Sad Dusky-Headed Conure at Store

Yesterday, I was in a larger city where my best friend lives. We met to have dinner and hang out for a few. Anyway, she needed to get some food and treats for her two pups, so we went to the local pet store (not a big chain). This store has reptiles, fish, arthropods, felines, pocket pets, and birds. While she was looking at her stuff I wandered over to the birds. Those poor things!!There was a big open bin of cockatiels, all clipped, where anyone could reach in and chase them around. The store stays open till 9ish, so of course, the lights were on in the bird cages. Strange thing though, all the pocket pets had their lights off. They were being fed something that looked like fruity pebbles or Trix cereal, bright fruit shaped pellets. Many of their birds were missing toes One bird in particular stood out, what I imagine was at one time, a cute Dusky-headed conure. He was priced at $550 (American). He was so so so stressed. The poor baby had barbered over 80% of his feathers and started plucking around his neck and chest. I asked the store clerk how long he’d been there. She said only about 2 weeks. I asked her if there was wiggle room in the price because he was totally unhappy and explained the feather destructive behavior. She said “He’s still a baby. They do that. There’s no wiggle room and the owner (of the store) is out of town.” I then replied no healthy bird naturally destroys their feathers…How do you all deal with encounters like that? I’m not looking for another bird necessarily, I was just there with my friend. I don’t want to cause the cycle to continue by purchasing it and feeding into their supply/demand thing. But he was just very sad looking.

Unfortunately, I can’t go to places like that as I am incapable of dealing with that in a socially acceptable manner.

Wolf wrote:Unfortunately, I can’t go to places like that as I am incapable of dealing with that in a socially acceptable manner.Totally legit answer. I feel like I should do something about it. Though, idk what.

It’s a conundrum and no mistake about it! On the one hand, you don’t want to be part of the problem and buy birds that will simply be replaced by another one thereby encouraging both the store and the breeder BUT on the other hand, your heart breaks for the poor little ones living under such terrible conditions. Personally, I do not patronize stores that sell live animals. If I am in a real pinch and need something that cannot be found anywhere else (like cat formula late in the evening because I found a baby that needs feeding or some other urgent item), I send my husband to a Petco or a Petsmart with a little note explaining exactly what I need. I don’t go myself because I know I’ll come out of there suffering and will continue to think about the poor animals (it’s not only birds, it’s the reptiles, the tarantulas, the ferrets, the guinea pigs, etc. etc. etc).You might want to write a letter to the manager, explaining that no healthy baby plucks or barbers, only sick ones do (babies don’t deal with stress by destroying their feathers, only adults do - in my personal experience, when babies do it is because they are seriously sick).