Breeding Series Part 1
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 donít 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 donít belong in captivity, in our homes. Still others will demean you if you ever make any money from your birdsÖ.you knowÖ.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. Itís just better to evaluate how you feel before you ever start. Itís like the saying, ďIf you canít take the heat, stay out of the kitchenĒ
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 arenít 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 wonít 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 quick scheme!
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 wonít 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. Donít pass them around and trade them off like you would do with collector cards. Donít 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.