When you’re first starting out raising chickens, you may not think you’ll get to the level where you’d be turning a profit. Most farms start with only a few chickens, and then slowly turn into a broiler farm over time, or at least start to entertain the idea.
If you’re reading this, you may be thinking about taking the next step in your broiler business. But there are a few things you should consider before you spread your wings and think about leaving the coop. We’re here to talk you through those considerations and the steps you should take before purchasing your Freedom Ranger chicks!
Know the Laws and Regulations for a Broiler Farm
The laws for raising and selling chickens vary from state to state. If you are interested in more information on USDA or Pennsylvania guidelines, please visit these sites to learn about producer thresholds in PA and USDA regulations.
What Kind of Housing Is Available?
Once the legalities are out of the way, you’ll need to think about what kind of housing you’re going to have available for your birds. We’ve written on many topics regarding the health and safety of your chickens in our blog, so you may already know how important it is to keep your birds in a healthy environment.
At Freedom Ranger, we think it’s vital that we let our chickens do what comes most naturally to them—and that’s to be a chicken! Our chickens are raised in free-range, organic environments in order to bring our customers the highest-quality birds. Here are a few things you should consider if you’re looking to raise your birds similarly:
- Feed/Water: Broilers are not typically raised in cages, but instead are grown in what we call a growout house. These houses are more comfortable for the birds, but they also allow for an easier (and automated) distribution of food and water.
- Ventilation: Depending on where your broiler farm is located, summers and winters can be very extreme as far as temperatures go. And since young chickens are unable to regulate their body temperature, it’s crucial that you have fans to help ventilate in the summer, as well as heaters to keep them warmer in the winter. This will help keep the mortality rate of your broiler chickens down, so you avoid unnecessary losses.
- Cleanliness/Biosecurity: No matter the size of your chicken farm, you should always practice good biosecurity to keep the rate of disease and infection Keeping bedding dry will go a long way in promoting a clean and disease-free environment, so make sure you have good practices in place.
How Much Space Do You Have?
The amount of space you have is going to be the ultimate deciding factor on how many chicks you’ll order from Freedom Ranger Hatchery. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll need to have 2 square feet of indoor space per chicken as they grow larger. For outdoor space, think more along the lines of 8 to 10 square feet per bird. If you plan to have a smaller flock (under 1,000), you likely already have the space you need.
When you purchase chicks from Freedom Ranger for your broiler farm, also consider the price or savings you may have if you are buying more. For example, purchasing under 50 female chicks will cost you $2.10 per chick, between 50 and 100 will cost $1.55, 100 to 499 $1.15, and then anything 500+ will only be $1 per bird. Just be mindful of the general measurements we mentioned earlier before you make a purchase.
Ready to Make Your Purchase?
Once you’re ready to purchase your chicks, you can give us a call or place an order directly online. We have several options available when you order our broilers, including your choice of gender, straight runs, non-GMO chicks, as well as the option to vaccinate for Marek’s Disease. We also have several types of birds that can be used for egg-laying instead of on a broiler farm—whatever you’re looking for; we’re happy to help.
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about our birds, how to order, or if you’d like more information on our delivery process.