Thinking about going into a coop business. Pros and cons!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chicken_angler, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. chicken_angler

    chicken_angler Coop Constructist

    Jun 23, 2008
    a house
    I am thinking about going into a tractor and small coop business with my friend.

    I have recently purchased a used air nailer that shoots up to 2.5 inch nails! It came with 21 rolls of nails! I found it on craigslist. Also my dad gave me a small brad nailer that is almost like new. I have 10,000 nails for the small brad nailer. lol

    Anyways, I was wondering what are some of the glitches that people make when building tractors (for themselves) that they wish they hadn't done.

    Also, what is the average going price for a tractor in your area? I have become really good at building things lately so I want to build a few to sell.

    I sold one to a BYC member in winter for around $50.


  2. Slywoody

    Slywoody Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2009
  3. chicken_angler

    chicken_angler Coop Constructist

    Jun 23, 2008
    a house
    Thats what i was thinking. I am going to put them out for sale in front of my house. We live on a highway and my dad always has good luck selling mowers (usualy withing a few days) out front.


  4. Zahboo

    Zahboo Simply Stated

    Feb 3, 2009
    Hope Mills, NC
    biggest thing i've seen is everyone has their preferences someone may love your coop and price another may think you're crazy
  5. jonesgirl

    jonesgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2009
    People will think you are probably selling them for a lot, until they try to make one themselves, and have it not turn out how they want... Make sure you Put that in your sales pitch! Plus yours prob won't be like all the "pre-made" ones in stores, which are always too small and VERY overpriced!

    Good luck!!!
  6. chicken_angler

    chicken_angler Coop Constructist

    Jun 23, 2008
    a house
    Ya I cant make them like those pre-made ones but these that I have made before are pretty dang nice! lol

    I have seen quite a few people on my local Craigslist that have been looking for small tractors for a few hens so I am going to also try to sell them there.

  7. bigmike&nan

    bigmike&nan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:All she said.

    I am in the process of getting a coop from a builder on Long Island, New York. I had to save my money for months, and I talked to this guy a lot during that time. Frankly as a reflection of our Economy he is struggling, he makes high quality coops and also resells the imported ones.

    I have watched folks here for a year. My impression is most people want to make their first coop as cheaply as they can. A lot of folks try to used recycled materials, others try to take advantage of old sheds or barns on their property. But the bottom line is until people have had chickens for a while and really have "the chicken addiction" they can't understand that a solid well built coop costs more money than they realize (and in the end are willing to spend). Once you have been thru a whole year with your birds you see the shortcomings of your structure and consider investing in something more substantial (and larger to accomodate the larger flock you now want).

    Those seasoned chicken owners who can't build one themselves (for whatever reasons) are your best bets as clients. If you plan to sell outside your area you should have a website with the models you sell with lots of pictures so folks can "see" the benefits of your product and your building skill... A picture is worth a thousand words, and since these people don't know you they need to see your stuff. Taking PayPal and credit cards thru PayPal is another way to lock in an impulse buy. People look at your website, they see the coop they like and they hit the BuyItNow button and pay via PayPal, whallah you have a sale...

    But no matter how you sell them - to be successful, ie to make a profit, you must very, very carefully cost out how much in materials, time and labor your coops each cost and price them so you have a profit built in. I'm not saying really stick your customer, I am saying for example if your Coop A costs $150.00 in materials and 2 days in labor what will you pay yourself (and or helpers) an hour to make it a reasonable venture worth pursuing ?? The final selling price must reflect the cost of materials, labor and wear and tear on your tools.

    Your roadside idea is terrific now that warmer weather is upon us. The local folks will drive by, and you can show them your stuff. I wish you all the best on your quest. These are tough times and any way to bring in extra money is a great thing.

    Michael (and Nan)
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I hate to say it after you've bought nifty tools, but would say one of the commoner "glitches that people make when building tractors (for themselves) that they wish they hadn't done" is using nails rather than SCREWS. A tractor *especially* needs screwing, not nailing, because it is exposed to quite a lot more bending/twisting/racking stresses than a fixed structure.

    The main difficulty people run into is if they can't sell the thing for more than the cost of materials (ALL materials) plus some reasonable return on their time and labor. (A few folks just enjoy building things, and are content to just break even and sell at materials cost... but even THAT you can't always do in all areas). I'd try to sound out your local market before getting too carried away. If you have some source of discounted materials that would help too.

    Good luck, have fun,

  9. Country Gal

    Country Gal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 2, 2007
    Capac, MI
    Just a suggestion based on something I wish I had done when I built my first coop... design the coops so they can easily be added on to! Then, once your customers are officially addicted to chickens, they can purchase additions from you!

    Had I realized how much I would enjoy raising chickens and how much I would want to expand my flock, I would have built my coop differently. And I can't figure out a way to easily expand it without leaving the chickens coopless for a few days...
  10. geareduplyn

    geareduplyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 2, 2008
    Salley SC
    I have supported myself my entire life by building something, starting in the third grade by selling slingshots.

    Here's the deal. You can't sell it if you don't have it. Go ahead an build one put it in your yard and sell it. Keep making improvements in construction and design constantly, but have something for sale at all times. People do not like to wait if they need something. The secret to self employment is that it not one long coffee break. Get up every morning and start doing something just as if you were working for someone else. Expect to put in at least 10 hour days. If you treat whatever you are doing as a job and put in the time you WILL be sucessful.

    Use your nail guns for attaching siding etc. Get Screws from McAfee and contruct all your framing with screws.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2009

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