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wanting to start breeding and selling birds in michigan.

Discussion in 'Local Chicken Laws & Ordinances (and how to change' started by mirandap, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. mirandap

    mirandap Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 25, 2015
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    My Coop
    Hi guys,
    I have has chickens since 2012, this year i got ducks and turkeys. My husband says my hobby needs to start paying for its self.
    I want to breed and sell my birds but i am not sure where to start....
    I have birds and a incubator but as far as anything else i need some help
     
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Well, you need to decide exactly what birds you want to breed, and why you want to breed it, to start off.

    What's your favorite breed? Is that a breed you can easily manage? Do you want to focus more on chickens or on ducks? Are you breeding backyard layers or do you want to breed show birds? What do you plan on doing with extra cockerels you may have left over? Do you want to sell young chicks, or juveniles?
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
  3. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens

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    What birds and model incubator do you have?
    Do you know what "market" you are planning to sell into? Hatching chicks is the easy part, marketing and selling can be the part that makes most people rethink whether they want to do this. Some people are natural "sellers" and their enthusiasm makes the marketing easy.

    There is a growing interest in keeping laying chickens in the backyard (obviously, you know that if you've been on this site for long). Trying to sell anything that does not play into that market is a very limited market, but if you can produce female chicks of good laying breeds, you will likely sell all you can hatch. Unsexable chicks, bantams, show birds - those are neat, but the demand is very low compared to sexlinks or autosexing breeds of layers (Rhodebars, Legbars, etc).

    Some things to think about:
    1. what will you do with the male chicks? (don't say you'll sell those too, I can tell you you can't give them away, unless you kill and freeze them for reptile keepers)
    2. do you like dealing with people, and teaching them about chickens? (I often spend an hour or more explaining the basics to people when they buy 4 chicks - not a business plan that scales well)
    3. what is your policy when someone is unhappy? what if they get a male by mistake, will you replace it with pullet the same age?
     
  4. mirandap

    mirandap Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 25, 2015
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    My Coop
    I was thinking I can breed pure Rhode Island Red, Millie fritter duccles, and Silkie. I have both male and females in thoses but I also have many hens that I can make Barnyard mix. And I can do the same with the ducks breed the ones I have matches to and let the rest back yard mix.
    The chicks would be straight run, all sales finale.
    The left over males will meet my ax...have lots in there now.
    And I can order bulk meat chicks from the hatchery.
    I did well selling my mutt chicks but I just made a flyer and hung em in local stores.
     
  5. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop


    Well, if you know what breeds you want to work with, then start planning your pens and any specific breedings you want for your RIRs, D'Uccles, and Silkies. Do you just want to breed pet quality versions of these birds, for laying and pet use? Or you want to breed to the standard of perfection?

    Beyond that, it sounds like you've about got it made. Not much to basic breeding beyond pairing birds (or letting them mix freely, if you like barnyard mixes. Then ya just gotta sell 'em.
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

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    I don't know about your local market, but here's what I've found in my area (southern Oregon).

    The silkies and d'uccles would probably sell okay as straight run, cause that's how they're sold at the feed store. But trying to sell straight run Red chicks would be tricky. Competing against the feed store when they're selling sexed pullets for under $3 a chick is hard, you're going to lose money IMO. Unless you're in a pretty rural population where roosters aren't so much an issue, folks want pullets and they're willing to pay a touch more for them.

    I've found my best market is point of lay pullets. This is harder than chicks, cause you have to have space to grow them out. But I can get $20 for a young pullet, pure or mixed breed.

    Or look into using your Red rooster over some silver hens to make sex linked chicks. That's another great market, cause folks do love baby chicks. You get the cute factor, and you can guarantee gender. You still need to have a plan for the males. Some just cull them and use them as compost, some market them to reptile owners, some do manage to sell them as males for meat, some grow them out and eat them themselves.

    Fliers at the feed store and CL are the best advertising, IMO. A lot of folks use FaceBook, but I'm not so much a fan there. It could be a great marketing arena, though.
     
  7. HeritageGoose13

    HeritageGoose13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Another potential market is raw feeders, people looking to buy whole chickens (and other animals) to feed their dogs, cats, ferrets, snakes, etc. You would probably need to butcher yourself.

    Try looking for a raw feeding group in your area. You could make a lot of money if you can make some loyal customers that way.
     
  8. mirandap

    mirandap Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 25, 2015
    MI
    My Coop
    Thanks guys! I do butcher my own birds, so the extra males are no problem! I had a friend hatch out some of my eggs, the chicks ate a month old now, the looked so cute and now they are getting adult feathers, and look even better![​IMG]
     
  9. mirandap

    mirandap Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 25, 2015
    MI
    My Coop
    I know hens sell best, I don't have any adults to sell, but I can hatch some in the spring and grow them a bit.
    When should I start hatching? Is there a way I could sex the chicks hatched?
     

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