Bird Breeder Facility Regulations
These are the regulations put out by the Colorado Department of Agriculture. It includes rules and regulations for buying and selling birds but most importantly, it includes care of birds such as minimum cage size, cleaning and feeding frequency, and other important information. This document should be used as a guide for the MINIMUM amount of care required for keeping a canary. If you don't sell more than 30 birds a year this entire document doesn't directly apply to you since you don't need to be licensed. BUT even if you keep one canary in a single cage you should follow this as a guideline for care. I have highlighted sections in red print that I think are relevant to canary owners who do not need to be licensed and who don't really need to read the whole document.
One thing to keep in mind - rules and regulations for psittacine birds do not apply to canaries.
Psittacine birds are hook bills which include parrots, cockatiels, etc.
1. Bird Facility.
Any person engaged in the
operation of breeding and raising birds who transfers
more than 30 birds per year must hold a valid license
issued by the Commissioner pursuant to PACFA and
Sections 2.00 and 3.00 of these rules and regulations.
The twelve month license period shall commence the
first working day of March and must be renewed on or
before the first working day of March the following
2. Licensure for Psittacine Bird Breeders.
shall be two subclassifications for psittacine bird
Psittacine Subclassification #1:
Common Psittacines: Budgerigars, Cockatiels, Love Birds
Psittacine Subclassification #2:
Uncommon Psittacines: All other psittacines
not listed under Common
Persons who transfer more than 30 birds per year,
whose total number of birds transferred represents
only one classification or subclassification shall pay
only the fee set for that specific classification or
Persons who transfer more than 30 birds per year, who
transferred 10 or more birds from the uncommon
psittacine subclassification shall pay the fee for
psittacine subclassification #2.
3. Importing Birds.
Any person who imports or
causes to be imported any bird for the purpose of sale
or any other form of transfer must be licensed as a
bird breeder or a pet animal dealership as required by
PACFA §§ 35-80-108(2)(d).
1. Structural Plan Evaluation.
Detailed plans and
specifications shall be submitted to the Department
whenever it is proposed to erect or extensively
remodel any bird breeding facility, specifically, any
remodeling that requires a building permit and affects
a minimum of 25% of the square footage of the existing
facility. Plans pertaining to upgrades which are only
electrical or plumbing in nature will not require a
plan submission. Plans shall be approved or
disapproved by the Department, typically within 10
working days of submission. Approval of plans and
specifications is necessary before construction can
begin and final approval of the constructed facility
is necessary before operation can start. It is not
necessary for plans and specifications to be
professionally done, as long as they include specific
2. Interior Surfaces.
Surfaces of rooms where birds
are to be housed must be constructed and maintained in
good repair with water resistant materials that can be
readily cleaned and sanitized. These surfaces need
not extend more than 18 inches beyond the perimeter of
any bird cage. Painted or sealed surfaces are
considered water resistant.
C. CARE AND HANDLING OF BIRDS.
Potable water shall be made available for
the needs of birds.
Food shall be stored at least four inches
off the floor or in waterproof, closed containers
protecting against infestation or contamination by
vermin or other pests.
The basic diet of birds in the
facility shall be based upon the natural needs of each
species. Food and potable water shall be made
available to the birds at all times.
4. Open food and water containers shall be
accessible to the birds and located to minimize
contamination by excreta. Self feeders or waterers
may be used if cleaned regularly. Food and water
dishes shall be cleaned DAILY or more often as
Bird wastes shall be removed from
cages WEEKLY or more frequently if necessary to reduce
odors, contamination of birds, and disease hazards.
Birds shall be removed from the cage when water or
chemical solution is used for cleaning. Cages and
food and water containers shall be cleaned and
sanitized before new birds are introduced and more
frequently if necessary to maintain sanitary
conditions. Cages, nests or nest boxes of birds
incubating eggs or brooding chicks shall be cleaned
and sanitized between breeding seasons or after all
offspring have been permanently removed from the
6. A sink in good repair or a dishwasher shall be
provided for washing and sanitizing. These need not
be located in the bird room(s).
Ventilation or air filtration of
the bird facility air shall be achieved by either
natural or artificial means in a manner which will
control airborne dust, drafts, odors, and excessive
8. Heating, Cooling, and Humidity.
temperature and relative humidity shall be consistent
with the requirements of the species of birds being
During the day length phase of the
light cycle of the bird facility, either natural or
artificial lighting shall be provided to permit easy
inspection and care of the birds. Cages shall be
placed as to protect the birds from excessive
illumination. Lighting may be adjusted to meet
specific needs of breeding birds.
A quarantine cage in a separate room
shall be provided when necessary for the control of
infectious disease or introduction of new birds into
11. Only the portions of the building or home
designated as a bird breeder facility need meet the
requirements set forth in the Subsection C.
12. Each bird shall be observed by the bird caretaker
in charge, or by someone under the caretaker’s direct
supervision, ON A DAILY BASIS. Sick, diseased or
injured birds shall be provided with veterinary care
or disposed of IN A HUMANE MANNER, pursuant to § 35-
1. Cage Requirements.
Primary cages shall be
maintained in good repair and constructed of metal or
other water resistant material which can be cleaned
2. Minimum Requirements:
a. With emphasis on the word MINIMUM, the cage
must be large enough to provide full body
extension without contact with the confines. The
cage must be wide enough in at least one
direction to accommodate completely stretched
b. A single, well-placed perch may be adequate
for Psittacines. Well-placed means that the bird
can stand completely upright on the perch without
having any head contact with the ceiling of the
cage and at the same time, the tail not touching
the floor or grate of the cage. However, two
perches, one at each end of the cage, must be
provided for all species that prefer flying or
jumping to climbing. Examples: Finches,
Canaries, Robins, etc. Perches must be
strategically placed to prevent droppings from
contaminating other birds and the birds’ food and
water supply and to also prevent the bird’s tail
from having contact with the food and water.
c. Except for the specific needs of breeding
pairs or of a specific bird because of its
individual characteristics, the following are
minimum space requirements for caging a single
bird. Cage measurements are of the actual living
space, and do not include stands, ornamental
appendages or space below the grate. Bird
measurements to be utilized are made from the tip
of the tail to the top of the head.
Size of bird in inches: 8 or smaller
Minimum cage size: 1 cubic foot eg. 12x12x12
Examples: Finches, CANARIES, Budgerigars, Love Birds,
Gray Cheeked Parkeets, Canary Winged Parakeets,
Parrotlets, very small species of Lorikeets, Java
Sparrow, small species of Fig Parrots, small species
of Pygmy Parrots, Hanging Parrots, etc.
Size of bird in inches: 9-12
Minimum cage size: 3.3 cubic foot eg. 18x18x18
Examples: Pionus, small Conures, small species of
Indian Ring-Necked Parakeets (lacking the long tails),
Cockatiels, Lorikeets, Senegals, Meyers, red-bellied
brown-headed, very small species of Amazons, small
species of Rosellas, Elegant Grass Parakeets, Bourks,
Scarlet-Breasted Parakeets, Turquosine Parakeets, Rock
Parakeets, smaller species of Lories, Caiques, Quaker
Size of bird in inches: 13-24
Minimum cage size: 5.4 cubic foot eg. 19x26x19
Examples: African Greys, small species of Minimacaws,
larger species of Indian Ring Necks (with long
tails), Alexandrines, Plum-headed Parakeets, Mustache
Parakeets, small species of Cockatoos, Lories,
Amazons, Conures, Eclectus, Rosellas, Rock Pebblars,
Red-Rumped Parakeets, Hawk-Headed Parrots, etc.
Size of bird in inches: 25-35
Minimum cage size: 21 cubic foot eg. 24x42x36
Examples: Mini-Macaws, Macaws, Cockatoos, small
species of Toucans, Toucanettes, etc.
Size of bird in inches: 35-45
Minimum cage size: 75 cubic foot eg. 36x60x60
Examples: Macaws, large species of Toucans (taking
the beak into consideration), etc.
d. When birds are being housed more than one
bird to a cage, minimum space requirements must
be upgraded to meet the needs of all the birds.
The cage should be large enough to allow for the
individual bird(s) to sit comfortably on a perch,
fan their tail and spread both wings without
touching the sides of the cage or another bird in
the enclosure. Only compatible species shall be
housed in the same cage. (Ideally, the maximum
amount of space available should be provided to
allow Finches, Canaries, and other small seed
eaters to exercise through flight. Perches
placed at varying heights would also facilitate
movement from perch to perch.)
e. Wooden Cage Accessories.
accessories (perches, ladders, toys, etc.) shall
be cleaned and sanitized WEEKLY or more often if
necessary to maintain sanitary conditions.
Perches, nests or nest boxes in cages where birds
are incubating eggs or brooding chicks shall be
cleaned and sanitized between breeding seasons or
after all offspring have been permanently removed
from the breeding cage.
f. Temporary Enclosures.
The following shall
be considered temporary enclosures and shall be
of a size, shape and design appropriate for the
species of bird being housed:
(1) Show cages which are made or being used
for the specific purpose of showing birds in
a judged competition, including preparation
for such competition.
(2) Breeding cages which are being used for
the express purpose of breeding. Nests,
nest boxes, or unweaned babies must be
(3) Nests and nest boxes.
(4) Cages which contain sick or injured
birds which need a more confined space to
prevent further injury or to facilitate
(6) Carriers used for safely transporting
birds from location to location.
g. Indoor/Outdoor Flights and Aviaries.
Indoor/outdoor flights and aviaries must be
cleaned weekly or more frequently if necessary to
prevent excessive buildup of bird wastes and
uneaten food. The size, shape, and design of the
cages shall be appropriate for the species being
housed and shall allow enough space for each of
the birds to fly freely and exhibit normal
behaviors. Flights must not be overcrowded and
only compatible species shall be housed together.
Flight cages shall be constructed to prevent
injury to birds and commingling with noncaptive
animals. A covered portion of a cage shall be
provided where the birds can avoid direct
sunlight or adverse weather conditions.
1. Authorized Bands.
In accordance with PACFA, §
35-80-108(1)(i), no person shall import or have in his
possession for the purpose of selling, trading, giving
or otherwise transferring any psittacine bird that has
not been legally banded with a type of leg band
authorized by the Commissioner applied during the
prefeathered stage of development and appropriate to
the size and species of the bird. The Commissioner
authorizes the following bands: a traceable seamless
or seamed Colorado leg band, a United States
Department of Agriculture Quarantine Station leg band,
or a band approved by any state. Seamed or split leg
bands may only be applied when ordered through the
2. Leg Band Assignment.
No licensee shall use
another licensee’s registered leg band nor shall
licensee sell or transfer their registered leg band to
3. Application for Band.
Application for a
traceable seamed leg band must be made to the
Commissioner. Necessary documentation to be provided
includes all purchase, transfer, or breeding records,
health certificates, or quarantine information.
4. Leg Band Removal.
A leg band that is causing
injury to a bird may be removed provided the
Department is notified. Upon sale, trade, or other
means of transfer the bird must be accompanied with a
traceable leg band approved by the Commissioner.
5. From time to time, the Commissioner may require
other species of birds to be banded, in the
Commissioner’s discretion. In such event, the
Commissioner shall provide written notification to any
licensee affected by mailing to the last address
provided by the licensee to the Commissioner.
1. Bird Transfer Records.
Transfer records shall
include: name, address, and phone number of both the
seller and purchaser, date of transaction, the
quantity of each species or type of bird sold, and the
band number of each bird, if available. All records
must be kept at the location designated on the
facility license application for a period of two years
following the transaction.
2. Yearly Reports.
The licensee shall report to the
Commissioner on a yearly basis the number of transfers
to accurately determine licensing status. These
figures shall be reported as set forth in Section 5.00
of these rules and regulations.
The above records shall be
available to any inspector authorized by the
Department at all reasonable times during business
hours, or at other mutually agreeable times.
Birds withs signs of undisclosed
disease or injury shall not be transferred, abandoned,
or disposed of in an inhumane manner, pursuant to
PACFA § 35-80-102(7).
5. Psittacosis Warning.
Bird breeders selling
psittacine birds shall furnish to each retail
purchaser of one or more psittacine birds, a special
Psittacine Bird Dealer Sales Record prescribed by the
Department, giving the business name of the dealer,
the name, address and phone number of the person
purchasing the bird(s), and number, species, and leg
band identification number for each bird sold.
Printed on this sales record in type not less than 1/8
inch high shall be a warning to the purchaser of a
possible psittacosis hazard. This warning shall
include a description of the disease signs in birds,
symptoms in humans and the critical need for prompt
medical diagnosis and treatment.
G. INSPECTION LIMITATIONS
1. Breeding Rooms.
If a separate breeding room is
provided and there are birds in an active breeding
cycle, only a visual inspection from a window or other
non-invasive form of viewing will be conducted.
2. If entrance into the active breeding room is
deemed necessary by the inspector designated by the
Department, such entry will be conducted only if
clean, unused protective clothing and footwear is used
by the inspector and caution is taken to protect baby
This Canary Lovers Web Ring Site
Owned and Maintained By
Previous 5 Sites
Next 5 Sites
Site Posted on November 30, 2001
Redesigned on December 1, 2002
Site Designed and Constructed by
All photographs on this site are protected by copyright law.
Do not copy any photographs from this site without
permission of the owner of the photograph.