Enterprises come in all shapes and sizes. In the business world, there’s more focus on the office environment than anything else. Hence why many individuals start out in this setting. But, sometimes, being cooped up in an office isn’t a choice we’re willing to make. For some of us, a life like that could never be a happy one.
But, that’s not to say that such individuals can’t start a new business. There are many options which can see you out and about on a daily basis. Many people opt to start construction firms or undertake a gardening enterprise. Both these options could see you out in the fresh air as much as possible. But, neither of these beat an option like farming. Nothing’s as good as this for spreading your wings and escaping the workplace. Of course, many opportunities in this industry involve start-up costs which are out of reach for many of us. But, something like chicken farming has low overheads and might be worth considering.
As livestock goes, chickens are a reasonably cheap option. As such, you could get started with this in the not too distant future. But, before you do, it’s worth asking yourself the following questions.
What products would your chicken farm focus on?
This may seem like a strange question. Surely the chickens are the products? But, there are a few different ways to make money from a chicken farm, and you need to consider each. The most apparent money-making benefit here is, of course, eggs. By focusing on egg production, you can be sure to make large amounts of money from each chicken you buy. After all, the average hen produces at least one egg most days. With regards to returns, it doesn’t get much better than this. But, that’s not to say egg production is your only option.
You may also want to delve into the world of broiler chickens, produced for meat. You do only get one lump-sum payment from these chickens, but you also pay less for upkeep. As such, the profit margins will be much the same.
If neither of the above options takes your fancy, you could even opt to breed chickens for other farms. This involves understanding what makes chickens ideal and breeding for the desired traits. If you get a reputation for yourself here, you’re sure to see fantastic returns.
So, there’s more to settle on than just chicken farming. You don’t have to stick with one option here, but it may be best to do so in your early days. That way, you can perfect one field before moving onto others. Make sure to consider startup costs and potential problems before making a decision.
What kinds of chickens?
Once you’ve decided what you want your chickens for, it’s time to consider which breeds would be best for the job. Different strains suit different purposes, so it’s crucial you take your time here. For instance, those focusing on egg production may want to opt for breeds such as White Leghorns. Those focusing on meat, however, would be better with breeds like the Cornish Rock. In some cases, there are chickens which have many functions and may be your best bet. Do your research, and consider what would be the best choice for you. Throughout deliberations, return to the decision you reached during the above point. That way, you can make sure that you’re opting for wise buying choices each time.
What will you feed your chickens?
It’s also worth taking some time to choose what you’ll feed your chickens. Again, the priority here all depends on your reasons for keeping them. Those with egg-layers will want to incorporate calcium. Keepers of broiler chickens will be more concerned with protein. No matter your purpose, proper nutrition is a must for healthy, productive chickens. The good news is, companies like River Country Cooperative produce nutritional feed options which should provide everything your chicks need. If you’re going down an egg route, you should also provide additions such as oyster shells to ensure adequate calcium. Bear in mind, too, that feeding needs may change during different times of the year. When chickens are molting, they need extra protein to ensure they keep laying eggs. In this instance, you could turn to higher protein ‘growing’ feed options. Or, you may want to turn to extras here, too. Chickens love treats like dried mealworms, and these are packed full of protein. Develop a decent calendar system to help you decide when these extras are necessary.
How will you keep your chickens?
In an age where we are becoming more aware of foul play in the farming industry, living space is much more important than you think. While battery farming and caged chickens were once the norm, this won’t do anymore. From an animal rights angle, this isn’t a life you should expose your chickens to. A move like that wouldn’t even make sense for profits in this careful consumer age.
But, what are the alternatives? It may be that you want to keep your chickens in coops, much like homestead farmers would. Admittedly, large-scale coops can set you back a fair amount. To avoid that cost, you could always attempt to build coops of your own. As long as they have a raised perch bar and private nesting boxes, you’re sure to see results. Or, you could bite the bullet and invest in some ready-produced options. You can be sure that they’ll soon pay for themselves.
Or, you may prefer to opt for a barn set up, which will serve for more chickens in one foul swoop. There’s nothing wrong with this, as long as you provide outside space for at least some of the day. That’s easy enough to arrange. You could always build a roaming area around the entrance of your barn, and leave the doors open during sunlight. This would lend your farm the label of ‘free range’, and ensure customers don’t hesitate to buy your products.
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