10 Years
Jun 22, 2013
I like 2 weeks ago had a crazy idea. Lets make a brown egg laying business and sell it to friends and the stores and everywhere! Well to weeks later I'm practically done making my hole plan except one main feature. What type of chicken. I have already ordered delaware and rhode island reds to make red star chickens. I was wondering if there were any better chickens out there like maybe the bared rock. Every website is different so i would appreciate your input.
Thanks, Dan
If you have sex linkage worked out you sound rather set already. I cross BA and BPR for black sex links and BA have always given me a lot of eggs. And all 3 breeds (I know sex link isn't a breed) have good temperament and laying capacity. As well as they all free range well. I am only penning breeders when I want pure strain for reproduction. And my breeder birds are tagged as chicks and adults. So I don't get unwanted blood in the mix and mess up strains or sex link ability.
I also will be breeding RIR and BO when my new males mature. My layers are 1/2 pure bred girls and 1/2 BYM mutts about an even mix. And all in their 1st year. But I get 3dz+ daily from 40-ish birds. Even my 4 CX pullets that were spared the axe last year lay nice eggs a few times a week.
Whats a BA? I always thought it was the strain of BPR and RIR that made the black sex link... but i could be wrong. Would a Buff Orpington and a rhode island red make a sex link and if so what color for the female?
With selling eggs, you have to watch where you sell them an the ordinance. In NJ, permits are involved if you actually want to sell to stores and distribute. They really aren't hard to get, but the state will come and check any food production facilities to see if the animals are healthy, the animals are well kept, and the building is sanitary. Their standards are low, but they do take food safety into account to prevent disease outbreaks. The easiest way to sell is at local farmers markets. People love fresh eggs. I've considered it, but there are quite a few people who sell eggs there already. One person rips people off particularly well because her olive eggers lay a deep green colored egg, and people actually pay more because it is green. Can't make it up.

As for breeds - you need a production hen if you want to sell. This is sex links, golden buffs, golden comets, and any other cross. If you are in a warm climate, you can do leghorns, as they are prolific layers of white eggs. They're also rather efficient when it comes to feed. It is good that you are crossing your own chicks, however it would have been just as easy to buy the red sex link hens and go from there. Production birds can be tricky though. They develop many more health problems than a heritage chicken because they have been bred to produce. Egg peronitis happens, and sometimes they just drop dead. A lot of egg producers or chicken owners who want a lot of eggs opt to replenish, or swap out their flock every two years or so. Hybrids will not lay as long as heritage. To combat this, you can raise rhode island reds or australorps, as they are extremely reliable heritage producers, however even their production is slightly less than that of a hybrid bird. ***Somebody above suggested cuckoo marans, and while they are great birds, they are not as efficient as hybrids either. Their dark brown eggs are pretty cool though.

Lastly, you'll need to find a feed supplier and buy bulk. Layers can eat a lot of feed, and you'll probably do best feeding them a layer mash and then additional nutrients and scratch. If the birds are free ranging, be sure to offer extra calcium like oyster shell because they probably won't find much out in the field. Layer mash by me runs about $11 for a 50 lb sack, and the quality is pretty good (much cheaper than $18 Purina), and when fed with additional nutrients, it gets the job done well. Since you'll be buying bulk, you should be able to get a good deal from somewhere.
Thanks for the info. Sadly yes i have to get the license to sell to the stores how ever i already have a sanitary building i just need to add some hot and cold water for washing and another table for packaging. I'll look into the feed in bulk because are food around here is 12.5 dollars for a 50 # bag. That isn't bad but in bulk from down state i probably can get it for a little cheaper... Though that means i will have to recalculate profit per year.
Are the hybrid birds good at foraging and can they take the cold. Durring the winter I'm going to put them in my green house however i don't want them dieting because it can get 10 degrees in there. Espesaily this winter... we broke are record since like the 1800s of snow fall at 250 inches.
Hybrid breeds are generally very hardy. All of my birds did fine in temps that were subzero this year (granted, the subzero temps were not for long time periods), and NJ got a heavy amount of snow. The birds were alright. Very little frostbite and whatnot. Hybrids do well in cold, leghorns do not. If you are keeping them in a greenhouse, make sure to ventilate, as that is key to preventing respiratory infections and killing the birds. As for foraging, some birds are better than others, but a large number of birds will always make foraging tough, as there is limited space. They'll scratch, dig, find bugs, and eat anything green, but depending on how many birds you have, that can only last for so long. Supplemental feed will be a must, even if they forage. You can certainly get a deal buying bulk feed, and in your recalculation of profits you will see an increase! I've seen some chicken owners (with around 50 chickens) buy twenty five 50lb bags of feed and get them at like $8 a bag. The more you buy, the less you pay. If you store it in a dry, climate controlled environment, then it will be fine.

How many chickens do you plan on having though? This will help to estimate both feed costs and how long your forage pastures will last.
Idk how many in the end. In the beginning I'm going to start small and sell to my mom and dad's co workers and neighbors. So idk like 20.(some people say I'm crazy thinking 20 is small i just say i like to think big) Once i get a license I'm going to have more because i already have a few store owners that say that i should sell them eggs again. (My dad once did this but then he found out you have to be licensed to do it so he stopped) Once i get their ill need maybe 3 hundred. I figured out the math and i need around 5000 chickens to make an actual profit

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