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Here are some Guidelines That Will Ensure You Purchase a Healthy & Happy Toucan

* always ask if you can visit the breeder to see his operation. If he declines, it may be because he is hiding something. Either he may be a broker and not really a breeder, or he may have a facility that is so run down and dirty that he is embarrassed to have it seen. Excuses the birds are breeding, or visitors are not allowed for whatever reasons, are simply excuses and raise a red flag. Breeders with high quality operations are proud to show their birds.

* Ask the breeder if he is willing to have a veterinarian examine the bird(s). Of, course you should be willing to pay for any exam, but the breeder's willingness to do so is a telltale sign of confidence in the bird's overall health. If he refuses, then something may be wrong, or he may not have a relationship with a vet. Every breeder worth his salt has a relationship with a veterinarian.

* Ask if the birds are raised outdoors. Birds raised outdoors are less likely to have health issues and/or be exposed to airborne viruses and other diseases. Outdoor birds are always healthier and more desirable. Indoor bred birds are often exposed to airborne viruses and other diseases, which become concentrated do to lack of fresh air. No matter how indoor birds are maintained, they simply cannot be as healthy.

* Try to buy from breeders that are MAP certified. Map certified breeders have been inspected periodically by a licensed veterinarian and the inspection report is then reviewed by a panel of other veterinarians and respected breeders. MAP aviaries are held to the very highest standards of care for their birds. Visit the MAP website (www.modelaviculture.org) to review their procedures, practices and standards of care. Map certification is one of the important ways you can reassure yourself you are getting a bird from a high quality breeder.

* Ask the breeder for references from other customers and/or his veterinarian. If he cannot provide references, then most likely there are problems. If the breeder has been serving his customer well, he will be proud to share that with you. Visit our Client Photo gallery and Toucan Tales to see what our clients have to say.

* Beware cheap prices. Some Internet advertisers offer cheap prices - so cheap you should be suspicious. These "cheap" birds are often smuggled, stolen, or simply nonexistent. Internet scammers are becoming highly sophisticated. Again, ask to visit to see the birds. Low prices and denial of visitation is a dead giveaway.