Updated: May 28
Keeping chickens and other poultry can be a wonderful way to supply yourself with fresh chicken and the best tasting eggs around but you'll find but they can also be a great source of revenue. Here are a few ways to turn a profit with poultry.
Broiler farming First up on our list is raising meat birds. These birds are raised quickly, sometimes as fast as 8 weeks. Things to think about are where are you going to keep them, how long do you need to keep them before they're ready and when/how are you going to process them. All of these steps need to be thought out a head of time to make sure that you are going to find profit in this venture. Check with the laws in your area to see if you are able to butcher the birds which will keep your costs low. Stewing hens When your hens get a little older and stop producing eggs regularly you might choose to sell them as stewing hens. You might sell them live or if you're area allows, butchered for a higher price. Layers: Selling eggs for eating This is an easy one. Many people eat eggs every day and fresh eggs from a flock of chickens with a good diet are some of the best tasting eggs you can find. This is kind of a numbers game with the amount of chickens you need (1 egg per chicken per day). It goes without saying that your stock will need to be good layers-Red Star or Leghorns are good bet. Also, you will also need to keep your light at 14 hours during the winter months to keep the eggs coming. Keeping your flock healthy and in good living conditions are important to your investment as well as the animal's welfare. Selling eggs for breeding Selling eggs for breeding can make you top dollar. When selling eggs for breading you are going to want to have a flock (or 3) that are hard to find poultry types. You could also choose a breed that are hard to get a hold of in your area. Pick your stock from a breeder with a good reputation. You can either sell the fertilized eggs or the hatched chicks. Expect some that won't hatch though. Keep about 12 hens and 1 rooster in each flock. You can sell these eggs locally or ship them out. I've even seen eggs on Ebay and craigslist. Pullets and Layers You can also raise the chicks for a bit of time and sell them either right before they're laying or when they are laying. Some people don't want to mess with raising chicks. You can sell these chickens at a premium because you have invested the time in raising them for them. Other types of poultry to think about adding There are many specialty chicken breeds that people will pay extra for to add to their flocks. Alternatively you might sell ducks, turkeys, quail, guinea foul, or peacocks.
Alternative sources of revenue A few other things to think about selling associated with chickens and poultry are; selling well aged compost to local gardeners, and feathers to crafters. Bone broth is another item that can be a source of local income.
Marketing Let me take a minute to add that not only do you need to raise the product but you have to put your business hat on and sell the product. Be prepared before you spend one dollar on this venture to get the word out, to be prepared and professional when people call you about your product (call them back) and work on your marketing. Wishing you much success!