Raising and Selling "Starter Flocks"?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Beanzie, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. Beanzie

    Beanzie Chirping

    Jan 11, 2014
    This spring I want to hatch out eggs and I am more than likely going to hatch out more than I need. They will be barnyard crosses, but all my hens, save the elderly ones, are good layers and healthy. I am certainly going to keep some, more than likely butcher excess roosters if I have a huge surplus, and I thought about one more possibility; raising starter flocks?

    By a "starter flock" I would mean selling a group of 5 grown pullets and a rooster. (That is the ratio I have come up with, but does not have to be.) I have known quite a few people looking for pullets who already have chickens or want them. Most of them love chicks, but they don't have time to dedicate to babies and want something to start laying relatively soon. This would be more for people who aren't necessarily wanting a pure bred hen, just a good layer and variety within their flock.

    I know this isn't anything new, but is there a foreseeable market for it? I am not looking to have a huge profit, or a profit at all so long as I am not losing millions. ;) This summer I am growing a market garden and will have lots of produce to supplement them with and time to devote to them. I will be going to farmer's markets and have the ability to advertise my product. As well as via websites and our local feed mill.

    Down to the point, is there potential for this? Has anyone done this before?

    For those interested, I have six roosters; 2 Red Star, 1 Wyandotte, and 3 Silkies. I have a slew of hens of different breeds, but this will give you a general idea of the mix.

  2. sepaditty1

    sepaditty1 Songster

    Mar 29, 2008
    South Carolina
    I think this is a great idea. When I was ready to start out I didn't know anything at all. Getting a group that's already established would be wonderful. Since you have the means to market this and get the word out, I think it will be a good thing. I was reading on a thread just yesterday about someone buying 5 pullets for $100. That could pay for quite a bit of feed for your own flock!
  3. Beanzie

    Beanzie Chirping

    Jan 11, 2014
    Thank you for the input! We always had chickens, I grew up with them, so it was a given. But so many people want chickens and don't have the resources to start up. I would love nothing more than to make enough money to cover food for our flock. (Although we do raise a lot of food ourselves.) I have quite a slew of different breeds in my flock, and lots of people like something that not only will lay well, but is personable and just neat looking. I also just love my chickens and would have no problem helping someone start out and giving them advice.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Would depend on your local market, farmers market would give you an outlet for networking.
    You'd need separate facilities to raise them up in, keep very close tabs on what you spend in feed.
    If you can't sell them, you can always eat them.

    ETA: I bought a starter flock from someone who desperately needed to thin theirs out.
    5 laying hens, 1 rooster, 4 four month old chicks (1 ended up being a rooster)...$20.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2014
  5. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I've gotten point of lay pullets for $12.50 each. I consider that a great deal but the upper price of $20-$25 per pullet is reserved for specific breeds in demand in my area. Usually people just want the price of feed back to raise the bird and are ridding themselves of culls to downsize for winter. Price of feed now means a 6 month pullet likely cost $15 in feed depending on free range time.

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