Is Hen Possession Taking Flight Through the Pandemic? | Developments


Hen possession may be an extremely rewarding expertise for pet homeowners, assuming they’re correctly educated on look after their feathered associates. When retailers appropriately help the right match between proprietor and pet, they contribute towards the long-term success of the class as an entire.

In response to Terry Gao, president of Caitec Corp., a producer in Halethorpe, Md., fowl possession is trending upward, as mirrored by the sharp improve in fowl cage gross sales of all sizes.

“Extra persons are staying at house for extra time, which has helped gross sales typically within the pet area,” Gao stated.

Brent Weinmann, president of Vitakraft Solar Seed Co., a producer in Bowling Inexperienced, Ohio, and chairman of the Hen Enjoyment and Benefit Koalition (BEAK), agreed that the anecdotal proof factors to help of elevated fowl possession—extra folks at house means extra time for pets. Nonetheless, he stated that the pet fowl class just isn’t with out its points immediately.

“One subject considerably affecting fowl possession is the shortage of provide of birds—particularly cockatiels, which are sometimes good ‘first birds’ as a result of they’re comparatively simple to handle,” he stated. “The provision of birds was tight previous to the pandemic, and establishing a correct breeding facility and finding pairs to breed takes time. So it’s doubtless that even when the demand has been greater previously few months, provide might not have been in a position to sustain.”

Availability of birds for pet homeowners has at all times been a important facet of rising possession, Gao famous.

“The business positively wants extra accountable breeding amenities in order that we are able to have wholesome pet birds for customers,” he stated.

That is a difficulty that BEAK has been working tirelessly to deal with—however there’s no simple answer. In response to the group, many fowl breeders and livestock distributors have left the enterprise attributable to the shortcoming to make a good residing. Whereas there are many causes for this, governmental laws and necessities from massive nationwide retailers have elevated operational prices for breeders and distributors, Weinmann stated.

“Getting the breeding operation and provide chain to those high-quality requirements takes time and requires funding,” he famous. “When the view of huge retail administration modifications [and becomes] targeted extra on quantity and worth and start to drive prices down, the breeders can not make a residing and thus, after a number of cycles of this up and down, find yourself leaving the enterprise.

“Due to this fact, crucial factor the business can do is ready our requirements excessive and be keen to carry to these requirements when financial winds shift,” Weinmann added. “We then permit advertising and marketing and schooling to assist display the worth of the fowl and preserve demand sturdy even at greater worth factors. It is best for the fowl, the fowl proprietor expertise and our companies.”

This may be achieved by means of schooling. It’s one thing that Andrew King, CEO of King’s Cages Worldwide, a producer primarily based in East Brunswick, N.J., takes significantly. King stated that correct schooling is the important thing to enhancing fowl possession and supporting the longer term of the business.

“Within the quick time period, when uninformed retailer homeowners look to promote the birds that they’ve an overstock on, or they make extra revenue on, it could be good for them,” he stated. “However, long run, it’s a catastrophe for all within the business—particularly for the feathered youngster who doesn’t get the eye it desperately wants.”

King stated that those that are most profitable—and assist the business long run—are retailer homeowners who’re sincere and direct with clients as to what fowl will greatest match them. This comes from a real love for birds, which King prefers to name “feathered kids.”

John Gerstenberger, vice chairman of product growth and sourcing for Ware Pet Merchandise, a producer in Phoenix, agreed that schooling is the important thing to bettering accountable fowl possession—and finally bettering the class as an entire.

“Educating potential pet dad and mom on the breed of birds that most closely fits their life-style is essential,” he stated. “Retailers should additionally educate in regards to the key wants and traits of every particular breed.”

Weinmann stated that it comes right down to the “matching course of.” Retailers should take their function in matching the best fowl to the best proprietor significantly.

“Birds live creatures, and personalities fluctuate from species to species and even fowl to fowl,” Weinmann stated. “It’s BEAK’s mission to extend curiosity within the pet fowl expertise and to teach the potential fowl guardian as to what to anticipate from residing with the fowl. This contains each execs and cons. Promoting or shopping for a fowl shouldn’t be taken flippantly.”

King stated that if retailers take their function significantly, the longer term of the class will likely be brilliant for them.

There may be alternative for all in rising the fowl class, Weinmann stated.

“The common tenure of cockatiel possession, based on an [American Pet Products Association] APPA survey, is 16 years,” Weinmann stated. “That’s akin to canine and cat homeowners. And aside from canine, and arguably cats, birds are the one different species offering communicative interplay to their homeowners.

“The higher the bond now we have with our companion animals, the extra doubtless we’re to take correct care of them, spend on them, and deal with them like a member of our household,” he added.

Product Developments

An Evolving Class

As fowl homeowners turn out to be more and more educated on their pets’ wants, they’re in search of the merchandise to help them.

In response to Terry Gao, president of Caitec Corp., a producer in Halethorpe, Md., it’s vital that producers are targeted on make fowl maintaining simpler on pet homeowners with recent product improvements.

“By way of cages, the developments have at all times been the identical—greater and higher,” Gao stated. “As for equipment, merchandise that assist make fowl care simpler have at all times been the purpose of latest product growth.”

However Andrew King, CEO of King’s Cages Worldwide, a producer primarily based in East Brunswick, N.J., stated {that a} return to “tried and true” is on the rise.

“There are solely so some ways you may make a cage, fowl toy or playpen,” he stated. “Most of those have been exhausted throughout the years. We’re within the strategy of bringing again among the objects from 25 years in the past.”

John Gerstenberger, vice chairman of product growth and sourcing for Ware Pet Merchandise, a producer in Phoenix, stated present developments give attention to train, performance, comfort and worth level. He famous that objects reminiscent of the corporate’s Hen Field and its Birdie Bark line meet these developments whereas permitting customers to cater their fowl’s habitat to its specific wants and life-style.

Consideration to weight-reduction plan can be important. Gao stated that there’s been a push previously 20 years for a extra full weight-reduction plan—one thing that avian vets and nutritionists agree is extra helpful to birds’ well being than a seed-diet solely. Even so, Gao stated that greater than half of fowl homeowners are nonetheless feeding an all-seed weight-reduction plan, behooving the significance of continued schooling. The higher that pet fowl homeowners are educated, the higher decisions they’ll make, he added.


“Research have proven that the companionship pet dad and mom get from birds can mirror some parts of human relationships which might be identified to contribute to well being. This is very true with budgies (parakeets), cockatiels and conures, whose normal good nature and comparatively small dimension make them all-around pet. Lesser identified species like parrotlets additionally look like gaining in reputation.”—John Gerstenberger, vice chairman of product growth and sourcing for Ware Pet Merchandise in Phoenix

“Parakeets and cockatiels are the most well-liked in small birds; conures, in medium-size birds; and African gray and Amazon parrots in large-sized birds. The predominant purpose why these specific birds are the extra widespread is that amongst all of the birds, these species are most simply bonded with caregivers.”—Terry Gao, president of Caitec Corp. in Halethorpe, Md.