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Can a flock support its self?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by PrinceSandwich, Aug 4, 2010.

  1. PrinceSandwich

    PrinceSandwich Songster

    Nov 11, 2009
    Alberta, Canada
    My dream is to have my birds support themselves ( financially). I would do this by selling the offspring and maybe some hatching eggs, and not by selling eating eggs. I'm already beginning to do this, and will be selling around 15-20 birds next auction ( we have 4 every year). Is this a realistic dream? Have any of you guys done this? Is it possible?
  2. chuckzoo

    chuckzoo Songster

    Apr 20, 2009
    Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    It depends on how good their accounting skills are![​IMG]
  3. turney31

    turney31 Songster

    Sep 14, 2008
    palestine texas
    Not in my wildest dreams.
  4. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    It's a nice dream, but unfortuantely, for me it would not be possible.

    I would think it depends, in large part, on how you raise them. Mine all get a vitamin/mineral supplement in their water, healthy treats, good feed...all that stuff costs $ that's over & above feed costs. Then there's worming, vaccinating of chicks (I vaccinate all mine for Mareks, which is prevalent in my area), shavings (or other bedding costs), nest pads, feeders & waterers that need to be replaced now & then, etc.
  5. pbjmaker

    pbjmaker Crowing

    May 9, 2008
    Central Iowa
    My small flock supports their feed habit but not the cost of structures, etc.
  6. jodief100

    jodief100 Songster

    Apr 21, 2010
    N Kentucky/Cincinnati
    Keep track of your expenses for a time and look to see what the going prices are for what you want. Making money really depends on finding the right niche and finding ways to keep your costs down. Do your research and do everything you can to avoid spending money and you might do it.

    Few basic rules:

    If you don't NEED it, don't buy it
    If you MUST have it, find it used, build it or borrow it
    Know your costs
    Know your market
    Spend money where it pays off the most
    Everything costs time or money, if you want to make money you will have to spend time and lots of it.
    Even what you keep for yourself has a cost-don't forget to include it
    What you spend on transportation is more than just gas

    I calculated it out last year, I make about $1 an hour on meat birds. At least my freezer is full.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2010
  7. JetBlack

    JetBlack Songster

    Apr 19, 2010
    Coeur d'Alene, ID
    So far, my eggs cost about $300 a piece, to produce, but each egg reduces that cost.
  8. PrinceSandwich

    PrinceSandwich Songster

    Nov 11, 2009
    Alberta, Canada
    Quote:Thats kind of what I'm looking for ( since the feed cost is the number 1 money drainer).
    How do you do that?
  9. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays

    We sell eggs ($1.50 per dozen) and a few chicks here and there. Every year we buy or hatch out lots of each breed that we raise, then cull heavily once they get 5 - 6 months old to replace aging breeders and sell as many of these started birds as we can find buyers for. The rest we eat.

    If I figure in $1.50 a dozen for the eggs we eat and figure the chickens we eat at the price we sell the others of the same age I've figured we basicly pay our feed bill. (Most of the time).

    If I figure in housing, pens, feeders, waterers, treats, incubators, brooders, isolation cages, and all the other little things we have spent money on raising our chickens I figure for me to break even in 10 years I'm going to have to sell all future eggs at at least $10.00 a dozen. [​IMG]

    Seriously, most of that stuff is a one time expense. The eggs might pay the feed bill but unless you are raising show quality stock (Ours are just common farm stock) it will be hard to make a profit on them. Of course if you are raising those super-duper birds you see in some of the post here, you might come out ok selling hatching eggs, chicks and started birds. Of course it's going to cost a lot more for your breeding stock.

    I was a lot less depressed before I answered and started thinking about all the money I've spent on my "Hobby".
  10. lauraleigh

    lauraleigh In the Brooder

    Jul 4, 2010
    I am new here, learning, and don't have chickens yet, BUT... I am a consumer. I do eat. And I eat chicken. One of the reasons I want chickens is that I want to get away from the nasty, unpredictable meat we get at the supermarket. But what if I never got my own flock? I would still want good meat. If I couldn't raise my own, I would look around for someone like you to raise those chickens for me.

    I tell you how many chickens I want at what times of the year. We figure out what to buy and when. Then you provide the housing and elbow grease. Come Chicken Day, you charge me for renting the space, your elbow grease, and dressing out the chickens. You bill me, I pay you, and go home with good meat for the freezer. I would readily pay $10 a chicken for that.

    Is the sleeping entrepreneur in you waking up yet?

    Do the math:
    5 chickens a month, $10 each = $50/month.
    5 people @ 5 chickens/month = $250/month.

    Will that cover the cost of housing, accessories and feed? If it doesn't, I better rethink keeping chickens!

    And that's just people. What about local restaurants, particularly trendy little bistros and high-brow cafe's? You will need all kinds of health permits, etc., at that level, but you did ask how you could make money on your flock.

    Have a good, clean professional operation. Recommend good meat birds. Keep excellent records. Know how to keep chickens. Show your buyers that you are protecting against predation and illness. Guarantee the chickens. (You lose 'em, you buy 'em.) Market to a select crowd. Don't even pretend to compete with your local supermarket. You aren't selling the same thing at all -- make that crystal clear.

    If you lived near me, you'd be making money already.


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