How To Start A Backyard Chicken Business By American Poultry Auctions Tired of your chicken hobby becoming a continuous expense? How about we turn it into a continuous profit? A very small number of backyard chicken breeders have turned their chicken hobby into well known backyard chicken farms and earn up to 6 figures a year, off the same chicken breeds that are an expense to you. All of the well known Hatchery's and big name backyard chicken farms have a lot in common, which are key reasons why they are successful chicken businesses. Here are the basic things they all share in common that make them successful businesses and how you can turn your chicken hobby into a profitable business like they have. The Birds: Whether you have extremely rare or common egg layer chicken breeds, you can earn daily income from them. The more valuable your birds are, the less work you'll have to do. The less valuable your birds are, the more work you'll be doing. Valuable birds can be either exotic and rare or very nice show quality birds. The least valuable birds are more towards the common egg layer breeds. To put the value into perspective, some large hatcheries are multi-million dollar businesses that sell the most common cheap chicken breeds but rely on massive amounts of sales and a lot of work. They usually have 20-40 employees working at the hatchery. This is an example of less valuable birds that require a lot of sales and a lot of work but can still be very profitable. To earn the most amount of money possible for the backyard chicken breeders, you'll want to eventually raise nothing but the most valuable breeds since you'll be limited on help with your backyard chicken business. Minimize the work and maximize your profit with the more sought after and expensive breeds. To acquire and start selling the more valuable birds, it will also cost you a lot of money. If you have the money to invest, it should pay for itself fast. If you do not want to spend a lot of money right away, that's fine, you can still start your own backyard chicken business with the more common cheaper breeds, but your profits won't be that large unless you raise a lot and sell a lot, similar to what large hatcheries do. If you know where to get started acquiring the chickens you want, that's great, but if you need to find a place to get started, AmericanPoultryAuctions.com is a great site to acquire new birds and start a chicken business at the same time. Where to sell? Do not sell locally if you want the most value out of your chicken business. Large hatcheries and well known backyard chicken farms use a professional website along with expensive advertising to sell to the entire country. They usually do not offer local pickup either. When you just sell locally, you lower the value of what you are selling, because there is not a large enough audience fighting over your product. Why sell to just small number of possible local customers when you can advertise to millions of possible customers across the country. You can simply list your items for sale on already made poultry websites that have the traffic with possible buyers. AmericanPoultryAuctions.com is a brand new online poultry auction site meant for the backyard chicken breeders to sell and buy on. It is growing fast with massive advertising campaigns bringing you new buyers and sellers daily. It's like you have your own professional website and advertising just like the big name farms and hatcheries. It's also free to join and free to list at AmericanPoultryAuctions.com! Starting your auctions cheap at $1 for at least a week will help guarantee your eggs or chicks will get sold and could get a few buyers into an expensive bidding war. If you start auctions cheap, let them run for a week, and they end at a low price, chances are you are working with a cheap or not so sought after breed and you will want to think about getting new breeds to maximize your profits. Oversell: Sell more eggs or chicks than you'll have available to ship next week. Hatchery's and backyard chicken farms all oversell and are backed up on orders and that's one reason why they are successful and their chicken business runs smoothly. Let your potential customers know in your listing that their eggs or chicks will ship within 1-3 weeks after purchase. This will allow you to oversell which ensures eggs and chicks are always sold and you will constantly be getting paid. You might not be as successful if you wait to see how many eggs are laid or how many chicks hatch and then sell them. When you oversell, you know all your eggs or chicks are sold before they are produced and they will always be ready to package and ship each week when they hatch or are laid. Eggs need to be shipped fresh and no older than 4 days old for the buyer to hopefully get a good hatch rate. It takes 2-3 days for eggs to ship priority and eggs fertility usually lasts at about a week old before an eggs likelihood of hatching goes down. This means eggs 4 days old plus 3 days of shipping is 7 days which is as old as you want an egg to be for best hatch ability. This is also why hatching chicks and shipping weekly is perfect because when you incubate your own eggs weekly, the eggs are up to 7 days old max and have the best possible chances of hatching. If you sell eggs, you need to know about how many eggs your hens produce each week to know how many eggs you should be selling each week. If your hens produce 30 eggs a week, sell 40 or 50 eggs and let your possible customers know they will ship within 1-2 weeks of purchase. Once you get backed up about 1-2 weeks of egg production worth of orders, you can start selling about exactly how many eggs are laid each week. This will allow you to always have your eggs sold before they are laid and your customers will only have to wait up to 1-2 weeks or less to have their fresh laid egg order shipped. For selling chicks, you are supposed to ship chicks as day olds. Day old chicks have the best chance of survival without food or water because their yolk sack they absorbed during hatching gives them nutrition to last at least 72 hours without food or water. If you hatch about 30 chicks a week, first get backed up on orders by selling maybe 40-50 chicks total for a couple weeks. After you are backed up on orders, start trying to sell about exactly what you hatch on average each week. This allows you to know all chicks hatched will be sold and shipped the day or day after they hatch. If you wait to sell chicks or eggs, you'll spend a pretty penny on chick feed and expensive electric bills for heat lamps. You'll end up shipping chicks that are 1-2 weeks old which is not recommended as they have a lower shipping survival rate than with day old chicks that don't need food or water for at least 72 hours. You'll also waste old fertile eggs that didn't get sold and are too old to ship to your customer. Do not let this happen to you because you'll lose profit. Figure out the prices you should be selling your eggs or chicks to know you'll constantly get continuous orders. Selling Eggs? Selling eggs is the easiest way to start your own backyard chicken business. Most hatcheries and backyard chicken farms just sell chicks, but there is a market for fertile eggs too. Some hatcheries and backyard chicken farms will sell eggs as well as chicks to target both markets. Fertile eggs are cheaper than chicks and a lot of people will prefer to buy fertile eggs in attempt to save money to obtain a breed. A lot of people sell eating eggs to their friends at work for $3-$5 a dozen. Don't do it! If you have a rooster in with the hens then those same eggs that you sold to friends for $3-5 a dozen could have been sold as fertile eggs for maybe $12 a dozen advertising to the entire country. 1 fertile egg is usually worth at least $1 from the cheapest standard breed chickens, even if they are not purebred. If you obtain expensive breeds, a single fertile egg can be worth $40 and more sometimes. An example of selling high end expensive breeds vs selling common cheaper breeds is if an expensive breed sells for an averages of $5 each fertile egg and the standard breed sells for an averages $1 each fertile egg, the expensive breed is making me 5 times as much money. For the person with the cheaper standard breed to earn as much money, they need 5 times the amount of eggs or 5 times the amount of birds. This is why it's better to target the most expensive breeds when raising chickens for the fertile egg business but you can always work your way up. Start with cheaper breeds, learn how the business works and work your way up to eventually raise the more expensive breeds. Get started selling your fertile hatching eggs on AmericanPoultryAuctions.com today. Selling Chicks? Ever heard that it pays for convenience? Selling baby chicks is convenience to your buyers and is where most of the money is at in a backyard chicken business. If you just sell eggs you are probably missing out on a lot more money that you could earn. Every successful chicken hatchery and well know backyard chicken farm always sells baby chicks and that's an important thing you need to understand. Some will sell eggs as well to target those customers that like to save money to obtain breeds by purchasing eggs but majority of people would rather buy chicks over eggs. Think about how your local feed store sells baby chicks and they usually sell pretty fast. Your feed store probably isn't selling fertile eggs or at least as fast and profitable as selling convenient already hatched cute baby chicks that are ready to take home. A chick is usually worth 3-5 times a fertile egg. Think of it this way, if you sell your flock's eggs for the year and make $10,000 then if you hatched your own eggs and sold the chicks you could have possibly made $30,000 to $50,000 if all the eggs hatched. If you only got half the eggs to hatch which is a very low hatch rate, you still could have made at least $15,000 to $25,000 instead of only $10,000 selling fertile eggs. Most backyard chicken farms started small, selling only fertile eggs but realize quickly that there's a lot more money to be made learning how to sell and ship their own chicks. Make sure you put in your ad or chick listing that the buyer needs to message you their phone number for Call For Pickup. Get started selling baby chicks on AmericanPoultryAuctions.com today. Good Photos! Good photos help determines how much money you'll make in your backyard chicken business. Chicken hatcheries and well know backyard chicken businesses all have professional clean and clear photos of what they are selling. Good photos not only help you get sales, but add a ton of value and money to your chicken business. Good clear photos are attractive to your buyers and you'll get more views and purchases than someone selling the same item with poor photos. The best photos to use are usually green grass backgrounds and close ups of your chickens. Get to down to ground level with your chickens and take photos at the same height as your chickens. These are the best photos to show of your chickens. Take plenty of photos and not just 1. If you sell eggs, buyers want to see the adult birds the eggs came from. If you sell baby chicks, buyers also want to see the adult stock that produced the chicks they will receive. Another important thing to realize is someone selling the same amount of eggs or chicks can make double or triple the amount of money because they had good clean clear photos. Even though you both are selling the same thing, the person with the the better photos will make more money for their listing. If your chickens are in not so pretty or attractive pens, take them out of the pens for a photo shoot in the grass with a pretty background. This will take you a couple minutes and will add a lot of money to your business. Your buyers will know you take good care of your chickens and will think you will take care of your buyer too. Why do the same amount of work as another seller selling the same thing but get less money because you used poor photos? If 2 sellers are selling the same 12 eggs or chicks, the seller using 1 poor photo of their chickens may get $12 for their eggs and the seller with a bunch of high quality photos of their chickens in clean grass will probably make double or triple the amount of money. Both sellers offered the same item for sale. Take a small portion out of your day for a photo shoot of your chickens and make the most amount of money possible for what you are selling. Incubating For Chick Business: All the large chicken hatcheries and well known backyard chicken farms use similar incubation methods for their business. Collect your eggs through the week and incubate every single week on Monday or Tuesday. You can start your baby chick business by using a cheap styrofoam incubator but eventually you'll want to get reliable cabinet incubators like GQF or Brinsea for high quantities of egg incubating and reliable hatches. Use a lead pencil to write on your eggs if you have different breeds to keep track of the eggs. Use a large calendar to write down the day, time, amount of eggs per breed, rack number of your incubator and any other notes needed for that batch of eggs. Chicks take exactly 3 weeks to hatch meaning they will be hatched the same day you incubated them 3 weeks later. This is so you are ready to ship Day-Old chicks at the beginning of the week once they hatch. Incubate at 99.5 degrees fahrenheit the whole 21 day period of incubation. For the first 18 days of incubation, eggs need to be turned at least 2-3 times a day. You will want an incubator with an automatic egg turner. First 18 days should be at 40-50% humidity. For the last 3 days of incubation, do not turn the eggs. Eggs need to be placed sideways for last 3 days for them to prepare to break out of egg shell. Humidity the last 3 days needs to be raised to 65-70% humidity so they stay moist and don't dry and stick to egg shell as they break out. Do not open your incubator during the last 3 days of lock down during the hatch because it will lower humidity and cause chicks to possibly stick to egg shell and not hatch. You can open incubator daily during the first 18 days of incubation without issues for adding new weekly eggs or candling the eggs at 1-2 weeks old of incubation to see if any are infertile and need to be thrown out. A mother hen that incubates her eggs naturally will get off her nest every day for 1-2 hours to eat and drink. This does not hurt the live developing embryos in the egg. Just remember to shut incubator when you open it to preserve heat. Another cool thing about incubating eggs is you always have a 3 day weekend! Incubate eggs every Monday. This means you set eggs for hatch on day 18 every Friday for a Monday hatch. This ensures you will have Saturday and Sunday off every week. Shipping Eggs? Shipping eggs is a piece of cake. This is why it is the easiest way to start a backyard chicken business. Ship eggs at beginning of week on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday latest. All you need is bubble wrap, paper towel, tape and a cardboard box. You can get fancier and more professional with shipping eggs but that is literally all you need for packaging if you want to keep it simple. Individually wrap each egg in a piece of paper towel or tissue , then individually bubble wrap each egg. Cut a small strip of paper towel or tissue and bubble wrap maybe 3 inches wide and 6 inches long. Wrap each egg first with paper towel or tissue. Then roll egg sideways with the bubble wrap wrapping over it and then tape the end so it stays. Do this to all the eggs you need to ship. Place a few layers of bubble wrap on bottom of box. Place individually wrapped eggs on the lay of bubble wrap. Place a little bubble wrap around the perimeter of eggs inside box to protect eggs from hitting side of box. Place bubble wrap layers on top of eggs until the box shuts snug and secure so the eggs won't wiggle while being transported. Print a USPS priority mail 1-3 Day shipping label through your Paypal payment you likely received or go to Paypal.com and print it out there. Do not pay at the Post Office as this will cost you a lot more and you might have to wait in a long line instead of having it pre-paid and simply walk in and drop off at the USPS front desk. Printing your label also usually emails the buyer their package is on their way and also is easy for you to copy and paste and message the buyer yourself their tracking number to let them know their eggs shipped. Here's a link for more info on how to ship fertile hatching eggs AmericanPoultryAuctions.com/how-to-ship/ Shipping Chicks? Most people do not realize how easy and convenient it is to ship chicks and settle for just selling and shipping fertile eggs. To some people that ship chicks, they claim it's even easier and less of a hassle than packaging and shipping eggs. Shipping chicks is a once a week thing on Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday latest. The big chicken hatcheries and successful backyard chicken farms do the same thing. Incubate on Monday or Tuesday so they hatch that same day 3 weeks later. This is the safest way to ship day old chicks as they do not need food or water for at least 72 hours once they hatch. Their yolk sac they absorbed gives them necessary nutrition to survive for at least 72 hours and they simply only need warmth for that time period. If you set eggs on Mondays, usually you'll be shipping on Monday or Tuesday depending on if all the chicks hatched yet. Have chick boxes all packaged and ready to go with required shavings or chick pads. 72 hour uni-heat packs and Gro-gel is optional but helps ensure a safer chick shipment. If you use 72 hour uni-heat packs, open them up a few hours before shipment and place a thin blanket over them to let them heat up to maximum heat output. Print either a USPS Express 1-2 Day (Recommended) or USPS Priority Mail 1-3 Day label. A 1-2 Day Express label is recommended for safer shipment and is usually around $30-$36. A Priority 1-3 Day label is allowed by the USPS to ship chicks and is a lot cheaper on average of only $10-$12 but is usually a 2 day delivery. Printing your label also usually emails the buyer their chicks are on their way and also is easy for you to copy and paste and message the buyer yourself their tracking number to let them know their chicks shipped. Make sure you write the buyers phone number with a black permanent marker or sharpie for Call For Pickup. Here's a link for more info on how to ship baby chicks AmericanPoultryAuctions.com/how-to-ship/ Refund, Replacement & No Hatch Guarantee Policy: All chicken hatchery's or big name backyard chicken farms have these policies. This not only helps your buyers get what they paid for but you will get more sales by guaranteeing they get what they pay for. If you sell eggs, you need to either put in your egg ad or auction that you either will refund eggs broken on arrival or send free replacements and whether the buyer is responsible for paying for shipping replacements. Egg sellers also need to always put in their ad or auction that they do not guarantee hatch rates as it's out of their control once eggs leave their hands. It is not the egg sellers fault if the eggs do not hatch because there are too many variables whether eggs will hatch or not. Buying fertile hatching eggs is a risk for the buyer and they need to know that before purchase. If refunds or replacements are needed due to broken eggs received, require photo proof the day they arrive. Have these policies in place before your customers make their purchase, so they agree to your policies. If you sell baby chicks, you need to have a refund or replacement policy if chicks do not survive shipment the day they arrive. If your customer receives chicks that didn't survive shipment, require them to email you photos the day they arrive for refunds or replacements to be given. This refund or replacement policy needs to be on your chick ad or auction before the buyer purchases. Reputation! Your reviews and reputation is very important to help your buyers determine if you are safe to buy from. Always have excellent customer service and message the buyers in a timely manner any questions they have. Always keep your buyers updated on their order status if their order may take a couple weeks to ship. Buyers want communication and this is key to why your buyer will be ok with waiting a few weeks to have their eggs or chicks shipped after purchase. Keep them updated with their approximate ship date so they feel safe knowing their order will be shipped. They will usually reward you with a positive review letting people know you are safe to buy from and you kept them updated each week with their approximate ship date. This will build you a good reputation and help you get more sales and your prices will go up because of a good reputation. Recap Backyard Chicken Business: * Make your chicken hobby profitable and not an expense. It will make keeping your chickens even more enjoyable. * You can start your chicken business with cheaper breeds but eventually strive for a backyard full of expensive breeds. * Find a place that allows you to sell both fertile eggs and chicks effectively. AmericanPoultryAuctions.com is a great place if you don't already have one. * Oversell your eggs or chicks and stay backed up on orders. Constantly get paid and know your eggs or chicks produced each week will always be sold & ready to ship to their new home. * Selling fertile hatching eggs is the easiest way to start your own backyard chicken business. * Sell baby chicks for the maximum profit in the chicken business. Chicks are usually worth 3-5 times a fertile egg. Make sure buyer messages you their phone number to place on box for "Call For Pickup." * Good photos are important to maximize your profits. Do not use 1 poor photo of your chickens in the mud. You will not make nearly as much money as taking your chickens out for a clean grass photo shoot. Choose a day for a chicken photo shoot in the grass. * Incubate eggs every week on Monday or Tuesday for constant weekly shipments. Incubate at 99.5 degrees, first 18 days with auto egg turner and 40-50% humidity. Last 3 days set eggs sideways on floor at 65-70% Humidity. Always have Saturday and Sunday off. * Shipping eggs couldn't be easier. Collect eggs daily and store in a cool place. Ship fresh clean eggs Monday Tuesday or Wednesday latest. You need bubble wrap, paper towels or tissues, tape and a cardboard box. * Shipping chicks is easy. No need to ever buy expensive chick feed or costly heat lamps. Once they hatch, they go from your incubator to the chick shipping boxes on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday latest. Ship USPS 1-2 Day Express Mail or 1-3 Day Priority Mail. * Refund, Replacement or No Hatch Guarantee Policy is necessary and will help you get more sales. Your customers will feel safe buying from you knowing they will get a refund or replacement if necessary. Emailed photo proof is always necessary. * Reputation is important to help you get more sales. Keep your buyers updated each week with approximate ship date and build positive reviews to help you get more sales. A good reputation will raise your prices because more buyers will feel safe buying from you. * Start buying and selling backyard chickens & poultry on AmericanPoultryAuctions.com today! It is Free to Join and Free To List! Please Comment & Share Your Thoughts! We Would Love To Hear How Others Run Their Backyard Chicken Business. Thank You!