Is there any money in chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mandelyn, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. mandelyn

    mandelyn Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    I've raised LOT's of animals, chickens included, though currently all I have is two Shepherds (who I don't breed, puppies are hard!)

    The only critters I ever actually saw a profit on were African Pygmy Hedgehogs and African Cichlid fish. The rest, lucky to break even on.

    Now that I'm getting back into chickens, I wanted to see if there was a way to atleast break even. I've always fancied the rare breeds and Bantams, and I managed to break even last time by selling pairs and trios. They fed themselves and I got free eggs (small as they were... LOL) Every spring my chick sales were enough to buy more breeding stock... everything stayed a float without begging money from the parents. (it was a hobby thing that kept me entertained through homeschooling)

    Prices sure have changed since then!

    What I'm leaning towards, is 6 full-size layers and one Roo so that I can hatch replacement hens and Roos for sale/eating as needed. I REALLY like the look of Orpingtons and Australorps.

    Then a second coop of a novelty breed. Choosing that breed though, is hard! I'm fascinated by the Longtails, and I'd like to have a trio of each color of Pheonix, and set a breeding goal of achieving those long tails.

    I'm known for babying Roos if they're sweet and friendly, and those Long tail guys require some rather specific spoiling.

    Finding these fowl seem to be a whole other matter though when you're looking for a specific type.

    But the goals are to A: Have each coop support itself, B: Do right by the birds and breed for quality C: make some additional money from the quality birds, to spend on coop upgrades and a better incubator D: Thoroughly enjoy the hobby and not have to listen to husband about the cost/overhead for the sake of enjoyment.
  2. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    We have not even come close to breaking even on our chickens. I think if you NEED to make money on them then it's not a good choice but if your more or less looking for a hobby (something fun to do) then I would go for it. I think if you have your coops already you should be able to make something if your selling fertile eggs or Trio/Pairs. Some of the popular birds would be Orps or even Marans. People love the dark egg color of the marans and you could work on darker egg colors for a project. You would have tons of sales if you get those nice dark shells [​IMG] I'm not sure if Phoenix would be a great sale IMO as most don't have the room and their tails need extra space that people just don't have. I had a nice show quality one I sold for 20 bucks...he was as sweet as ever but just didn't have the space for him [​IMG] Good luck with whatever you decide [​IMG]
  3. texasgal

    texasgal Brood with an Attitude

    Apr 18, 2009
    Only if you feed them coins ... *shrug* [​IMG]
  4. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    Jun 11, 2007
    Is there money in chickens? Only if you feed them dollar bills.
  5. texasgal

    texasgal Brood with an Attitude

    Apr 18, 2009
    Quote:BWA HA HA .. you're chickens are worth more than MY chickens...

  6. chickenlittle32

    chickenlittle32 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2009
    Rayne Louisiana
    Yeah, sure, money in chickens...whenever they eat the food ya get em...LOL
  7. Sillystunt

    Sillystunt Master of the Silly

    Jul 11, 2008
    Winter Haven, FL
    BCM eggs a doz $65
    True Ameraucana eggs $45
    Duck eggs a doz 420
    BCM chicks $10
    Ameraucana $5
    Regular chicks $3

    I am gonna use the chicken chart to better track the costs.............
  8. DTchickens

    DTchickens Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 23, 2008
    Bailey, Mississippi.
    The only people i've ever heard of making money have been at it for over 20+ years and have developed a good name from themselves. You will lose money, lose money, break even, then make gas money over 10 or so years. With the economy like it is it will be slower than it would have 4-5 years ago.

    You need good quality birds, and if you don't show perhaps sell someone who does show them so they can spread your name around. Don't go for any of the production breeds because typically anyone who is going to get them is going to use them for production and they will say what 90% of the people on this site say "Why pay 100 dollars for a breeding pair of those when i can get chicks for $1.50 each from a hatchery? ".

    Don't sell at flea markets and such either, if you do that it would be best to buy from the hatchery and just sell young laying age pullets (Which i don't encourage the buy/resell thing). Doing that you will only be shooting yourself in the foot with good quality birds...

    ETA: The key thing is to find the birds you like, raise them. And maybe sell some on the side just to cover costs.. When you make a business out of it and it doesn't turn out so well, you will become disappointed.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2009
  9. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    Do some market research. See who will buy and what they'd pay. If you live in an area w/ a farmers market you may be able to sell eggs. Did you know there are some who will buy feathers for fishing flys? Check sporting mags and see if you can post an ad for feathers. Check sporting stores to see what colors are popular.
    Check out craft stores and see what they sell and try to find chickens that have the same colors.
    Find a breed that is not easily found in your area, and breed those.
    Feed your birds the right feed and advertise "Omega 3 eggs".
    Hope this helps.
  10. mandelyn

    mandelyn Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    Well I'm not looking to make it a JOB... LOL [​IMG]

    The neighbors all said they'd pay $2 a dozen for eggs if I delivered. Which, walking 100 ft isn't a big deal. We currently pay $3.50 on organic eggs anyways, and would eat more of them if they were already here. The darker shell is an interesting point on the Marans, I'll have to research that a bit more. Having a goal on even the egg layers would be cool. The neighbors didn't give a preferance on shell color, said knowing where they came from was good enough.

    First and foremost it is a hobby, and hobbies generally cost money. It would just be nice if it didn't.

    I already have a building suitable for the layer group, a GIANT dog house the could sleep 3 people, or 5 large dogs, but for chickens, it would do a 6ft roost pole, 4-6 nest boxes, and a food/water area indoors. I have enough extra lumber laying around to frame out a roofed 48 square ft run, sand and fencing being the only purchase. I was debating on partially covering it with corogated roofing, which I saw for $19 per 22 sq. ft. on the lifetime warranty stuff.

    So if I started with the Marans, then they could in theory finance another novelty "for fun" breed.

    Being 27 years old... I could stand with waiting out a 20 year reputation. Showing I've thought about off and on.. I used to show dogs, I'm sure chicken showing is just as interesting and competetive.

    I love chickens... I just REALLY like them as pets. They're so quircky and funny, and they really do have personalities. Even when I reached 53 total Bantams, I knew each individual, each had a name, and each had been hand raised and made uber tame. They all came when I called, all my hens would let me get an egg from under them without pecking at me or getting huffy about it. (Even Meanie, who would kill mice and gardner snakes and beat the heck out of the Roos and steal eggs from all the other hens.. would "growl" at me but never peck me when I reached under her, even on her broodiest days)

    There was only one Roo that made his way to the kitchen after he tried flogging me for fulling with his #1 hen. All the other Roos were fabulous, my favorites being Jibbers and Jabbers, Black Jap Bantam brothers. If you asked Jibbers what he was up to, he'd tell you all about it while sitting on your lap in quiet rooster speak.

    I really miss them! My neighbors have chickens now, and hearing all that chicken noise and not being able to reap any of the benefits is just driving me crazy.

    So this time around, I'd like to do it the grown-up way, maybe turn a small profit to go back into them, in addition to just having them as pets. Previously they were pet egg makers and education on hatching, incubation, and the laws of nature. Now that I've learned all that, this time I can focus on a direction.
    1 person likes this.

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