Price of Turkey Hens - Don't Sell Yourself Short

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by kuntrygirl, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    I have people that contact me frequently wanting hens. Their hen or hens either has been killed by a predator or got sick and died. They desperately want and need a hen but they really don't want to spend a lot of money on a hen. I can understand them not wanting to spend a lot of money. BUT on the other hand, in their eyes, it would be wonderful if you sold your hen for little of nothing or perhaps no more than $20.00. Well, that's just not going to happen at my place.

    I started thinking and I got out my records for 2013 and jotted down the number of eggs that were layed and the number of eggs that were hatched and the number of poults that were sold. That number was a high number. Whether or not the buyer will sell the eggs layed or poults hatched by the hen is up to them but for me to sell a hen at a $20.00 price is highway robbery.

    Here are the figures that 1 hen brings me on a yearly basis. My hens will go broody 2 - 3 times each year. But we will use a 2 time broody hen to get basic profit for eggs and/or poults.

    1 hen = 12 eggs layed each time (2 times broody) = 24 eggs. If I chose to let the hen hatch the eggs or if I chose to hatch the eggs in the incubator and I have a 100% hatch rate (and I usually do), the 24 poults are sold @ $12.00 each. 24 poults x $12.00 brings in a profit of $288.00 if I sell the poults within a week . If I keep them any longer, the price increases every week by $1.00 (cost of feeding them). And let's not even talk about if half of those poults are not sold and they grow to be adolescents/adults, the profit to be made that way.

    If the hen only lays eggs and does not go broody for 3 months and lays (let's just say) 75 eggs and I sell all 75 eggs @ $3.00 each. That hen brings in a $225.00 profit.

    This profit ($225.00 to $288.00) is the same that a buyer can make off of the hen that I sell him (if that's what they chose to do). Now if I sell 2 hens to this same person and Hen 1 hatches all eggs both times and Hen 2 only lays eggs (based on a 3 month period - my hens layed eggs for 10 month this year ($750.00 worth of eggs for 10 months of egg laying), my profit is $513.00 for 3 egg laying for 3 months). So, for me to sell 1 hen for $20.00 or 2 hens for $40.00, I am missing a profit of $205.00 - $268.00 for 1 hen or $509.00 for both hens. A selling price of $20.00 is absolutely ludicrous. Even if I sold the hen for $30.00 is still too low. I know that we all know that prices of turkeys will vary based on city/state/region/area and based on popularity. Either way, you have to price your hens at a price that you can sell them. Even if a buyer wants a hen for a pet or just eye candy in their yard. That reason won't change that hen's future in laying eggs and hatching poults. You can't tell the hen that it's going to be a pet and it shouldn't lay any eggs or set on any eggs and hatch poults. That ain't happening. So the probability to profit on that hen is still there. Also, for me, I use my hens to hatch other eggs (ducks, peafowl and goose - for profit as well). So that is another profit that I get from the hen and won't get if I sell a hen for below the price that they are worth.

    Just remember to not sell your turkeys too low. The profit listed above does not even include the price of feed that we owners spend, which brings that profit down. That is another factor as well. Feed is not free or cheap. We can't go in the feed store and tell them what we want to pay for feed. The feed price is what is it. We take it or leave it.

    So start thinking about what you all want to do for 2014 as far as you selling your eggs and poults. Do your research now and come up with your game plan, so you will be ready when laying season comes. Laying season will be in another month or 2 for me and I'm so ready. I'm going into laying season with 12 hens, so I'm hoping for a productive year. Wishing everyone good luck with their turkeys. :thumbsup
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013
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  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    I agree with you Kuntrygrl but in my experience, around here, it is hard to sell them - eggs, poults, juveniles OR adults. I also had 100% hatch rate but got little response to my ads for them. I sold no eggs, only a few poults, and ended up with a bunch of juveniles running around that I had fed until they were 5-6 months old. Even then when I advertised them as almost-grown birds, I got just two people interested in buying. And that was pricing the toms at $25 and the hens at $30.

    One other thing to factor in is that to offset the profit made from selling, there is the feed cost to continue feeding them year round even though they only lay part of the year. In my area, the laying season is probably shorter than yours but they eat year round. I was able to turn mine out on 10-acres this summer and they spent a good amount of their time hunting grasshoppers and that helped out my feed bill a TON. But in the end, I'd rather sell some for $25-30 going into winter than feed them until April of next year when they start laying again.

    I have a couple of toms I'll be processing here pretty soon and a friend wants a hen to replace hers that died, but even with that I'm going to wind up with a couple hens to feed over the winter since I don't want to process hens and no one seems interested in buying.
     
  3. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

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    I totally understand how hard it can be. And in that situation, you gotta do what you gotta do, so whatever price you can sell them, then you have to do that. I agree with you selling them for that amount. And I probably would do the same thing if I were in your shoes.

    Have you tried selling your eggs to BYC members and shipping them out? That's an idea . Then you won't have any poults to sell or older turkeys to deal with. You could sell all of the eggs and be done with it. Just a thought

    How many turkeys do you have total? # of toms? # of hens?
     
  4. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    I've never gotten into shipping eggs. I have this awful fear of them arriving in terrible shape and getting reviewed badly as a seller [​IMG]

    I am down to 3 toms and 4 hens. I started with a pair and unfortunately during the year the tom mysteriously languished and died, while the hen went broody on a hidden nest out in the pasture and was killed by a fox. After selling a few poults, giving (yes, GIVING) a juvenile trio to a friend whose dogs promptly killed them (lesson learned never to give them away without being sure how they will be housed), and more recently selling a pair and a trio, I am pleased to be down to just the seven. I really only wanted to keep a trio because even just having the one pair, I wound up with a LOT of baby turkeys this year. I do plan to process the two extra toms because I had always promised DH we would raise some for meat. Its just hard because they were brooder raised so are very friendly. But I will. Sigh. But I can't bring myself to process hens. For one thing they are so much smaller they wouldn't yield as much meat and for another they have such potential to be layers and mothers next year….One of the 4 hens will go to a friend of mine, so I really only need to find a home for one hen and then I'm good. If I don't, I guess I'll be taking a quad through the winter.
     

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