Tips on opportunities for making money with your flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Sean-ola, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. Sean-ola

    Sean-ola Hatching

    Dec 28, 2014
    central oklahoma
    I hope I put this in the right category....

    So I've had a couple of chickens and I've come to enjoy taking care of them. It's been fun actually. It would be nice to come to a point where they can create a small income stream or at least pay for themselves! lol. I'm somewhat new to it so I just thought I'd ask for any pointers.

    I'm in Oklahoma and I probably won't ever keep more than 20 chickens (not including newly hatched chicks that may come).

    Just wondering if you have any suggestions on ways a person can make a little money off their chickens..
  2. darina

    darina Chirping

    May 10, 2014
    Ha ha, if you live in a garden-friendly community, it's worth a try to attempt selling manure/compost. Maybe I'm just dreaming. :)
  3. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Basically you can sell eggs, or raise up pullets and sell point of lay birds. Meat birds might need to be processed, and that would need health inspection in most places. I have also heard of using the rooster's saddle feathers as something to make fly fishing lures.

    Truthfully, unless you are raising a huge number, like the big boys do, you are not going to make money. At best you can hope to keep your costs down, and maybe make an occasional sale.

    Even selling eggs, it seems like you have scads of eggs, and then periods that without careful management, you are buying eggs at the store.

    It just is not real profitable small scale.

    Mrs K
  4. pdirt

    pdirt Songster

    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA
    You need a LOT of chickens to earn an income. Think hundreds or hundreds of thousands. But you could at least sell some eggs or manure and learn some things about running a business. If you package it nicely, you'd be surprised what people are willing to shell out their $ for! You probably won't even break even, but it depends upon your setup. If you can free range and not lose your chickens to predators, that can help reduce some of your feed costs. If you have access to free milk, you can make kefir for the probiotic benefits, which will help keep them healthy.

    What are people in your area willing to pay for? Eggs? Do they care if the eggs are organic or not? Would they pay for farm raised chicken meat? Around here, pasture raised Cornish cross goes for about $5-$6 a pound...would people in your area be willing to pay for that? If not, would they be willing to pay $3-4 a pound for non pastured non organic but farm raised chicken? The meat thing would be a lot of work and with only room for 20 chickens, your income would be fixed, but it would all be a great learning experience!
  5. pdirt

    pdirt Songster

    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA
    What I would do is raise pastured eggs, if you have a market for them. Sell them for at least $6 a dozen. Feed them good organic feed, make sure they have access to varied pasture and perhaps give them some extra supplements such as probiotics, nutritional yeasts or kelp. Once your customers get hooked on the deep dark orange yolks (see if there is a Weston Price group in your area for customers) they will be pining for your eggs when you have a molt or slowdown and do not have many eggs to sell.

    One problem I have heard from folks who sell their eggs is having customers get upset when they run low on eggs. If you educate your customers that your eggs are vastly superior to store bought ones, they might be more understanding.

    Even at $6 a dozen, you are not likely to make a profit, but you will help pay for your chicken efforts.
  6. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    Do some research on selling fertile eggs for hatching.

    Best profit margin out there for backyard flocks.
    1 person likes this.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    My birds pay for their feed and most supplies with egg sales...and I eat eggs for free.
    I only have 14 hens and 3 regular customers who understand the fluctuations of production and appreciate truly cage free but confined birds with lots of space.
    Even with older hens not laying and/or very low production I'm breaking even with 5 pullets laying regular this winter.

    Costs of infrastructure and chick raising are not included.
    Hope to hatch enough this year to sell some chicks or started pullets locally to offset that cost.

    I've started other businesses, you have to get big to make any real profit..... and that gets real complicated, takes tons of time and more outlay of cash to reach the black in the accounting book.
    1 person likes this.
  8. FarmerMac

    FarmerMac Chirping

    Dec 28, 2014
    Chickens are ADDICTING. I started one Spring with ten chicks, ( 4 EE, 2 Australorpe, 2 Delaware and 2 Rhode Island Reds). I had about 60 hens and rooster by the second year.LOL
    About the eggs, we were getting about 2-3 doze per day this year, my wife would take the eggs to work and sold them to co-workers in town. Check out your local Craig's List to see who sell eggs and at what price. The average is about $3.00 where we leave but I seen people selling fertile hatching eggs for $25.00 a dozen, depending on the breed. Good luck with your chucks and eggs.
    1 person likes this.
  9. pdirt

    pdirt Songster

    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA
    Whatever you do, I encourage you to try some sort of business. You will learn a lot! You may not make much money right away, but the lessons learned in running a business will be priceless. As a small business owner, I can't tell you how darn good it feels to not be working for "the man". And to have creativity and freedom to do what I want.

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