can i make any money or break even?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chickenlover857, Dec 18, 2014.

  1. chickenlover857

    chickenlover857 Hatching

    Dec 18, 2014
    Ok I'm about to start selling baby chicks straight run for $2.00-$5.00 each I'm wondering if I can make money I pay $100.00 per month on my coop its huge can hold up to 50 chickens and the hens and rooster cost about $20 monthly too feed and other supplies cost about $100 could I make any money at all or break even at least I love chickens so if I even broke even id be happy please post your thoughts by the way I play to have 200 chicks per month
  2. Happy Dad

    Happy Dad Songster

    Jul 10, 2012
    Eastern Nebraska
    You just gave the data, with a little math you can answer your own question. ;)
  3. tracecom

    tracecom Songster

    Jan 16, 2010
    Let's look at it this way. Your monthly costs are $100 for the coop, and $20 per month for the feed (which seems low to me.) In order to break even, you need to have $120 per month in revenue. If you get $5 per chick, you need to sell 24 chicks per month, but if you get $2 per chick, you need to sell 60 chicks per month. If you get an average price of $3.50 per month, then you must sell 35 chicks per month.

    Before you reach any conclusions, you should be sure that you really have a market for chicks every month, and that you haven't overlooked any costs (medicine, vet bills, electricity, equipment and building maintenance, for example.) What you are really after is a business plan, and I think you are smart to count the costs before you embark on a new business.

    Good luck.
    1 person likes this.
  4. keesmom

    keesmom Crowing

    Jul 28, 2008
    More details would be helpful. Provided you already have feeders, waterers and brooders your primary costs will be electricity, feed and shavings.

    Are you planning to resell hatchery chicks or hatch your own? If ordering hatchery chicks you will have the additional cost of chicks and shipping.

    If you are planning to hatch your own what is your flock size, and are they a mix of breeds or just one? If your monthly feed cost is just $20 it doesn't sound like you have a large flock.

    If you are hatching what kind of incubator are you using?

    Do you really have a local demand for chicks to the point you will sell 200 each month? That's a lot of birds.

    If you are hatching mixed breeds is there enough local interest for those?

    What will you do with the ones you don't sell, primarily the cockerel chicks?
  5. matt44644

    matt44644 Songster

    Sep 14, 2014
    Sanilac County,Michigan
    I spend $30-$40 a month to feed 15 chickens.Straw costs me $12-$20 a month.If i used wood shavings it would be about $50 a month.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2014
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    Fact is, you can't really make money on chickens. You can offset some costs, but start small and test your local markets for eating eggs, chicks and hatching eggs. Around here straight run chicks don't sell well at all, no one wants the cockerels and they'll happily pay more for sexed pullets.
    2 people like this.
  7. TaylorHobbyFarms

    TaylorHobbyFarms Songster

    Dec 2, 2010
    You can make money on chickens. We have for the past three years, but we couldn't have made it happen if we had stayed local. By raising harder to find breeds and being willing to ship across the country, we have been able to pay all of our costs and still make a decent income. That being said, we are family run, and if we had to pay wages to anyone else, it would be a different story. If my husband and I only worked one hour a day, we would make a decent wage, but anyone that works on a farm knows you are not that lucky. Hatch day alone takes about six hours of our time. So, yes you can make money, but maybe not for awhile if you count your time. As long as you have a love for what you are doing though, I think it is worth it.
  8. rainbowrooster

    rainbowrooster Songster

    Nov 26, 2011
    If you can buy feed cheap enough to feed 50 chickens for $20 dollars month then you should go into the feed business. At 0.2 lbs. of feed per day per bird that would be 10 lbs. per day or 300 lbs. per month for the flock. How much would 300 lbs. of feed really cost you? I think your feed calculations are way off but there are other things to consider such as what type of chicks you will sell and to whom, where, and when?
    In terms of inexpensive chicks to sell you will be competing with hatcheries and all the feed stores in the Spring. None of us can beat the hatcheries on cost. For cheap chicks you may as well buy 100 pullets from the hatcheries that vaccinated and resell them for a buck or two more. That would be a great way to test the market before you're dropping hundreds of dollars each month on housing and feed for breeding stock. Also, the number of people that will buy chicks from late Summer through Winter greatly is greatly reduced. Its just not consistent year round.
    I know a few families that "make" money from selling chicks but they are selling "rare" or unusual breeds to folks that are willing to pay a big premium. So for you to enter that game you will have to pay out the nose to get started with your breeding stock. You will have to get a web site and go national to compete with others doing the same thing and to find enough people willing to pay the cost for those chicks. Also, the window of opportunity will only last so long on a particular breed/variety before the people who will spend big $ on those chicks have already done so. If you notice, the folks selling those type of chicks are always getting new breeds to keep the operation going while getting rid of older (less popular) breeds.
    If you can find or create some unmet need then you could make some money. Of course, if it was just about money how many of us would even have chickens?
  9. misfitmorgan

    misfitmorgan Ordure Heir

    Nov 20, 2014
    Mikado, Mi
    It actually really depends where you live on feed costs. Like here i can go to the feed mill and buy a 100lb bag of laying mash for $10. i am feeding 15-20 chickens and 2 ducks...the bag of mash lasts roughly 2.5 weeks for me. Keep in mind over half my flock are bantam breeds.

    For bedding i use pine shavings, $10 for a truck bed load at the amish mill, thats lasts 4 months min.

    Occasional costs:
    50lb bag of oyster shells (been 4 months and there is over 3/4 of a bag left) $9
    100lb bag of shell corn (Lasts over 2 months) $7
    50l bag of BOSS (2 months and still roughly half a bag left) $12 on sale
    Suet cake once a month 69cents

    $16/month mash
    $2.50/month bedding
    $0.45/month shells
    $3.50/month shell corn
    $3/month BOSS
    $0.69/month suet
    Total $26.14/month

    If i did not have the ducks the mash would last a lot longer, ducks eat a lot. A 15lb duck eats a ton, without the ducks i could easily see the mash cost dropping to $8/month. Which would be $18.14 a month.
  10. scflock

    scflock Crowing

    Jan 13, 2015
    Upstate South Carolina
    I have a hobby farm with a few different interesting breeds, and I don't even come close to breaking even. It all depends on what your goal is. I don't even attempt to sell day old chicks, because I can't compete with the big hatcheries, and I can't sex my chicks. I have found a local niche where I can sell started pullets and cockerels around 5-7 weeks of age for more money, but it costs more to get them to that point. They sell quickly, so I get a little bump of money at the time, but I cry if I go back and look at the money I have spent to get here. I do it for fun. I love raising chicks, and by the time they are feathered out, I enjoy selling them to people, but I will never cover the coops, pens, brooders, heat lamps, incubators, feeding stations, power, water, etc...
    I'm just not set up as a business. You have to decide what your goals are, and go from there. I think anyone selling day olds on a small scale is going to be very lucky to break even

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