Proper farm locations
The right location for your poultry farm depends on the size of your business, local zoning
laws, and whether your chickens will be free ranging or kept in a coop or run. If you will
be operating a commercial venture you will want to have enough land to run the business
without causing odor problems or noise for other residents. You will also want to consider
whether the business is close to a feed store or will feed be delivered and it is important to
identify where your customers are located.
Invest with the best breed of chickens
One of the first things to consider when starting your poultry business is what poultry
breeds you will be raising. There are breeds that are better for egg production, and backyard
businesses. Popular breeds include the Rhode Island Red, the Wayndotte, the Ameraucana
and the Orpington. Check with other local chicken farmers or breeder to see which breeds
do the best in your area.
Find a trusted chicken supplier
Finding the right supplier for your flock is probably the most important decision you will
make in starting your poultry farm. A good place to begin your search for a reputable breed-
er is your local agricultural State University Cooperative Extension Service. They can often
provide information on local poultry farming. Ask other poultry farmers for recommend-
ations and check references on the business. Some large commercial outfits that ship live
chicks send baby roosters as packing material to keep the female chicks warm. Chicks that
are shipped through the mail will be without food or water for several days and can be ex-
posed to extreme temperatures.
Know what breed you are hatching
One way to find a good supplier if you are ordering live chicks or hatching fertilized eggs
is to ask whether the supplier will be able to ensure that you will receive the exact breed
that you want. Suppliers who ship fertilized eggs should provide breed codes with each
Don't buy mixed breed hatching eggs
Not all poultry breeders agree with the premise that you should not breed chickens from
mixed breed eggs. However some breeders believe that mixed breed eggs can be problem-
atic and in some cases not viable.
Avoid overcrowding chickens
The more space you can provide chickens the happier they will be. Chickens that are kept
in small coops are likely to be exposed to unhealthy levels of manure and are more likely