Whats the best way to start a small scale egg and meat business?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by afre96, May 27, 2012.

  1. afre96

    afre96 In the Brooder

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    Apr 29, 2012
    I have had conflicting advise. Someone told me to start with about 15 hens and 1 rooster to start for the eggs and when my cliental started growing to get more chickens *** I need more demand, but someone else told me to start with 20-25 laying hens and 2 roosters and start with both feet running. I have two concerns with each for the gradually get new one it's the introducing of new chickens and the time it takes. for the get them all at once it worries me that in a few year I will have 25 chickens that aren't laying. as for the meat chickens I'll wait until I have an adult flock of hens and get some red rangers. If anyone can help me I'd appreciate it.
     
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

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    Nov 12, 2009
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    Well, I don't produce for sales, but I have found that if you want a steady supply of eggs, you need different ages in your flock. If you have a single age flock, they lay lots in the summer, and not so much in the winter, and then less all around.

    So my advice, start with a dozen, get them up and going. The the following spring, start another dozen. These pullets will lay through their first winter without light, whereas the older hens won't that second year reliably, you'll get a fewer bigger eggs, but they are laying while you are waiting for the new chicks to grow up and begin to lay.

    Then the third year, you add another dozen, and cull as needed with the older girls. 3 year old chickens varying in their laying, but many come close to stopping altogether.

    My reasoning, is this gives you some time to gain some experience. And it is a little slower investment, so you don't need quite so much start up costs. It will cost twice as much to feed 25 birds, to the point of lay, without any income. Where as if you wait a year, while the second year you are feeding 25 birds, half of them are laying something you can sell.

    Also, raising chicks is a lot of work, so I have different breeds, one or two that are prone to go broody, and most of them egg layers or dual purpose girls. I let my broody hen raise her chicks right in the flock, and there is no introduction issues, but I have plenty of space. If you do have space too, that is how I would do it.

    Meat chicken are a different game. I would humbly suggest, that you do the egg layers first, establish some customers for two or three years, and then do a small flock of meaties, for yourself, and some customers, working out the kinks of butchering, processing and selling the meats. There very well may be laws about doing it on a commercial basis.

    MrsK
     
  3. afre96

    afre96 In the Brooder

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    Apr 29, 2012
    Thank you sooo much. I think I'll take your advice on the laying, as for the meat I'll try it after I get a few customers
     

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