For those who want to start a chicken farm business, there are several things to consider carefully in order to succeed. Let’s do a quick review of those basic principles, that will certainly be helpful for the successful farms businessmen and businesswomen to be.
Layer or broiler ?
These are the two paths that one may choose, when becoming a chicken farmer. Basically, it depends on two major and very different farming purposes : do you want to raise and bred laying hens, in order to produce eggs, or do you want to raise and bred these chickens for their meat ?
These two very different businesses will of course require completely different sets of poultry equipment, and different managing strategies. There are also sub-categories, for example those specialising in chicks and young chickens. There is also the possibility to combine several of these, which will require different equipments, farms, and financial assets.
How do you want to raise your chickens ?
This is another major strategy that will determine the very nature of your business : free-range or conventional system ? This refers to the areas where the chickens are raised and bred. The conventional system concentrates the poultry equipment in smaller areas, barns where the temperature, light and movements are controlled. This will of course enable the farmer to focus on the quantity.
The free-range system allows the chickens to have more space overall, and live outside for some time, or in broader barns. Here the quality of each chicken is improved, but this space requirement limitates their quantity. It is often associatied with organic farming, but not necessarily.
Both systems are of interest and have different markets to focus on, depending once again on your farming purposes.
Will you manage your own finances ?
To begin with, you will of course need a significant amount of land, depending on the system you chose, and the adapted equipment. This investment is to be considered in the long run, but it must be based on a professional business plan. Having the technical skills to raise and bred poultry is the first step, and the passion for it is obviously better, but it cannot work for a long time if there is no managment back-up of some sort.
Either your banker, an accountant or a lawyer should help you with the managment of it all : this will help you focus on the farming itself, and find your personnal, successful strategy.