Our Little/Big project

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Nuchi, Apr 2, 2018.

  1. Nuchi

    Nuchi Chirping

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    I have been a frequent visitor of this fine collective of similar minded people but because of set back after set back I have not been able to start a flock of my own and never really made the account on here on account of that.

    The short end of a long story is we are in the Mojave area in California planning on starting poultry business aimed at donating nutrient dense food such as eggs to the community, such as Fire houses(loads of respect for them and all the help with the wild fires in the area) and food banks well selling at farmers markets or directly to restaurants to make ends meet as well as hopefully spread the word.

    Most thing are in the air in regards to livestock, my background is in ecosystems so my ideas are a bit broad but these are my questions and ideas summed up:

    • I have heard Black Soldier flies are not disease vectors so I was thinking of using them for sanitation as well as something to add to the birds diet if the larva are indeed safe.

    • I am debating if I should go Quail eggs for the income to keep everything running and something like leghorns for bulk or going completely quail based with a few broody chickens/quail to help maintain numbers?

    • Would it make more seance economically to buy only sexed chicks or unsexed chicks and sell off the extra pairs and boys to help ends meet or do a ratio of mostly sexed females with a small portion of unsexed?

    • Would rabbits be a better way to provide more than say leghorn eggs(this given that quail are already laying)? Or maybe just best for adding diversity and extending what can be provided when approaching the limitations of the currant project site?

    • I would like to know anyone's recommendations for where to get my birds from as I am looking for very high quality egg layers with preferably larger then average eggs without sacrificing production if possible. Was looking at James Marie Farms but don't know what to pick for my criteria with the categories they give.
    Another note worthy thing is I plan on making what I call a food generator which basically is a man made mini ecosystem that provides abundance of food and I plan on using this to supplement there food needs with hopes of being able adapt it for human consumption and not just livestock.

    I would like to add so much more as well as I am sure I am forgetting a lot but am keeping it short in order not to go on about any one thing to much. So I am sure there are more questions people will have as well as I hope it all makes sense. I wish i had something to show for this wall of text.

    Thank you all for your time!
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Welcome to BYC!

    Those are some lofty and great goals.
    What 'livestock' to keep is a toss up.
    You could do chickens, quail, and rabbits, but you might start with one at a time as they all have different housing, feed, and learning curve requirements.

    Do you have any experience keeping chickens...or quail or rabbits?
    Will you be slaughtering the rabbits yourself or go to processor?
    Are there any regulations you need to meet to sell/give home grown foods to your target organizations?

    What kind of facilities/buildings do you have available?
    Housing comes first, IMO, then get the animals.

    For lots of large eggs get leghorns or hybrid production layers.
    Pullets only would be better unless you want to slaughter cockerels or use them for something else, you'll want to house them separately by about 16 weeks.
     
  3. Nuchi

    Nuchi Chirping

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    I certainly plan on going at it one at a time, I have had some small pet birds growing up and I knew a few locals with chickens and got to interact with them.

    The laws are actually what got me on this as they are extremely good for food banks and Quail/Rabbit meat has small regulations making them easier then chickens for giving to other organizations.

    We don't have anything but the land to use right now and are looking at how we want to set it up before taking the big dive. Currently thinking Smallish groups of 8-12 quail in mesh bottom hutches and giving them as much environmental enrichment as I can. I am not an expert on the money side(need more local and up to date idea of there value as I know my info is dated or not from this area) but thinking 5-7 dozen should be enough to start off with to pay for the food, keep the doors open and help out in some measurable way well building up to be able to do greater things.

    As for the slaughtering thing well I don't relish it I would like my hands at it. I have shot more then a few pest rabbits in the orchard/vedge garden and the big ones I have been known to butcher and cook up or feed to the dog which she loves.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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  5. Nuchi

    Nuchi Chirping

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    Sadly I use to own my own land but equipment failure and not enough money or time to make up for it forced me to sell it rather then go into debt, then a horrible roofing contractor destroyed most other assets in storage($1500 in seeds alone) from water damage. Though I am graced at least to have use of family owned land and can use it for this but eventually I would like to have a full farm again so I can do bigger scale things.

    Thanks for the links I have already been spending some time on quail section and will have to check out the rabbit forum.

    Still would like to know other sources for high quality eggs/chicks as well as I have not read anything on getting quail as pullets or how I would go about that, I assume I would have to find a local breeder.

    The other thing is I would like to know the value of the eggs in Southern California. I want to have a much better idea of quantities needed to cover everything as well as how much we can provide. I am going off of $3-4 a dozen as is.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    I know nothing about finding quality quail, or how much you can sell quail eggs for.
    Sales are a local thing, you'll have to do your research locally....and have (or learn) excellent marketing skills.
     
  7. Nuchi

    Nuchi Chirping

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    The market really seem gives vastly different prices from place to place this is where I need to do most my research as I can tell. I really can see what you mean, its going to be a bit of an up hill battle but what isn't that is worth doing.

    Been enjoying myself on here researching pens and tractors. Well waiting for a chance to actually go out to some new places to get better idea of value. I am not expecting a smooth road but we are all pretty excited about getting them and raising/breeding them.
     

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