Where’s the money!? Chicks? Eggs? Pullets?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Mamma Hen Hanna, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. Mamma Hen Hanna

    Mamma Hen Hanna In the Brooder

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    Has the money mystery ever been solved!? What does better? ...selling hatching eggs, eating eggs, chicks, adult birds, specializing in one breed vs a hodgepodge, using an incubator vs broody hens, etc... so many angles with chickens! I’m talking about backyard/homestead/hobbyist here, no large scale production. I don’t intend to get rich with my chickens, but I don’t want to waste my time/money either. What are some of yall’s business plans? (p.s. I have ameracaunas, silkies, blue copper Marans, calico Cochins, olive Eggers, jubilee and buff orpingtons, and a few mutts)
     
  2. Smuvers Farm

    Smuvers Farm Melvin Up the Taterhole

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    @rjohns39 this looks like up your alley.
     
  3. red horse ranch

    red horse ranch Crowing

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    I have several regular egg customers who buy eggs from me for $3 a dozen. This helps pay for feed when the hens are laying good. But the only way I come close to breaking even is by hatching some of those eggs and selling babies. I get $3 each straight run for chicks and $10 for fully feathered pullets. My guineas only lay eggs in the spring and summer but I hatch a lot of those eggs and get $5 each for keets. There isn't any profit in having a barnyard flock. I just have them for the pleasure of having them. ;)
     
  4. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    I think you will find selling extra eggs at market value, a bit underwhelming.

    My flock is strictly a hobby. I don't sell anything.

    That said, my research leads me to believe the best way to make money with my hobby would be to have a flock of decisively desirable, and or rare, unusual birds.

    My suggestion… Ayam Cemani.

    Selling fertile eggs to other hobbyists at $50 per dozen…

    Breeding pairs could bring in thousands, even culls will fetch around $100…

    If you have an ordinary backyard flock, be thankful if you can beat your hard expenses, not including all your time.
     
  5. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

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    (Money comes from not having chickens... :))
     
  6. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Pullarius

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    X2!!

    As in real estate: location, location, location. In general, hatching eggs often fetch the best prices for your work. I would suggest keeping only a few breeds, otherwise you can't work on the quality of your birds nearly as well and you will find people unhappy with your stock. I've spent at least 8k (at a minimum) on my birds and made... well.. I don't want to know. Maybe $30 from bird sales, and $100 to $300 from eggs? To be fair, I could break even if I sold eggs instead of eating them all myself. 3 dozen duck eggs sold per week could keep my feed bill paid.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
  7. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Pullarius

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    Unless you live where I do, in which case you can't sell a Svarthona rooster for thirty bucks. :duc I put $20 into him for feed alone. I think I need to go peddle my birds in silicon valley or something.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
  8. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Pullarius

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    As for broodies vs incubators: I think the latter is more economical if you're looking to get the most bang for your buck. Say the hen, not being a high production breed, lays an average of 4 eggs a week. She stops laying for at least 3 months to be a mom. That's $16 worth of possible income—if you sell eggs at $4 a dozen—down the drain. Multiply that by however many broodies you would need and that pays for a lot of incubator electricity. Just a thought on the matter—broodies are still probably the best way to raise chicks, though.
     
  9. R2elk

    R2elk Free Ranger

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    Unless you are planning on only selling locally, don't forget to figure in NPIP certification and testing costs.

    I only sell locally and I cover my feed costs and that is all. Of course, I don't sell any eggs. I give them away when I am not hatching them. Day old chicks, poults and keets bring the best return because I have the least amount of feed and electric costs in them. I cannot get a high enough return to even break even on ones that I have to grow out due to the amount of feed consumed.
     
  10. Mamma Hen Hanna

    Mamma Hen Hanna In the Brooder

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    Thanks for the input y’all! I live in rural Arkansas so I don’t think there will be a market for extra fancy/expensive birds. People around here just want “farm chickens.” I was considering focusing on one of my slightly more expensive breeds like the jubilee orpingtons (chicks here go for around $15) or silkie or blue CM chicks ($6 locally). And selling them for a little less than most people do around here. That way I figure I’d do a little better than just selling barnyard mixed, but people would actually buy them. What do y’all think about that idea?

    And thanks BantyChooks for the hen/incubator suggestion. I think I’ll take advantage of a broody hen when I have one (just because it’s less work on my part, and they’re so darn cute!) but mostly rely on the Bator.
     

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