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If you have finalized on starting a small farm business raising chickens for meat or as a source of income, you’re probably wondering where to start. Sure, get some chicks, raise them to slaughtering size, get them processed, and sell them, right? It sounds easy and simple right?. But organizing your poultry business takes some work. Follow these steps, procedures and you will be ready to go – and making lots of money selling good, fresh pastured domestic birds – as soon as possible.

Know the Laws and Regulations
The first thing you do is investigate your state or country and local laws and regulations around poultry business. Now this is going to lead into the next two procedures that will help you, determine your market and write a business plan.
The laws what do I mean? Many states and countries preferred that meat be processed in a USDA(UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE)-approved facility in order to be approved and legally allowed to be sold to the public. However, in some states, if your poultry business is small in size, you can sell the domestic birds directly to restaurants. And might as well be allowed to sell whole chickens to the public as long as they are sold directly from your farm
Having a knowledge where you can get the birds processed and how much it will cost you will affect your business plan in the monetary aspect.
Learn How to Raise Poultry Birds for Meat
If you don’t already know, all you need to do is research and collecting maximum knowledge on what to do. How will you raise your chickens? On pasture or confined?
Learn how to keep baby chicks healthy and raise them to market size without losing too many to illness or predators.
• How to Raise Chickens for Meat
Knowing The Market
Figuring out your market is the next important step for your new poultry business. Who are the local buyers? Will you sell to consumers directly from your farm (and if that is the case, how will they find you)?
Will you sell to restaurants or not?
Also consider whether you will sell one of the fastest-growing cross breeds that is the large-scale poultry business standard, or go for a hybrid specially designed to forage on pasture, like Freedom Rangers. Your market will help you determine this; are you selling to people who know the difference and care? Birds raised on pasture usually take longer to attain the market weight, ultimately costing you more money and leading to more monetary cost. Will the market support the price per unit, you’ll need to charge to be profitable?
Write a Business Proposal
Knowing the market is part of your business proposal, but you’ll need more knowledge than just to create a guide or plan for your business as you move along toward its beginning.
Another part of the business plan is making exact, measurable goals. How many broilers will you raise for your initial run? What is the market size? What equipment will you need for them: feeders, watering equipment, fencing and housing?
Also, consider another important factor is CAPITAL. Specifically, how much of the capital do you have? You’ll need to know how much every equipment costs such as the construction of a coop(bird house). Another important is the chicks themselves. And you’ll need to pay for all the feed they will feed on until they reach the market size.
You may need medications or supplements as well and also the services of a veterinarian
• How to Write a Small Farm Business Plan
Raise Your Poultry Birds
Once you have your chicks, you are ready to go underway. Baby chicks need some special care – the temperature must be kept constantly warm, just to create the same scenario as if their mother was their to keep them warm. And you’ll need to prevent early problems like pasting up and to watch out for illnesses such as coccidiosis.
• How to Raise Chicks
Process the Birds
Depending on the laws and regulations, your markets, and your comfort levels in terms of the capital required, you may decide to slaughter and process the chickens on the farm. I have done it both ways: myself and taking them to a butchery. While the butchery is far easier, it’s also very costly and adds a lot to the cost of each bird.
There are also mobile butchery in some areas – a trailer or “mobile domestic birds processing unit” comes to your farm and processes the birds on-farm for you.
Some of these have a certain number of birds they can handle, so be sure to consider that when making your business proposal.
How to Process Chickens for Meat
Sell the Chickens To The Public
Your birds are processed, packaged, and are being stored in the freezer – so now it’s time to put the marketing plan and sell them. Whether you are taking them to the farmers market, selling to various restaurant outlets, or direct to consumers, you still need to go back to your business proposal you have already laid out to sell the chickens you’ve raised.
Cross-Check and Reevaluate
Like with any business, you should regularly go back, cross-check, reassess and reevaluate to see if things are still working fine. Did your marketing plan work or does it need to be restructured or retooled ? Do you want to raise more birds next time or lesser? Did you find on-farm processing to go on and work very well for you, or will you hire out the job next time?
I wish you all the best in your poultry. Have fun
 

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