Sometimes we get asked if we sell unweaned babies to individuals with little or no handfeeding experience. The answer is no, we do not. Regardless of what you may have heard or been told, handfeeding baby birds is a laborious process that requires skill and the proper equipment to do properly. There is more to it than squirting some food into the baby bird's beak! Proper care must be taken not to aspirate the bird. The formula must be fed at the correct temperature. The baby must be maintained at a carefully controlled temperature. No, a heating pad is not sufficient and many baby birds have died from being overheated by them!
Most buyers do not know the early signs of a problem and by the time they recognize there is one, it is usually too late. Would you know if your baby had a yeast infection in it's crop? What would you do if the crop failed to empty? Do you even know what a crop is? What is the correct temperature to maintain a chick just out of the nest? How should the chick be contained? What are the signs of a bacterial infection? How much formula should be given to the chick and how many times per day? What is the best way to wean a baby bird and what foods should be given at this critical time? When is the chick ready for a cage? When do you trim the flight feathers and at what age? And this is just the start.
Quality, professional breeders have spent years honing their skills to learn the proper techniques to raise baby birds correctly. They spend a lot of time and money on continuing education in the form of seminars, conferences, books, etc. (there is always more to learn) and the proper equipment (brooders, incubators, thermometers, etc.). And most have at least one "mentor" breeder that they can call to get advice from if they need it.
As for us at Almost Angels Aviary, we are not "production" breeders. We are a small aviary and we like it that way! We raise a limited number of babies so we can give each chick the individual attention they all deserve. Watching our babies grow into beautiful adults makes all the sleepless nights and hard work worthwhile. We care about each baby we sell and want the best for it and the new owner.
And just from a strictly financial point of view, unweaned babies in general do not come with a health guarantee. There are too many things that can go wrong with unweaned babies and breeders/handfeeders know this. That means the buyer has no financial recourse if the bird is sick or dies after you bring it home! Is it really worth it?