Starting a Poultry-Based Business

Now is a good time to start a poultry-related business. The popularity of poultry raising in backyards, as well as a growing concern over food quality, has opened new windows of opportunities for new businesses with poultry focuses.

As the founder and owner of Purely Poultry, I have a unique viewpoint on chicken-related businesses in today’s marketplace. No matter what kind of poultry-related product you want to focus on, first take into account of what kind of physical infrastructure you will need, as well as the cost of that infrastructure. Poultry need coops and fencing, and calculating the cost of the essential components of lumber, wire, and the building of these enclosures is the first step.

Consider the size of your business at startup, in one year, in five years, and in 10 years. Do you have the space and physical infrastructure to accommodate your plans? Are there any legal restrictions for poultry businesses where your property is located?

After you’ve evaluated the space you have, and what you’ll require for the future of your business, you have to clarify what kind of poultry business you will be running. Create a clear mission statement for your business. Outline goals for your business and create objectives for how you can achieve these goals. Think about who your customers will be. A great way to establish a clear business and marketing plan is to do a SWOTT analysis.

The term SWOTT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats, and Trends. Strengths and Weaknesses are internal factors. Evaluate your strengths – what will you bring to this business? What experience do you have? Education? Capital? Then evaluate your weaknesses – What areas need improvement? What is needed to achieve success?

Opportunities, Threats, and Trends are external factors. What opportunities do you have on hand? Are there customers looking for your product? Also think about what threats are present – consider your competition, regulations, etc. and how would you protect your business from these threats. What aspects of poultry related businesses are currently trending? Where are consumers spending their money on and what do you think will be the next big hit?

The first chicken-related business idea that pops into most people’s heads is to sell farm fresh eggs or meat, but it may not be as easy as it seems to make a profit. Currently, small scale egg and meat businesses find it very hard to make worthwhile profits. This is because feed pricing, when purchasing on a small scale, is very expensive. You will have to sell your products for higher prices than the supermarket prices to break even on feed costs.

One first rule of establishing your pricing for eggs and meat is to calculate your costs and your time, and decide how much you will have to sell your products for to make it worthwhile. Avoid picking a price that compares to the supermarket prices. The products being sold at the supermarket are from high production factory environments, and that is why they are cheaper than yours. While you cannot compete with their prices, you can compete with quality.If you want to sell eggs or meat, one of your main challenges and objectives will be to educate your customers about the difference between your products and the supermarket products and explain and defend your pricing. The trend for healthier, higher-quality, nutrient-dense food is growing, but you may find it easier to sell your products closer to urban areas with more population density.
You can also make your chicken products even more special in the eyes of your potential customers – consider getting certified organic, certified Animal Welfare Approved, selling all blue/green or all dark brown eggs, or try selling quail or duck eggs. Creating a niche that is imaginative and unique is a solid way to market a poultry-related business.

There are also many opportunities for a a chicken related business that is not about selling a food product.

My favorite business opportunity right now to start is the hatching eggs business. There is a high demand for hatching eggs and the demand seems to grow each new season. The business of hatching eggs also requires minimal start up expenses and infrastructure building.

There is also growing interest in special and rare breeds and varieties of poultry. Start by picking a extraordinary variety that appeals to you and that has potential for popularity among the growing number of poultry fanciers, hobbyists, and small farm businesses. Then work on developing and improving that breed. People are collecting birds and looking for unique opportunities in poultry. This is a business endeavor with much promise for solid growth.

Starting a poultry-based business can be both fulfilling and fun and potentially a worthy financial venture. It is a noble undertaking whether you are looking to support your poultry hobby or as a full time farm enterprise.