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Monday, December 26, 2005

Can You Make Money From Breeding Birds?

This is such a loaded question that I get asked all the time. I'm an accountant by trade and I know that its extremely difficult to make money from cockatiels if you breed correctly.

Let's review the costs

Aquistion of Flock
Food
Baby Supplies
Cages and Aviaries
Extra Room (do you have to build on to your house or build an outbuilding? Is this covered in your properties covenence or will you be fined for having birds?)
Feeding Supplies
Veterinary Care
Marketing (included here is the cost of showing or going to fairs)
Advertising
Medications
Supplements
Breeding Supplies (nestboxes, cuttlebone, substrate material, etc)

All in all, breeding is EXPENSIVE. Now, there are two ways you can make money with birds. One is the BAD way. I've seen this alot on the internet. There is actually an ebook on making money. People buy birds and they sell birds. While this seems lucrative, just wait. Wait until a disease hits your flock. Its a problem waiting to happen even with the best of quaranteens.

The other way is to establish yourself in the avicultural world. Listen to folks, breed conscientiously and your birds will sell themselves. Your clients will be better clients, for the most part, and you will be a better breeder and knowledgeable seller. You can then demand a higher price for your birds because with your birds, comes knowledge. You will have to buy the best possible birds and these won't come cheap either. But, with careful planning, its not a sin to be paid for your time and effort. Its frowned upon because of all the puppy and even birdie mills out there. But, you have to acquire good stock, good knowledge, and GREAT breeding practices. Quality begets quality. But, you can't achieve it overnight. I have gone to dozens of shows a year and have worked hard on my breeding flock. I have excellent veterinary care for my birds and my buyers recommend me to other buyers. Just remember, your hard work will not go unnoticed and your excellence in breeding and knowledge will be proven on the show bench and in the species.

Breeding only brings a semi-decent income to very few breeders. For me, I can pay for all my supplies and afford to have time away at shows fraternizing with my friends. If I make more every now and again, I know there will be times when the birds are not producing as much as a good breeder never overworks their stock. You must make a niche for yourself in breeding and not only will it make you a little extra income but it will give you joy and satisfaction to be giving folks such a quality companion for years to come.

Good luck and enjoy learning! Having multiple degrees, I still haven't learned everything I want to yet. Have an inquisitive mind and keep your eye on the future!

Learn our secrets of breeding and caring for cockatiels:

Related articles:

Establishing your breeding aviary Part #1
Establishing Your Breeding Aviary Part 2


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