When looking for a breeder be aware, there are very very good breeders and very very bad breeders. You obviously need to find a good one from which to choose your bird.
There are the indiscriminant breeders that breed birds in massive quantities with little or no thought given the possibility of inbreeding, or what good and bad qualities they may be breeding into their birds. For them it is all about the money they get by selling bulk quantities of birds to pet shops and dealers. They do this with no thought or care for the health of the birds, their welfare or their future.
BUT, there are breeders who breed for the love of their birds. These breeders keep good records so that they can selectively breed their birds. The outcome is happy, healthy budgies that they want to go to good homes. These breeders rarely sell their budgies to pet shops, unless a particular pet shop is on their "approved list". Thankfully, there are some good pet shops.
So, Where to start looking?
The best places to start looking for responsible breeders would be via a local bird club. These clubs cater for people who have a love for birds. These are likeminded individuals who join the club to learn about raising healthy birds and they share common goals and interests.
Look in your local phonebook for bird clubs and associations and you will soon be put in touch with a good breeder. You may also find these contacts on the internet.
What about Advertisements?
You will find both types of breeders here. Some people advertise well bred and cared for birds through newspapers and Internet sites. While other individuals are selling large quantities of birds week after week after week. They are the bird "farmers" or bird "mills" which you wish to avoid.
When looking in the "Birds for Sale" column, you should also read the "Birds Wanted" column as well. You should look out for advertisers with the same or similar phone numbers that appear in both columns. This could be an indication that they are bird farmers or bird mills. These people breed en masse, usually for the pet store market. They often need to replenish their stock of breeder birds that are literally being 'bred to death'. They are only in it for their own monetary gain. Be smart and beware.
How can you tell a Good Breeder?
In your first contact with a bird breeder, use your common sense and ask questions, lots of them. This will help you work out the good from the bad. When you go and visit to select your bird, there are a couple of things to look out for.
1. Do you get to see where the birds are kept, or are you just shown a small few birds in a cage and not allowed past the front door?
2. Does the handing over of your money seem to be the most urgent need by the seller?
3. If you get to see where the birds are kept, pay attention to the cleanliness or lack there of of the establishment.
4. Are rodents or signs of them in evidence?
5. Are there any dead birds in cages?
6. Do you see any sick and fluffed up looking birds?
7. Is their food and water clean and freely available?
8. Are there a variety of foods available such as seed, pellets, vegetables etc…?
9. Is the breeder free with helpful advice and does he care about the birds future with you?
10. Are you quizzed as a future owner of a bird he has bred?
11. Does the breeder offer follow up advice and phone calls for any worries you may have in the future?
12. Does the breeder give you a health guarantee or return policy?
13. Can he give you any referrals for a good avian vet and pet supply stores?
14. Does he sell unweaned babies?
How do I find a Good Breeder?
The best recommendation for a good bird breeder is through a bird club or mouth to mouth recommendations from past customers who have been dealt with fairly and honestly, from a breeder who cares about the future of the birds he has bred.
What about Pet Shops?
Breeders do sell to pet shops ....YES. But most pet shops pay a pittance for birds from a breeder. So, unless they have an arrangement with a great pet store, most good breeders would rather sell privately, to people he knows or people he can meet face to face, rather than send a consignment of birds to a pet shop.
You can also read Evaluation of a Pet Shop many of the same points can be used for Evaluation a Good Breeder.