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This UAE resident has more than 150 birds worth Dh200,000 in an aviary he built outside his office – News


The expatriate spends about 3,000 dirhams a month on the care of his pets

Published: Tuesday, September 26, 2023, 8:25 am

Last update: Tuesday, September 26, 2023, 9:29

During the Covid-19 lockdown, a UAE resident decided to keep four birds for company. Today, he has built an aviary with more than 150 birds, some of which are the rarest in the world and are worth more than Dh70,000 each. He has also established himself as a breeder of exotic birds in the United Arab Emirates.

Akbar Khan Qureshi, a businessman, philanthropist and animal lover, spends approximately Dh3,000 a month on birds. During the breeding season, he could reach 5,000 dirhams. However, he did not claim to be an expert on birds. “In fact, the first four birds I bought at the market died within the first ten days,” he said. “I was devastated. After a few weeks I decided to try again by buying from reputable breeders.”

Akbar then bought 12 new birds, but it was the meeting with one of the most reputed exotic bird breeders, Dubai-based Mohammad Mustafa Khan Hamdam, that changed Akbar’s attitude towards the art of bird breeding. “He told me about the potential of birds and that got me hooked,” he said.

His aviary includes white-bellied persimmons, sun conures and monk parakeets, but his most prized possessions are his two three-year-old blue Alexandrian birds, which are currently priced at Dh70,000 each. “I’m only one of two bird farmers in the country that has these blue birds,” she said. “In addition, this year imports of Alexandrians have been prohibited. So, demand is high. There are people who have already reserved the chicks of these birds for 35,000 dirhams.”

Raise healthy birds

Raising healthy and happy birds is of utmost importance to Akbar. Located in the industrial zone of Sharjah, its aviary spreads over 1000 square feet and is fully air-conditioned with an air purifier monitored 24/7. Birds are classified according to their size, breed and temperament.

“The cages I have for them are twice the size of what they are technically required to have,” he said. “Having more space keeps the birds happy and healthy.”

Additionally, Akbar removes the breeding boxes after each breeding season for four months and does not use any chemicals to clean them. “He left the cages outside for four months in the heat,” he said. “That is enough to eliminate any bacteria or impurities you have. Cleanliness is the most important thing when raising healthy birds. “I clean the aviary at least twice a day to remove food droppings and other debris.” and he doesn’t use any chemicals to clean it. “I leave the cages outside for three months in the heat,” he said. “That is enough to eliminate any bacteria or impurities you have. Cleanliness is the most important thing when raising healthy birds. “I clean the aviary at least twice a day to remove food droppings and other debris.”

The birds have a varied diet that includes fresh fruits (watermelon, apples, guavas and berries), as well as legumes, corn, coriander leaves and mint. Their diet is complemented with pellets for nutrition.

For Akbar, raising birds is important for another reason. “I have noticed that being with birds and caring for them has had a significant impact on my health,” he said. “I used to have hypertension but since I started the aviary, this has been very controlled.”

Akbar, a father of four, said his family strongly supports his hobby. “My wife has a big interest in this,” he said. “And my children love birds. They have their own nicknames for many of them.”

Long-term hobby

According to Akbar, breeding exotic animals is a long-term hobby that involves planning for up to 12 years. “The bird matures between 3 and 6 years old,” he said. “So if I want a certain color mutation and the first chick hatches in 2023, then the first breeding will occur in 2026. If probability works in my favor and the first clutch gives me the color I want, then those chicks will be hatched. in 2029. If not, it could take longer.”

Akbar says there are now more people taking up this hobby in the UAE. “Many people are getting into breeding and collecting exotic birds,” he said. “I have received many calls, especially from Alexandrians. “There are probably 25 genuine high-quality breeders of these birds in the world and only a few in the UAE, so there is a lot of demand.”

Born and raised in the United Arab Emirates, this is not the first time Akbar has gotten involved in something related to animals. After noticing the decline in the number of livestock kept by families in his hometown of Rajasthan, he set up a goat farm there. In addition to raising animals, he also gave free classes to local farmers on how to raise livestock.


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