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Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by 96civic87, Jan 22, 2014.
Whats a good breed to raise, and make good money selling?
Very few make much profit. Most $ earned help supplement the cost of raising their birds
Cool! I would breed and sell to keep up with feed or upgrades
I used to raise rare breed dogs, $ 750 to 2000 a pup just broke even at best. Anything you do to make the animals worth more cost $. At least with chickens get some very good layers put it on facebook or craigs list how much per dz. Let's say $2.50 dz meet one day week at some empty store etc. Sell 20 dz a month $ 50 chickens can at least pay their own keep. I live in a very rural area but bantams are hard to find. I know someone who runs the auctions I have seen bantams wanted adds on craigslist so I have 3 kinds of bantams coming. Let's say I sell live chicks $3 apiece at 10 a month $30 well the new birds will basically pay for their coop but no profit. I have dual purpose also as my daughter is lactose intollerant and guess what that added up to 30 % liquid in grocery store birds contains or can contain a milk product.
I have been selling chickens for profit since my first flock I was just a boy. It is very difficult to be successful but if you put your mind to it you can accomplish anything. One major prerequisite here is the initial cost, if you wanna be more than just a hobbyist prepare to throw down some serious dough. Fence posts, wire, feeders/waterers, coop, bedding, laying boxes- all that stuff adds up quick. I lucked out by inheriting lots of equipment from my father, he was a hobbyist chicken farmer for years, which made it all the more easy for me to get into the game. I'll assume you have your pens set up, all your equipment ready to go, and $1000 spending money lying around. I'll also assume you know a thing or two about raising chickens and that you understand that you stand no chance in the large-scale industrial market. Shipping live birds will prove unprofitable. ship eggs anywhere in US, and sell live birds locally.
First try finding a market. What range of consumers are you appealing to? How will you be advertising your products? Are you willing to take your birds to local swap meets/ farmers markets/ shows? How saturated is your local market? How stiff is the competition on Craigslist? How many ebay sellers are selling hatching eggs of your breed? All of these questions should definitely factor in to what you choose to raise.
Remember to do the math. You must meticulously record every expense you make in regard to your chicken business, from starter to wormer to pellets and vaccines and equipment and EVERYTHING. Keep tidy spreadsheets recording sales and finding out exactly how much you need to be selling birds for to stay profitable. The older a bird gets the more food it eats, this should drive up your price with every bag of feed you burn through. Don't pass the cost of uneaten feed and unrelated supplies onto the customer- if your prices aren't high enough to cover cost, you lose: if you can't lower your prices to a competitive rate, you lose.
Now about what you're selling. You can sell illegal meat, and you can sell illegal eggs but USDA will snuff you out like a candle and take your gear, and even if you managed to cut all the red tape and get into a grocer you would never be able to compete with the prices offered by current market. Selling eggs $2.50 a dozen to your friends is an pitiful sum when compared to the fines you risk racking up for selling ungraded eggs (and you won't sell a lot of refrigerated eggs marked 'NOT-FOR-HUMAN-CONSUMPTION' aka pet food eggs. Trust me.) You're eggs are best marketed online on ebay, and through your website which you will ultimately have to get; 2-3 dollars per egg is a more reasonable than 2-3 dollars per dozen, but be prepared to drop 15-16 dollars on shipping hatching eggs and learn how to properly package them. When you get a hit on ebay sell room temp eggs from the past 3 days, I'll assume you know how to keep and hatch eggs properly, also.
You must also sell live birds, keep and incubator going and try to have biddies on hand all year round. Sell 'em for a competitive price but never let your feed costs completely diminish your profit. Growing a garden and saving kitchen scraps is an honest way to cut back your feed costs- but they must always be allowed access to a feeder. As the chickens get older hens are worth more, roosters are usually worth nothing once the naked eye can sex them. You must find a way to overcome what I call 'the rooster problem'. Fact is most backyarders want laying hens, but you want to sell all your chicks, not just the hens. The way I see it, you're options for overcoming the rooster problem are limited. You can either raise a common sex-linked breed which I can tell you is a slow business to get off the ground (you need to get the 2 breeds that make the hybrid to maturity before you sell chicks, breeding red star to red star won't give you **** you know?) OR you can sell them straight run but then your timing is everything. Raising sex-links usually leaves you with tons of roosters that you can't sell and you have to feed- take my advice kill most of of the males the day they are born. Throw them in the freezer and sell em on Craigslist as snake food. Between 1 to 4 days of age selling them st run is riskey- they are easily sexable, and after 1 month the males will be super obvious. If you get stuck with a bunch of 1 month old Rhode Island Red Roosters, for example, you might as well be dumping bags of feed on the ground- you will have to give all those useless roosters away and you will have wasted every crumb of food they ate. You will have to test the water and find out how many chicks you can move per month in order to avoid this.
If you want to make money you usually need more than 1 breed to sell locally and online. If you stick with 1 breed it better be a very rare breed to appeal to a niche market or it must be such top quality stock that it sells itself (but don't hold your breath even with great starting stock you'd have to breed for years to be worth a ****). My advice is to cover all your bases. In my case I sell Australorps to the backyarders that want layers, and I keep some Egyptian fayoumis for the people that want low-maintenance free range birds they also look pretty. I also capitalize on the potential profit to had in raising game breeds. In my area there are a lot of rednecks and hispanics and they will drop serious dough on some pure Oriental blood to mix in with their bloodlines. I keep some O Shamo, Aseel, Sumatra, and Saipan jungle fowl to appeal to gamefowl lovers. Those breeds are all rare in the US and are common picks when someone decides to add oriental blood into their line. Don't ever mention anything about cockfighting, either. Don't ask, don't tell! Never sell a gamecock without pairing it with a game hen (it makes you look better in court, trust me). And don't try to fool some old cocker into buying your hatchery stock, that may work for laying hen buyers but anyone who would pay $300 for a chicken will know what he's looking for. You need to get your birds from a reputable dealer to even dabble in gamefowl.
Lastly, selling adult birds typically proves unprofitable. People are not willing to pay 25-30 dollars per point of lay hen even though to you that price might seem like the only way you can turn a profit. You'll put them to more use selling their eggs as hatching eggs.
TLDR; Just buy 100 reds st run from a hatchery and see what you can sell em for, if you lose money, then give up- you would have dropped a hell of lot more than 200 bucks hatching out 100 chicks from your own flock in the long run. Don't jump into gamefowl, it's sink or swim and 90% of noobs sink.
Nice write up
Thanks so much for the nice post. Learned lots and appreciate the time it took you to write it.
Karen in western PA
After years of raising animals, I have come to this conclusion - if it eats store bought food your profit margin is going to be slim!
I have managed to figure out how to get the girls to pay for themselves. But that is it!
I sell sex-link pullets.
I don't raise ANY of the rooster chicks.
The only pure bred breeds pullets I raise are white leghorns and rhode island reds. I can cull roosters in these breeds st about a week of age. Barred rocks can be sexed at hatch but don't sell as well as RIR.
I do manage to get $3 a dozen for eggs. I sell dehydrated manure by the feed bag full for $4.
My chickens are not pets, I love them, but they have to pay for themselves. They get to hang around for 2 laying seasons and then are culled when they go into molt and stop laying.
I also use my chickens as a form of therapy. Working in retail requires this!
So you sell black sex links?
Yes, I sell black sex links, also red sex links and a sex linked olive egger.