Are you Sure?
Chances are, if you own a bird or two, that sometime the
thought of breeding will pass through your head. This seems to be a normal
thought process as we learn how fantastic and smart these creatures can be. We
want more! But don’t take this decision lightly. There are many things to
consider before you elect to go this route.
First, know that some people are against breeding. Some
people believe there is an overpopulation problem and that no more birds are
required. Other people believe birds don’t belong in captivity, in our homes.
Still others will demean you if you ever make any money from your birds….you
know….living off the backs of your birds! Before you start you should consider
how you feel in regards to the above arguments.
Do you think there is a problem with too many being raised
and not enough good owners available? Do you think they should really be raised
to live in a cage in our homes, basically for our own amusement? Will it bother
you if someone demeans you for exploiting (their words) your birds and making
them produce for you so you can make money?
I know those questions are difficult and for many its all a
grey area. It’s just better to evaluate how you feel before you ever start.
It’s like the saying, “If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen”
Do you believe that emotionally you can handle loss? It is
bound to happen at some point. A baby will be hatched weak, or it may get hurt
by its parents, or one of the parents may even get ill and die. You must be
able to grieve the loss but carry on.
Know before you begin breeding that much of the reward is
internal. If you were to figure out the hours you spend with the babies, you
probably will never get paid enough. Do it because you love the species you
choose to raise. Do it in a manner to get the best babies possible. Be flexible
enough to change your methods if the results aren’t what were desired. Be able
to learn and reflect on what you have done, what you are doing and where you
want to go. Always remember that we are dealing with sentient animals.
You will hear some people say that you can make no money
breeding birds. You will hear others get into breeding for the money they
believe they can make. The truth is, you probably won’t get rich, but of
course, you make a little. Whether that means you have any money come the end
of the year, depends on what you reinvest into your birds. It is not a get rich
Think long and hard about your life. Does it actually allow
for you to become a breeder?
Do you work outside the home 10 hours a day? Do you have
young children that keep you busy? Raising baby birds definitely puts some
limitations on your time. Babies (when being handfed) need you to be there to
feed them. And what about vacations? If you like to travel lots, raising birds
makes it difficult. Know in advance that you will be giving up a lot of your
time. If you are married, confer with your spouse. Their life will also be
changing. Time with babies is time away from the spouse and their needs.
Look at where you live and the space available. Chances are,
if you live in a small apartment, you won’t have the space for the larger
birds. Also consider the noise factor for your neighbors. Ensure there are no
zoning laws prohibiting you from breeding and raising birds in your area.
So if you make the decision that indeed, you are still
interested in raising birds, undertake it with the knowledge and desire to do
the best job you can and raise the best babies you can.
Breed your birds but not at the expense of the birds. Give
your breeders the same life (or as close as they allow) that you would give a
pet. Good food, good air, clean cages and toys are some of the things you can
give them. Respect them and respect what they give you. Don’t pass them around
and trade them off like you would do with collector cards. Don’t try to cramp
them in tiny little cages, they need space.
Take the time to socialize your babies. Teach them to play.
Teach them to love and trust humans. Teach them not to fear changes. Allow them
to attain their full potential by giving them every opportunity to learn. Let
them learn to fly to gain body control and balance. Guide them to becoming
great loving pets.