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Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by chicken farmer 1997, Nov 11, 2011.
raising 500-700 meat chickens a month how hard do u think it will be?
Raising them isn't the hard part -- processing them is the hard part and finding buyers and following government regs. For an operation that big I can only imagine that the best advice would be to do your homework.
And what's the down-side of starting smaller -- 100 birds?
i found a place to process them. how do i get gov regs?
How are you going to manage the waste and odor?
I strongly suggest you get only 50-100 birds and test this out first. Any problems or mistakes will be magnified greatly with 600 birds. Like the poster above, how to manage waste? And you'll have other concerns that might not be evident before you actually raise some. Can't help you on the regs. Many places you don't need to worry about it if you're only doing a few. But with those numbers, you will need to find out for sure.
We started out with 25 a week and are now up to 65 a week, soon to be 120/week. Starting smaller is definitely the best way since you will need time to build a customer base and to figure out the best way for you to do all the work. These are some questions that would be good to think about before you start.
Are you planning to raise them in tractors? Do you have enough land to keep the tractors on fresh ground at all times? We don't want to put birds back on the same patch for at least 4 months, preferably more, to give the land time to recoup itself. Do you have the time and money to build the necessary brooders and tractors and to buy/build feeders and waterers?
Do you have the equipment to process them and if not, have you priced it? Do you know how long it will take to process a batch and do you have the manpower to be able to do so? If you are having someone else do the processing, how will you transport the birds to and from the processor?
How will you package, store, and deliver? We currently keep our packaged birds in coolers until they reach our customers but we have plans to buy a refrigerated trailer to use for deliveries instead.
Where will you get your feed from? Can you afford to buy it in large amounts to get better pricing? Do you know how much it will cost to feed the number you are looking at?
What are the laws in your state? You can look up the USDA regulations here . You will need to check with your state health department as well to find out if there are more regulations you must follow in your state.
How will you advertise and where will you sell? How will you determine your price?
That's about all I can think of right now. This has been a good business so far for us, but I am glad that we started small and are working our way up. It has helped us work out the kinks in how we raise them as well as given us time to build a customer base. It will probably still be rough going for us for a while, but we are getting there and I'm sure you can too!
I thought of something else.
Do you have the time every day to do the basic stuff like feeding, watering, and moving tractors? We currently only have three brooders and four tractors going at any given time and chores only take us about 1.5 hours. When we are at full production (which for us will be around 250/week), it's going to be about a 4 hour day just doing basic chores.
You have a verified customer for that number of chickens? Usually the buyer for large numbers wants wholesale prices and unless you are a big commercial poultry farm, you can't raise chickens for wholesale prices.
But thinking: hey, I can see owning a little roast chicken restaurant where all the birds are free range extra delicious. Knotts Berry Farm started out with a little restaurant selling nothing but th world's best fried chicken, biscuits and boysenberry pie. It can be done if the food is good enough.
Quote:i have a sluaghter house right up the road that procees chickens, deer, cattle etc. he said that he will buy every chicken that i can raise for his country market.