Our homestead goals are to not only be self-sufficient, but to also make money homesteading so that all of our time can be put into our homestead (and other things we enjoy) and not in full-time jobs working for other people. Setting up a profitable homestead takes a lot of work – both in planning and in execution. But it is possible. One important thing we have learned in our effort to have a profitable homestead is that each expense should generate MULTIPLE streams of revenue. Learning how to make money homesteading with chickens is a wonderful way to make a profitable homestead. This is due to the fact that you can generate multiple streams of revenue with them.
(Check this page out for some basics on profitable homesteading as well as the worksheets that we use to track our goals.)
Here are 6 ways to make money homesteading with chickens:
1) Sell hatching eggs. Hatching eggs can be a great stream of revenue during times that you don’t want to hatch chicks. They are certainly much less work than actually doing the chick hatching (and possible chick brooding) on your own. Hatching eggs can be as simple as running a rooster with a group of hens and not focusing on any specific breed. These chicks would be barnyard mixes. Or, you can set up specialized breeding pens and hatch pure bred chicks which you can charge a premium price for.
2) Sell Compost. If you have chickens, you will have a lot of chicken poop. This chicken poop doesn’t just have to get cleaned out of your coop and left in a pile in the middle of nowhere. You can get a compost pile going and sell this as compost for gardens. Composted chicken poop is AWESOME in the garden.
3) Meat Birds. There are two options for selling meat birds. First, you want to do some research on your local laws about selling chickens for meat. Different states have different regulations on what processing facilities you may need to use and other regulations. Your two options are to raise the birds to butchering age and butcher/process them on your own (or at a processing plant). You would then be selling the finished product – whole chickens, chicken thighs etc. Your other option is to raise the birds to butchering age and sell them at that age for the buyer to process.
4) Sell Chicks. Selling chicks can be a really great profit margin. So, it is a great revenue stream to add if you want to make money homesteading with chickens. As with selling hatching eggs, you can sell barnyard mix chicks, or you can sell purebred chicks. Purebred chicks will sell for a much higher price (and it costs the same to feed them). However, if you don’t have a lot of space or many pens to separate breeds, barnyard mixes may be the way to go. To get the most out of where you can sell your chicks, you should look into getting your NPIP certification.
5) Pullets. Pullets are another great way to make money homesteading with chickens. Many people only want to buy guaranteed girls. If you hatch your own chicks and sell them as young babies, you likely won’t be able to tell their sex. To sell pullets, you can either grow out your own hatches (cull the roosters for meat birds) or you can buy hatchery sexed pullets and grow them out to be coop ready. Selling pullets can be a really good profit margin also, but it is a bit time consuming.
6) Eating Eggs. If you just have a large layer flock, you can sell eating eggs. Selling eating eggs can be tricky to get a good profit on. You will want to make sure you have your feed situation streamlined and that you have cut your feed costs as much as possible. If you monitor your feed costs and sell your eggs at the right price, it is possible to make money with chickens doing this also.
These 6 ways to make money homesteading with chickens can really help jump start your homesteading money making business. Remember, with any business, you need to be sure to set the right prices, track expenses and revenue. Then adjust to be sure you are making a decent profit for your efforts. For more on help with profitable homesteading, check out our profitable homesteading worksheets that we use for our chicken products.