Part II: Do I
Really Want to Do This?
by Doug Bedwell
can be a lot of fun. It can be educational, challenging, emotionally
fulfilling, and addictive. It can also be expensive, tiring,
frustrating and heartbreaking. There are lots of good and bad reasons
to get into lovebird breeding. Some good reasons are that you're
fascinated by birds and you want to learn more, you like losing sleep,
and you have lots of extra money that you're dying to spend on bird
food, cages, cleaning supplies, and vet bills. If you're looking to get
into lovebird breeding to make money, I can't help you. Few lovebird
breeders are able to break even on their birds, much less turn a
profit. And even fewer than that can make a living at it. Chances are
you can make a lot more money working nights at Taco Bell.
But if you still think
breeding lovebirds might be for you, try to plan ahead. How seriously
do you want to get into this? Do you want to have only one or two
pairs, or do you want a larger aviary? If your birds do start to hatch
chicks, what will you do with them? Do you have the time to hand-feed
the chicks, or will you let the parents raise them? Are you going to
sell the chicks, and if so, where and how? Almost any experienced
breeder will tell you that it is much more difficult to sell birds than
it is to raise them.
Make a plan for yourself and
your birds. You can always change the plan if you need to, but it
really helps to know what your goals and limitations are. How many
total birds do you want to have? Are there specific colors that you
want to produce? What birds will you need to do what you want to do,
and where will you get them? Will you have any unrelated offspring to
breed into a second or third generation? How much will it cost to feed
the birds you expect to have, and how many chicks will you have to sell
at what price to pay for that?
I always advise new breeders
to start small. It is MUCH easier to increase the size of your aviary
than it is to make it smaller. Starting small gives you a chance to
really learn about the birds, learn what to look for, and learn what
you really want. It is so easy to get overwhelmed very quickly. Many
breeders burn out on the hobby within a few years because they lost
control of the size of their aviary, and it became too much work and
stopped being fun.
The more thought and
preparation you put into your aviary before you begin a breeding
program, the more manageable and fun it is likely to be.
Do I Really
Want To Do This?