The progress and success of the poultry industry have been remarkable for the past 60 years. These are all attributed to the three factors: scientific research, integration, and innovation.
Most chicken farms in the United States operate in the same manner. They are bound to a contract with integrators or companies that provide them with all the necessary things to raise broilers.
Is chicken farming a good business? Chicken farming is a good business because having a contract with integrators sustains farm families profitable. This connection also affects future generations to produce products that can increase income and lower financial risk at the same time.
This sounds exciting to those who are interested in starting a chicken farm. However, it requires hard work to gain profit.
Also, you have to be knowledgeable on how to properly raise chickens even if all the necessary things are provided by an integrator. You’ll find them here in this article.
Is Starting a Chicken Farm Profitable?
Stevenson, a researcher of CIAS or Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said that poultry farmers need at least 5 years to gain experience and make their farms profitable.
During the learning curve, these farmers should know the exact things that they need, proper handling of equipment, and good management.
Knowledge is important to prevent farmers from getting ahead of building an irrelevant, bigger farm.
The chicken farm can be profitable even if you just got started, but some will be tempted to move forward without thinking of the possibility of failure. So, it’s best to be cautious and think about every action you make.
Related: What to Know About Chicken Farming? | Explained for Beginners!
What to Consider in Starting Chicken Farming?
Just like any other business, it all begins with investment which can be shouldered by an integrator. You may also start the farm with your own money.
Type of Production
You’ll know the pieces of equipment that you need based on the kind of poultry farm that you want to work on. You can either raise broilers for meat or eggs.
Some farmers don’t need to seek the location since they own land. It’s easy for them to keep an eye on the chickens. Considering local regulations, it’s normally not allowed to build poultry within residential areas. The neighborhood may complain about the unpleasant odor coming from the poultry.
After finalizing the farm location, the next step is to build the grazing area and solid house. There are three poultry systems which are extensive, intensive, and semi-intensive. The intensive system of raising your chickens in a cage system or on the floor is ideal for commercial production.
When you handle broiler poultry, each chicken needs three square feet. Whichever system you apply in your poultry, you have to ensure the right lighting system and housing ventilation.
Here’s the list of necessary equipment so you won’t miss one or two.
- Incubators (KEBONNIXS, Manna Pro Harris Farms)
- Egg trays
- Lighting instruments
- Ventilation system
- Brooder or heaters
- Waste disposal system
Why Are Chicken Farms Profitable?
Chicken farms are profitable due to the following reasons:
- You can earn from everything on a chicken farm. Even manure can be sold as it becomes fertilizer. There are buyers of feathers that are made into ornaments.
- More and more people choose white meat over red meat. Chicken meat and eggs can be marketed to everyone since young and old or rich and poor consume poultry products.
- The return on investment doesn’t take much time. Chickens can be disposed of for sale in a matter of 45 days.
- Starting a chicken farm requires lower capital compared to other kinds of business. You can buy 100-day old chicks and make them profitable in two-month time.
How Many Chickens Do You Need to Make Profit?
Based on the recommendation of CIAS, it’s best to start in a low number like 1,000 chickens per season in a pasture. Beginners can start with 200 to 300 chickens.
Nevertheless, you can start small independently with 10 chickens. It’s good to have 8 hens (4 for each breed) and 2 cockerels (1 for each breed). Keeping two breeds is advisable. Even though you start with a small number of chickens, there’s no doubt that you can gain profit as long as you know how to properly manage them.
How Many Chickens Can 1 Acre Support?
As long as you practice good management within a shelter, you can raise 1,000 chickens in an acre. It’s much better than raising 250 fowls free range in the same piece of land.
What Is the Most Profitable Chicken to Raise?
Experts and reputable organizations have different say on the most profitable chicken to raise in a pasture. Harvey Ussery, the author of the book entitled ‘The Small-Scale Poultry Flock’, states that the hardy breeds are Plymouth Rocks and New Hampshire.
These chickens need more time before getting slaughtered, but they have flavorful meat, which can gather more sales. They are the opposite of Cornish Cross, which grows fast, but this breed is mainly for confinement. Moreover, Plymouth Rocks are recommended by The American Livestock Conservancy. Another breed that is approved by this organization is Delaware.
On the other hand, broilers have the most poultry value on the data collected by National Agricultural Statistics Service. This finding is based on inventory, production, price estimates, and disposition. You would agree that it’s the most profitable since they can be slaughtered as early as 6 weeks. Each broiler can weigh 7 to 10 pounds.
How Much Money Should You Expect in Raising Chicken?
When a beginner starts with 300 chickens, the farmer can gain $2,000 net income from selling eggs. This amount includes buying chicks, feeds, vet check-ups, and chicken houses.
In terms of broilers, they can be sold in just 6 weeks. Although they grow fast, farmers can earn $5 per pound of chicken meat. The whole broiler can give them a $20 profit. If the local government allows you, you can do the butchering of chicken to gain more profit.
Related: How Much Do Chicken Farmers Make? | Here’s What to Expect
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Chickens Expensive to Raise?
Raising chickens is not relatively expensive since it requires a small amount of capital.
How Can I Make $1000 a Month From 15 Chickens?
To make $1000 a month from 15 chickens, you can hatch the eggs by yourself with the help of incubators. Then, people will be eager to buy chicks from you.
In 15 chickens, you can have 13 hens and 2 roosters. Each hen can lay 5 to 6 eggs, so you can have around 65 eggs per week. Hence, you have 260 eggs or more to hatch in a month. With proper management, you’ll be successful in turning them into chicks. By $3.85 for each chick, you can earn a total of $1,001 a month.
Is it Cheaper to Raise Chickens Than Buy Eggs?
Looking at the technique of earning $1000 from 15 chickens, it’s not cheaper to raise chickens than just buy eggs and hatch them yourself. When you raise chickens, you have to prepare a lot of things besides incubators that are used to hatch eggs.
How Do I Start a Chicken Farm With No Money?
It seems impossible to start a chicken farm with no money. As a beginner, it’s fine to start with 3 chickens (ideally 2 hens and 1 rooster) or a pair of hens and rooster. With the presence of male and female chickens, you can surely grow a few chickens into a flock.
If you’re lucky enough, you can get chickens from a friend who is no longer capable and interested in taking care of more chickens. There are some forums too that offer free chickens for rehoming. However, you have to get a loan from a bank or financial institution if you’re ready to start a big chicken farm.
How Much Does It Cost to Raise 100 Chickens?
The annual cost to raise 100 chickens is around $5,400 as the sum of earnings for those chickens is $6,900, and the profit is $1,500.
Related: How Much Does a Live Chicken Cost? | Check Before Buying!
Chicken farming is profitable for many reasons. Apart from starting with a relatively smaller amount of money, not only meat and eggs can be sold. Chicks, feathers, and even their manure can bring earnings. But you have to know the right process and management to raise chickens for productivity to gain the profit that you expect.
List of Sources
Poultry – Production and Value
Financial Risks and Incomes in Contract Broiler Production