingering death caused by liver failure.

8. Seeds From Stone Fruits - Stone fruits are things like cherries, apricots, peaches and the like. The flesh is just fine for the bird, but the pit, or seed in the center is toxic. They contain a small amount of cyanide. While a single cherry pit isn't going to hurt us, it can quickly kill a bird. Fresh cherries are great for birds, but remove the pit first. Never feed canned or processed cherries. Apple seeds should be avoided as well.

9. Dairy - These can be hit or miss, so use caution. A small piece of cheese fresh from the bag isn't bad for an occasional treat. Dairy products can spoil quickly, and things like yogurt can have artificial sweeteners added. Cheese with mold like bleu cheese, should be avoided entirely. Some dairy products can be high in fat and salt. If you aren't sure, read the label, and if you have any doubts about safety, then don't give feed it.

10. Salt - This can be a tricky one, so use caution and read labels. A low salt cracker might sound like a great snack for your feathered friend, but it really isn't. While we may not even be able to taste the salt, the low amount in that cracker can still be bad for your bird, and salt tends to be everywhere. Things like crackers, chips, and popcorn might be a fun treat, but aren't good at all. No matter how many times you hear it, Polly does NOT want a cracker.

11. Nuts - This is another tricky one. In the wild, birds do not eat peanuts. Peanuts grow underground and there is no bird that digs them up in order to eat them. Peanuts in the shell should be avoided as they can have a fungus on them. Roasting them isn't enough to kill the fungus. A lot of roasted peanuts are salted. Never feed honey roasted, or something from a can of mixed nuts. You can buy raw peanuts, and boil them for six to eight hours in unsalted water. This kills the fungus and gives them the texture of a soft bean. You can find them frozen, but check the label. They may have added salt or spice that your bird doesn't need. It's not that all nuts are bad, just use caution and be aware of what you're feeding. Some birds, like macaws, actually need the extra fat from nuts in their diet. One or two a day is usually all they need. Just be careful and avoid the extra salt.
What household things are dangerous to birds?
Birds are curious by nature, and sometimes that curiosity can be deadly. Here are some tips to keep your feathered friends as safe as possible.

Much of this is common sense, but worth repeating.

Turn off ceiling fans if your bird is flighted. This doesn't even need explaining.

Cover your windows. Either close the curtains or hang sheers. Little birds are fast. Big birds are faster. Flying head first into a glass window can be deadly.

Hide electrical cords. Think of your bird as a toddler that never grows up. If you wouldn't let your toddler put it in their mouth, then make sure your bird can't do it either.

The kitchen should always be a bird free zone in your house. Hot water, hot oil, smoke from cooking, etc. All of these things can be deadly. See the FAQ entry on Teflon Toxicity for more information.

Many things we take for granted are toxic, or potentially deadly for birds. Avoid air fresheners, scented candles, essential oil diffusers, and cleaning sprays with bleach. All of these can quickly kill a bird. A good rule of thumb is that if you can smell it, so can your bird. If it's strong for you, it's deadly for your bird.
What is Teflon Toxicity?
Non-stick cookware, commonly knows as "Teflon" is dangerous to birds. When overheated it releases a colorless, odorless gas called polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE). Unfortunately non-stick coatings are everywhere. You can find it on household appliances like irons, ironing board covers, space heaters, hair dryers, and curling irons. In the kitchen you can find it on non-stick cookware, cookie sheets, drip pans, indoor grills, and waffle irons. The danger comes when these items are overheated and the surface becomes damaged. When this happens, toxic gasses and particulates start to be released.

In the wild, some birds fly 25 miles or more a day in search of food. They can do this because they have incredibly efficient respiratory systems, and this makes them very susceptible to poor quality air and pollution.

Signs of teflon toxicity are difficulty breathing, or gasping for air. Weakness, listlessness, coma, the inability to stand on a perch, and confusion. For some birds the exposure can cause death within minutes and without warning.

A few simple guidelines can help prevent any of this from happening.

1. Never use non-stick cookware. Check with the manufacturer if you are unsure. When in doubt, throw it out.

2. Always use ventilation, open windows, vent hoods fans when cooking.

3. Keep your birds away from your kitchen. A family room next to the kitchen is still a danger.

There are other kitchen dangers that are deadly to birds. Birds don't have any concept of danger from things like a pot of boiling water, or a hot sauté pan. If you have a self cleaning oven, you must remove your birds from the house before using the self cleaning cycle. Open all of the windows, and turn on fans to circulate the air out of the house. The self cleaning cycle heats the oven up to a very high temperature and it burns off anything on the interior surface. The ash and gasses that are released are deadly to birds. Remove your birds before starting the cleaning cycle, and wait for 24 hours after the cleaning cycle has ended before you bring them back inside. This will give you the time to air out the house completely.

Can You Explain BioSecurity In An Aviary?
Here are a few things to keep in mind if you have an aviary. This applies to both indoor and outdoor cages.

1. Keep things clean.
Food and water dishes should be cleaned and disinfected daily. Broken or chipped stoneware dishes should be replaced. We prefer to use stainless steel dishes as they don't aren't porous. Cages should be cleaned regularly. This isn't just changing the paper at the bottom. Use a pet safe disinfectant to clean the bars of the cage. Pressure washing them once or twice a year will clean the hidden places where dropped food can accumulate and spoil. Mop floors and clean the walls often.

2. Avoid contact between your birds and wild birds.
There is a large flock of feral lovebirds in the Phoenix metro area. They are attracted to outside aviaries and will often sit on top of the cage and try to interact with the birds inside. Many wild birds carry diseases that you don't want to spread to
your own flock. Take whatever steps are necessary to prevent wild birds from landing on top of your outdoor aviaries and letting their droppings fall inside. Clean up seed or food that may have spilled in order to keep wild birds away. This will also discourage other pests like rats and squirrels from getting into your aviary.

3. Limit interaction with your flock from outsiders.
If you breed and sell exotic birds, don't allow anyone to see your breeding flock. Remove chicks from the flock at the appropriate time and ask anyone who handles them to wash their hands first. If you have multiple species and keep the chicks separate, make sure they wash their hands between touching different species.

4. Quarantine new birds.
When you add a bird to your flock, keep it separate for 30 days. This gives you a chance to observe it for signs of illness and get it checked by an avian certified vet. At a minimum, you should have your birds tested for Polyoma, PBFD, and ABV. This is a good chance to get a DNA test done to confirm the sex of the bird.

5. Know the signs of illness.
Unfortunately when it comes to parrots, it's difficult to see signs of illness. Many birds hide their illness until they are very ill and sometimes beyond saving. In the wild, this keeps them safe from predators. Know your flock. As you get to know their behavior, you will notice when something is off. If a bird that is normally active has suddenly become lethargic and inactive, chances are that bird is sick. Schedule a vet appointment right away.

6. Attending bird shows or bird marts.
While we hope that breeders who attend bird shows and bird marts only bring healthy birds to sell, we know that's not always the case. If you attend a bird show / mart the first thing you should do is change your clothes or shower when you get home.
Shipping
Due to the summer heat here in Phoenix, shipping options are limited. Both United & Delta ship birds from Phoenix. Not all aircraft are configured for live animal transport, so it's worth checking to see what's available. There are some cities that we just can't get to due to airline routes or schedules. In a case like this, picking up the bird in a nearby city might be the best option. The price may be reasonable but for some cities the flights arrive after the cargo facility is closed for the evening and you can't pick up the bird until the next morning. We won't ship in a situation where the bird can't be picked up the same day. There are also times during the winter where the connecting flight may be in a city that has extreme cold during the winter. We won't ship if the connecting flight goes through a city like Minneapolis or Detroit during the winter.

Prices vary but average between $125 and $250 for the flight. The shipping crate averages $50 - $150 depending on the size. The buyer pays these costs. We simply pass this cost on to the purchaser through multiple communications and it is reflected on the invoice. If you're purchasing multiple birds, keep in mind that they may have never been together. If that is the case, they will need to be shipped in different containers which will mean additional costs for you. If we can ship multiple birds in one container we will.

If there is a particular chick you're interested in, please use the contact form to get in touch with us.

We WILL NOT ship birds through the USPS. With the exception of chickens, turkeys, guinea fowl, doves, pigeons, pheasants, partridges, quail, ducks, geese, and swans, it is ILLEGAL to ship birds via USPS. Doing so carries the risk of losing the bird(s) shipped, Federal criminal penalties and/or confiscation of bird(s) by US Fish & Wildlife Marshalls. For details, you can check the US Postal Service regulations HERE

What is "night fright" ?
Night Fright is exactly what it sounds like. Something in the dark at night scares a bird and in response they jump off of their perch in fear. In a cage this causes them to either fall to the bottom, or slam into the side of the cage. It can be deadly. Some birds, like cockatiels, are more prone to night frights than others. It could be something simple like a shadow crossing the cage, or a new noise that causes it. Sometimes a change in the cage is enough to set the bird on edge and leaves them unable to settle for the night. This makes them prone to a night fright until they get used to the change. A few things can help with this. Covering the cage at night. This blocks what the bird can see, so a shadow or something won't set them off. Using a small air purifier, or white noise generator, may be enough to drown out noises that might frighten them after dark.
Clipping Your Bird's Wing Feathers
Should I clip my bird's wings? Well, it's a personal choice and a matter of bird safety. Bird stores tend to clip a birds flight feathers for their safety. It may be to keep them in a single place, or prevent them from flying around the store and getting hurt.

We don't normally clip our birds feathers and there are several reasons. A baby bird needs to be able to develop their chest muscles for flight. This is a natural instinct and you'll see many young birds furiously beating their wings even before they start flying. Having fully developed flight muscles is beneficial for when you do get the feathers clipped. If a bird falls the first thing they will do is flap their wings. If the chest muscles are not well developed they don't have the strength to flap very well and they will crash land on whatever is below them. This can be very dangerous. If the chest muscles are strong and well developed the bird can soften their landing and help avoid a potential injury. Some birds are so strong that even if they are clipped they can still fly, though not very well.

There are different types of feathers clips. A full clip, in our opinion, is the most dangerous. This removes the ability to fly and most birds will just drop to the floor. This can lead to broken legs or cracked breast bones. There is a show clip which removes the ends of some primary flight feathers but leaves the ones at the end of the wing. This preserves the birds looks but prevents them from getting lift. If they do fly it is very difficult for them to fly up. Mostly they can glide safely to the ground. A baby clip is for young birds. It lets them glide to the ground but prevents them from flying up. Young birds will replace their flight feathers at between 6 and 12 months so this kind of clip doesn't last very long. It is normally done for the safety of young birds. There is another type of "clip" where the feather shafts are left intact, but the material on either side of the shaft is stripped away. This preserves the natural look of the bird but the lack of feather structure doesn't let them fly. For some birds this may be a good choice. They aren't traumatized by having their feathers removed, but for some it may also encourage feather destruction.

While we don't normally clip our own birds there have been specific instances where it was necessary. A young golden conure we had was constantly crashing into windows. While standing in front of a window with her perched on my shoulder, she would dive headfirst into the window pane. She had no understanding that it was there. She would also crash into mirrors and walls sometimes. She was very young, silly and sometimes a little daft. We made the choice to clip her feathers for her own safety. As the flight feathers grew back she learned better control and stopped crashing into things. In her case it was a temporary solution to a problem and we never had to clip her again.

Our Buffon's Macaw, Boo Boo, was clipped before he came to us. He has a problem with one of his wings and if he were to fall he would not be able to flap his wings enough to prevent himself from hitting the floor. We've let his flight feathers grow back to help soften the landing if he were to fall from his cage. Whatever the issue with his wing is, he isn't able to fly so we don't have to worry about his escaping. In his case, being clipped was never necessary.
Phoenix Feathers Bird Guarantee

Research before you buy! : We encourage every person who is interested in a bird to research and learn as much as they can before making their decision to purchase. Birds can be demanding, loud, and messy. They are also sensitive, feeling, and very intelligent. While you may have your heart set on a particular type of bird it may turn out that it is not the best fit for your lifestyle or family, or your lifestyle and family may not be the best fit for that particular bird. If you cannot provide for the physical and emotional needs of a bird, then they are not the right pet for you. We discourage the giving of birds as gifts unless the recipient is involved in the experience.

Please review the health guarantee below. It applies to
ALL birds that we sell.

Phoenix Feathers guarantees that, at the time of purchase, the bird(s) being purchased are in good health.

We encourage you to have the bird(s) examined by a Certified Avian Veterinarian within 3 days (72 hours) of picking up your bird, or, if the bird is shipped to you, from the time it arrives at your destination. Vets book in advance, so we recommend that you schedule the appointment prior to picking up your bird, or having it shipped.

If your Avian Veterinarian determines the bird(s) to have a major health problem, please return the bird(s), along with the veterinarian’s statement to Phoenix Feathers.  Any lab tests done by the Vet must be performed within the 72 hour window. We understand that the results of these tests may not be available until after the 72 hour period. As long as the tests have been performed within the 72 hour window, the guarantee will be honored.

If problems are found, at our discretion, the bird or birds, will be replaced with one of equal value when one becomes available, or we will refund the purchase price paid for the bird(s).

In the event that your bird(s) would die within the first 72 hours of purchase,  an Accredited Avian Vet must perform a necropsy to determine the cause of death. The necropsy report can take more than a week. A statement from the vet, and photographs of the deceased bird must be submitted to Phoenix Feathers within 7 days. The necropsy report must be submitted when it is received.

No warranty is expressed or implied in the case of human negligence, night frights, or injury caused by other birds or pets within the household. As with any living animal, fear, loss of appetite, lack of sleep, exposure to extreme heat or cold, and other forms of stress can make a bird susceptible to illness. These factors can potentially cause diarrhea, respiratory infection, and a variety of other illnesses.  Exposure to cigarette smoke, or other household toxins can quickly kill a bird. Due to these factors which are outside of our control once the bird leaves our possession, the guarantee is limited to 72 hours. We encourage you to review the
FAQ pages on this site for more information on bird safety.

Phoenix Feathers takes pride in breeding quality, healthy birds. The parents are disease tested when they arrive and are quarantined from the rest of our breeding flock until the testing results are returned. We limit the number of times our pairs may breed each year, and prefer to produce quality birds over quantity.

If you choose not to have your bird(s) seen by an accredited avian vet within 72 hours of arrival, then the guarantee is null and void, and you assume all liability for the health of the bird.

This section applies to Macaws, African Greys, and Eclectus Parrots:

We do not place metal leg bangs on our birds. Macaws, African Greys, and Eclectus Parrot chicks will receive a temporary colored plastic leg band when DNA testing is done. This allows us to match the bird with the DNA results. All Macaws, African Grey, and Eclectus Parrots have a wellness check by a certified avian vet, and have a microchip implanted prior to leaving our care. When the bird is turned over to you, you will receive a copy of the vet report and the information to register the microchip. This is our guarantee that your bird is as healthy as possible when it leaves our care. Shipping can be stressful and a stressed bird can easily get sick. If your bird is being shipped to you, we encourage you to have an additional wellness exam done within 72 hours of arrival.

Phoenix Feathers assumes no liability or responsibility for
any veterinary expenses incurred, or the expense of shipping the bird back.

Phoenix Feathers recommends the Arizona Exotic Animal Hospital for all of your exotic pets medical needs. They have offices in Phoenix, Mesa, and Tucson. Many of the Doctors are either avian certified, or very knowledgeable about avian husbandry. You can find them here -
AZEAH

Phoenix Feathers LLC, a part of Cervae LLC © 2016 - 2023
DBA AZ Parrots
Page last updated: 12/31/22


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