If you love birds, and one of your hobbies is raising your cute little budgie, beautiful canary, or peppy finch, you may have had thoughts about raising these birds to sell for a profit. Many pet cage birds are in high demand nowadays, and if you have the means, inclination, and space, you might want to consider starting a hobby aviary.
If you love birds, and one of your hobbies is raising your cute little budgie, beautiful canary, or peppy finch, you may have had thoughts about raising these birds to sell for a profit. Many pet cage birds are in high demand nowadays, and if you have the means, inclination, and space, you might want to consider starting a hobby aviary. If you plan your business strategy correctly, your rewards will be great! You'll be doing something you love, making a modest profit, and bringing high quality pets and eager owners together. It's a win-win situation!
The first thing to consider when planning your new hobby business is profit. You don't want to be spending money on your birds; you want to be making money. To do this successfully you have to determine which species to start your breeding program with. The ones that have not been bred in captivity are the species to definitely stay away from. The more common species such as canaries, parakeets (budgies) and finches are probably the best bet for most beginners.
Domestic cage birds have long been favorite pets of Americans and Europeans. Canaries have been in demand for their beautiful color and pretty songs. In the 1940's and 1950's there was a "budgie boom", where people were raising parakeets in their basements, backyards and barns. The demand for these little birds was great, and it seemed that the supply would never catch up! The striking colors of finches are what attract people most to this small bird. The most common of the finches is the zebra finch, followed by the Bengalese or society finch. Parrots such as cockatiels, lovebirds, cockatoos, and African Greys have been gaining popularity for many years. You can purchase a hand-fed baby for almost any breed of parrot today.
Since Budgerigars (budgies for short), canaries and finches are the most common and easily bred domestic cage birds, we'll center our discussion on these species.
The budgie has a winning personality, beautiful shell-like markings and bright colors. He is one of the most popular birds kept as pets, and most can learn to talk. The budgie is an easy breeder, and can be raised in colonies. The canary is prized for its beautiful song, and lovely color. There are three categories of canaries in the fancy. There are the "type" canaries whose conformation is different from the norm (e.g. the "frill" canary), the specially colored bird, such as the red factor, and the canaries bred for their song, including the roller. You may be interested in breeding one of these types or even all of them! Finches, which include a broad range of seed eating birds, are desirable mostly because of their attractive colors and exotic courtship behaviors.
Whatever species of bird you decide to breed, you will have to thoroughly research its needs and habits. You will also have to decide if you're going to breed the birds in colonies or cages, and you'll need to determine if you are going to breed in quantity to fulfill the pet demand, or just to breed smaller amounts of show quality birds for the show circuit. Breeding for the pet market will usually be more profitable, and colony breeding under proper management is easier than cage breeding.
To start, you will need to determine the costs of building an outdoor or indoor aviary or flight pen, along with all of the other expenses involved in setting up your bird business. These expenses will be purchasing the foundation stock, medicines, heating/air conditioning bills for the aviary, veterinarian services and the yearly up keep on the aviary. You may want to hire a CPA to help with your business strategy and tax structure.
Raising pet birds as a hobby business can be a very enjoyable and profitable business. Use these tips to help you get started, and remember to research every aspect of your new business as thoroughly as possible. Talk to other hobby breeders, join a bird club, and ask questions. With determination, a little help, and a willingness to succeed, your bird hobby will grow into a profitable business in no time!
Photo Source: morguefile.com/blondieb38