Whether you love your backyard chickens or you’re thinking about getting them, the best hobby is one that pays itself! There are several ways you can start making money from backyard chickens. Now more than ever people want food that’s organic and has been produced ethically. With your backyard chickens you can easily fill that market. Here’s how.
Setting the groundwork
If you don’t have it already you obviously need a living space for your chickens. We already talked about some chicken coops you can get pre-made or you can make your own from a building plan from Amazon. Once you have the coop you’ll need to decide which chickens you’ll get, and that depends on what you want them for. If you want them for the eggs you’ll want some that produce large eggs constantly, like the ones on this list. Another way to make money with backyard chickens is raising and selling ornamental chickens, which are more expensive. Selling them will give you more money but less constantly.
You also want to check the licences in your state for your business before you start. In some states for example, you don’t need a licence to sell your eggs. All you need is a carton that says “ungraded” and “produced by” with your name on it, among with some handling instructions.
Once your chickens start laying this is the easiest way to make a business out of your backyard chickens. Many people are willing to pay more for eggs that are organic and ethically made.
Finding clients can be easy too. Look for farmers markets and agricultural programs close to you. You can advertise them for free on Craigslist or Facebook. Even a little sign at home can be a great way to let people around you know you have eggs to sell. Keep an eye for organic and gourmet markets, which are the ones where they’ll value your eggs the most. Although you can always sell common white and light brown eggs, you can make a bit more money selling more exotic eggs, like blue eggs laid by Araucanas or multi-colored eggs laid by multiple Easter Eggers. You can find egg cartons in our store.
Remember that what will set you apart from the store bought eggs is the organic and ethical aspect. Keep that in mind when designing the egg carton labels and when advertising them. If you’re showing photos to sell the eggs make an effort to take pretty pics not only of the eggs but of the chickens too. You can take pics of how they live and what they eat. You can even have photos of each chicken and their names! Show people how much you care and they’ll start caring too.
Selling chicks and chickens
Although it’s harder to take care of them, selling chicks is where you can get more money. A regular baby chick will usually be worth 3-5 times more than an egg, more if they’re from an ornamental or exotic breed! For that you’ll need an incubator which, if automatic, will do most of the work for you. If you don’t know how to sex them you can sell them unsexed as “straight-run”. Once you see that selling baby chicks is a viable option for you, you can get several incubators starting a week apart for a constant revenue.
If you have enough space you can sell pullets too. Pullets are hens that are past their chick stage but haven’t started laying eggs just yet. We talk more about them over here. Since they’re less fragile and more convenient than fertilized eggs or baby chicks, they’re also more expensive. Take your time and resources dedicated to raising chicks into account when selling pullets.
Finally remember that the more valuable your chickens are, the less work you’ll have to do. Start with cheaper hens and strive for more exclusive breeds to maximize your profits. Go find the perfect breed for you here.