Birds have long been human companions and this mutually beneficial relationship dates back thousands of decades. In particular, parrots and other caged birds represent the largest group of captive wild animals in the United States, and they are said to be the fourth most popular animal kept as pets—after dogs, cats and fish.
This goes to show their popularity both as pets and as business options. Pet birds are known to have a short lifespan. This contributes to their demand as bird lovers will always want to replace their feathered friends as often as they die on them.
What are the Best Birds to Sell and What is Their Breeding Cycle?
According to statistics, the top choices when it comes to breeding birds are:
- Zebra finches
But parakeets are by far the most popular in the pack. These birds mentioned are known to breed twelve months out of the year, and under the correct breeding conditions, a breeder can have a new set of birds every month and as such, a regular monthly income.
When you understand the breeding cycle of birds, you can develop a regular cycle of breeding. Most cage birds reach sexual maturity between four and eight months and can breed between three and ten years.
As each breeding pair raises their own young, you essentially need nesting boxes, food sources and temperature control in order to give the babies more chances of survival. You don’t even need a backyard because a storeroom or spare space is sufficient during your initial start up phase.
Table of Content
Are There Government Restrictions on Sales of Exotic Birds?
Due to changes in importation regulations, the federal government is slowly phasing out the movement of exotic birds into The United States from other parts of the world. This has since opened up a huge market for small bird breeding operations.
As it turns out, the majority of pet stores in the nation are supplied with pet birds by small local or regional breeders and this means you can also get into the action. The profit margin is great as the birds you breed would be sold when they are still very young and when you have not yet committed a lot of funds on them.
Now let us assume that you have bred your birds and you have some pretty chicks doing marvelous, you need to find out how you can sell your birds and make some profit out of it.
5 Best Places to Sell Birds your Bird Aside Pet Shops
Getting their birds to breed is the ultimate goal for most aviculturalists. But once you’ve got an aviary full of young birds, how do you approach selling them? Like we’ve mentioned previously, the longer you hold onto your young birds, they more they will cost you in food and maintenance effort.
But trying to sell them quickly may mean accepting a much lower price. Opportunities for selling your young birds will vary, depending on the number of babies your pairs produce.
Breeders often sell wholesale to pet stores or brokers, attend bird fairs or bird shows to sell to the public, or sell directly to the public from home. Placing online advertisements, ads in local papers and signs at pet stores are ways for the general public to learn about your birds. But we will want to review how you can make good money while selling your birds to pet shops
1. Pet Stores and Dealers
Selling to a store or dealer is a good way to offload a substantial number of birds very quickly. Many of these stores will buy almost anything you bring to them, however be aware that they will usually pay you far less than a private buyer. You can expect to receive only 20-30% of the retail price for your birds.
One big advantage of selling through a dealer or pet store is that you don’t need to invite buyers onto your property to conduct the sale. Those keeping rare or expensive birds will appreciate not needing to allow potential buyers to enter their property. Aside pet stores, other places you can sell your pet birds include;
2. Market it around your neighborhood
If you want to sell your birds by yourself without a middle man, you have to follow certain procedures. First, you need to create and advert. You can do this by taking a photo of the bird in question. This is the easiest way to give potential buyers a clear idea of the bird’s physical characteristics.
Make sure to include the face of the bird in the photo and any distinct markings or features. Use a high-quality camera to ensure that the image is clear. Ensure the bird you are selling is the only bird in the photo if you have more than one. Avoid including photos that are blurry or poor quality.
Write down the breed, age, and gender of your bird. This is important information, especially for breeders. If you don’t know the exact age of your bird, estimate its age or write how long you have had it for. If you don’t know the gender or breed of your bird, simply write “gender/breed unknown.”
If you are breeding birds and selling young chicks, make sure to mention that the bird is very young and will need special care. If you are unsure what to charge, look online to see how much other birds of the same breed are selling for. This will give you an idea of the going rate. If your bird can do special tricks or is purebred, consider charging extra.
The price of birds varies significantly depending on their breed. Birds can be sold between $5 – $8000. A finch sells for about $15. Budgies start at $20. Lovebirds cost about $40 and a canary sells for about $90.
3. Try Bird Clubs and Sales
Selling through a bird club or a bird sale is one of the most effective ways to sell birds, but it’s not completely without flaws.
Sellers are usually able to clear a large quantity of stock in a short period of time, typically at prices somewhere between what dealers would pay and what dealers would sell for. Birds only experience discomfort or about half a day before they’re re-homed, and you can generally be sure that the buyer is an experienced bird keeper.
One potential issue is that bird sales or club events are only held a few times each year. You could find yourself with a large number of birds waiting to be sold, but the next sale is not happening for at least several months.
4. Classifieds Websites
Generic classifieds sites usually have a lively section for pets. Gumtree in Australia and Britain and Craigsist in the United States are considered to be the most popular, with many others available in different countries or regions. There are also pet (or bird) specific classifieds sites such as Australian Pet Link or Hoobly USA.
When listing your birds on classifieds websites, there’s a few important things to keep in mind. Firstly, never post your full address on the site, especially if you have rare or expensive birds. This makes it too easy for thieves. When negotiating over price, expect lots of unreasonably low offers. Many people browse classified sites looking for bargains that they can resell at a higher price. Finally, never send off your birds until you’ve received payment. In most cases, it’s much safer to meet with the buyer face to face.
5. Your Own Website
Running your own website gives you a much finer degree of control over the sale of your young birds. The price haggling you see on classifieds websites is largely avoided and you can demand a near-retail prices.
Building your own website does require a substantial initial investment (unless you have some intermediate technical skills), plus the additional time commitment of site updates and marketing. Unless you’re producing a significant number of valuable birds – with good consistency – it simply isn’t worth the effort. You can make your one-off sale without bothering with getting a website.
How Much Can You Make Breeding and Selling Exotic Birds?
Many potential breeders have sometimes wondered what they stand to gain if they venture into this business. Well, as of this period, many part-time breeders make between $500 and $2,000 per month. A full time breeder can earn more than $50,000 per year.
If you choose to become a breeder/wholesaler/distributor, you can expect to generate more than $100,000 in revenue on an annual basis. Breeders make good money whether they are in the bird business as part-timers or dedicating their full attention to it.
Wholesale including breeding birds that are sold to pet stores or brokers that resale them – this can be very profitable as it allows you to name a price depending on how much time and care is invested in taking care of your birds.
Bird breeders have existed for centuries and have always seen profits due to the demand that has never waned. If you are looking for an easy and enriching part-time or full-time opportunity that takes little time, allows you a lot of freedom and generates a good income, starting a backyard bird breeding business could be the right choice for you.