Research shows that Americans eat about 112 pounds of poultry per year. That’s reason enough alone to consider starting a poultry farming business. However, you might also enjoy the benefits of working for yourself, being outdoors daily, and living a more natural lifestyle.
But starting a poultry business can be extremely daunting if you’re not in the farming industry already. That’s why we’ve put together this guide. It covers the ins and outs of starting a poultry farming business to help bring your vision to life.
So, without further delay, let’s get into it.
Learn poultry farming
You’ll want to begin your journey by familiarizing yourself with the poultry farming business and its key techniques. Otherwise, you risk investing significant amounts of your time and money into an idea that may not, ultimately, work out.
You can get a good industry overview with online resources like Youtube. But you may also want to spend some time at a chicken farm in your area to experience what the industry is like on a firsthand basis.
Decide between meat and eggs
The next step is deciding whether you want your business to sell meat or eggs. Both have pros and cons, but egg prices are rising, according to the USDA.
You need to make this decision now because the chickens you purchase will differ. For example, egg-laying chickens are called layers, and meat-producing chickens are called broilers.
Larger poultry farms will often operate across multiple sectors within the industry. But it’s better to limit yourself to one or two niches when just starting out so that you can save money and learn the business before expanding too much.
Write a business plan and seek funding if necessary
Now you’re ready to write a business plan and use it to seek funding if you need it. Your business plan should contain each of the following pieces of information:
- Mission statement
- Product Overview
- Pricing strategy
- Company information
- Executive summary
This document is what the bank will ask you for if you go to them seeking a loan, so it’s important to really take your time with it and produce something that gives you professional credibility.
Even if you don’t need funding, it’s not a bad idea to produce a business plan before going any further. Business plans help entrepreneurs refine their thoughts and act as a document you can review to reconnect with your vision.
Install your infrastructure
It’s time to begin installing your infrastructure. First and foremost, this means chicken coops. But a traditional coop may not be your best option.
Instead, look at a mobile range coop. These are moveable so that you have more flexibility and give your chickens a more diverse lifestyle. They end up helping poultry farmers produce higher-quality products while also delivering superior ROI. That makes them worth looking into if you’re trying to optimize your business from day one.
You’re also going to need various kinds of equipment, including:
- Cages and perches
- Feeders and waterers
- Waste disposal system
- Lighting instruments
You don’t necessarily need to install all of these systems from day one if costs are a factor. You can delay certain kinds of infrastructure until your business starts producing income. Just keep in mind that this will likely mean more work for you since you’ll have to pick up the slack manually.
Create a poultry health management plan
When you start a poultry farming business, the health of your animals becomes critical to your bottom line. That’s why creating a poultry health management plan from day one is important.
A good health management plan will include details on waste disposal, food and water, hygiene, and light management, among other factors. You may need to consult an expert to ensure your health management plan covers everything.
Start marketing your new business
At this stage of the process, you’re ready to begin marketing your new poultry business. You can begin by creating a website and social media accounts. After that, you may want to look into farmers’ markets and form relationships with local stores that can carry your products.
Learn and adapt
Running a poultry farm takes effort, planning, and a lot of trial and error. As a new business owner, you’re bound to make mistakes. The key is how you learn from those mistakes and bounce back from them.
This is why it’s important to get into the habit of adapting your business as you learn new lessons and strategies. If you can start doing this from day one, then you’re much likelier to eventually build a business that can stand out as one of the very best in the industry.