Tips on opening a hatchery.


got chickenidous?
8 Years
Aug 3, 2011
HairyMan (towns nickname)
#1 I have no idea what to do in order to open a hatchery and how to make people want to buy from me.

#2 I have no idea what I would name the hatchery.

#3 I need a logo.

I have:
-Lots of chickens
-3 giant incubators
-Lots of room
#1 I have no idea what to do in order to open a hatchery and how to make people want to buy from me.
A lot of big incubators, a lot of money to pay the electric bill and the feed for the chicks until you sell them and pens and brooders to put them in, a lot of pure breed chickens in breeding flocks, and some advertising all over the place maybe a website even
#2 I have no idea what I would name the hatchery.
The Egg Plant lol that is totally up to you
#3 I need a logo.
Again totally up to you

Good luck on whatever you plan to do
First, focus on producing chickens that people want to buy. That means producing quality birds. Quality here depends on what you want to focus on. Show quality? Good production birds? Exotics? What?

Once you know that then start small and work your way up. Every time you increase in size you are going to encounter problems you did not when you were a smaller operation.

Find a reliable, quality feed source that will give you a volume or bulk discount for your breeder bird feed and maybe chick starter as well if you won't be shipping them out as soon as they have hatched.

Look to all of your infrastructure for predator and weather resistance, bio-security, disease prevention and so on. The larger you grow the more important this is going to become.

The name and logo will suggest themselves as you work through all of the above.
Or do what other hatcheries has been doing, by drawing up contracts for hatching eggs from different breeders in the area and be sure to get the delivery lined up to be picked up or the breeders can drive by your place and drop off hatching eggs. Do a visual inspection of the flock, as well as the breeders being NPIP and tested every year, documents and more documents.

And hire or educate yourself dealing with customers of all kinds of temperments.

I agree with AT Hagan.
I'm working on starting up with breeding. My boyfriend has built me four very nice new pens so I can seperate breeds. I've got some hatchery birds but I ordered some eggs from breeders that are from show quality birds. These are the birds I'll breed out of. I'm trying to read up what I can about the breeds I've chosen (Bantam Cochin, LF Cochin, Polish, Old English Game Bantam) and I'm looking for someone close to me that breeds these breeds to help me with selection of the best chicks that hatch. I'll probably post pictures on here about the chicks and hopefully I can get some imput.

I've made a website to get our name out there but I also put on the home page that as of right now we're meerly hobbiests, not high quality breeders. Once I get going better I'll probably have a page with links to people that have show quality birds of my breeds for those that are looking for high quality. I put on the home page that until we are better situated and more experianced our birds are most likely better as pets for the backyard/small flock owner.

If you would like to make a website I'd recommend Weebly. It's been super easy to use and I made my site very quickly. Oh and it's free!

I'm hoping to get two more incubators so I can have chicks hatching every week. I'm not going with the large cabinet incubators just yet.

Mostly I'm starting small and as inexpensive as I can until I'm more knowledgable. I'd hate to spend thousands of dollars on the best birds and equipment I can find, just to not know what I'm doing and fall flat on my face. I'm starting small and working my way up.
In addition to what others have said, prepare yourself. Many of the hatcheries that have been around have family members with advanced degrees in poultry science from major universities. They understand chicken nutrition and diseases, what is required to keep them healthy. They have a real clear understand how chicken reproduction works. They can analyze a hatch and see what went wrong or how to improve it. They have a pretty good knowledge of chicken genetics. They understand and know chickens and chicken care.

If you are going to ship chickens, you need to know what your shipping options are. That is basically your post office. They have regulations they have to follow and they have procedures that you have to follow. You also need to know what the laws are of various states. All will require NPIP, but Virginia will not allow chicks to be shipped in unless they have beed tested for another specific disease. Some states don't have the capability of testing for that specific disease so certain hatcheries don't ship to Virginia. And, of colurse, you need to understand the laws of your own state relative to your planned business. You probably need licenses and permits, probably regular inspections.

You have to decide on a business plan. Are you going to keep your own flocks for eggs or are you going to get your eggs from specific breeders? Are you going to hatch your own birds or drop ship like some do? What varieties and breeds are you going to offer? Are you going to specialize in a few varieties or breeds or be more of a generalist and offer many different varieties and breeds. Are you trying to keep it small where you handle everything or will you have employees? If you start hiring people, you have many labor laws you will need to know about.

I'm not trying to be negative. People start up new businesses all the time. Some of them even succeed. But for you to have a chance of success, you do need to know what is involved and prepare yourself for a lot of hard work and risk taking. If you have the passion and commitment, go for it.
If show quality birds are what you want to focus on then learn to show chickens by entering your best birds in your area poultry shows. Nothing begets success like success so if folks see that your birds win shows they are going to want your chicks and eggs.

Depending on the breeds you've chosen and your local competition this may take a little while, but it's how you establish a reputation for quality as opposed to being just another unknown breeder.
If you go to Metzer's web site and look though their blog stuff, they have an article on their new incubators. Take a look at that for a decent idea of what you need to hatch eggs on a commercial scale.
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Well I have thought of the same thing. If I were to do it I would get eggs from someone else not have my own flocks. Get them from a quality breeder because you cant be an expert on every chicken breed. Find out where to get a cheap source of chick shipping boxes. And why not just go to the post office and say hey I read all the regs and I wanna ship chicks but what am I missing here? Why not start small say do a few orders a week to get you feet wet, then when you have mastered the process sell more orders. Make sure you do everything right so you get good word of mouth then go larger. You need a website you will have to pay. Try to not make the website look cluttered and always have a white background. People think chickens and want to think clean. A white background make you thinks its clean. As for a name... think of something in you home that people think of as homelike. Dont just use your name.

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