A hatchery is one avenue that aspiring entrepreneurs can venture on due to its huge prospects. There are several choices from which one can choose to specialize in. Hatcheries can be done for broiler chickens, free range chickens, layer chickens, ducks, turkeys and so on. The most tried and tested choice is to settle for a chicken hatchery, which can be for broilers, free rangers or layers – or a combination of all three. There is a large and ever-growing demand for chicken day old chicks for poultry businesses. That is why this article will make chickens its mainstay – however, the content can still be used to apply to other types of hatchery businesses. By the way some people misconstrue a hatchery as a term that refers to some high-tech building. Simply put, a hatchery is a housing specifically furnished with an environment that is conducive for the hatching of eggs. Let us now discuss vital information you need to know regarding starting a hatchery business.


There are three basic approaches when starting a hatchery business, namely sourcing eggs, sourcing fully grown breeding stock and sourcing day old chicks. With the first approach you will immediately take the eggs through the process of hatching. It takes on average 21 days for eggs to hatch given the right conditions and environment. As for the third approach you will rear the chicks till they mature and start laying eggs after which you will take the laid eggs through the hatching process. Starting with eggs is undoubtedly a much shorter route to your intended destination but comes with its own tricky scenarios. For example, you will probably not have intimate knowledge of how the chickens which laid those eggs were raised. That is why experts usually recommend that you raise the chickens that will lay the eggs to be hatched yourself. In this way you can exercise absolute control in ensuring you raise the best chickens under the best conditions possible. It is still possible though to source good quality eggs or breeding stock and start off using that route. In whichever approach you choose you will have to do proper background checks to ascertain you are sourcing the best eggs, best parental breeding stock or the best day old chicks.

Market Research

Just like in any business, market research is a fundamental prerequisite. You must find out what the market demand is so that you choose the most appropriate line of business. Earlier on allusion was made to how hatcheries can be for chickens, ducks, turkeys and so forth. That points to the importance of conducting market research to know what the market wants and the market size. The other important activity to do here is to take a look at existing players (your subsequent competitors). Find out how they are doing their businesses, their business strategy, pricing and logistical arrangements amongst several other details. The culmination of all activities here will be the crafting of a unique value or selling proposition for your incoming business. A hatchery is a highly sensitive and technical business so learning from established businesses in the same trade is most advisable. Taking part in learning courses or workshops can actually be a smart move to acquire relevant information on market research and even more. This will help you in coming up with a good hatchery business plan.

Make Sure You Have A Comprehensive Hatchery Business Plan

The failure to plan is the beginning of business failure. The hatchery business plan must be clear and succinct enough to give your potential partners, clients and investors an overview of what your objectives are. At the same time, it must be detailed enough to explain the operations of the business that you propose. At the very minimum you need to have the following included in your hatchery business plan:

  1. The mission, vision and operational strategy
  2. Market Analysis And Customer Segmentation
  3. A business case showing that the business is financial viable and sustainable
  4. A marketing and customer care plan
  5. An organizational chart and human resource policy
  6. A three-year expansion outlook
  7. A risk and rewards Analysis

You will need to make an informed decision about the business type that you will adopt for your hatchery business. Each of the different business entities requires very specific application processes for permits and registrations. The business type you select will determine who owns, runs and supervises the operations of your hatchery business. It’s also better to have a fully functional website for your hatchery business.

Location And Premises

Choice of location is central to the overall success of the hatchery business. It is paramount that you setup this business close to main road networks and close to prospective clients. A hatchery will entail having to transport and deliver day old chicks to clients who would have ordered. The mere fact that you must pack up and transport chicks timeously (note – day old) makes the prior point critically important. The shorter the distance to be travelled the less likelihood of adverse conditions that can affect the day old chicks before being delivered. The place or housing to be used as the hatchery must be sufficiently large enough to accommodate the necessary equipment. Uninterrupted power and water supply must also be a key feature of your premises. The hatchery business plan should include the costs of purchasing or leasing the premises and housing.


There is a broad range of specialized equipment required for a hatchery business. The most basic things you will need are feeding troughs, water troughs, brooders and other related equipment such as baskets, buckets and the like. Air conditioners are also necessary for the regulation of temperatures at optimum levels. You will also need refrigerators, egg incubators, hatchers, setters and back-up power generators. Electric equipment for de-beaking and testing the eggs will be needed. You must also have the relevant weighing equipment and safety clothing. All the costs of purchasing the equipment should be included in your hatchery business plan.

Staff And Management

There is a dire need for hands-on personnel most of the time. There are several processes involved in the hatchery businesses so many hands are needed on deck. For instance laid eggs need to be cleaned and transferred to various places within the hatchery along the way. Eggs also have to be examined and sorted before the actual hatching process. Not to mention the basic feeding and watering so there are so many things that need attention. Your staffing and management needs will obviously depend on your scale of production. The wages and salaries of all your staff should be accounted for in the hatchery business plan.

In the hatchery business you must cultivate and adhere to high standards of hygiene. Disease outbreaks can be ruthless in this line of business. Even worse the diseases involved here can degenerate to become extremely harmful to humans. So it is crucial that you promote and maintain pristine levels of cleanliness when doing this business.