This is something I didn’t bring up in the first version of the book because it worked so well for me that I didn’t want all the other breeders locally doing it too! At the height of my breeding career, it was not unusual to have as many as 75 to 150 babies at any given time. The first time I had 150 babies, I freaked out big time. I thought, who am I going to sell all these babies to? Well, I found that all it took was the right niche and people who knew absolutely nothing about birds would buy them. The biggest reason I sold every bird I ever raised was because it would fly over and land on the customer’s finger.
I know. I said earlier you should keep them clipped to prevent accidents but during the weaning process I would let the birds fly around during feeding time so they could learn how to fly at an early age like they are supposed to. If you don’t let the bird learn how to fly when its young then later when it gets older and has not been trimmed in a while someone scares it for whatever reason and the bird not knowing how to fly or land slams into a window or wall. Not a good thing. If the customer did purchase the bird I would tell them it was best to clip the bird before leaving and entering a new home so the customer would let me clip them before taking the bird home.
Even people who knew nothing about birds would buy them from me. I used to make jokes with my wife all the time about how it was time to go sell another bird to some unsuspecting victim. LOL. I remember I sold a peach faced love bird one time to a guy installing carpet we bought upstairs. All I did was walk upstairs to the room he was laying carpet in and the first question the guy asked was what kind of bird I had. I just told him to hold up his finger and wiggle it, and the love bird flew right over and landed on his finger.
I told him I was a breeder and I sold them. He was so amazed at how that bird just landed on his finger, that he wanted to buy the bird. Not any bird but that one! When he got downstairs he paid for the bird and said he would pick it up Friday. When he got there he noticed his bird was in the cage with another one. He asked, how do I know which one is mine? I opened the cage and told him to hold up and wiggle his finger and say come here and both birds flew over and landed on his finger. He just laughed, and said he had never seen birds like these before. The next day one of his buddies came by and bought the other baby. I kid you not when I say I used to get $75.00 a piece for my peach faced lovebirds, and that was 10 years ago, just because they would fly over and land on your finger.
I did tell a couple of my buddies what I was doing, but they said that was too much extra work just to sell a bird. I laughed because it’s really no extra time involved, it’s just a different type of feeding technique. Just about the time a bird begins to wean it begins to learn how to fly. During this time it will begin hopping up on the edge of the aquarium. Quakers and pretty much all other birds do this as well so this technique will work for pretty much any bird. When the bird gets to the point where it can hop up on the aquarium, it’s time to make him start working for his food. After hand feeding a bird for awhile, it will get excited when he sees the syringe coming. So, when you go to feed him make him step up on your finger first by gently pushing up and wiggling your finger on his breast bone while saying come here. Then you can feed him while he is standing on your finger.
The next day, pull your finger a few inches away from the aquarium and wiggle your finger while showing him the syringe and saying come here. Before you know it, he will hop over on your finger once again to eat. Keep moving a few more inches away each day, making sure the youngest birds can fly as well. You don’t want any falling on the floor! By the time a week has gone by, you will have trained them to fly over and land on your finger from across the room just by wiggling your finger and saying come here. It doesn’t take that much time to teach them this. If you keep doing this until they are weaned, usually about a week or two depending on the baby, then one of your customers will be able to wiggle there finger, say come here and out of pure habit the bird will fly over and land on his hand. It worked great and sold me more birds, especially to first time buyers. Some of them would even drive from two or three states away just to buy one of our babies.
I cannot stress how important this one technique is to the success of your breeding business. You will definitely stand out from the other breeders in your area. And once the word starts getting around about how your babies just fly right over, you won’t have to worry about getting rid of your babies anymore. It will be all about getting higher prices for your birds and waiting lists. I don’t know how many people I talked on the phone with over the years that came over just to see if the birds would in fact fly over and land on their finger like I said. After seeing it for themselves, they usually bought the bird – another satisfied customer!