21 Tips to Become Entrepreneurial Chicken Farmer

Entrepreneurial Chicken Farmer: Running a chicken farm requires more than just agricultural know-how.

If you want to be a chicken farmer, you must also think like a business person while growing your brand.

Choosing a focus, establishing a brand, raising your chickens.

And building your business are all part of chicken farming.

Then, as your farm grows, you’ll be able to market, finance, and network to grow your business.

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Entrepreneurial Chicken Farmer
Entrepreneurial Chicken Farmer

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Entrepreneurial Chicken Farmer

1. Make an egg-laying farm if you want to work with egg production.

Chicken farms usually fall into 1 of 2 categories: egg-laying or meat production.

Choose egg-laying as your focus if you’d prefer to work with hens and sell farm-fresh eggs.

  • Although less common, some chicken farms handle both meat production and egg-laying.
  • You can choose this option if desired, but it may require twice as much equipment and physical labor.

Entrepreneurial Chicken Farmer

2. Create a meat production farm if you’re interested in processing meat.

Meat production is a lucrative farming business.

If you’re comfortable butchering and processing chickens for meat.

If you’re interested in raising and slaughtering chickens for meat, make a meat production farm instead.

  • Meat production farmers can also utilize every part of the chicken when selling their products, including the bones, which has the potential for higher revenue.

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3. Choose a specialty niche for your business, if desired.

Some chicken farms have a specialization that sets them apart from their competitors.

Once you’ve decided on whether to create a meat production or egg-laying farm.

You can also pick a niche within that sector like:

  • Egg or meat processing: Processing poultry products for taste, quality, and safety
  • Marketing poultry products: Promoting poultry products through advertisements to increase revenue
  • Chicken breeding: Raising and selling chickens for pet owners or other farmers.

4. Pick a chicken breed that matches your farming goals.

Not all chicken breeds are the same.

Some (broilers) are best for meat production and others (layers) are best for egg production.

Once you’ve chosen a niche, choose a chicken breed that is best for your specific niche.

  • If you want to start an egg-laying farm, for example, you may want to choose a layer breed like Rhode Island Red, Hamburg, or Sussex chickens.
  • You can find a list of popular chicken breeds and their specialties at https://chickenbreedslist.com/.

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Entrepreneurial Chicken Farmer

5. Find a location close to your city’s limits.

While you can’t always start a farm in your backyard, staying near a city is useful for transportation.

Buy land outside of your town or city’s limits, but close enough that you can drive to or from it on a daily basis.

  • The further you move from your city or town, the cheaper the land will be.
  • If you can’t find land near the city limits, look for land in the countryside where you’ll have plenty of space to farm.

6. Pursue a bachelor’s degree in agriculture or business.

While not required, most aspirational farm owners complete an undergraduate degree first.

To better prepare for a career in chicken farming, choose a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, business.

Or a niche major like farm administration or poultry science if your college offers it.

  • If you choose agriculture or poultry science, add a business minor (or vice-versa) to take classes on marketing, leadership, and other relevant topics.
  • Get your degree online if you don’t have time for a traditional four-year degree.

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7. Create a business plan for your chicken farm.

Write an outline for how you plan to run your chicken farm.

And what your long-term goals are for the next 3-5 years.

Include information like your history, structure, objectives, vision.

Products, target demographic, and marketing strategy in the plan.

Once you’ve written the outline.

Review it with an established farmer or business advisor.

And revise your plan based on their suggestion.

  • If you’re running an meat productions farm, for example, you could include your plans for raising and butchering chickens, revenue goals or the first year, and plans for marketing your poultry products in stores.
  • Business plans are useful for attracting investors or business partners down the road.

8. Apply for a loan to fund your chicken farm if necessary.

If you don’t have enough money for your supplies, schedule an appointment with your local bank.

Discuss your financial history, business goals, and monetary needs with the loan advisor to apply for and secure a loan.

  • Bring a business outline, evidence of your credit history, pay stubs, and anything else requested by the bank to your meeting.
  • Start with a loan for the minimum amount of equipment and chickens for your farm. You can always get a larger loan as your business grows.

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9. Purchase all of the necessary equipment for your chicken farm.

The type of equipment you need will depend on whether you’re running an egg-laying or meat production farm.

Head to an agricultural supply store to purchase the necessary equipment, which may include:

  • Brooders
  • Cages
  • Coops
  • Crates
  • Egg trays
  • Feeders
  • Incubator
  • Lighting instruments
  • Nests
  • Perches
  • Waterers or heaters
  • Waste disposal system

Entrepreneurial Chicken Farmer

10. Determine whether to hire laborers for your farm.

How much manpower you’ll need depends on the size of your farm.

If you have less than 200-500 birds, you should be able to run the farm by yourself.

Otherwise, especially if you want to grow your farm, you may need additional help.

  • Start with a small farm so you don’t have to pay workers until your chicken farm business is successful.

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11. Set up coops or cages for your chickens.

Chickens need shelter from the outdoor weather and predators.

Buy or build a chicken coop or cage on your farm with dimensions based on how many chickens you’re housing.

  • Build the chicken coop or cage at about 3 sq ft (0.28 m2) per chicken.
  • Clean the chicken coop or cage regularly to prevent the chickens from spreading diseases.

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12. Raise chicks for your farm.

After setting up your equipment, buy chicks from a breeder or agricultural supply store.

If you’re new to raising chickens, buy no more than 500 while you’re establishing your farm before adding more to your business.

Entrepreneurial Chicken Farmer

13. Feed your chickens daily.

Buy chicken feed from a pet or agricultural supply store and feed your chickens once a day.

Give each chicken about 3.5 ounces (99 g) of chicken feed a day to keep your chickens healthy and prevent malnourishment.

  • You can also give chickens corn, halved grapes, or cabbage as a treat.
  • But avoid feeding them these treats more than several times a week as it’s less healthy than chicken feed.

14. Bring sick or infested chickens to a veterinarian.

Diseases spread quickly between chickens, so inspect them regularly for illnesses or pest infestation.

If you notice any abnormalities in your chickens’ appearances or behaviors.

Hire a vet to diagnose and treat your chickens.

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Entrepreneurial Chicken Farmer

15. Write down your farming sales and production records for future reference.

To make sure that your business is creating a profit, keep a log of your sales, business growth, and financial losses on a spreadsheet.

Determine whether you are gaining or losing money, and make goals to cut back on costs and earn more money.

  • If you notice that you’re spending too much on chicken feed, for example, shop around with different suppliers to find cheaper feed.
  • You can also hire an accountant or financial advisor to keep your records organized for you.

16. Market your poultry farm to spread the word.

Marketing your business, especially during the first few years.

It is crucial for securing more customers and earning a larger revenue.

To raise visibility, create ads, make business cards, create a website.

And make newsletters (print or online) to promote your business.

If you’re new to marketing and want to improve your tactics.

Hire a marketing consultant to choose the best tactics for business promotion.

  • Creating a logo for your business can also provide visibility for your brand.

17. Connect with other farming businesses.

Meeting other farmers can help spread the word about your farm and attract investors.

Attend agricultural conferences and reach out to other farming companies.

Especially poultry farms in your area to make positive, lasting connections.

  • If you need to hire more workers.
  • Try to hire those with years of experience in poultry farming for better stability.

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Entrepreneurial Chicken Farmer

18. Apply for more loans or investments to grow your business.

Once you’ve established your farm, analyze your costs and apply for bigger loans if needed.

If you want to pursue alternative ways to finance your business.

You can also try applying to business lenders or investors known for financing agricultural businesses.

  • If you’re running a chicken breeding farm, for example.
  • You may want a loan to buy better egg incubators.

19. What is the minimum number of chickens to start with on a farm?

The number of chickens you need depends on the purpose and size of your farm.

Generally, 200-500 chickens is average for starting a new farm.

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20. How should I draw up a business plan for a chicken farm?

Draw up plans for your equipment, a decent sized holding area and a plain grass stretch.

Follow a standard business plan but clearly tailored to running a chicken farm.

The expected costs and desired profits.

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21. Entrepreneurial Chicken Farmer

Research methods that successful chicken farms use as a guide for your business.

Popular poultry farms include Cargill Meat Solutions,

Hormel Foods Corp, Tyson Foods, and Smithfield Foods.

If you’re not up for starting a chicken farm from scratch.
You can also invest in or buy an existing franchise instead.

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