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FEATURE


…the prices of some species are mistakenly kept the same for many years almost by tradition; as with commercial enterprises, prices should be reviewed annually and increased if found necessary.


agriculturalists, British aviculturists have never received government subsidies of hard cash to help them in their work; should they have been more self-promoting and asked for their share?


The reality of inflation is another fact of life that is often disregarded by private breeders; the prices of some species are mistakenly kept the same for many years almost by tradition; as with commercial enterprises, prices should be reviewed annually and increased if found necessary. Bird dealers are often denigrated, but - because of their expensive overheads which cause their need to make a large profit margin on what they buy in - they can do bird breeders a useful service by helping to buoy up prices to some degree.


Overproduction


If some species are produced in too great a number, prices for those species may become unreasonably depressed, so care must be taken to evaluate the market and not


over produce - this is a matter for personal research and application of a knowledgeable judgment. It may be better to stop some pairs breeding rather than accept lower prices, apart from breeding a few sufficiently high quality examples from only the very best pairs, which can be used in future years to maintain and improve the quality and hardiness of the strain. This can be a difficult balancing act, but it may be necessary. Where livestock is concerned, overstocking is detrimental as it increases the risk of stress and disease to individual birds. Even with our comparatively small private enterprises as bird breeders, we can learn from the mistakes of big business; we have all seen the photos in the news of vast fields of unwanted vehicles rusting away due to overproduction by the car industry; where, instead of a profitable asset, an injurious liability has been created. Accepting increasingly lower prices for the birds we breed seems to me to be demeaning, not just to the efforts of the breeder, but even more so to the birds themselves. The more that


Accepting increasingly lower prices for the birds we breed seems to me to be demeaning, not just to the efforts of the breeder, but even more so to the birds themselves.


BIRD SCENE 51


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