Q: How do I become a breeder of small birds, and do I need a license in the state of Florida?
Linda S. Rubin explains:
Whether you intend to hobby breed, become a professional aviculturist or a commercial breeder, your first step is to thoroughly research the species that interest you. Contact reliable sources of information and learn all you can about each species’ basic requirements, including housing, nutrition, husbandry and breeding techniques. Select and keep only the species and number of birds that you can afford to maintain and feed in style.
Start-up operating costs include initial health testing of foundation stock, periodic veterinary care, feed, conditioning and rearing foods for neonates, aviaries, nest boxes and other equipment - and the most demanding of resources - your labor and time.
One valuable source of information is your local, nonprofit bird club, or national specialty organization that can recommend avian books and publications by well-known authors, reputable breeders, avian veterinary specialists and other industry professionals. Try to find an experienced aviculturist who is willing to mentor you by providing reliable advice and the benefits of experience.
The state of Florida requires any bird owner who exhibits or sells exotic birds to apply for a Class III Wildlife license approved by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture for information on how to apply.