Research Question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by oldsoftie, Aug 9, 2008.

  1. oldsoftie

    oldsoftie In the Brooder

    Feb 28, 2008
    Chandler, Indiana
    Recently on our local Craig's List, there were a couple of adds for layers wanted. One add asked for 6, the other for 20. That got me to thinking. (that's dangerous, I know!!) I know a lot of people like to raise their layers from chicks, but apparently there are some that don't want to raise their layers from chicks, for various reasons. Some hatcheries will sell 17 wk old chickens, but the shipping is too expensive.

    Do you think there would be a market for 17 wk old pullets locally grown? How would one determine if there is? What would be a fair price? What breeds would be best to offer?

    I thought about getting some next year to "test the waters", so to speak. That may defray some of the costs for my "hobby".

    Thanks for your input.

  2. keljonma

    keljonma Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    We saw 2 local freecycle ads posted looking for layers.

    When the first person was contacted, they had just moved to a region where they could have chickens. They wanted eggs immediately, didn't want to raise chicks.

    The second family was looking for free chickens to go with their dumplings.
  3. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    Absolutely - I can't tell you how many calls I get for pullets. Unfortunately I only have baby chicks but 3 out of 4 calls or emails are for pullets. I would probably price them between $8-$10. That may seem expensive (or cheap?) but figure you've got 17 weeks of care and feed in them. I wouldn't think $10 is unrealistic. (Can you tell I've given this some thought myself? If only I had the room...)

    Edited to add: as far as breeds, I've had people ask for Barred Rocks and RIRs. My chicks are a mix of both, which I have in my ad which might be why they asked for those specifically. Some people can't read LOL but those seem to be hot breeds.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2008
  4. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    downside of this idea is that you will end up with a lot of unwanted roosters to cull
  5. LilRalphieRoosmama

    LilRalphieRoosmama Officially Quacked

    Oct 15, 2007
    Elyria, OH
    That's true too but I have alot of people calling about buying the baby chicks, but then they don't want them because I can't sex them. So either way...
  6. orcasislandchickens

    orcasislandchickens Songster

    Jul 9, 2008
    Well since all I want is three good hens, I would have happily bought them pre- grown. Especially since I live in a politically correct vegetarian neigbourhood , where roosters are unwelcome but killing them is considered way too cruel, I would have happily paid to escape the whole roo culling process. In fact that's what I tried to do, and paid 25 dollars each- for what turned out to be ROOSTERS. [​IMG]

    So you see I am both new, and foolish, so you may wish to take that into account when considering my advice.

    Still I think there is probably a market. Just start small or choose dual purpose birds (so if no one wants them you know what you can do). 10 bucks sounds about right for a nice young hen. 25 was pricy even here. [​IMG]
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Another consideration (besides having to factor in the cost of raising things that turn out to have been roos) is what do you do with them if they don't sell.

    As long as that fits into your practical/financial plans, seems to me like a good thing to look into - I'd talk to people at the local feedstores (esp if they are a) friendly rather than paranoid and b) don't sell r-t-l pullets themselves). They probably have some reasonable idea of the local market, e.g. how many people come in asking about pullets.

    Starting small is definitely a good idea - maybe even try to take "pre-orders" (post signs and ads well ahead of time).

    Good luck,

  8. In the beginning I was specifically looking for pullets and found some advertised at a good breeding farm for $10 each in early June. But they were sold out and I switched to Plan B, raising day-olds...your pullets will be appreciated!
  9. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    My DH had the bright idea since I stay at home for me to raise some hens to sell. We sell quite a few chicks but 95% of the calls and inquiries are for layers. We have a pen of about 120 grown birds right now about 2 minutes from laying. And all of a sudden everybody is broke. So that leaves me with a massive feed bill. That pen alone eats $300 worth of feed a month. Not to mention the other pens of chickens, sheep, turkeys, guineas, and ducks. Plus we have cats and dogs and US. I get $12-15 per pullet and $3 per rooster when grown. IF I were to sell them all, that wouldn't be $1000 dollars, that's only 3 months worth of feed. It takes a good 3-4 months to get them big enough for people to want. My main requests for breeds are Dominique and Buff Orpington's, of which I have neither. So, from first hand experience I can tell you this: hatch chicks in October to sell as layers in the Spring (Feb-Mar for our area) then cut the incubators OFF!! I am fixing to get rid of all my chickens except my Standard Cochins, I make more money selling their eggs to hatch than I make fooling with live birds, because of feed prices. Hope that helps, please feel free to email me if you would like.
  10. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Look on the for sale on CL and see what is up there and for how much. Here I sell my point of lay for about 15, but a few on CL who do regular large pullet sale ops sell for 25 a piece. However, it's a local niche market, often to the city folk, who will pay 25 or more per bird for their select three they can have in the city.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: