If you were looking for chicken fence ideas, chances are you are on your way to becoming a chicken farmer. We couldn’t be happier for you, as this is an activity that has intensified during the last years and became more and more popular.
However, if you’re really serious about this, you should have a solid plan that you can follow through to the end. Having thought about this, we got you covered with an all-around process about starting your own chicken farm. Read on and thank us later.
Things To Know Beforehand
If you really want to get into the poultry business, you should know that this requires more than just agricultural know-how. To be a chicken farmer, you must also learn to think like a business person in order to establish your brand and carve up your place in this niche.
Think about exactly what you want to focus on from the beginning and go from there. This is all part of the chicken farming business, together with raising the chickens and establishing your name on the local market.
As your farm grows in size and importance, you will have more resources and be more able to expand it using marketing and networking strategies. Don’t forget that this has become a very popular business and you will have a lot of competitors. However, the still growing demand ensures that if you follow some basic rules, your return on investment should be quick.
Choose Your Poultry Sector
Starting a chicken farm is very good but you first need to choose between the two types of farming – broilers and layers. Broilers are the chickens that you raise in order to obtain their meat while layers are obviously the ones you grow for their eggs.
After that, another part of the business is incubating eggs and raising the chicks that hatch. Many businesses choose to operate in more than one sector, so the decision is yours because you are the one that knows the available resources and time for this project.
The easier choice, especially for somebody just starting out, is the egg-laying route and the raising of hens. Growing chickens for meat requires more equipment, more resources, and more paperwork so it may be troublesome for some people.
Choose Your Chicken Breed
Just like everything, it’s best to start off small until you get the hang of things. For this reason, it’s strongly advisable to start with only one breed of chicken until your business is up and running. Do some research to see which one would best suit your needs.
If you’re interested in raising chicks into chickens and then slaughtering them for the meat, breeds like the Australorp, the Barnevelder, and the Cornish are great picks. Keep in mind that while the first two can be raised by beginners, the Cornish one is a difficult breed to raise properly, despite being the star of the chicken meat world.
If you want to get into egg-laying, you have a ton of different choices at your disposal. Breeds like the Rhode Island Red or Sussex chickens are known to be top-layers while not being difficult birds. You will also have to make a choice between choosing a breed that delivers quickly or one that begins laying later but lasts longer in the production cycle.
Creating Your Farm
A chicken farm, or any kind of farm actually, requires a lot of space. Therefore, you cannot always start it in your backyard, maybe only if you own a mansion. Staying near a city definitely has its advantages though, for transportation reasons. If you can, buy a property outside your city’s limits but close enough that you can do a daily drive to and from it.
The further you move from the town, however, the cheaper the land will be, so it’s up to you how you balance this. You may get cheaper land but pay more for transporting your goods into the city.
On the business side of things, a degree in agriculture is always a plus to have, although not required. You also have to choose a name and make sure it’s something catchy, that people will see on their egg cartons and want to buy instantly. Furthermore, you really need a business plan to get things going, an outline for your long-term goals in the next 3 to 5 years.
You may also need financial help when starting out, as creating your own chicken farm is no easy or cheap feat. You will be buying a lot of equipment such as feeders, drinkers, heaters, and so on. Most importantly, another huge amount of money will be required to purchase the land you will build the farm on.
You’ll also need funds for your staff’s salaries, so unless you’re already a wealthy businessman you may be in over your financial head. After you figure out the costs, you can apply for a bank loan or try other sources of financing your business idea.
Spreading The Good Word
People nowadays are more connected than ever. You meet people on a daily basis, so why not make this count? Tell everybody about your plans to start out in the poultry business. Start from your friends and neighbors and work your way up to events related to poultry and make friends with people.
This way, you can meet potential customers, rivals, or even people who may want to offer to fund your business in exchange for a piece of it.
Once you’ve started, when you meet anybody, you will need a stash of business cards at hand for introductions. This is your professional way to get acknowledged and one such card should contain details like your name, occupation, phone number, and e-mail address. Businessmen usually keep these and when they have a requirement, they just search through the cards.
Think It Through
In this field of business, many things are best handled by professionals who know the nuances very well. When you have to purchase the equipment, for example, you really want an experienced person’s opinion. Regardless of whether you’re aiming for egg-laying or meat, there are many things an inexperienced eye can miss.
Furthermore, farming does not always have to be labor-intensive if technology is involved. Start out with a small number of people, and if you don’t have the time to be a hands-on manager, try to hire one who can also serve as an accountant, to save cost on staffing. This is difficult to do, but if you succeed you’ll be saving the salary of a well-qualified professional.
Don’t Give Up
Above anything else, don’t be discouraged! Starting any business is hard, especially one like this. Be enthusiastic, stand behind your idea and throw your full willpower into it. Since you’ll be working with birds, don’t try to start such a thing unless you can give it 110%.
Remember that nothing is perfect from the beginning and even the most experienced people make mistakes. Ask questions, document yourself, and you’ll be running the largest chicken farm in the region in no time!