If you've ever dreamed of waking up to the crow of rooster or having fresh eggs for breakfast, then you might consider starting your own poultry farm. However, like any business, starting a poultry farm requires research, equipment and start-up capital. If you live in a town or city, regulations might require a different location for your poultry farm (and your neighbours might not appreciate the crow of the rooster as much as you).
Learn everything you can about chickens, including their dietary and shelter requirements, lifespans, and egg laying information. Find information about chickens through poultry organisations such as The Coop or online resources such as Poultry One. Also, decide whether your goal is to raise chickens for meat or for eggs. It makes a difference in the type of breed you'll purchase. The more you know about chickens will ensure you're better equipped to handle problems and manage your farm.
Find a location. Typically, it's illegal to raise farm animals in suburban residential zones, so a location outside of the city will be necessary. Determine how large you want your farm to be and how many chickens you plan to raise. A poultry farm usually requires 10 square meters per bird. Purchase too little land, and the chickens will end up trespassing into the neighbour's yards. Purchase too much, and that adds unnecessary business expenses. However, purchasing a larger portion of land allows you to expand later on.
Purchase chickens and a rooster from a reputable supplier to ensure your birds are healthy and well-bred. There are several suppliers online, though the best method is to ask other local poultry farmers for suggestions. Poultry farmers can be found at local farmers markets or in online directories such as Magic Yellow, or by contacting a farmers organisation such as the Farmers of North America at fna.ca.
Acquire poultry farm supplies. Supplies include coops, incubators, heat lamps, and chicken feed. Poultry farm supplies can be purchased from local farm supply stores, such as Atwoods, or from reputable online chickens suppliers such as McMurray Hatchery.
Register the poultry farm as a business. If you intend to sell chickens, chicken meat, or eggs, the poultry farm must be registered as a business. Check business requirements in the state the poultry farm is located. More information on how to register a business can be found at the U.S. Small Business Administration at sba.gov.
Hire a veterinarian to routinely inspect the flock. A veterinarian can keep the flock healthy so it can continue to produce quality eggs and meats. A veterinarian can also warn you of potential problems and instruct you on preventive measures to keep the flock from getting sick.