Disposing of unwanted cage birds

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Disposing of unwanted cage birds
From: Mike Owen <>
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2010 16:45:04 +1000
It all depends on the species - most excess birds can be sold or given away either through pet shops or to other individuals. With most species there is sufficient demand to take up the excess birds, and if a species becomes difficult to sell, then breeders will cut back or stop their breeding - good old supply and demand economics.

However some species, and Barbary doves are a prime example, are in very low demand, and breed a bit like rabbits - fortunately with only 2 eggs at a time - and very few serious breeders keep them. It is mostly the family with a few budgies and maybe a pair of doves that have them and I wouldn't be surprised if they were being released occasionally.

I used to own a large pet shop specialising in birds, and we would always take unwanted birds - often because we would be told that if we didn't take them they would be released.

I don't think people realise just how big the aviculture market is. Surveys show a pet and aviary bird population in Australia of around 9 million. A few years ago (2006 actually) I did a study for a submission to government to try to gauge just how many birds are kept and how many are sold each year in Australia and those figures are in a table below. It should be noted that the number sold is a lower amount than the number bred since breeders will be keeping some birds back for their own stock replenishment. Cockatiels and Budgies are in the majority, as one would expect, but there is also a very high finch population out there.

What is perhaps a bit reassuring is that in spite of these large numbers, which have been around for a long time = decades- there are actually so few escaped birds out there and successfully breeding. By and large captive bred birds don't have the survival skills to last in the wild.


Sunshine Coast


*Number Sold



*Total number in captivity*

*P                    Parrot - exotic*





*                      Parrot -native*





*                      Lovebird*





*                     Cockatiel*





*                     Budgie*





*                    Finch - native*





*                    Finch - exotic*





*                    Canary*





*                    other (doves,                         quail etc)*





On 17/11/2010, at 2:49 PM, michael norris wrote:

How do owners of caged birds usually dispose of unwanted birds, for instance when too many young are produced?

Does the trade provide any assistance?

I couldn't find anything on the Internet and would like to know because I suspect the local Barbary Doves (back after 6 months) are excess birds released (illegally) into the bush.

Michael Norris
Bayside, Melbourne


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