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Hatching chicks for selling-Questions?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by mirandaleecon, Dec 11, 2015.

  1. mirandaleecon

    mirandaleecon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am starting to hatch some chicks to sell to people and I have some questions for anyone who currently does this;

    What do you do if you can't sell all of the chicks as day olds? I'm sure there will be times where the demand isn't as high, so I'm just wondering what to do with different aged chicks if I hatch weekly. I have a couple different pens, but I could see them filling up quickly. Mostly looking for creative ideas on how to deal with this...

    How many do you typically sell a week?

    If you sell sex-links, what do you do with the roosters? I can keep quite a few for food, but if I end up selling a lot of chicks, I won't be able to eat that many roos.

    How do you determine pricing, especially if you have a breed that's not common in your area?

    Anything else to consider?
     
  2. apocha142

    apocha142 New Egg

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    I do not usually hatch unless there is pre order filled. If I do hatch without an order being placed, I make sure to have room for them as adults. I've had up to 3 week old difference in chicks in the same brooders. I keep them in brooders in my house until they are around 3 weeks old, then they go outside in their brooders with a light or none depending on time of year and temperature and how many of them there are. I stay away from sex links to hatch because they are so easily found at feed stores and similar places. I hatch Ameraucana/Easter egger/Olive egger/ and black copper marans because they are harder to supply so there is a greater demand from back yard chicken owners.
     
  3. gpop1

    gpop1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Try to find a local animal auction then you can get a general idea of what live stock is worth and what sells.
     
  4. gimmie birdies

    gimmie birdies Overrun With Chickens

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    People are always interested in my birds any age. I have even had people ask for an older bird to keep their pet older bird company, or to eat bugs in their garden
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015
  5. mixedUPturk

    mixedUPturk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    :frow hi Miranda,

    I sell quite a few chicks and i am a bit into the game. First let me say I wouldnt suggest hatching too many at this time of year, this is our nautral decline, and its more likely that you will have more chicks leftover.

    Now, i like to keep a pretty close knit network, i couldnt continually run the bator without these people. I have one girl who grows out extra chicks for me, a man who proccess roos for sale, and countless friends who help me in various ways, including, worst case scenario, i need someone to do feed up. I had to build those relationships, and they mean alot to me.

    I try to get possible customers excited about the hatchers before they even hatch, for ex: candling pictures and tellin people how many are alive...

    I am always prepared to keep every last rooster: they flat Do Not sell well or at least for the $ you have fed them. I proccess roos at 5-6 months old, and we eat them if i cant sell them as proccessed chicken. In my state, LA, we can sell up to like 1500 birds before we need an FDA cert. you should check on that.

    Keep lots of records so that you can see what it costs to raise them, and that will tell you where your prices should be, bottom line plus or minus amounts for SQ or BQ or PQ or ... So on and so on. I know that it costs me about 5- 8$ per head to raise roos to 5-6 months depending on breed, so i price a proccesed roo at 10$. 2-5$ is my profit margin. Keep in mind: That could be cut if i have to deliver the bird to someone who is 30 miles away.

    Your market may be Vastly different from mine, and i so no one can tell you exactly what to do, but facebook pages are a good outlet for rare breeds. I keep a notebook on all this and more including customer profiles. I hang on to every contact i can make because i'll never know everything. It takes a little tougher skin to be a breeder who culls their flock, but you will have better stock than a hatchery who puts forth anything they can.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2015
  6. mirandaleecon

    mirandaleecon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Panama City, FL
    Thank you all for the responses! Great info. I'm getting excited about getting into this!

    Do you guys know of any good resources for what traits to look for in each breed? I read the standard of perfection for the breeds I want but the descriptions aren't very clear. The body shapes in particular are what don't make sense, guess I'm more of a visual person...
     
  7. kyzerc

    kyzerc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    that's the problem I'm having,too many birds and no buyers.,i think I sold 3 chuckars and 5 a # m,s.I started in September with 3 birds,have 60 or more now,50lbs food a week.Ill try the swaps when they start up again.They say they taste like chicken,may have to do that
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2015
  8. mixedUPturk

    mixedUPturk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like we are about on the same level! I started with three in the spring, they were given to me and we fell in love... Then we bought three pullets. Then we were given 12 mixed day olds and once those roos grew up i had to learn to proccess. Ive proccessed 7 of my own boys now, and im telling you, they taste better than Butterball. Now days im up to about 20 hens, two roos, 30 two month olds, 5 duck hens, a single drake, 2 turkey Toms and one hen. Thats where my plan fell apart: i became friends with the turkeys. Theyre very personable birds, i believe a certain amount of emotional distance during their 3-4 month period really helps. I feed about 75 lbs a week, and i continuoulsy run a bator on half on acre. Pullets sell for far better prices at POL, so growing some out through this winter is a good plan if you have the room. Craigslist is an OKAY place if you know how to use it to its full advange without gougers or low ballers.



    Your welcome, its very exciting. Most important thing is to always treat them the very best that you can, give them all the goodies all the time, their lives are short, and they actually Feed your family.
     
  9. gpop1

    gpop1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    its weird that in my area cockerels sell for more than hens at auction, fertile eggs sell for about the same price as chicks and bantys in good condition like millys can make major money when the 4H parents are there.

    Its all supply and demand. One person with a huge flock practically controls the standard egg and chick market in the my local area so prices are dirt cheap.
     
  10. gimmie birdies

    gimmie birdies Overrun With Chickens

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    A man in my area sells straight run LO, but I figure they are so popular, if it turns into a boy, I can still get my money back.
     

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