Are we CRAZY?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by GUSRENTIT, Dec 7, 2011.


    GUSRENTIT Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 29, 2011
    Pueblo West, Co.
    My girlfriend and I want to get into the small Ag business, and actually make a living at it. We are looking at mixing Rabbits, Chickens(meat and eggs), Goats.
    Here is what we have, 46 acres of poor grazing land, with water well, over 340 days of sunshine, some $$$ to invest.
    From reading a ton of posts, I see "most" of you are into it as a hobby or pets.
    We are looking at making living at it, BUT we want to do it humanly and NOT a animal warehouse, we want happy animals!
    So here are some stupid questions, regarding chickens.
    1) Is there a way to make a fair profit with "free range" meat chickens and eggs?
    2) How big of a flock can a couple handle, with out extra help?
    3) ANY questions I did not ask and you think I should have, PLEASE advice.
  2. jtbrown

    jtbrown Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    Southeastern Ohio
    You are not crazy, and I do not know the answers to your questions, but have a few questions that may help.

    Are you close to a market that can and wants to afford locally raised food? Are there local restaurants that may be interested in buying and promoting locally raised food? You need a market or it will do no good to produce the best product. I am sure you have probably vetted much of this out, but I am not familiar with your area and cost of transport to market is a big concern. Good luck, even if there isn't a market now, it is possible to make a niche for your products. But, that can be more difficult and time consuming at times than raising animals!

    There is a localvore movement near Athens, Ohio that seems to be successful. There is a great restaurant Website that may be of interest to you Please know I am not discouraging you, but these are things I asked myself while reading your post.
  3. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    It really matters too how much the going rate is for "regular" eggs and if anyone around you is selling the same thing you want to be selling. Where I live, most people can't make much of a profit off them. When they're laying their best, I might possibly break even but mine aren't production breeds. There is demand though for my eggs, if only I had any to sell. Hopefully by spring I'll be able to make them pay for some of that feed.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  4. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

    May 22, 2009
    North Central Florida
    Our state college has an agricultural ... i do not know what it is called, an out reach program to the rest of the world.
    It is called IFAS . Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Google it. They have a small farms out reach program as well.
    Check out your local state college and see what they have available for helping teach you the ins and outs and most importantly the economics and feasibility of your project.
    You may find that what you are more likely to accomplish is self sufficiency.
    Have you gone down to the very bottom of the page and checked out the sister sites? There is small herd, gardening, and self sufficiency sister sites. You may want to pick their brains as well.
    I know in our state, you have to have a processing kitchen and licence in order to sell. Check with your local extension agent.
  5. WestfarthingHomestead

    WestfarthingHomestead Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2011
    Please forgive me and disregard if this is too personal, but I noticed you called your significant other a 'girlfriend.' The cultural context of the term is a partially committed, possibly short-term commitment. I think the first thing you need to think loooooong and hard on is your long-term relationship with this person. Owning property and going into business together are huge life-altering, very long-term committments. If you bomb at the business, the relationship, or just getting those property taxes paid, it will effect both of you for a lot of years, possibly until you're old and gray and pass away of old age. Once you've addressed that together and seperately, I know there are other small farms who do it all naturally. I always take the word of a veteran in the business very seriously when I start something new. Nothing beats experience! Best of luck![​IMG]

    GUSRENTIT Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 29, 2011
    Pueblo West, Co.
    Let me answer some of the the questions:

    WestfarthingHomestead; Nothing in my world is TOO personal! We both have been the married route, and it sucked big time, we have been together for over 5 yrs, all is good. I'm already "Old and Gray" and she will never be Old and Gray, LOL

    3goodeggs; Yes here in Colorado we have an extension service, really nice people, not very helpful, kind of stuck in the past. They have a nice little box to think inside of, but never outside of it. No matter what they are asked, the answers are always, "this is the way the folks around here have done it", well,,, everyone around here is broke!

    galanie; WalMart is selling reg. white eggs for $1.55+- and LandOLakes brown organic eggs for $5.58 a dozen and normal whole chickens for $1 lb.

    jtbrown; There is somewhat of a market for it, very niche, but it's there, another bigger market is about 40 miles away, and I can deal with that. As far as restaurants goes, not a chance, too much FDA crap and hoops to jump through.
  7. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Whether or not you can make money, depends upon whether or not you are close to a market that will pay premium prices for pastured poultry and free range eggs. Some areas, you can get $4 a pound for chicken, some areas, you can't. If you are close to Denver and if there is a good and expensive farmer's market, then that sounds promising.

    It also depends upon what your local laws are concerning selling home raised chicken. It's out for me because poultry must be processed by a licensed and inspected facility. That is 120 miles from me and they charge $8 to process a duck. The duck would sell for good money, but not enough to pay for driving the birds to the processing plant and paying so much money to get them processed.

    You are going to have to gather some local information and run some figures to see what might work for you.
  8. so lucky

    so lucky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 31, 2011
    SE Missouri
    Ooh, what you are planning sounds so enticing! And having the acreage and water....What an opportunity! I think someone mentioned checking out the laws in your state regarding home processing and selling. Here in Missouri, apparently anyone can sell processed meat--I don't know that for a fact, but I have seen roadside signs advertising rabbit meat and fresh eggs, one in particular from a "homestead" that is incredibly filthy and stinky. I wouldn't buy ANYTHING there! But back to your plans, are you emotionally able to process the critters? That might be my hangup.
    Goat meat seems to be very much in demand in some cultures.
    The variation of prices between store eggs and brown organic eggs leaves a huge gap that you could fill. Brown eggs from pastured chickens, not particularly organic, should be easily marketable.
    If raw milk is allowed in your state--maybe not--there is a website called that can tell you where the nearest provider is. If it is a store, they may also sell organic/raw/fresh/non-processed other food. You could find out from them what the requirements are and see if they could hook you up with a market. May want to sell your products. Just do your homework and be patient. Good luck. [​IMG]
  9. somadlyinlove

    somadlyinlove Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sounds like you have a lot going for you! Start smallish and expand what you are good at. My advice anyway. You may decide that you don't have much of a market for rabbits for example.
    Then again you only need two rabbits to start a big operation!!
  10. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    Quote:THen you'll be somewhere in between. You don't have Organic eggs or meat without the certification and you don't even want to know what all goes into getting that. Most definitely not for the beginner.
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011

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