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Caring for the Birds and Small Pets at Kats Kritters

Raising birds was Troy Schroder’s hobby. He and wife Katrina started selling the birds in 2003, and the business outgrew their home. In 2006 they moved into a downtown Ainsworth storefront. From there, “Kats Kritters” business and its animals have blossomed.

Troy is overall caretaker of the birds and small pets, but the whole family is involved. Katrina, a registered nurse, owns the family business. Taking care of the baby animals is her joy.

The Schroders worked with REAP Business Specialist Gene Rahn to develop their business plan and obtain a new location for the business. Quite a bit of updating had to go into the building, and that will be ongoing for awhile. Building bird cages and re-wiring the store to meet current code standards were the major expenses.

Bird inventory grew immediately upon getting into the new business location. The small pets side of the business has really grown too. Troy has been taking on more business through pet grooming, and he travels regularly as a wholesaler to supply pet stores.

Keeping up with demand has been a challenge. Requests have come from as far away as Oklahoma and Texas. Raising the birds and animals can be challenging and, of course, depends on nature and proper conditions. Scottish Terrier puppies are raised by the Schroder family too.

What else do they raise? Love birds, Bourke parakeets, Ring neck parakeets, Red Rump parakeets, Dusky Piounus, Quaker parakeets, Black headed Conures, Green cheek Conures, and Cockatiels are a just few of the birds. They also raise hamsters, gerbils, turtles, lizards, Guinea pigs, chinchillas, Degu, Sugar Glider, rabbits, and hedgehogs.

Their greatest reward in owning and operating the business is doing something they truly enjoy. The Schroder’s three children all have their favorite helping out things. Observing and caring for birds, furry critters, and reptiles are some of the children’s favorite things.

The Schroders are active members of their church in Ainsworth, and the kids are involved with sports and school activities. They truly enjoy caring for the birds and animals that will become eventual pets for customers.

Troy & Katrina Schroder are shown in front of bird cages at the Ainsworth store. REAP helped with the business plan and new location. 
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Center for Rural Affairs -- Rural Enterprise Assistance Project
145 Main St.    PO Box 136    Lyons, Nebraska  68038
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