The Difference Between Backyard Breeders and Hobby Breeders 2
Many people use the terms backyard breeder and hobby breeder as though they are interchangeable. Nothing could be further from the truth. While there are many differences between these two types of breeders the main difference is noticeable in the way they approach breeding itself.
A backyard breeder is someone who owns a pair or more of a certain type of animal and decides to breed purely because they want to “see” the babies or because they think they can profit from the offspring of their animals. While there are some exceptions, backyard breeders take the time to learn anything about animal husbandry, worry little about the health of the animals they are producing, and seldom seek veterinary care even if their animals become sick.
Hobby breeders on the other hand tend to constantly read and research to improve both their breeding skills and the quality of their animals. They tend to think of the animals they breed as pets first and breeding stock second. They seek proper breeding stock and care about their stocks health seeing that both the adults and their offspring will get the proper medical care they need. Their goal is to improve the breed and care little for profit or selling unfit animals.
My husband and I have been hobby breeders of Chinchillas for 6 years now. We spent more than a year doing research, talking to other Chin breeders both big and small, looking over their breeding programs and asking hundreds of questions. When we began purchasing stock we again spent a year choosing only the best quality stock we could find.
Each day we spend hours cleaning cages, handling and playing with our chins, feeding, giving them dust baths and grooming them.
We make sure any chin we want to breed male or female is in top condition. When we sell our offspring we do not sell any with any health problems. Almost a quarter of our herd are Chinchillas who cannot never be bred or we will not sell because they are a fur chewer or simply are not as robust as we would like them.
Even though we raise chins for the pets rather than for fur or show, we strive to raise chinchillas that meet the highest standards of their breed. We then spend a great deal of extra time socializing them so that they are fit well when they go to new owners.
Although Chinchillas need no vaccines and are incredibly healthy animals for the most part, we have never hesitated to take a sick Chin to the vet and have had a few enormous bills to show for our effort. We knew and accepted this going into our breeding program. We try our best to meet our chins needs and that included putting an air conditioner in our chin room before we could afford one for the rest of house.
We continue to read, talk to other breeders and strive to improve the quality of our stock and our offspring. Most of all we see to it that our females get time to rest and recover between each and every litter and don't mate them again until they have regained all their other weight, their fur is once again fluffy and mating will pose no threat to their health or well being.
Those things are what makes us hobby breeders rather than backyard breeders.