Bird farm managers specialize in breeding birds of various types, ranging from exotic species to poultry. They breed birds and sell them to pet shops, customers, or export them to various countries. Bird breeders have to obtain special permits to do this.
The basic duties of a bird-farm manager include protecting the birds from their natural enemies, ensuring that the birds are healthy by feeding them and sheltering them from extreme weather conditions, such as strong winds that may damage or destroy their nests.
Bird farmers need to ensure that every bird is kept in an environment that is similar to its habitat. For example, owls need lots of space as they are used to hunting. Some bird farmers breed homing pigeons, often to sell them to pigeoneers or pigeon trainers.
If a bird farmer keeps chickens or other poultry, they shelter the newly hatched chicks in brooder houses. When the chicks are seven or eight weeks old, they are moved to pens. After six months, roosters are culled for meat and the hens begin to lay eggs.
They need to have an extensive knowledge of various bird species and their anatomy to run successful bird farms. They also need to be able to detect when birds are unstable, or uncomfortable in any way. They can detect a bird’s odd behaviour by comparing it to its normal pattern.
Compulsory school subjects: None
Recommended subjects: Life Sciences
Each institution has its own entry requirements.
Training is usually done on the job, working alongside an experienced bird farmer. No specialised training is available to become a bird-farm manager, however a keen interest in birds is a prerequisite. These managers may find it helpful to do a course in Business Studies
Percy Fitzpatrick Institute for African Ornithology
University of Cape Town
Tel: (021) 650-3290/1/7