raising best egg-layers to point of lay and selling

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kristenm1975, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. kristenm1975

    kristenm1975 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 23, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I've never raised chicks from day-olds and I'm itching to do it. Ideal is still selling their best egg-layers and the minimum I need to order is 10, a perfect number for a first-timer, in my opinion.

    The question I have is this: if I raise them for about 5 months how much feed do you think they would go through in that time and how much should I charge for point of lay hens? I'm in WA state near Seattle. I'm thinking they would be ready April/May-ish.

    The complication is that I want to place a larger order for rare breeds when they become available in February and will need the brooder space at that time. I have a nice large coop and run and the older chicks could be put out there possibly, if the other hens treated them well.

    What do you say BYC-ers?

    Thank you!
     
  2. sdshoars

    sdshoars Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 12, 2008
    Texas
    i personally think it is too much trouble to raise up a pullet to the point of lay just to sell them. i think i have put over 100 dollars worth of feed into my four original pullets, they are 25 weeks old and just starting to lay, and i dont think anyone would pay $25 a bird, and that's without me making a profit. get yourself some chicks, but keep them for yourself.
     
  3. joshplus10

    joshplus10 Out Of The Brooder

    I've been feeding 21 birds since they arrived newly hatched on October 7. I'm about halfway through my third 25 lb sack of chick starter. No doubt they will consume much more during the next two months before they start laying...

    I won't be able to keep track of their intake any longer because I received another 25 birds last week.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    A lot will depend on what the traffic will bear in your particular area. Some times there are folks looking for young laying hens, folks who can't/won't/don't want the trouble of raising them from chicks and are willing to pay the extra price for ready-made layers. It could be worth a try, but be prepared to keep them yourself or lower your price IF you can't find the buyers you want.

    You might get better results if you start advertising as soon as you get the chicks, say you're taking "pre-orders", maybe even get a deposit you can use for buying the feed. The more places you advertise & the more time you take, the more likely you'll be to find a willing buyer.

    I think it's stupid that there are so many folks willing to pay hundreds, even thousands of dollars for pet dogs to carry around in their purses, but will balk at paying "only" $25 for a hen who will provide good groceries for years to come. When you consider you're paying about $1 a week for someone to care for & protect these birds while they're the most vulnerable, not to mention their original cost, it's really not at all a bad price.

    Last year I showed our pet chickens at our county fair & was surprised to see how many folks came around the poultry tent looking for hens to buy. My kids were unwilling to part with any of their bird friends, even though other folks were asking -- and getting-- $20 a chicken! So this year I ordered 40 assorted laying pullets for us to show & sell at the fair. I'm hoping to get as much or more than folks were paying last year.

    Will it be a profitable venture? I don't know! I admit I haven't kept good records of how much they've eaten so far. There are other chickens eating their feed when they can get to it, and they in turn get into the adult feeders, so it's a hard figure to determine accurately. If I can sell most or all of them at the fair, and it proves to be not too much of a headache to take care of all the arrangements, I'll probably do it again.

    The show at this fair has a more casual nature than most poultry shows. There are a lot of people showing their backyard birds, and the buyers tend to be other folks from the area just wanting to start with grown chickens. We also sell a lot of baby chicks there. This year I'm going to ask our poultry club to give out the BYC literature about raising chicks & keeping chickens.

    I wish you success, whatever you decide!
     
  5. jossanne

    jossanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    I have 10 bantam cochins and 14 barred rock cockerels who will be 7 weeks old tomorrow. They've eaten one 50-lb sack of starter feed so far, and are about halfway through another. At $15/sack, that's $22.50 worth of food they've eaten. They've also gone through two big bales of wood chips, at $9.95 per bale. Another $20 spent. So I've spent approximately $1.77 per bird to get them to 7 weeks old. I already had the feeders and waterers, and got the brooder boxes for free.
     
  6. kristenm1975

    kristenm1975 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 23, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Thanks for all the advice folks! Sounds like I was waaayyy underestimating the cost to raise them to point of lay. I'm always up for signing away another chunk of my paychecks to the chickens of course, like any good chicken addict, but compromise is a good word to know if you don't live alone. [​IMG]
     
  7. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Quote:Have you considered something less expensive than these wood chips? That's way more $$$ than I would spend on stuff for them to poop on! I use the cheapest hay in the feed store, around $5 a bale and I use it sparingly to make it last. I keep my chicks in a tractor out in the grass during the daytimes, so they need less bedding. I do bring them in at night, where they sleep on the straw.

    I recently got 5 bales of hay for FREE from a FreeCycler. I placed a post after Halloween, knowing some folks use hay bales for decorations & then plan to throw them away.
     
  8. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    My Coop
    I have been buying my pine shavings lately at Walmart in the pet department for $6.?? a pretty good sized bag. I have two coops and soon will have a third.
     
  9. jossanne

    jossanne Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 11, 2008
    Gila, New Mexico
    Quote:Have you considered something less expensive than these wood chips? That's way more $$$ than I would spend on stuff for them to poop on! I use the cheapest hay in the feed store, around $5 a bale and I use it sparingly to make it last. I keep my chicks in a tractor out in the grass during the daytimes, so they need less bedding. I do bring them in at night, where they sleep on the straw.

    I recently got 5 bales of hay for FREE from a FreeCycler. I placed a post after Halloween, knowing some folks use hay bales for decorations & then plan to throw them away.

    Well, my bales are more than 50 pounds. I don't know exactly, but they're really hard for me to move around. And my chicks are still in the house, so I need the freshness of the pine chips.
     
  10. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    I have two coops. in both I use the deep litter method with pine shavings, but I have my roosts over wire in one coop. I sprinkle DE in the litter and in the poop pit. I have my coop moveable so I can give my birds new range area as I do fence them in to keep them from destroying my gardens. Right now they are in part of the corn field and within probably the next couple of weeks put in a another part. They are excellent rototillers. I put the poop from the pit into my compost. I give the coop with the poop pit a good cleaning once a year.
    The other coop doesn't have a poop pit and I clean it every couple of months, but add litter and DE periodacally to both coops but especially under the roosts of the one without the pit as that seems to be the poopiest areas.
     

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