I'm seriously considering starting a hatchery business(My game plan, critiques, advice, encouragemen

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by Sumatra503, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. Sumatra503

    Sumatra503 Kozy Orchard Farms

    Sep 24, 2010
    I have been raising poultry for 10 years now. I'm don't know everything, but most consider me to be an expert of sorts.

    I have been brooding over the idea of starting a hatchery. Starting small scale(300 egg incubator or two) and working up from their. Poultry is my passion and I'd love it if I could make a living from it some day. I probably won't ever get into it as big as the multi-million dollar big guys experting 100's of thousands of chicks each year, but I like to think optimistically and see it go somewhere, someday.

    So, my game plan(not quite a buisiness plan, but close):


    I will probably be using a homemade cabinet model for the first year of buisiness. I am pretty good at building them by now and have the whole winter to get it up and running. It will be ideally a 300 egg capacity with autoturners, thermonmeter/hygrometer, and all the bells/whistles I can afford for it.

    I've calculated this cost at about half that of buying a sportsman model bator and believe it will be a good starting place.


    Since I have a lack of space and funds I will be recruiting breeders to supply and ship my eggs to my hatchery. I have a form already prepared with questions and different things the breeders have to fill out. It can be viewed below. Whatcha think needs added?

    I plan to start with 10-20 breeds of chickens and ducks. I'm planning on the more popular breeds that are most commonly raised. I also want to avaoid selling hatchery strain birds and focus on heritage or show birds. I want to encourage quality poultry.


    My minimum order will be 3 as many hatcheries offer. It will be much simpler and easier to process smaller orders and hatch eggs to meet the demand. I may set a maximum order, too if things come to it.

    People will be able to order with an order form at an webstore type set up on my website. The orders will be scheduled according to availability, incubator space, and when they ordered.


    Prices will depend on the chicks and the egg prices. I'm hoping that I can recruit breeders who are willing to sell eggs for $2.00ea or so and use a shipping method I choose, and then I will be able to charge a flat fee for all chicks.

    The Chicks:

    The chicks will be processed just as any other hatchery and will probably have to be straight run only, until I get better at vent sexing.


    I plan to use the USPS to ship my chicks. They will be shipped with a heatpack for smaller orders in a USPS approved shipping box. I will only be shipping on Monday-Wednesday to ensure delivery before the weekend. That means i'll be scheduling hatches to coinside with these days.

    These are the basics of my plan. Any advice, critiques, praises are all appriciated.
    1 person likes this.
  2. mnferalkitty

    mnferalkitty Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 17, 2012
    Do you have to be NPIP or have testing done on your eggs etc.? there might be state rules you have to follow etc
  3. Sumatra503

    Sumatra503 Kozy Orchard Farms

    Sep 24, 2010
    Don't think so. I will only be accepting eggs from breeders that are NPIP tested and will be mareks vaccinating if people ask for it.
  4. Dwkuska

    Dwkuska Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2012
    Graham Wa
    Am I correct in understanding your basically "Drop shipping" these eggs/chicks? By that I mean your just the middle man(or woman respectively) that makes the deal and then you contact others as to where/when to ship? Do you have a business license? Do you have a business proposal and do you think you could attract enough buyers to maintain your business license?
  5. Candyman

    Candyman Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2012
    Islamabad, Pakistan
    @ Sumatra503 I'm with you!! There is no substitute for a business and there is not a better business than your own hobby!!!
  6. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    The only one I know of that sells show quality birds with a business model similar to the big hatcheries is Holderread and he has been very successful at it. He sells quality and you can just go on line and pick out what you want and order it.

    So, it can be done.

    I think you are going to have to get breeders to sell you eggs for less than $2 each. Because if they are being shipped, not all of them will hatch and you must be able to keep the price of your chicks down. If you are buying lots of eggs, then you should be able to get a better price. After all, $2 per egg is $24 a dozen. Breeders can go less if they don't have the hassle of marketing and packaging small numbers of eggs to send all over the place to buyers who then complain that they didn't get 100% to hatch.

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 14, 2008
    My first suggestion would be to proof read your Breeder Questionnaire so that it appears to have been written by someone who's literate.
  8. Sumatra503

    Sumatra503 Kozy Orchard Farms

    Sep 24, 2010
    It is just a rough draft up for the critique of the questions asked, not the grammar. it contains. Anything about that portion?
  9. Sumatra503

    Sumatra503 Kozy Orchard Farms

    Sep 24, 2010
    I shouldn't need a business license since my profit margin will be respectively low for the first year. It will be what Oregon considers to be a hobby and I will be able to claim this as being self employed since it is, in essence, a farm and agriculture and not really what is considered a business.

    I will be having eggs shipped to me and then hatching those eggs myself. I will then ship the chicks. Nobody will be shipping anything to my customers, but me. I will legally own everything that I ship out to customers, as well.
  10. Sumatra503

    Sumatra503 Kozy Orchard Farms

    Sep 24, 2010
    Yes, my hobby and my passion and that means I will be passionate about by business, too. I may not make big bucks off this, but I may be able to make enough to get by and possibly pay the bills eventually. Not for a few years off, though.

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