Thursday, August 25, 2016

Attending a Bird Show or Fair this Fall?

What fun a bird show or bird fair can be.  At a Bird Show you will probably see many species of birds you would otherwise never be lucky enough to see in person.  Doesn't matter if it's a Finch and canary competition, cockatiel show, budgies, or a parrot show with all the larger parrots.  Bird Shows are educational, fun, and interactive as you learn and mingle among the other show attendees.  Local Bird Clubs are usually the sponsors of Bird Shows and are usually affiliated with national organizations with high standards of health, beauty, and ethics.  Often bird shows will also hold sponsored educational forums and lectures throughout the show.  I encourage you to attend some.  Often they will be conducted by Avian Veterinarians or very experienced bird owners.

Bird Fairs are for selling birds and bird related items.  From small vendors displaying and selling their products, to large manufacturers showing the latest in bird food, bird toys, and supplies.  There is also sure to be bird breeders with the babies looking for new forever homes.  It is super fun to see all the different items available and sometimes you can find some really sweet deals too.  Some fairs are only held once a year and sponsored by a local bird club, some are more business oriented and may be held as often as every 3 months.  Sometimes the sponsors of local bird fairs may also offer classes or seminars along with the fair and some will have a veternarian on site during the fair as well.

As someone who has shown birds at Club Shows in the past, also been a vendor at bird fairs, there are a few tips I highly recommend you practice if you plan to attend a show or fair.

As you will see, the venues are usually open air markets or large meeting places.  As some avian diseases can be airborne, you definitely do not want to bring anything bad home to your own feathered friends.

Always disinfect any bird toys, cages, or supplies you buy while at the fair, and all food should be in sealed containers or bags when purchased.  Best practice is to totally strip down as soon as you get home (hopefully in the privacy of your home).  Take a shower including washing your hair.  Wash your clothes, and don't forget your shoes.  Take your shoes off at the door of your home,  The bottom of most shoes can be lightly spritzed with a solution of one part chlorine bleach to 4 parts water to make sure you don't track anything inside.  Some shoes may be ones that can be washed.  You do want comfortable shoes when walking around the show or fair, but remember they should be shoes that can be disinfected when you get home.

I don't want to get too much into buying a bird while you are at the bird fair, but if you do, make sure you quarantine, have it immediately vet checked, and don't forget to get the breeder or seller's contact info and a bill of sale (even if it's only a note on paper) with the seller's signature.  Ask whether there is any health guarantee before you buy.  Most responsible breeders will give you a time frame in which to have the bird vet checked for illness.

To see more bird show winners visit our Pinterest Board

To find a bird show or fair in your area visit some of these sites for more info.

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