2008 - Volume #32, Issue #2, Page #08[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
"Boy Breeder" Succeeds In Exotic Bird Business
It all started with a gift from his aunt of a laying hen when Marshall was only four years old. His love for birds at this early age led him to steadily expand his collection.
There appears to be no end in sight even now, as he continues to add more varieties by re-investing his profits into his year-round operation.
The young Alberta entrepreneur currently breeds 50 species of waterfowl, and 50 species of game birds and poultry on his parents' grain and oilseed farm. He's the youngest member of the Prairie Ornamental Pheasant and Waterfowl Association, and already has 10 years of breeding experience under his belt.
"I've focused a lot on waterfowl because they're usually hardier, easier to manage, and there's a good market for them, but there's also strong demand for game birds and poultry," Marshall says.
He sells everything from fertilized eggs to breeding pairs and interacts with customers across Canada. Marshall hatched out 300 eggs last year and sold about 150 day-old chicks and ducklings. The rest, he sells as adults at exotic bird and livestock sales, as well as privately. In fact, Marshall participates in as many as 10 of these events per year, where he keeps a close watch on market trends.
"Prices for various species change from season to season, so I try not to sell until the market has strengthened," he points out.
Some birds are more profitable to raise than others, but prices are often proportionate to how difficult the species is to produce. Some of the poultry may sell for $20/bird, peacocks can range from $50 to $200 each, ornamental ducks and geese bring anywhere from $20 to $1,500/pair and breeding pairs of trumpeter swans generally sell for $500 to $1,000.
He ships in new breeding stock by airline, from other producers across Canada, and says his inventory is continually changing.
The Marshalls have a nice, half-acre pond with flowing water on their farm, and the family built a network of fenced outdoor runs, along with hatching and rearing barns.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ty's Exotics, Ty Marshall, P. O. Box 52, Vulcan, Alberta, Canada T0L 2B0 (ph 403 485-6862; email@example.com; www.prairieexotics.com).
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