Calling Meat Poultry Producers (Chicken, Turkey, Duck, Goose, ect.)

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by OSUman, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. OSUman

    OSUman GO BUCKS

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    Central Illinois
    Hi i was wondering how profitable meat birds are and what are the most profitable varieties of poultry to raise im assuming that chickens and turkeys are the most produced but im not sure i know that there are alot of chicken/ turkey meat producers but are there any other meat bird producers out there?
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2009
  2. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    I do pretty well on my birds, without even trying. If you keep it on a small scale, it's pretty easy to at least get your personal birds paid for. I (right now,) only sell to family, friends, coworkers, and wife's coworkers, and I make more than enough to pay for my birds, equipment, and feed every time.

    As for which type of poultry, I'd say that the only market is for broilers and maybe turkeys. You can probably find people to buy ducks, but far fewer than chickens- heck, how often do you even eat turkey, other than on holidays? I know plenty of people buy and sell other stuff, but I'd say your BEST chance of selling a good amount of birds is going with Cornish X's. Take orders ahead of time, and you can make money doing whatever birds you want- you just tell people what you're willing to raise, then buy whatever gets ordered.
     
  3. OSUman

    OSUman GO BUCKS

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    Any other mat poultry raisers??
     
  4. mmwb

    mmwb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Western Wyoming
    You won't be able to compete with store prices, so unless you've a specialty market: organic fed only, those who want home grown, free range, etc....

    I'm not sure you will make much--if anything--if you figure you time in. If you enjoy it and want to sell some, than by all means, but be real with what your actual costs are and make sure you don't end up giving birds away. There are a lot of tax deductions for the home business and a good accountant is worth his or her weight in gold.

    Learn the health codes and what your limits are. You will also want to carry supplemental insurance in case someone gets sick about the time they eat one of your raised birds.
     
  5. OSUman

    OSUman GO BUCKS

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    wow i didnt think about the whole insurance and accountant thing but wow that would be important thanks [​IMG]
     
  6. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:The chance of someone getting sick from your birds is SO low that I don't even worry about it, assuming you follow basic sanitation guidelines. Or, do what I do- presell all your birds live, then offer processing for free. There's no regulation regarding selling live birds, and you can process birds for free with no problem as well. The kicker is that you have to ACTUALLY do it- meaning, once the birds are dead, you can't sell the "extras," and you have to sell by the bird, not by the pound, nor can you charge extra for custom cuts. I got the idea from Salatin's book, and even the Michigan Department of Agriculture told me that doing it this way would "go around" their regulations.
     
  7. OSUman

    OSUman GO BUCKS

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    Central Illinois
    wow im not entirely comfertable processing by myself i was show and kind of understand it but it would take me about an hour per bird we have Amish that would process it for us at $2 a bird which i think is rather reasonable but IDK they are the only ones that i know of in IL.
     
  8. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here's my 2 cents:

    The only way to make a profit raising birds is to:

    1. Be extremely efficient with feed (where/how you buy it, or better yet make it or grow it yourself) including keeping the birds from wasting it. For example, pastured chickens will get 15% of their feed from pasture thereby reducing feed costs 15%.

    2. Reduce the time/how long you grow out the birds (again its related to feed efficiency). Cornish X is 8 weeks, that's why people raise them.

    3. Who does the work ( feeding, caring, butchering). Again, all better if you and your family do all the work, especially butchering and packaging. If you pay someone else for butchering, you may lose your entire profit margin.

    4. Low input costs -- this means you build your systems yourself with recycled materials and used equipment whenever possible. If you go out and spend lots and lots of money on pens etc, it will never be profitable. Be cheap and frugal as much as possible / and trade, barter and bargain for everything.

    5. Charge enough to make a profit / good marketing / find customers willing to pay what you need without being crazy unreasonable in your pricing (you want repeat customers )

    And, additional points are:

    1. Raise the birds in the healthiest manner possible so as to reduce mortality. Often beginners make many mistakes and lose a huge percentage of birds. If you can label your birds "humane" or "organic" or "antibiotic-free" you can charge more for them because it's a niche.

    2. Create efficient systems for your project (often beginners do things the hard way but sometimes that's how you learn. unfortunately it means you may not make any profit).

    3. Track ALL your time and expenses (and feed), so you know your REAL costs. Most people are very neglectful with this and don't really know what their costs are, therefore they don't really know if they made money or not.

    4. Start small. Build gradually as you learn what you are doing.

    5. You must realize you are making a major commitment (being home every day, twice a day to feed the birds). No exceptions to this -- it's not like you can just go away for the evening or weekend without ensuring the birds will be fed.

    6. Think seasonally -- it would be dumb to raise birds in the winter -- all that money spent on heating would cost you any profit, and likely bird health. Depending on your climate, raise birds as they are naturally raised... chicks in the spring, growth during warm seasons, butcher in fall (cool weather).

    Hope this helps!
     
  9. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pennsylvania
    Quote:At $2 a bird for processing you will likely never make a profit. You must learn to butcher yourself.

    The best guide for you to read is Joel Salatin's book "Pastured Poultry Profits" -- $25,000 in 6 months on 25 acres. Now that book is a $7 investment toward your new business.
     
  10. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    Here's my model of processing- taken as a quote from Salatin's book:

    “Our order blank contains a question: ‘Do you want them dressed?’ Each customer must mark ‘yes’ or ‘no,’” he wrote. “The price is so much per pound, with no differentiation made between live and dressed birds. It’s the same price. There is no law that precludes me from dressing chickens for you in my back yard if you bring them to me and I do not charge for the service. Our processing is a gift, an amenity, that our customers ask for and for which we do not
    charge a penny. By not charging for processing, we do not fit under the legal definition of a processor. “This procedure keeps us strictly
    within the confines of the law and as far as we can tell everything is legal.

    It does mean, however, that if someone drives up to the house unannounced and wants to buy a chicken from the freezer, we do not sell him one. We’re glad to take his order, however, and raise him one precontracted in the field. Consistency in this area is extremely important.”
     

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