Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What's a Split Tail Parrotlet? Why Do Pet Shops Charge More Than Breeders?

Sandee, I found your website (very informative) recently while looking for some info on Parrotlets. I found a sweet girl (not sure if it's a girl ;) ) accidentally at the local pet shop. I found out she is about 4 years old and has been there two years!!! I don't relish the idea of buying from a pet store however, she is SO sweet. She seems to have so much personality. She's quick to "chat" with me and comes right to the side of the cage. She does not seem to bite and just wants to play! She grabbed my heart. They are asking $300 for her! She appears to be a green Pacific. They say the high price is because she is a "split tail". However, when I did some research for a split tail, I couldn't find anything! Is she rare or has a genetic irregularity? Advice? Sidenote, I asked the same question of Debbie at ___________ and she actually directed me to you. She had never heard of a "split tail" and felt as though the pet store was simply uninformed. Thanks for your time! -- Heather Dear Heather: Thank you for your email. I'm sure what the pet shop means is that the bird is 'split' i.e., carries a color mutation gene. If you are not going to breed the bird, it is really irrelevant as to the bird's personality or pet quality. However, as a breeder, the bird, when paired with the correct corresponding color mutation, would produce color mutation offspring. For example, if the bird was split to blue, if it were bred with another parrotlet that carried the same blue gene, they would produce visual blue offspring. As for the price, $300 is a very reasonable amount for a parrotlet being sold in a pet store. When you buy from a breeder, you are paying a 'wholesale' price and therefore the price is much lower. After all, breeders do not have the expenses that pet shops do. Pet shops have to hire people, train them, have a lease and store front to pay for, plus overhead, insurance, taxes, licensing, etc., so of course whenever you buy from a pet shop you would be paying about twice the price of what that bird would cost from a breeder. It's no different than buying anything else wholesale. Hope this answers your questions. Sincerely yours, Sandee L. Molenda, C.A.S. The Parrotlet Ranch, Owner, Join the International Parrotlet Society, – the World’s Largest and Oldest Parrotlet Organization A Chattering Bird Builds No Nest. Camaroonian Phrase

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