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What is the best age to sell chickens at?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by archershan, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. archershan

    archershan Out Of The Brooder

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    I am buying assorted Standard Cochin chicks from Privett this spring. After they mature I am wanting to sell their offspring at local swaps. What is the best age (considering profit alone) to sell chickens at? Day old chicks? Feathered out chicks? Adult? Somewhere in the middle?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    There's little to no profit on doing chickens. We all tend to do it for the love of the hobby.

    As for selling age, brooded out chicks, say at 7 weeks, makes it easy for the new owner. No more brooding. The next best time is at or near point of lay. When you figure all your true costs, electricity, bedding, feed and all the time you've put into their care, it is almost impossible to see where this is a profitable use of one's time.

    Is it fun? Sure is!!!
     
  3. archershan

    archershan Out Of The Brooder

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    Haha as long as I can keep my feed bill down and bring some cash home to the wife after a swap I will be happy. She doesn't need to know ALL of my overhead. Lol
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    There is a limited market for breeding hatchery quality chicks. Better stock produces more interest and generates higher prices as well. If you just want to sell at local swaps, the hatchery grade is likely plenty good enough. Have you considered getting high quality, breeder quality stock and breeding a top notch bird? That too is alot of fun.

    We have both here. We enjoy both the high output of a top egg layer, but also the challenge of keeping and breeding top quality stock. It's very satisfying.
     
  5. archershan

    archershan Out Of The Brooder

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    Yeah I have thought about higher quality cochins, but Its quite a bit more of an investment. Plus I did try a show quality pair of light Brahmas and time after time buyers would buy the $2 mutts instead of my $4 pure Brahmas which were even older. If I had the time to go to better swaps I could probably make it work. Do you know of any good Cochin breeders?
     
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Sounds like you know your local swap market pretty well.
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

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    I'd offer day old chicks at the swap meet. The cute factor is huge! Plus, you can sell straight run as they're too young to be sexed.

    My next big sell points would be at six weeks, as Fred pointed out they're done with the heat lamp, etc. You could just offer them from then on, the next big milestone would be 5-6 months for point of lay, although cochins may not lay that early.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. RobG7aChattTN

    RobG7aChattTN Chillin' With My Peeps

    Good Points! I was wondering if I was still better off trying to sell my chicks at just a few days old or if it was worth holding on to them. I figured if you can make money growing out broilers in chicken tractors for $10 each that even if it took twice as long to get a full sized heritage breed chicken that you could make money at $20 each (for the hens at least). It makes sense that if you don't sell them right away that you should hold on to them until they are fully feathered so they don't need a brooder as that's a different market and then if you don't sell those to hold on to them until right before they are ready to lay eggs as that is probably yet another market. I have some hatchery quality stock but soon my better quality breeds should start to lay as well so it will be interesting to see what I can get for them. I just shelled out $30 each for some blue Wade Jean Black-Copper Marans to add to my young flock of regular Wade Jean Black-Copper Marans so hopefully that's not a bad price. I'd hate to think I'm the only sucker out there. This is not the usual time of year for most people to buy hens (or pullets in this case) but if they are worth $30 at point-of-lay from spring through summer then I'd think I could make some money. I can buy a 50lb. bag of grower pellets for just over $10 right now and I'm hatching the chicks from my own eggs.
     
  9. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    X 2 - it will really come down to a cost/benefit analysis that would depend on your overhead costs such as feed (varies by brand), etc - you want to be sure the price you can expect to get for your birds (you might want to look into the going rates for birds in your area as this also varies) is going to be worth the costs you'll put into reaching each of these sell points.
     
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

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    Agree it's off season, but if you have a steady supply of point of lay or young laying hens, you'd be surprised when folks want them. Seems folks are always looking to replace birds taken by predators, etc. Maybe they won't always be wanting your pricier, better bred birds, but being known as a local chicken source isn't a bad thing [​IMG]
     

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