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Profitable Venture?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Mosey2003, May 25, 2016.

  1. Mosey2003

    Mosey2003 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hope I can pick some brains here...

    I just ordered a 48 egg incubator and I'm toying with the idea of selling chickens. Thinking about getting three dozen fertile eggs from one of the people that sells farm eggs around here and hatching them in September. Then, raising them until March, and selling young laying pullets. Our Facebook groups are always lit up first thing in the spring wanting laying hens, because everywhere advertises chick days and you know people, we all like instant gratification. I'm sure I could probably get $10/each.

    My concern:
    How much feed would they eat in six months? Bearing in mind I ferment, so that would save wastage and cut down a bit on amount eaten. I'd like to run some numbers assuming all 36 hatch, even though I know that's highly unlikely.

    I already have a big horse stall I can convert to a juvie pen. I'm fine with getting all the males butchered, I eat a lot of chicken. Of course, if there's any sure-fire way to skew towards more females, I wouldn't be opposed to that, especially as I want to throw a few of my Buff Orps in to replace some next spring.

    I'm not sure if I should offer the freshly hatched chicks as straight run for $4/each or not. I assume there wouldn't be many takers, but it would cut down on feed cost.

    Thoughts? I know it probably won't be very profitable, but if it came close to break-even I'd like to do it just as a fun project. But, if I'm gonna lose my rear in feed costs, I won't bother.
     
  2. Gray Farms

    Gray Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One thing I've learned in raising/selling chickens in the last 15 years is that you break even you did extreemely well. With the price of feed today its hard to make money in chickens. . In general it takes roughly 15 lbs of chick feed and 50 lbs of adult feed to feed a pullet up to laying age. Which in my area is about $15 dollars in feed. And thats not including elec, water, and anything for you time. So the profits in poultry are slim. I think most would agree that most people that raise chickens, or any poultry for that matter, do it for the love of the hobby
     
  3. Mosey2003

    Mosey2003 Out Of The Brooder

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    Welp... I could still hatch out some of my Buffs for myself I suppose. It feels more 'profitable' if I sell excess of 'my own' rather than raising them just to sell [​IMG]
     
  4. Gray Farms

    Gray Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's the best way I've found.
    1. Keep a flock of good quality birds.
    2. Hatch a bunch of chicks each year.
    3. Keep back some pullets and a couple cockerels each year.
    4. Butcher or sell the extra cockerels and older hens each fall.
     
  5. Mosey2003

    Mosey2003 Out Of The Brooder

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    If my dad wouldn't have made my coop so small I'd feel much better about it. As it stands, I can keep 'my flock' in their coop and run and 'the new guys' in the barn until it's time to integrate/sell on, but I'd be much happier if I could keep everyone together. Ah well, maybe I'll find a bargain someday.
     
  6. Gray Farms

    Gray Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know what ya mean. I raise 27 different breeds of chickens. So I've got 33 different pens to chore everyday. Luckily there all in the same barn, which makes it much easier.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Just to break even would depend highly on the market in your area and your marketing prowess.
    It can take a few years to get out of the red....
    ....you say your dad built too small a coop, so I'm assuming you're minor(apologies if I am incorrect there)...
    but can you commit a few years for this endeavor to become profitable?

    You eat a lot of chicken, but can you butcher a lot of chickens?
    Processing costs will 'kill' (haha) part of your revenue stream....could be the difference between breaking even and not.
     
  8. Mosey2003

    Mosey2003 Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm 31 [​IMG] Dad's just handier than me.

    I live on the home farm with my parents as they're older and can use some help daily. I'm lucky in that we have a lot of land, but really can't free range because we're hawk-eagle-coyote-fox-weasel central.

    There is a local place that butchers for $2.50/bird. I'm fine paying this for what I'm going to eat.

    I'm kind of at the point now where I want to pick up a dozen Cornish X chicks and just eat them. My friend wants to incubate some ducks and geese, so I'll see where that and my Buffs take me.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    OK, cool, I only ask as I'd address a kid much differently than I would an adult.

    I'd say housing is the most important aspect for this venture, separate pens with mesh covered runs to keep separate ages, genders, breeding groups, etc.
    Build a couple-few pens, hatch a batch or two, test the market and see how it goes......then either sell the incubator(kidding) or start building more pens.

    What is your climate?
     
  10. Mosey2003

    Mosey2003 Out Of The Brooder

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    North Central IL. So, very hot and very cold.
     

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