Telling Age of Birds

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ratbag
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Telling Age of Birds

Post by ratbag » 28 May 2016, 19:18

Is it possible to tell the age of Birds as I am new to birds I feel that I could buy old birds that are no longer wanted or no longer able to breed.

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ShaneGowland
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Re: Telling Age of Birds

Post by ShaneGowland » 28 May 2016, 21:15

It depends on the species and can be really hard to tell. The only way you can guarantee you're getting young birds is to buy them when they still have juvenile colouring or buy from breeders who put closed leg rings on their young.

Here's some quick thoughts I put together for you:

Feather condition: Young birds are generally slicker and "newer" looking than old ones. This is a lot more obvious in parrots than finches, but still a good place to start. Some finches fade in colour as they get older. I've noticed this in some of my older Gouldians so I assume it also happens with other species. Of course, you have no way of knowing whether the bird is old, really young (doesn't yet have adult feathers) or just didn't have striking colours to begin with.

Legs and nails: Darker legs, flaky leg skin and overgrown toenails may indicate that the bird has been around for a while.

General activity: Older birds like to relax and don't move around as much. I have lovebirds in their late teens that spend 20 hours a day in their nest box. Some young birds are also lazy, but they're probably sick or lethargic and probably shouldn't be purchased anyway.

Beak color: Less applicable to finches than parrots. Lorikeet beaks will start black and turn from reddish brown, to red, to a maroon colour over the course of their lives. Eclectus parrot males will have their beak turn from orange to a cream sort-of-colour as they begin to get old.
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Tiaris
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Re: Telling Age of Birds

Post by Tiaris » 29 May 2016, 08:54

Best advice I could give re this is to not buy coloured birds from bird dealers as no matter what they say they don't know the birds' ages themselves. Only buy from breeders who you know or trust. Otherwise buy only semi-mature half-coloured birds.

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finchbreeder
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Re: Telling Age of Birds

Post by finchbreeder » 30 May 2016, 10:38

Shanes advice is good. If the bird is lively and "sparking" it is likely to be in good health and to breed for you. Regardless of it;s age. Good luck.
LML

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ratbag
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Re: Telling Age of Birds

Post by ratbag » 17 Jun 2016, 19:22

Thank you all for your valuable information going to a bird sale next weekend will look at birds with great interest.

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