Karen Goodman and Carmen Cote:
We see too many birds that have been purchased at other shops or through other breeders that either were not a good "fit", or were impulse buys. At African Grey we will not sell to impulse buyers. We sell only to serious buyers who have done their homework about what kind of bird they are looking for, and about birds in general and the kind of commitment they require.
We believe that in order for a complete bonding experience to occur, from the human's side, it is necessary for the buyer to finish or at least take part in the handfeeding process. We at African Grey never, ever force-wean a baby bird. We allow our birds to handfeed as long as they wish. We do not feel that a buyer wants to hang around African Grey for six months or longer while their baby bird is being weaned. So, with our larger birds (conures and up), we teach the buyer how to handfeed so they may take their baby home in a timely manner. This way they can finish the handfeeding and gain the joy that experience entails. We feel the bonding is much more intense from the human side, and very rarely do we get one of our babies back. We require frequent weight checks, and if a baby is not maintaining weight, we take the baby back until the weight stabilizes and re-teach the owner proper handfeeding techniques. We require at least six to eight handfeeding sessions with the buyer, and only when they are comfortable feeding and we are comfortable with their handfeeding techniques, then we send the baby home. The baby must be perching well enough to be in a caged environment, and must be eating on their own. We will not send home baby budgies, cockatiels, or lovebirds until they are fully weaned, as they are difficult to handfeed, and usually wean quickly.