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Selling Chicks in the spring...feedback wanted

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by Celtic Hill, Sep 19, 2010.

  1. Celtic Hill

    Celtic Hill Songster

    Mar 7, 2010
    Scotland CT
    So i have been tossing around the idea of selling chicks in the spring. I have bantams, as well as Buff orps, and some hybrids that run with my orps, so i was thinking i could sell some bantams and "All Purpose" (the orp/hybrids) i also have access to easter eggers, Black Leghorns, Some more "All Purpose" (these would be Barred Rock/Austro, and Leghorn/Austros) Do you guys think there is a market for these? Although i can't sex the chicks i would have a rooster buy back program where if they ended up with a rooster they could bring it back and i would give them 1/2 the price they paid for the chick if it was returned with in 6 months of the hatching date. I really wouldn't mind taking them because i'll just send them to the freezer camp. Anyone have any thoughts on this idea? Im going to see how much power my incubator uses and factor that into price and try and keep my prices as competitive as i can.

  2. sgtmom52

    sgtmom52 Birds & Bees

    I am also thinking about selling some chicks in the spring. I have some Ameraucanas and some Olive Eggers and well as a pair of bantam cochin with a frizzled hen and the rest would be barnyard mixes. I am hoping that the Ameraucanas and Olive Eggers sell well.
    I am also planning on selling straight run. I think it is extremely generous of you to have a rooster buy back program ~ if they get a rooster they don't want they should pay you to take it back! [​IMG]
  3. Celtic Hill

    Celtic Hill Songster

    Mar 7, 2010
    Scotland CT
    Quote:LOL, yea well roosters go for about $10-20 at an auction and i only eat chicken sooo...haha i dont really mind and i have a few other people who ask me to find them meat birds so i'll just sell/give them to them, haha
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    If you are going to have chickens returning to your same flock, there is the possibility of them introducing disease to your flock, and making some of your flock carriers of disease.

    I highly recommend no buyback program- no additions to your flock unless it is hatching eggs or chicks from a hatchery/farm store.

    If you did accept the roosters back, to be safe they would have to be housed and penned separately so that the wind didn't blow germs toward your clean flock....etc.

    I have been reading heartbreaking threads on here regarding people having to have closed flocks due to disease. Some choose to cull their flock. Here is a thread you might be interested in:


    "BTW mixed chicks are a dime a dozen and just do not sell well." This quote is from the above thread. I don't know if it is true, but I know that personally I wouldn't be interested in mixed breed chickens. (I know I'm just one vote though- see what other folks say.)

    I wish you the best and I know you will make the right decision for your circumstances- which only you know! [​IMG]
    There may be a really good market for mixed breed chickens in your area.
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Oh, I realize I wasn't clear- the roosters that return can be carriers of disease. They can pass your quarantine of a month and then make your whole flock die or get sick. Then your flock might be carriers. Horrible stuff.
  6. Celtic Hill

    Celtic Hill Songster

    Mar 7, 2010
    Scotland CT
    Oh, thanks i never thought about that! Thanks for the input! Scratch that idea!
  7. Rebel Rooster

    Rebel Rooster I Will Love! :)

    Jun 29, 2009
    Central SC
    My Coop
    I couldn't make em fast enough this past spring! And next spring will be worse... or better depending on what your selling... Sexlinks are the most popular around here. If you have a buff rooster and barred rock girls, you can make some black sexlinks... they were my most popular this year! I sold hundreds of them. I had to build 3 more incubators this year... I had 8 bators going 24-7 for several months... [​IMG]

  8. Celtic Hill

    Celtic Hill Songster

    Mar 7, 2010
    Scotland CT
    I was going to do it on an order basis
  9. bargain

    bargain Love God, Hubby & farm

    Apr 13, 2008
    Bowdon, GA
    Quote:Although it's a clever idea, I don't think it will be advisable to buy back chicks because of the risk of your bringing disease onto your farm Unless you have many areas for isolation. Thanks and bbest wishes. nancy
  10. briteday

    briteday Songster

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    I would not buy back roosters for the disease reasons either. However, when I sell straight run chicks I give out a flyer (care instructions, web links, my contact info, local chicken club, feed sources) that includes information for the local poultry auctions and feed stores that will re-home roos.

    Personally, I have found that purebred chicks sell much better than mutts. A lot of the ranchers in the valley have tons of barnyard chickens of no discernible breed and sell the chicks for $1 each, straight run. This past year I worked with a friend who had an incubator. She raises buff orps, frizzled cochins, and some EE's. I had RIR, delawares, EE's, and barred rocks with an RIR and EE roo. So together we had pure BO, cochins, EE's, RIR's...all straight run chicks we sold for $3 each. Then we did some sexlinks with my RIR roo x delaware, RIR roo x barred rock. We sold the pullets for $4 each and the cocks for $1, mostly to reptile fanciers that use them for a food source. Many people in the suburban areas are thrilled to get sexed pullets since toos must be disposed of, and by the time you figure out you have a roo it's too late to raise another few chicks to replace them for your egglaying needs that year. Most of the people who bought straight run chicks wanted pure birds since they know the temperment and egglaying capability of particular breeds...and we tried to choose popular breeds for our area...cold hardy, tolerates heat, good foragers.

    To figure out how many eggs to incubate we posted on Craigslist about a month before we started collecting eggs and incubating. So we had a fair idea of how many chicks we could sell. We kept a copy of every email, tallied up the requested breeds, sent a response to each person telling them when their eggs would hatch (we set eggs every week so we gave them a 2-week window in case we couldn't fulfill all the orders for a particular week due to a bad hatch), set eggs on Thur nights so they would hatch on Friday, then pick ups were expected to be made on Saturdays, no later than noon on Sunday. Therefore we weren't putting a lot of extra resources into feeding and brooding chicks. They hatched on Friday, dried off thoroughly by Sat AM, and were out the door on Sat in the afternoon. We started our first hatch in early March and were thoroughly worn out by the end of April. But we sold A LOT of chicks!

    You have to figure out what sells in your area. Pay attention to what is selling the most at the feed stores. And I would set up some sort of area to sequester a specific roo with hens of the same breed so that you can collect purebred eggs. If everyone is in the same run to start with you will have to give the hens a "wash out" period of about 4 weeks to clear their repro system of all semen. Then you house them with the same breed roo for a week at least, before you start collecting the pure eggs. Once the hens are bred they will lay fertile eggs for a few weeks. I have one area of my run sectioned off for breeding groups. I can put a roo and 5-6 hens in there for a couple of months and collect eggs. Some people just run some plastic snow fencing down the center of their run to separate a roo with certain hens.

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