Selling fertile eggs vs Hatching/selling chicks vs hatching/buying chicks to sell pullets

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by CowgirlHC, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. CowgirlHC

    CowgirlHC Chirping

    Oct 12, 2012
    West Virginia
    Hi Everyone. Im looking to expand our chicken business and m looking for any and all feed back. Right now wer hobbyist w/ 24 hens of 5 breeds and 1 BO roo. We sell our eggs w/ the only goal being to cover feed costs (so far so good). So now we want to go a step farther but to which direction Im not sure. For those w/ experience, which would you do and why? Sell fertile eggs? Hatch eggs and sell peeps? Hatch or buy peeps and sell as pullets? Im not looking to get rich but self sustaining is a must once we get up and running. Thanks!

  2. ray24

    ray24 Chirping

    Oct 7, 2012
    What I do (and this is just in my opinion) I have my flocks where I sell hatching eggs. I never sell chicks because you end up with 50% roosters and it is very hard to find someone to buy them. I also if I have a customer wanting to buy just laying hens for egg production I will buy pullets from ideal hatchery and raise them or sell them as chicks and you can make alot of money
  3. CowgirlHC

    CowgirlHC Chirping

    Oct 12, 2012
    West Virginia
    So you either sell fertile eggs or buy sexed peeps from a hatchery and raise them to almost laying age and sell them that way?
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Over the years, we have striven for "breaking even" or sometimes making a small profit. We sell excess stock, often pullets at Point of Lay and of course, table eggs. Our local area does not support high egg prices. It is rural and the competition is everywhere from other small operations selling at $2 and from discount grocery stores selling eggs at $1.29.

    The market ceiling prevents any profit of note. Each location varies, but small chicken operations, that keep complete and thorough records of true costs, rarely show a substantial profit, and many show no profit at all. Computing all honest expenses, such as feed, supplies, bedding, electricity, equipment and so forth put against any sales leaves very little margin. Do it because it's enjoyable.

  5. Quyen Le

    Quyen Le Songster

    Jul 9, 2012
    I hatch for fun and sell day old chick at $2 straight run but make very little money just enough to cover feed and electricity. The left over chicks, I raise for eggs and meat. I believe the chickens we raise will provide very tasty meat.
  6. chicken pickin

    chicken pickin Crowing

    Mar 3, 2012
    I am also new at this. So far we have our layers and were originally selling eggs for $2 a dozen but found it needs to be raised slightly higher to $3 to make it worth it to me and my family. I now have expanded my flock and have a rooster and made sure the rooster I choose would give me the best bang for my buck in my specific flock. I chose a Marans Rooster and he will cover the Marans hens to make Marans, He will cover Easter Egger Hens to produce Olive Eggers, And he will cover Barred Rock Hens to produce Black Sexlinks. I will sell those as Fertile Hatching eggs and also hatch my own and sell the chicks. The eggs from the other chickens, white rocks and silver laced wyandottes, will be the eating eggs Which we will eat and sell as eatting eggs. We also do meat so after I sell chicks any left over males will be raised for meat for our family and any left over females can be added to my own flock as layers or sold as pullets at point of lay.
  7. Good Morning Cowgirl -

    I was bitten by the 'chicken' bug about three years ago - began just wanting a few Heritage Breed pullets and maybe one or two Roos and fresh eggs for DH and I, family, neighbors, etc. Well - I guess I don't have to tell you that the lure and awe of proximity to these wonderful 'beings' has caused my goals to morph into so much more.

    I began by selling my farm fresh free range brown eggs at two local farmers markets during April through October for $4 per dozen. I already had a vendor set up at these markets as I make and sell totally natural skin care products for maturing skin and have done so for over a decade ( more of a hobby as the ingredients are so pricey I don't end up making much ). Was also selling my Barred Plymouth Rock hatching eggs for $24 per dozen.

    This sounds very expensive but in my area - and this is the major factor I believe in how well you can do and what prices you can get - Atlanta/Chattanooga as our mini farm is located only 90 minutes from each of these major cities in the North GA Mountains in Ellijay. Another factor was that hatcheries sell their eggs for more than I do AND shipping cost of the hatching eggs from the hatcheries is extremely expensive.

    I then started incubating and hatching out BR chicks last Spring and charged $3 per chick. Big mistake I made was not selling them 'straight run' asmost wanted only female chicks and I ended up raising tons of cockerels. Turned out ok in the end as a local Guatamalan family ended up buying all 30 of them recently for $10 each. By this time they were 8 months old and the size of turkeys. Something else I learned very quickly is to set a minimum order for chicks as calling people back, e-mailing, etc. is very time consuming as well as waiting for them to come for pickup of chicks and
    if only got one or two it was definitely not worth my while!

    Let me preface this next part with how I advertise and generate sales and interest in my chicken related sales. I use all free advertising mediums such as craigs list, ebay local, ga free ads and a local tv station that has a web sales component. I run two ads simultaneously on each of these venues - one for my eggs and another for the chickens.

    What has happened over this last year is that most of the people who contacted me from the free ads I placed were looking for either point of lay pullets and/or started pullets. Most didn't care whether they were mixes or heritage breeds - just wanted egg laying - preferably colored eggs and money for most of these folks who contacted me did not seem to be a factor. Remember - my area is Atl and Chatt - both large cities with people who have $$ to spend and limited to no access to POL farm raised chickens.

    Although I was inundated with people looking for POL or started birds throughout 2012 - the biggest demand started at end of March and went through May. Another problem - In order to meet the demand for POL or started pullets for this time frame I have to either incubate and hatch my own flocks eggs and/or order day old pullets from a hatchery so I can grow them out over the winter months and have them 'ready' for sale in early Spring.

    I ordered 50 pullets from Meyer in Ohio - long story short - it was very cold - post office messed up and they didn't arrive for three days instead of 2 all but 3 of the 50 little ones were DOA - it was so sad. They sent replacements 3 weeks later and majority of them survived and are thriving. I will not order day old chicks in the future at that time of year because of too much stress on the little ones - sad lesson learned.

    I will hatch out some of our eggs to coincide with another order for 25 Meyer female chicks I've ordered that will arrive mid-March so the temps and trip will not be so stressful for the birds.

    Below you will find a sample of my ad copy for the various free outlets I discussed above - all of which have done very well for me.

    Mountain View Farms ~ Ellijay ( North Georgia Mountains )

    We are Now Taking 'Pre-Orders' for Our 2013 Started Pullets, Point of Lay and Laying Pullets, Young Laying Hens, Roosters, Chicks and Fertile Hatching Eggs.



    Our Flock of Free Range 'Heritage Breed' Barred Plymouth Rocks, Welsummers, Black Australorps, Ameraucanas and Easter Eggers is Farmstead Raised, Fed a Healthful Totally Natural Hormone and Antibiotic Free Nutritious Diet of Premium Layer Pellets Containing Both Pre and Pro-Biotics as well as Supplemental Organic Golden Flax Seed and Black Oil Sunflower Seed to Increase the Levels of Healthful Omega 3 Fatty Acids in Their Farm-Fresh Eggs.

    Our Gorgeous Healthy Flock Free Ranges and is Housed Together Thus Interbreeds Freely so Most of the Poultry We Offer for Sale in 2013 Will be Crosses of These Breeds.

    We Will Also Have a Limited Number of Started Pullets of Several Other Breeds that Lay Colored Eggs Available For Sale Beginning February 2013.

    ( A Pre-Order - with Optional Deposit of 50 Percent of Order Total - is Highly Recommended Due to Limited Availability )

    We Have Carefully Chosen Our Breeds for Their Many Positive Qualities Such as: Disease Resistance; Health; Vigor; Consistently High Rate of Lay; Large and Variously Colored Eggs; Family-Friendly Disposition; Heat & Cold Tolerance and Attractiveness - All Highly Valued Characteristics and Traits in
    any Urban, Homestead, Farm or Back Yard Flock.

    Please Note: Minimum Order is $ 20 ~ We Do Not Ship ~ Local Pickup in Ellijay ( North GA Mountains ) Only

    Started Pullets ( Young Females ) ~ 3 to 4 Months Old ~ $ 22 Each

    Point of Lay Pullets ~ Either Just Began Laying or Will Any Day Now @ 5 Months Old ~ $ 30 Each

    Laying Pullets ( 6 Months to 1 Year Old ) ~ $ 35 Each

    Laying Hens ( When Available ~ Priced According to Age and Breed )

    All Chicks ( 2 - 3 Days Old ) SOLD STRAIGHT RUN ONLY ~ $ 4 Each

    Young Roosters ( When Available ~ Priced According to Age and Breed )

    Hatching Eggs Also Available ~ Minimum One Dozen ~ $ 24
    ( Two Extra Eggs with Every Dozen Hatching Eggs Ordered )

    Photos of Mountain View Farms Poultry Can be Viewed Using the Link Below:


    I hope this info and my experiences will be helpful to you. Take care and good luck with your plans for the flock.

    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
    genesis1verse1 likes this.

  8. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Songster

    Feb 5, 2010
    Missouri Ozarks
    Another cowgirl!!! [​IMG]

    Your location is the biggest factor. If you're near a large city there's a large demand from people who are willing to spend lots of money. If you're out in the boonies (like I am), there's lots of competition, and less demand. Therefore, due to the law of supply and demand, prices are low. There's lot of people around here who keep chickens as a hobby. Many sell eggs for a $1/dozen, which they are NOT making money on, though most believe they are. The going rate for laying hens around here is $5-$10, depending on age and breed. Young "red" hens are in the highest demand, because so-and-so told them that they're the best brown egg layers. One guy I sold hens to had never heard of a Buff Orpington, and I'm sure he forgot the name by the time he got to the end of our driveway. [​IMG]

    All that to say, that I tried having a chicken business and it didn't work out the greatest. I sold eating eggs and hatched chicks to sell on Craigslist. If I valued my time at nothing, I was making a small profit. But by the time I valued my time at as little as $1/hour, I wasn't breaking even. [​IMG]
  9. CowgirlHC

    CowgirlHC Chirping

    Oct 12, 2012
    West Virginia
    Thanks everyone for all of your input! Definitely the main reason is for pure pleasure, I wouldn't consider my time as long as my feed and supplies were covered. I will have to do some research for my area and see what would be more sought after. Fertile eggs I dont see being a huge market for now thinking about it. I'd say the peeps would only be marketable mostly around Easter. We have so many predators and harsh weather elements that peeps are hard to manage. Looks like that would leave me with raising to pullet age, which still causes concern because of the varmints. Which though, is why there's a market for POL hens lol. What kind of a set up do any of you use that do this?

  10. mamawolf544

    mamawolf544 Unbreakable Heart

    Apr 29, 2009
    alvarado, Tx
    I have raised poultry for 14 years. It is really a labor of love not money. I make decent money about twice a year and my animals pay for themselves only because I have Boer goats. But as much as I love my goats they are a pain in the rear.

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