Need advice on a "Pay It Forward" type chicken give-a-way program.

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by mississippifarmboy, Nov 28, 2010.

  1. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays

    ok, this is something I've been thinking about for a couple of years, and has really been on my mind the past few weeks with Christmas coming up, the recession, and hearing how other people are trying to sorta move back to being self sufficiant.

    First a little background; I own an auction and for the past 20 plus years my wife, our crew at the auction and myself have raised money for a toy drive for local kids from families who were low income, parents out of work, etc.. We give a sack of toys (Around 8 - 10 toys in each sack) to each child who applies. We give out the toys on the Sunday afternoon before Christmas each year at our auction barn. We have helped from a low of only around 30 kids the first year or two up to almost 1,000 children last year. (996 if I remember right) All our help is donated by our crew and customers, all the money is donated by our customers, crew, sellers and a few (Very few sadley) local businesses. We hold a bake sale / auction / singing each year and all that money goes into the pot also. So I'm not just a dreamer with no experiance at helping others.

    What I'm wanting to do is to give a family a small flock of chickens to get them started. Totally free of charge. Just come to the farm and pick out say 6 hens, or 5 hens and a rooster. I want them to promise to do the same thing to help someone else once they get their flock established. Or maybe promise to give away X amount of eggs the first year. I'm hopeing it might catch on and others would be willing to do the same thing.

    Now I am a dreamer of sorts I guess, don't claim to be real smart and I know I've made alot of dumb mistakes in my life. But I do truely want to see chickens become more accepted and I do want to help others. If I can figure out a way to do it as far as where to find people who would want chickens, how to spread the word and get others to help, etc.. I'm prepaired right now to start the ball rolling with helping at least four families myself. I've got around 100 4 - 6 month old chickens right now that I know I'm not going to keep for breeding. I planned to butcher them, but I'll give some of them away if I can get this going.

    Anyway, I have a great amount of respect for the collective wisdom of our BYC family, so ya'll help me figure this out. Give me your ideas, suggestions, heck even critisize it - I've got pretty thick skin.
  2. Camelot Farms

    Camelot Farms Chickenista

    This is a great idea!

    Just a few things to think about for the families that are involved.

    1) Can they financially support them?
    2) Do they have adequate space for them?
    3) Are they legal in their area?
    4) Coop or enclosure?
    5) Are they chicken smart? Do they know how to care for them

    Some solutions for those barriers...
    1) Get Nifty to donate a few copies of Chickens for Dummies to increase knowledge of chicken stuff
    2) Local feed stores provide X number of coupons for a bag of feed for those weeks when things might be tight
    3) Set someone to getting a bit familiar with your local chicken laws
    4) Home Depots and Lowes kinds of places could be solicited for coop or fence building materials

    Just some thought to get things started

  3. pw_quiltworks

    pw_quiltworks One Handy Chick

    Jan 7, 2009
    Well I can tell you this. We are not rich nor poor but I do believe if you intend to do this you should supply the feed. It's expensive. Heck a dozen eggs cost a lot less than 6 chickens to feed. It's only my opinion. Feed is 13.49 a 50 pound bag many eggs will that buy me? Way more than what it would cost to house chickens. I get your trying to do a very good deed and in theory it might sound good but you must put yourself in a poor persons shoes. If that family has some income it might be ok but if they are poor it would not work in my opinion. I have a had a hard time sometimes feeding my flock and I am not poor. Borderline poor. Or perhaps you could teach them to grow the feed for the chickens. Maybe I am not getting it right. Not trying to be rude just honest.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010
  4. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays

    Thanks Kim, that's the kinds of things I've gotta figure out. I live way out in the boonies, so no chicken laws here, but it is something I'd have to know about where the person(s) lived. I'm not a chicken expert, but have raised chickens all my life and could help anyone I personally gave chickens to. I guess I'm sorta figuring that anyone else that helped by giving someone a start would be at least knowledgeable on chickens.

    I was thinking about a "Referal" type thing. Where we could like have a database listing of breeders and backyard chicken people who would be willing to do this, then have other good folks here refer people to us that live in our general area that 1) needed chickens 2) had the means to raise them and keep them in shelter & food and 3) could legally keep chickens.

    I don't ship, so could only help people in my area. If we had people in several areas of the country I could refer anyone to someone in their area.

    For example I could help those in the north Mississippi / sounthern middle Tennessee / northwest Alabama area. But if someone contacted me from say Georgia, I could see who was signed up in Georgia and refer them to that person.

    I'll talk to a few of the feed stores I deal with later this week on your sugestion about feed coupons. I would never have even thought of that.
  5. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays

    Quote:No, I understand perfectly quiltworks, and you make a very good point. I feed over a ton of feed a month to our flocks, and I am poor, so I know how much it cost. [​IMG]
    I guess I should have been plainer... I'm not the greatest writer. I'm not talking about giving poor people chickens to help them eat. (We were very poor growing up and wouldn't have had much meat if we hadn't had chickens though) I'm talking about passing on a love of chickens to those who are interested and would most likely buy them anyway. Whether they are poor or rich is not any of my business. I'm not sure how to word it... maybe I should just get some sleep & try again tomorrow. [​IMG]

    I had a gentleman move in the house just up the road from us a few months ago. He stopped and told me he was my new neighbor, ask about our chickens and said he wanted to get some himself as soon as they were settled in. I told him to let me know when he was ready to get some and I'd help him out. He came down a couple of times with his kids and helped us feed, water and gather eggs. I showed him my coops, explained about bedding, roosts, nest boxes, ventalation, feed requirements, shutting them up at night, etc.. After he built his own coop & run he came to see if I would sell him some hens and I GAVE them 7 hens. That is sorta what I'm talking about. He made the comment that he wanted to pay me back someday and I told him to just do the same for someone else someday.

    Now I'm not talking about these breeders with $300.00 chickens giving them away, I wouldn't either. I'm just thinking about helping a few people get a start, not having to gamble on hatchery chicks, learn everything from a book and so on.
    Maybe that made more sense. [​IMG]
  6. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    Stonington, illinois
    Last spring they did something like this in Georgia. and it was a success as far as people coming to take the chicks. What I worry about is long term. Will the people you give them to really be willing to stay in it for the long haul? We dont have much money. I work hubby on disability, so money is tight. My sister said when I started that isnt it cheaper to buy eggs from the store? well of course it is but what about when you have a bad week and dont have any money? I still have eggs to eat and if necessary I could butcher a chicken to eat. Cost of feed is going up at least in my area. I have made a commitment to my chickens, but would someone else? I dont know. I think it really is a wonderful idea just dont know if some are willing to take on that commitment. L would love to see something like this happn nationwide and would be willing to participate in it myself with donating chicks.
  7. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays

    Thanks Sheila3935 That's something anyone who did do this would have to deal with. How do we know who's serious? And thanks for the offer to help.. that makes two of us I guess. [​IMG]
  8. Camelot Farms

    Camelot Farms Chickenista

    Quote:Sometimes it helps to weed out the 'spur of the moment' folks by making the process a 2 or 3 part project,

    1) sign up- register
    2) arrange a visit to their home/farm etc
    3) arrange a visit for them to your farm at chore time.

    Usually by that point, you will have lost a few by the way side.

    I'm a 'seemed like a good idea at the time' person. So I know how much trouble impetuous people get into...I am one of them lol

    So, those are some of the things that would weed me out.... [​IMG]
  9. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    Stonington, illinois
    From talking to people I work with most are really interested in the chickens just not the work that goes with it. I like the fact that the one guy you did help actually saw what was involved and knew it what he would have to do if he took on chickens. I had one girl at work that her aunt got all the nieces and nephews chicks for Easter. They kept them til they got too big for the house and then dumped them out in the country. When she told me I told her I would have taken them. Even went out to try to find them but they were gone. I informed her they propably died and why would she do something like that? She really is a good person just didnt know what to do. Maybe if there was an informational workshop of sorts that could teach people about how to raise chickens then if they still wanted them have people donate the chickens and feed stores donate the first bag of feed etc. That would get things rolling. Im with you that we all need to get to a place of self sufficiency. Maybe kicking out ideas like this will help get the ball rolling.
  10. Camelot Farms

    Camelot Farms Chickenista

    I love the idea of an informational workshop!

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