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:

  • Parakeets
  • Cockatiels
  • Zebra finches
  • Lovebirds

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.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where Can You Take A Bird Rescued From A Pet Shop?
  • Local Bird Rescues
  • Local Bird Club or Aviculture Society
  • Your Avian Vet
  1. Do Pet Stores Allow You To Take Birds Out Of Their Cages?

No, letting them out isn’t safe.

  1. What Happens To Birds In Pet Stores When They Don’t Sell?

The birds may be sold to a wholesaler to recoup some of the costs – the wholesaler will then resell them to another shop that may have a better market for that pet. Also, they may become the shop breeding stock and remain at the shop long-term (or until someone offers the money for them).

  1. What Kinds Of Birds Are Sold At Petsmart?

PetSmart sell birds like Parrots, Cocker Spaniel, Cockatiel and even exotic birds like Zebra Finch, Canary, Green Parakeet, Diamond Dove, Blue Parakeet, Society Finch, and PetSmart Green Cheek Conure at affordable price.

  1. Where do pet stores get their animals?

Pet stores generally buy from one of three places: Mill breeders, pet brokers, or the public.

  1. How Can A Concerned Citizen Alleviate The Appalling Suffering Of Birds For Sale In Pet Stores?
  • Familiarize yourself with the law
  • Report wild or exotic animals
  • File a first information report (FIR) with the police.
  • Don’t take “no” for an answer
  • Express your gratitude
  • Motivate others to adopt, never shop.
  • Make your voice heard
  • Record what you see
  • Make sure the animals get help
  1. How Much Does It Cost To Buy And Care For A Pet Bird?
  • Cage: $50-$1500
  • Food and water bowls: $10-40
  • Toys: $25-$150
  • Perches, ladders, swings, and play stands: $75-$300
  • Nests (for smaller birds): $5-$15
  • Birdbath: $10
  • Grooming items (nail clippers, powders, wing scissors): $60-$100
  • Cleaning supplies: $30-$40
  • Bird food: $10-$50
  • Travel carrier: $30-$100
  • Veterinary costs: $50-$500

Note that most of the above costs are one-time expenses. There will be other ongoing costs you’ll have to pay for, including new toys, cleaning supplies, routine veterinary exams, fruits and vegetables, vitamin supplements, bird seeds and pellets, and grooming.

  1. Do Pet Birds Stay With Their Owners If Set Free?

They may want to especially since the outside environment will be unfamiliar, he will not know any survival skills and he will not have learned the behaviours and songs appropriate to his breed, so it is unlikely wild birds will accept him and he will not be able to find a mate. If he’s lost, he’s doomed and pretty much dead.

  1. What Is The Best Way To Shop For A Pet Bird?

The best way to shop for a pet bird is to make sure you buy from a reputable shop or breeder. The key things to ask are:

  • How are the birds handled and do they have a lot of contact with humans?
  • How many birds do you own and what species are they?
  • Where do you get your birds from?
  • How long have you been breeding birds for?
  1. Why Do People Bring Their Pets Into Stores?

According to reports, people in this age need protection from their phobias and insecurities. They need companion animals, to weather their own psychological distress. Also, there are people who simply want their pets with them, regardless of how others feel.

  1. Why Do Some People Think It Is Inhumane To Keep A Bird In A Cage?

To some, life in captivity is often a death sentence for birds, who may suffer from malnutrition, an improper environment, loneliness, and the stress of confinement. Birds are meant to fly and be with others of their own kind in a natural environment. Confinement causes birds to have temper tantrums and mood swings.

  1. What Do Pet Stores Do With Dogs That Don’t Sell?

Just like with other unsold inventory, they go on sale. Stores buy puppies for a fraction of what they charge their customers. An eight-week-old puppy may have an initial price tag of $1,500 in a store.

If no one buys the puppy, the store will lower the price, and continue to mark it down as the puppy grows larger and gets older. Eventually, dogs are marked down to the price the store paid the puppy mill broker — usually a few hundred dollars. If the dog still doesn’t sell, stores will often cut their losses and give dogs away to employees, friends or rescue groups.

  1. What Does It Cost To Start A Bird Business?

The costs of starting a bird business will vary greatly depending on the size and type of operation you have in mind. The expense of setting up a small scale backyard business breeding a single pair of parakeets is much less than a large aviary breeding exotic birds, but the possibility of turning a profit with a larger facility is much more realistic.

However, at the very least, you will need at least to purchase one healthy breeding pair; two or three good sized cages, a nesting box, a brooder, and hand feeding tools, food, and other supplies. This is besides the most costly part of raising birds: the avian vet.

  1. Do Parakeets At Petco Come Trained?

No, Parakeets at Petco do not come trained. The Parakeets from Petco are purchased from a breeder, and put into stores. None of the Parakeets are handled or trained before going onto the floor.

  1. What Happens To The Pets At The Pet Store Who Don’t Get Adopted?

Pets that fail to get adopted are usually killed. Even at shelters, there is only a fixed area to lodge the animals. Because stray and unwanted animals are captured and turned over to shelters every day, space becomes a life or death issue.

  1. When Pet Stores Temporarily Close, What Do They Do With All The Pets?

If the shop is part of a chain, the pets are more or less sent to various other shops within that chain. If someone is buying the shop, then the animals and items might be considered part of the buying price. However, any shop closing will likely involve some sort of liquidation sale.

  1. How Long Do Animals Stay In Pet Stores Until They Are Bought?

Some pets, such as birds and fish, can easily be kept for a long time before it’s sold. It is mostly pups and kittens that they try to sell quickly.

  1. What Happens To Unsold Hamsters In Pet Stores?

According to reports, if a hamster stays at the store more than 6 months it would either be transferred to a new location or adopted out (free). Even if the hamster is aggressive or has health issues that don’t hurt quality of life, most stores would rather find a home than euthanize.

  1. How Much Can You Earn As A Bird Breeder?

The salaries of Bird Breeders in the US range from $30,825 to $44,439, with a median salary of $35,416. The middle 57% of Bird Breeders makes between $35,421 and $38,398, with the top 86% making $44,439.

  1. Does Petsmart Sell Budgies In The Pet Section Of A Store? sells a variety of bird products including toys, food, treats, clothes, leashes, treats, and toys. Budgies make up a small percentage of the products sold by PetSmart.

  1. What Animals Are Safe To Raise With Parrots In The Home?
  • Cats can be wonderful companions for larger parrots such as the macaw or African gray.
  • A calm, well-socialized dog may be fine around your parrot.
  • Parrots socialize best with birds of similar size.
  1. What Exactly Happens To Budgies That Don’t Get Sold In The Pet Store?

Luckily, in most pet stores ALL the budgies are kept until they are sold (or so they say). Some chain pet stores will move their animals around between stores to increase sales. Adult budgies are sold just as rapidly as babies, so there is always a home for them to go to.

  1. How Does A Commercial Aviary Make Money?

A commercial aviary makes money by selling birds to individuals and pet stores. The sale price for birds depends on the species, whether a bird is hand raised and how much your customer will pay.

  1. You Have A Male And A Female Budgie, Is It Okay To Sell Your Female?

No, budgies need at least one companion. To keep only one budgie means risking your pet becoming lonely. Budgies especially need companionship if they are left home alone for part of the day while you’re not home.

Since budgies are social birds, they are used to preening each other, serenading each other and playing together. They also need a lot of exercise to keep them from getting overweight and keep them healthy. Having more than one budgie, then, makes it easier for them to exercise while playing.

  1. What Are The Ongoing Expenses For A Commercial Aviary?

The biggest ongoing expenses for a commercial aviary are vet bills, food costs, and electricity.

  1. What Are The Costs Involved In Opening A Commercial Aviary?
  • License
  • A breeding pair
  • A nesting box
  • A cage
  • Food
  • A brooder
  • An avian vet
  1. What Are Some Insider Tips For Jump Starting A Commercial Aviary?

Experts in this business suggest you start small and slow, even if you eventually plan on running a large-scale operation. Raising birds for profit is challenging, and it makes no sense to rush into the venture without testing it out beforehand.

Note that new cages are much more preferable to old cages or retrofitting a structure into housing for birds. Viruses and bacteria can live for a long time even after cleaning, so keep your birds healthier by avoiding exposing them to old cages or structures.

  1. What Are Some Skills And Experiences That Will Help You Build A Successful Commercial Aviary?

Always remember that starting and running a successful commercial aviary requires the operator to have a vast range of skills from avian nutrition to medical care for birds. Furthermore, owners of a commercial aviary need to have basic business skills such as accounting and marketing.

  1. What Is The Growth Potential For A Commercial Aviary?

The demand for birds as pets’ rises and falls, but since keeping a bird is more costly than caring for other types of pets, the demand for pet birds is currently low. As the economy continues to recover, there should be more of a demand for birds.

  1. How Much Profit Can A Commercial Aviary Make?

According to the United States Department of Labor, a bird breeder can earn around $18,000 – $57,000 a year

  1. What Happens During A Typical Day At A Commercial Aviary?

Have it in mind there is always something to do when you raise birds commercially. Breeders will always need to clean cages and nest boxes, feed and water their birds, act as a nursemaid for new hatchlings, take care of the birds’ medical needs, and order supplies. Note that all of these tasks are in additional to the normal day-to-day requirements of running any type of business such as accounting and marketing.