Healthy birds will be happy and active, and have plenty of room to spread their wings in uncrowded cages. Their food and water bowls will be relatively clean, and fresh food and water should be available. The sellers should be knowledgeable and encourage you to spend plenty of time with the birds.
Birds that are kept in dirty cages or surroundings are susceptible to viruses, parasites and disease, and unkempt birds are not happy, healthy, or promising future pets. Sellers who are not willing to share any information about their birds or their ancestry are not the sort that I would trust to have their bird’s best interest at heart.
Baby versus Adult
Although most new owners purchasing their first Quaker prefer a hand-fed baby so they can raise it themselves, the opportunity to purchase a tame (or even semi-tame) adult Quaker should not be passed over too quickly. These birds are famous for their adaptability, and with love and patience almost any Quaker–young or mature–can become a terrific companion. However, there are a few possibilities that must be considered before deciding to purchase an adult Quaker.
People get rid of birds for many different reasons: divorce, allergy development, inability to adequately care for the bird, owner growing afraid of the bird, etc. You may be getting a bird that is being sold because it has health or behavioral problems.
Unfortunately, often the owners are the ones causing the behavioral problems without realizing it, and haven’t taken the time to research Quakers or avian behavior enough to find a possible cause and solution. In this case, you may stumble across a great deal that saves you money as well as providing the bird with a new lease on life! If you don’t feel qualified to make a decision regarding the bird, bring along someone who is more experienced and can evaluate the bird for you.