In a world increasingly mindful of ethical and sustainable farming practices, the free range chicken farming business stands as a beacon of opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs seeking not only financial success but also a chance to make a meaningful impact. With low startup costs, strong market demand, and the potential for rapid growth, starting a free range chicken farming business offers a compelling proposition that merits serious consideration. To build a successful, sustainable free range poultry farming business, you require sufficient knowledge of how to efficiently raise free range chickens, good business management skills, and a good free range poultry farming business plan. This article will outline how to start a free range chicken & egg production business, and the free range chicken farming business plan – PDF, Word and Excel.
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Free range chicken and backyard chicken production is a lucrative business, but there are some essential decisions that you need to make before you venture into the business. You have to decide on the scale of your free range chicken farming business (the number of chickens that you will keep and eggs that you will produce), location of the free range chicken poultry farm and products (meat, eggs or both). The amount of capital that you have and your target market will influence those decisions. If you do not have a lot of capital, you can always start small and grow your free range chicken farming business overtime. You also need to carry out market research (Who are you going to sell the birds and eggs to? At what price? Who are your business competitors?) and write a good free range chicken farming business plan before you venture into this poultry business.
One of the richest men in the world, Bill Gates, regards free range chicken farming as a good, profitable business. He donated thousands of chickens as a means of empowering people to earn an income by starting chicken farming businesses. In his article on his website, “Why I would raise Chickens”, Bill Gates says chickens are a good investment which can generate a lot of income for the people, as they have a multiplicative effect, due to the fact that they lay and hatch eggs frequently, thus multiplying the size of your flock quickly.
Before starting your free range chicken farming business, it is essential to delve into comprehensive market research. This critical step can significantly impact the success of your venture by providing you with a deep understanding of the market dynamics, consumer preferences, and industry trends. Research potential suppliers for chicken feed, equipment, and other essentials. Additionally, determine the most efficient distribution channels to get your products to your target market, whether it’s through local markets, farmers’ markets, or direct-to-consumer sales.
Selecting the appropriate free range chicken breed is a crucial aspect of market research for your chicken farming business. This decision hinges on several factors, including the availability of the breed in your region, the specific demands of the market, and your business goals. Different chicken breeds excel in various areas, with some being more suited for meat production, while others are renowned for their egg-laying capabilities. Your choice should align with your target market’s preferences and your intended product offerings. By conducting thorough research on the strengths and availability of different chicken breeds, you can make an informed decision that maximizes your farm’s efficiency and meets the demands of your customers, whether you aim to supply meat, eggs, or both.
An essential aspect of market research for your free range chicken farming business is gaining a deep understanding of pricing dynamics within your target market. This involves not only comprehending the prevailing prices of free range chicken and eggs but also identifying your potential customer base, their purchasing habits, and the quantities they typically order. By gathering this information, you can effectively position your pricing strategy to align with the expectations and affordability of your customer demographic. This knowledge empowers you to set competitive and profitable prices while ensuring that your offerings cater to the preferences and purchasing patterns of your target audience, ultimately enhancing your business’s chances of success.
Land for Free Range Chicken Farming Business
You need to have land for your free range chicken farming business. There are several factors that you should take into consideration when selecting the land to run your free range poultry farming operations from. These factors include the available utilities, neighbours, local topography, prevailing winds, condition of roads, available existing buildings, and local government laws and regulations. Free range chickens make noise and produce odours, so your chicken farm should be located some distance away from residential areas. Low lying land close to streams is prone to flooding, so you should avoid such kind of land topography. Land which is level is better, as hilly land increases the construction costs of free range poultry housing due to grading that would have to be done. Consider the available utilities, it’s better to choose a location that has a good water supply and is connected to the main electricity gridline. Also consider the conditions of the roads – vehicles will use the roads to deliver chicks and feed to the chicken farm as well as deliver chickens to the market from the farm. Thus you will need to choose a location with good roads for your free range poultry farming business. Also consider if the land will allow you to expand in the future, eg is there enough space to construct additional free range chickens houses? Depending of your choice of production system, free range chickens may require pasture to forage on and move freely around, so you should also consider if the land is suitable for free range chickens to scavenge around.
Free Range Poultry Housing
There are various housing options that you can consider for free range chickens. By definition, free range chickens must be allowed access to the outside, that is there should be space available for them to roam around freely outdoors. However, they also need proper housing especially at night. Some poultry farmers even keep free range chickens indoors all the time. Free range poultry housing may be fixed or mobile. Pasture rotation can easily be achieved when using mobile free range chicken housing which reduces damage to pasture and frequently give the chickens access to fresh pasture. Most commercial poultry farmers use fixed free range chicken housing. The free range poultry housing should provide adequate space, light, ventilation and protection to the birds. Free range chickens should have adequate space to move around even in fixed housing systems. If they don’t have enough space, the birds become stressed, cannibalism may occur, and diseases can easily spread. The free range chicken housing should have an adequate ventilation system – this can be achieved by a poultry house that has open sides. If the housing has poor ventilation, that may cause heat stress which leads to death of the free range chickens thus leading to financial loss of your free range poultry farming business. Chickens cannot tolerate high temperatures, thus why it is necessary to construct the poultry house such that its length is in an east-west orientation to avoid direct exposure to sunlight.
A well lighted housing is important for a successful free range chicken business. If the free range chicken house is dark, that leads to inactive and unproductive chickens. Free range chickens require light as it stimulates egg production, and encourages the chickens to eat feed which is good for their growth and health. Natural lighting ie sunlight is preferable as long as it does not increase the temperature of the house – thus why good ventilation system is required for the poultry housing. The free range chicken housing should also offer adequate protection to the birds : protection from predators and extreme weather conditions. Chicken predators include snakes, rats, dogs and mongooses. Your housing can be in the form of chicken barns, runs, pens, houses, hutches, cages and the cost of construction will depend on the materials used, and the size of the free range poultry house. The free range chickens and backyard chickens also need pasture for them to forage. One of the major difference between broiler chickens and free range chickens, is that broilers are raised indoors, confined to the broiler house, while free range chickens will spend most of the day outside, foraging the pasture and vegetation. The costs of constructing the housing should be include in the free range chicken farming business plan.
Equipment for Free Range Poultry Farming Business
Several equipment are required when carrying out free range chicken farming business. Free range chickens should not lay eggs on the floor, thus you should provide nests for them. Nests can be in different forms that include baskets, card boxes, wood and specially-crafted nest boxes. Ensure that your provide adequate nests – the required number depends on the number of laying free range chickens and size of the nest boxes. Feeding equipment is obviously required. Good poultry feeders should : have correct height and depth, easy to clean and be stable so that they are not knocked over by the chickens. Materials used to make poultry feeders include metal, wood and plastic. Small chicks need their own feeders separate from large chickens. Adequate drinking equipment is also required by the chickens. For large commercial free range farming businesses, you can use automated feeding and drinking systems. Incubators may also be required in free range poultry business. They are used for hatching chicken eggs to produce chicks. Free range chickens can naturally hatch eggs on their own, but the numbers of eggs which they can maintain and hatch are limited. To hatch a large number of eggs at one time you will have to use incubators. The free range poultry framing business plan should include a budget of purchasing the poultry equipment.
Day Old Chicks
You need day old chicks to start your free range chicken and backyard poultry farming business. After getting experience, you may then hatch your own chicks, which will greatly reduce your expenses as you will no longer need to buy day old chicks. You should purchase your day old chicks from a reliable accredited hatchery or company where the parent stocks are well managed. If you are new to the free range poultry business, you should enquire from other farmers to hear where they buy their chicks from. The success of your free range poultry and backyard chicken business will partly depend on the quality of day old chicks which you buy. The free range chicken farming business plan should cater for the costs of purchasing the day old chicks.
Free Range Chicken Breeds
Major products of commercial free range chicken farming business are meat and eggs. Your choice of chicken breed will be determined by the final product that you want to sell. You can choose breeds that maximize meat production or egg production. Dual purpose free range chicken breeds can be used to do both meat and egg production. Rhode Island Red is a popular American free range chicken breed which is very good at laying eggs as it can produce more than 260 eggs per year. The Sussex chicken breed is a dual purpose breed, which is kept for both meat and egg production. Jersey Giant is a very large chicken breed which is usually kept for meat production, though they also lay eggs. New Hampshire Red is a dual purpose free range chicken breed which grows quickly and are used for both meat and egg production. White Leghorns breed chickens are usually used as layer birds they produce between 280-320 eggs per year, each egg weighing a minimum of 55 grams. Orpington is a large chicken breed which can be used for both meat and egg production as it can produce up to 200 eggs per year. The Boschveld chicken breed is from Africa, and it can withstand varying climatic conditions. Boschveld chicken breed is a dual purpose breed, which can be raised for both meat and egg production. There are many other breeds which include Golden Comet, Cornish Cross, Buckeye, Ameraucana, Chantecler, Barred Plymouth Rock, Croad Langshan, Golden Laced Wyandottes, Bresse, Australorp and Dorking.
Feed For Free Range Poultry
There are different feeding systems that are used in free range chicken farming operations. Adequate feeding is important to ensure the success of the free range chicken farming business. At the same time, feeding costs should be monitored so as to maintain the profitability of the free range chicken farming business. The advantage of rearing free range chickens over broiler chickens is that they will get some of their food from scavenging the surroundings, thus the feed costs are minimized. Free range chickens can feed on pasture and forage outside for leftover food, greens, bugs etc. In a free range poultry rearing system, adult hens and cocks ought to be given enough time and space for scavenging in the surroundings daily. The best time for scavenging is early morning and late afternoon when there are plenty of insects and less heat.
However this is usually not adequate for commercial free range chicken farming businesses. Thus you will have to give supplementary feed to the free range chickens. This can be in the form of commercial stock feeds. As stock chicken feeds are expensive, free range chickens can also be given maize, wheat, sorghum, rice and other grains. Home made stock feeds can also be used to feed free range chickens. Supplementary feeds should be offered in the morning and evening when the free range chickens come back for the night. Clean water should be provided in shady areas during the day to avoid heat stress. You should adequately feed your free range chickens to ensure that they reach their market weight in the target period. Lack of sufficient feed causes slow growth, poor health and low egg production which reduces the profitability of your free range chicken farming business. You will also need proper vaccines and medications to prevent diseases and promote growth of your free range and backyard chickens. Costs of feed should be included in the free range chicken farming business plan.
Free Range Chicken Farming Business Model
The foundation of a successful free range chicken farming business revolves around a well-structured and sustainable business model. To kickstart this venture, you begin by acquiring day-old chicks, which serve as the future of your flock. These chicks are nurtured and raised in a suitable free range housing environment, where their growth and well-being are carefully monitored. The flexibility of this business model lies in its versatility, allowing you to produce either eggs, chickens for meat, or a combination of both, depending on market demand and your strategic preferences.
The primary expenditures in this business include the initial cost of day-old chicks and ongoing expenses related to feed and maintenance. As the chicks mature, typically reaching maturity at around 12 to 16 weeks, you can decide whether to sell them as live birds or as dressed birds for meat, tailoring your approach to meet the needs of your target market. On the other hand, if your focus is on egg production, free range chicken layers will begin laying eggs consistently from the age of 20 weeks onwards. These freshly laid eggs can then be sold, constituting a significant portion of your revenue.
The beauty of this free range chicken farming model lies in its self-sustaining nature. Over time, as your free range chicken layers continue to lay eggs, you have the option to hatch some of these eggs to produce your own day-old chicks, significantly reducing the need for recurring purchases. This cycle ensures a consistent and potentially lucrative stream of income throughout the year, making the free range chicken farming business an attractive and profitable endeavor.
Management and Labour
The number of farm workers you need will depend on the size of your free range and backyard chicken project. If you are running a small business e.g. 100 birds/cycle, you and your family may be enough to take care of the chickens. However, if you are rearing 2000 birds per cycle, you will need full time employees to manage the free range chickens. There is need for good technical knowledge of free range chickens rearing techniques for success in the business. You also need good management skills. Salaries for all your staff should be included in the free range chicken farming business.
The amount of capital required for a free range poultry farming business depends on the scale of the project. Sources of capital include bank loans, and equity investors.Don’t have access to capital? Start small, and grow your business overtime! Free range chickens are very profitable, so if you reinvest the profits you get, you can quickly grow. You will require a good free-range chicken and eggs production business plan to guide you in your business.
Developing a comprehensive marketing plan is essential for the success of your free range chicken farming business. This plan will serve as your roadmap to reaching your target audience, establishing a strong brand presence, and ultimately driving sales. To start, it’s crucial to identify your ideal customers and understand their preferences and buying behaviors. Whether you’re targeting health-conscious consumers, local restaurants, or specialty grocery stores, this knowledge will allow you to tailor your marketing efforts effectively.
Creating a compelling brand identity is another vital component of your marketing strategy. Your brand should encapsulate the values of ethical and sustainable farming practices, which are closely associated with free range chicken products. This involves designing an eye-catching logo, selecting a memorable brand name, and creating appealing packaging that resonates with your target audience.
In today’s digital era, an online presence is paramount. Develop a professional website to showcase your products, farming practices, and contact information. Leverage social media platforms to engage with potential customers, share updates about your farm, and promote special offers. Additionally, consider content marketing to educate your audience about the benefits of free range products and position yourself as an authority in the field. Collaborating with local businesses, farmers’ markets, and restaurants can also expand your reach and enhance your visibility within the community. By incorporating these elements into your marketing plan, you can build a strong brand presence, attract loyal customers, and ensure the long-term success of your free range chicken farming business.
Market for Free Range Chickens Meat And Eggs
The market for free range chickens is high and increasing, as more people are moving towards organic and healthier food. Many people prefer organic free range chicken meat, as compared to broiler chicken meat. This is because free range chickens are highly nutritious, delicious, organic, and healthier. Thus, the demand for free range organic chickens meat continues to rise. Free range chickens have a higher price than broiler chickens, as they are considered to be more superior.
The eggs from free range chickens are also considered to be superior as compared to the eggs from commercial indoor layers chickens. Free range chicken eggs are considered to be highly nutritious, delicious, organic, and healthier. Thus, the price of free range organic eggs is higher as compared to the usual poultry eggs. You can supply your free range chicken meat and eggs to individual households, butchers, schools, restaurants, companies, supermarkets, organizations, events, abattoirs etc. You can sell your free range chicken as live birds or you can slaughter and freeze them and sell them as dressed chicken. As you grow your business, you will also be able to export your free range organic products.
Advantages of Free Range Chicken Farming Business
One of the primary attractions of venturing into free range chicken farming is the relatively low startup costs associated with this agricultural endeavor. Compared to other farming ventures, the initial investment required to set up a free range chicken farm is comparatively modest. This affordability makes it an accessible option for individuals looking to enter the farming industry without the burden of high upfront expenses. Aspiring entrepreneurs can get started with a manageable budget, allowing for a gradual expansion of their operations as they gain experience and confidence in the business.
Another compelling advantage is the strong market demand for free range chicken products. With an increasing number of consumers seeking healthier and ethically produced food options, the market for free range chicken meat and eggs has been steadily growing. This rising demand provides a favorable environment for entrepreneurs in this industry, as it ensures a consistent customer base and potential for sustainable growth. The strong market demand not only enhances the profitability of the business but also offers a level of resilience in the face of economic fluctuations.
Additionally, free range chicken farming offers the flexibility of diversifying product offerings. Entrepreneurs can choose to focus on egg production, meat production, or even a combination of both, depending on market trends and their business goals. This versatility allows for the adaptation of the business to changing consumer preferences and market dynamics. It also mitigates the risks associated with being solely reliant on a single product category, further enhancing the business’s long-term viability and profitability.
Moreover, the potential for rapid growth is a significant advantage in this industry. By hatching their own chicks from eggs laid by free range layers, farmers can reduce the need for external purchases and increase their self-sufficiency. This self-sustainability not only minimizes ongoing expenses but also accelerates growth potential. Farmers can control their supply chain, ensuring a consistent stream of day-old chicks for future production, thereby optimizing their profits.
Pre-Written Free Range Chicken And Egg Farming Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel): Comprehensive Version, Short Funding/Bank Loan Version and Automated Financial Statements
For an in-depth analysis of the free range chicken production business, we encourage you to purchase our well-researched and comprehensive business plan. We introduced the business plans after discovering that many were venturing into the free range chicken business without enough knowledge and understanding of how to run the business, how to keep the birds, lack of understanding of the financial side of the business, lack of understanding of : the industry, the risks involved , costs and profitability of the business; which often leads to disastrous losses.
The StartupBiz Global business plan will make it easier for you to launch and run your free range chicken business successfully, fully knowing what you are going into, and what’s needed to succeed in the business. It will be easier to plan and budget as you will be aware of all the costs involved in setting up and running the free range chicken business.
Uses of the Free Range Poultry Farming Business Plan – PDF, Word And Excel
The free range poultry farming business plan can be used for many purposes including:
- Raising capital from investors/friends/relatives.
- Applying for a bank loan.
- Start-up guide to launch your free range poultry farming business.
- As a project/business proposal.
- Assessing profitability of the free range chicken business.
- Finding a business partner.
- Assessing the initial start-up costs so that you know how much to save.
- Manual for current business owners to help in business and strategy formulation.
Contents of the Free Range Chicken Farming Business Plan – PDF, Word And Excel
The business plan include, but not limited to:
- Marketing Strategy
- Financial Statements (monthly cash flow projections, income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, break even analysis, payback period analysis, start-up costs, financial graphs, revenue and expenses, Bank Loan Amortization)
- Risk Analysis
- Industry Analysis
- Market Analysis
- SWOT & PEST Analysis
- Operational Requirements (Including technical aspects of how to keep and rear the free range chickens, feed requirements etc)
- Operational Strategy
- Why some people in the free range poultry business fail, so that you can avoid their mistakes
- Ways to raise capital to start your free range poultry business
The Pre-written Free Range Chicken Farming Business Plan package consists of 4 files:
- Free Range Chicken And Egg Production Business Plan – PDF file (Comprehensive Version – 93 Pages)
- Free Range Chicken And Egg Production Business Plan – Editable Word File (Comprehensive Version – 93 Pages)
- Free Range Chicken And Egg Production Business Plan Funding/Bank Loan Version- Editable Word File (Short version for applying for a loan/funding – 44 pages)
- Free Range Chicken And Egg Production Business Plan Automated Financial Statements – (Editable Excel File)
The business plan can be used in any country and can be easily edited. The financial statements are automated. This implies that you can change eg the number of chickens, selling price of the chickens etc, and all the other financial statements will automatically adjust to reflect the change.
Click below to download the Contents Page of the Free Range Chicken Production Business Plan (PDF)
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