I could use some advice on starting my own busniess

ninny

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Hi! So a dream of mine is to one day have a farm. My problem is I rent and can not have really anything except some chickens and maybe rabbits. This year we did our frist batch of meat birds. I sold a couple and it got me thinking. I could start my farm now. I could sell meat birds and rabbits for meat. I could just get a trio of rabbits for now maybe come spring. But the chickens are the way to go now. I may have found a processor I just have to call and see what they charge per bird. I also need to get fencing or build pens. I am looking into local laws and that fun stuff. I also found a hatchery that is much cheaper then what I paid last year. I don't have any equipment for butchering the birds and so far it sounds like they have to be done somewhere that's inspected for the farmer's markets. I am looking for any advice on starting this. At this point I am just wanting to make enough to cover costs.
 

baymule

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I am sure there are people better informed on this subject than I am. But on butchering chickens, you are allowed to butcher up to 1,000 chickens per year yourself to sell to your customers. Start small, don't overload yourself. Do a spread sheet for your expenses to see what your expenses are.
 

Corn Woman

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Your need to check with your state agriculture department to see what the laws are for the handling of processed meat. Each state is different, there may be laws that tell you how you can keep and transport it after processing. You should be able to find the laws online for your state.
 

FarmerJamie

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ninny said:
Hi! So a dream of mine is to one day have a farm. My problem is I rent and can not have really anything except some chickens and maybe rabbits. This year we did our frist batch of meat birds. I sold a couple and it got me thinking. I could start my farm now. I could sell meat birds and rabbits for meat. I could just get a trio of rabbits for now maybe come spring. But the chickens are the way to go now. I may have found a processor I just have to call and see what they charge per bird. I also need to get fencing or build pens. I am looking into local laws and that fun stuff. I also found a hatchery that is much cheaper then what I paid last year. I don't have any equipment for butchering the birds and so far it sounds like they have to be done somewhere that's inspected for the farmer's markets. I am looking for any advice on starting this. At this point I am just wanting to make enough to cover costs.
Not sure of this comment...why would you want to do all that work to just break even? Your labor should have a value attached to it, too. ;)

Baymule has it right, you have to do the math.

Historically my meat birds cost me between $10-15 per bird (I use a processor and don't free range them as some do). That being said, some of the local farmers go to the "big city" and sell basically the same exactly produced birds for $30-50 per bird. My processor will charge between $2-3 per bird, depending on how I have it processed. It's been tempting to jump into that market, my regular egg customers are begging me to do just that. :D
 

FarmerChick

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and you have to apply for a meat handling license. I had one, they are easy to get. Any stored meats on the premise and you have to have a yearly inspection of your freezers. Be sure you know the local laws before attemtping to sell. Go to your local Agri. They will tell you all you need to know.

AND yes, you will need freezers. So don't forget that cost.
Meat birds take up ALOT of space in freezers. To bad they were not square instead of rounded. they would pack better :lol:

And if you are traveling to sell the birds at the farmer market you will need MANY big coolers for travel. To retrieve the birds from the processer and to travel to the market.
I have about 15 giant coolers in the garage now :) We sold whole hog sausage for many years.

I would not do it to break even either.

Search processers. In my area they are hard to come by. the closest to me is a 3 hr drive. one way. So we opted out of going into meat sales. Eggs did fine for us.
We had over 400 chickens running. Locals who sells meat here team up and drive ALOT of birds to the processor. So that way they can cut those costs down.

Since you are renting be sure your fences, coops etc are portable. If you leave you can take it all with you.

AND be sure you ask the landlord. When you get into more birds, people change. Like a landlord might say, sure, 15 chickens are fine. But if you want 100 to process then they might take exception.

good luck to you!
 

FarmerJamie

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Another thought came into my head with the freezer advice. Another way to do it is to have pre-paid pre-orders and just a specified "pick up" day, say the day of processing. That way you only have to keep the carcasses cold long enough for your customers to come and pick up. Plus you only have to have your "store front" for the merchandise for one afternoon/evening only.

It'll be a lot of work, but even more work if you don't think through it enough. :D
 

me&thegals

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Don't forget ALL your costs, like electricity for the heat lamps, waterers, bedding, etc. One year we butchered in July and had nearly $100 in ice alone. I moved their arrival dates after that so we could process in Oct and eliminate ice altogether.
 

ninny

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Well I was planing on going more the pre-order route. Looking into doing rabbits too. I free ranged mine this year cost was maybe 7 dollars a bird and I sold them for 12 dollars. I am getting the portable netting. I have to talk with the hubby about the whole freezer deal.
 

me&thegals

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ninny said:
Well I was planing on going more the pre-order route. Looking into doing rabbits too. I free ranged mine this year cost was maybe 7 dollars a bird and I sold them for 12 dollars. I am getting the portable netting. I have to talk with the hubby about the whole freezer deal.
Does that cost include your time? I bet it doesn't, and your time should not be given away for nothing.
 

FarmerJamie

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me&thegals said:
ninny said:
Well I was planing on going more the pre-order route. Looking into doing rabbits too. I free ranged mine this year cost was maybe 7 dollars a bird and I sold them for 12 dollars. I am getting the portable netting. I have to talk with the hubby about the whole freezer deal.
Does that cost include your time? I bet it doesn't, and your time should not be given away for nothing.
x2

If not "paying yourself" cash, at least settling aside a portion of the product for your own use, since you're going through the process any way. Either way, don't cheat yourself.
 

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