Finding a market for my meat chickens

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by WVDan44, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. WVDan44

    WVDan44 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    some of our friends have expressed an interest in purchasing quality homegrown free range chickens. There are several advantages for me in selling poultry and eggs, one being an agricultural exemption for state taxes. I would need to show gross sales of only $1,000 a year to qualify, and any savings on taxes is good. What are some of the ways to build up a business of selling locally in a community? What are some of the considerations we would face in marketing meaties, such as cost of feed, methods of keeping birds - I am sold on pasturing but not tractors. Tell me about selling your meat chickens please.
     
  2. Avalon1984

    Avalon1984 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2010
    Muskegon
    I network a lot. I know people at work, at the feed store, egg customers, CL, etc. A lot of people right now are trying to save money so the market isn't the greatest but if you can get some last minute people preparing for thanksgiving and not wanting to eat turkey you could have a good niche and some new customers that will come back again. [​IMG]
     
  3. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Sounds like you have already started building interest with your friends. I can tell you from expirience that once you get started with friends and family, your business with expand by word of mouth if you have a quality product and good customer service. As far as the tax thing, I would suggest not running it thru an official business. Yes you may be able to right things off, but that means you also have to show how much money you are bringing in. I have a feeling at the end of the day, you'll be better off keeping it on the DL. It's my feeling you are going to have more additional work than savings. We operate on a strictly cash basis. Right or wrong, that's what we do. By the time I add up the profit we make, it's just about enough to pay for the chicken we put in our freezer, so I really don't see it as wrong.

    I am a firm believer in using tractors for my meaties. There are other methods out there, but tractors are my best option.
     
  4. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    First thing is to look up your local laws about selling poultry. Specifically if they must be processed in a licensed facility.
     
  5. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:x2 ... that's what I was going to say!

    I would also check out the local farmers market, just to see if I have competition and how they are doing.
     
  6. beanmcnulty

    beanmcnulty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have found localharvest.org to be immensely helpful, from what I can see, it has generated a lot of traffic to my own site. But if you are keeping it on the "DL" then websites really aren't going to be what you want to do. My take is that if you want to run it as a business, then do it. You can go the "hobby farm" route if you are scared of audit, but really if you are in it to make a few bucks then go right ahead and do it full on. If you keep careful records and do everything legit then you have nothing to be afraid of. Just my thoughts!
     
  7. BairleaFarm

    BairleaFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Check with an accountant about the taxes. The hobby farm stuff doesnt apply here. A farm is a farm reguardless of size.(thank goodness. My 2 acres loses about 5k a year [​IMG] )

    About getting your word out..........network. I talk to anyone and everyone who will listen. Gas station, doctors office, walmart...... where ever. I hand out hundreds or business cards. I also use them in every bird I sell and one with every carton of eggs that comes out of here.
     
  8. WVDan44

    WVDan44 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All good comments and advice to consider.

    I don't believe the county property tax people would red flag me to the IRS for showing a gross income of $1,000 on an agricultural venture, but you never know I guess.

    As an additional thought, I may consider bartering with others for goods and services. I can see myself trading chickens for honey or apples.

    Re: processing, I can't do it as cheaply as my processing guy. He did the 23 Cx's for $50 which included saving the giblets and cleaning the gizzards, and bagging the birds. He has all the proper permits to operate such a business. I say let him do it.

    I've been in business for myself in some form or another since 1980. I learned that you can either be an entrepreneur and work on growing a business, or you can be a technician and do the tactical work. You can't make lots of money being a technician. That's the main reason I would outsource the butchering process.
     
  9. beanmcnulty

    beanmcnulty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry I was focused on keeping the venture on the "DL" vs claiming tax exemptions, and forgot the question was about state and not federal taxes. My plan is to do the agriculture business for federal taxes, and have not yet looked too much into the state tax exemptions. But i would think you would save more in taxes filing as a business on your federal taxes. Then again this is my first year and don't have an accountant so I don't really know anything beyond what I've researched on the federal taxes. In Ohio you can also, after so many years, have your property taxes as a farm (much less than residential) but again, I am not sure of what has to be met there.

    But back to the marketing, I have found as many local farms and farm market prices I could, and priced myself in the middle. If I went to markets, the cost of license, refrigeration, and insurance would most definitely require pricing at the higher end of the local market. And also selling enough product to make it worth it. But it takes time to grow a word of mouth business, just get your info out there in any way you can, and as I mentioned the internet is a great tool. If you are serious about running it as a business, you have to set your prices where you can pay yourself. It won't be much, but it can be done. Another thing I've found is that selling as a CSA package deal has great potential for you, the producer, to do much less marketing work since you are essentially selling to the same customer throughout the season. Sorry if I am rambling! It's just new and exciting for me:)
     
  10. WVDan44

    WVDan44 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No you're not rambling at all. Those are all good, valid points to consider. Thanks for contributing.
     

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