If you are like me, you got into the peafowl business because you thought
they were beautiful birds. After a
few years and lots of mishaps, you finally learned how to actually raise the
birds. Because you couldn‚t stand not to have at least a pair of
each variety, you ended up with a lot of birds and a feed bill that looked more
like a car payment. I can‚t make
the feed bill go away, but I know that the only way to make raising peafowl pay
for itself is to sell some. What I
am going to cover in this article is marketing your birds.
There are 4 ways to sell your birds that I am aware of:
(1) exotic animal auctions, (2) animal and bird swaps, (3) through the
mail and (4) straight off the farm. There
are, I am sure, other ways to sell, but someone else will have to tell you about
One thing has to be said about taking your birds to an auction:
You won‚t be bringing them back home.
Actually, auctions can be a good place to sell some birds, but you never
know what kind of price you might get for them, and most of us are too
embarrassed to call out „no saleš if the price the birds goes for is less
that you wanted. Actually, I would
encourage all of you to say „no saleš more often.
Allowing someone to buy an expensive bird at a bargain basement price
once in a while just makes those who are not really involved think that all
birds should be selling for that price. If
someone hears that a peacock went for $10 at a sale, it is going to be hard to
sell them one of yours for much more. Yes,
peafowl are worth more than that.
Another problem with selling at auction is that the cage generally goes
with the bird. What‚s
inconvenient about this is that if the cage is not fairly nice, people will be
suspicious about how the bird was raised and may pay less for it.
Of course, if you spend a lot on the cage you may be just wasting your
money, but you never really know until it‚s too late.
If you do sell at auction, be proud of your birds.
I put my name, address, and phone number on each cage I sell.
I know that I am much more likely to buy a bird at auction if it comes
from one of the breeders with a good reputation.
If a bird sells anonymously, I always wonder if it is sick or something.
Never cage breeder males in such a way that their train is going to be damaged. A lot of people buying at a sale are actually looking for a living lawn ornament, and they will not be interested at all if the train is damaged. I don‚t think the bird will be as good a breeder that year, either.
you want something to bring a good price, find a way to draw a little extra
attention to it when it comes on the block.
One time I had 2 ducks I wanted to sell at an auction.
One was a Pekin drake and the other was a Khaki Campbell hen.
Even though they were different breeds, I put them in the same cage
(usually not a good thing to do). The
sale was right before Easter, and I happened to have a purple plastic Easter egg
in my pocket, so I put it in the cage as a joke, the auctioneer said „And it
looks like this one lays purple eggs!š he
laughed and I called out „She lays gold ones sometimes tooš.
That got a big laugh and the two unmatched ducks sold for $9 each.
I would have been thrilled to get $4 each for them. The
point is, something that gets the crowd‚s attention is going to sell a little
higher because the people that have been asleep may wake up and bid a little
A swap is another way to sell your birds.
The disadvantage of this is that most everyone there has the same things
you do so everyone wants to sell but few want to buy.
However, this is an opportunity to show your good stock and consequently,
your reputation as a breeder will increase as a result.
My experience is that those who saw you and your good stock together will
remember you in the future when they are looking for birds.
Express mail shipping of birds is another way to buy and sell.
About all I will say about that is that to me, the shipping costs are
prohibitive. I think I would do
anything to find birds closer that I could pick up myself.
I have found that the best way to sell birds is right off the farm.
Your ability to do this may depend on where you live and how much local
demand is there, but you‚ll never know until you try and you may be very
surprised. You can generally
advertise very economically in the local „thrifty nickelš type papers that
are everywhere and also in most rural weekly newspapers.
Put up signs in the feed stores near you.
Most poultry owners have thought about buying peafowl even if they‚ve
never had the opportunity to do so. Of
course, you can also check with your local pet stores and even the free radio
swap-shop programs featured by many local radio stations.
Yes, people listen to these programs religiously every day.
You can generate a good bit of publicity for yourself by donating a pair
of peafowl to a local park and getting you picture and a short article in the
local paper. If the peafowl become popular, the park personnel will come
back to you for more. This would
also be generally educational to the public.
Many local people here in Missouri consider peafowl to be some type of
frail, tropical birds that must be kept in heated aviaries to survive.
The reason I own peafowl today is because the park in the town I went to
college in (Bolivar, Missouri) had a flock of peafowl there that I always
enjoyed watching. I learned by
observation that the birds could live here year-round, and I vowed to someday
There are also, of course, the national publications you can advertise in
to sell your birds, but you had better be prepared to ship the birds.
You are here dealing with a national market, and people will pretty much
expect you to ship. This is now
real problem for many.
An area I have not even begun to cover is the sale of peafowl products.
You can find ways to market the feathers of your peafowl that will make
breeder-age males profitable to keep even if you never sell he birds themselves.
Maybe your feed bill is getting as big as your car payment.
However, I hope that some of these suggestions will make your peafowl
self-supporting. They are, truly,
some of the most beautiful pets in the world.
When they can support themselves and the other animal on your farm, they
become even more beautiful.
of this article elsewhere in any form without prior consent from the UPA
is strictly prohibited. © 1999 The United Peafowl Association. All rights