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Daughter wants to start egg business

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
We have just joined backyard chickens but have kept chickens in the past. We have recently bought 26 straight run chicks and are finishing up a coop for them for when they are older. Our daughter is very good with all of our animals, loves chickens, and would like to start a small egg business with the hens, she is enrolled in 4-h and plans to show next year (not old enough this year). Do any of you have kids doing similar, and if so how many hens do you recommend to start them with? We or course are not planning on her making thousands only equivalent to say allowance type money!
post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by nightbear View Post

We have just joined backyard chickens but have kept chickens in the past. We have recently bought 26 straight run chicks and are finishing up a coop for them for when they are older. Our daughter is very good with all of our animals, loves chickens, and would like to start a small egg business with the hens, she is enrolled in 4-h and plans to show next year (not old enough this year). Do any of you have kids doing similar, and if so how many hens do you recommend to start them with? We or course are not planning on her making thousands only equivalent to say allowance type money!


Turning a profit on a small scale is difficult - if you are planning to fund the feed, etc and allow all proceeds from egg sales to be considered "profit" then she might see some income.    To best stack the deck in her favor her production group should be selected of good producing breeds/crosses so that she she's maximum egg counts - and selecting "efficient" birds with good conversion of feed to eggs is another way to help this - leghorns are laying machines of small body so their feed intake is low, which is why they are the commercial production bird of choice.  Alternatively, for brown eggs, using sex links is a good choice as you avoid the issue of any unintended cockerels in her laying flock and they are also high production birds.  Will the birds be free range or confined?  Will you feed non-gmo/organic feeds or not?  These are factors that can be used to add to the value of eggs being sold as people see those factors as worth paying for and this can help push her per dozen price up a couple of dollars in the right market.  As for numbers, if you plan for 2/3 production on any given day anything above that is a bonus but you aren't setting yourselves up to be short on eggs for orders - so if you need 1 dozen a day you want to have 18 birds in the production flock.  Also, you need to plan ahead for the molt and possible lay-off that comes with it by starting replacement birds next spring who will be coming online as the first group of birds is molting - and decide what the plan for the birds is when they are no longer productive (for good production you can look to keep them for two laying cycles).
What are your plans for the cockerels in your straight run? 

Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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post #3 of 9
Most of us that sell eggs can manage to at least break even on the cost of feed. I used to raise breeds that I could use to hatch sex linked chicks. I sold the young chicks, started pullets, point of lay pullets and laying hens. I sold eggs that I didn't incubate to neighbors and co-workers. You will have to have a plan for the cockerels, they will eat up all of your profits. Literally.

Your daughter will need to check on the regulations in her area for selling eggs.
Edited by enola - 2/20/16 at 2:29pm
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your response. I do plan to buy the feed and. We plan to eat the cockerals but maybe keep one to get us some fertile eggs to incubate and hatch some of those additional pullets we would need next year. We have some red sex linked, Easter eggers, buff Orpington and blue laced red wyandottes. Our birds will be kept in a half acre area that we fence off with electric net fence,we can move the coop to new areas. I assume this is still considered free range? I have looked at organic feed but it seems more expensive than i would like to spend unless someone has ideas for where to get it cheaper than my local farm store!
post #5 of 9
I wish I could find organic feed at a mill. That is the only way I would be able to afford buying organic.
post #6 of 9

Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)

I set fire to the rain! Watch it pour as I, touched your face. Well it burn while I cried, because I heard it screaming out your name. And I threw us into flames. I knew that was the last time, the last time...I set fire to the rain! -Adele

 

Look at my flock page! http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bantamfan4lifes-flock

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I set fire to the rain! Watch it pour as I, touched your face. Well it burn while I cried, because I heard it screaming out your name. And I threw us into flames. I knew that was the last time, the last time...I set fire to the rain! -Adele

 

Look at my flock page! http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bantamfan4lifes-flock

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post #7 of 9


Hi and welcome to BYC - great to have you join us. I share the sentiments of other members that have already posted about profits and selling eggs. That should not deter you however, since an important lesson for your daughter is learning about the responsibility of keeping animals and making a little money for herself (even if you have to help out a bit by buying the feed or whatever - its still a better life lesson than simply giving her pocket money). You could also involve her in researching how much free range eggs sell in your area, any legal requirements (if there are, then just sell to family and friends), the costs of egg cartons, making an advertising sign etc etc.

 

As for keeping your chicken in half an acre and them being considered free range - with such a small flock i think it can. Other members may disagree - the concept of free range being that they can wonder as far and wide as they wish, but personally thats more about semantics than anything else. A chicken that can decide where to go and what to do, when it wants to do it is free range IMO. 

 

All the very best

 

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #8 of 9

I agree with having her meet some of the expense.    I trimmed dogs in the basement when I was young.  I thought I was rich  if I got one customer a week.  My parents had to pay for electricity, hot water, mortgage on the house,  etc. etc.   I hardly had any customers but, a professional salon reported me to the city for having business in a residential area.

 

So I had to quit.  Later turned out, the salon owner  had his buddy a policemen, come to the house and say  we had to stop.  The laugh was on him, Eventually  I cashed in a small insurance policy , rented a store and had a for real grooming salon with many more customers than I would have had at  home.  I had to pay rent, electric, water, gas  etc. so I didn't make more financially but, got a good taste of being in business.

 

So please check out everything before getting into business,  with food products(eggs) I imagine there are more restrictions.

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post #9 of 9
Hello!

Welcome to BYC and the coop! There's a lot of great peeps here! Feel free to ask lots of questions. But most of all, make yourself at home. I'm so glad you decided to join the BYC family. I look forward to seeing you around BYC.
Did a moth know that the flame was going to change her life forever, or did she simply fly towards that heated embrace, knowing it would offer her something she couldn't give herself? In the end, the answer didn't really matter. The moth had never wanted the choice. -Joey W. Hill-
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Did a moth know that the flame was going to change her life forever, or did she simply fly towards that heated embrace, knowing it would offer her something she couldn't give herself? In the end, the answer didn't really matter. The moth had never wanted the choice. -Joey W. Hill-
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