Egg farms in the United States had a market size by revenue of $10.1 bn this year alone. Egg production as an industry is also expected to increase by 1.4% in 2023.
But egg farmers are facing a few headwinds. The industry’s market size declined 3.2% on average between 2018 and 2023. Wondering how to start a farm of your own? Read this.
Why Egg Farms Are a Good Business to Get Into
Most egg farms contribute to the employment and economy in several different states. Egg farmers provide 112,723 jobs. Here’s a link to the total economic impact.
Glassdoor has the average salary for an egg farmer pegged at $49,450.
The 4 Types of Egg Farming
Egg farming is a good choice when sorting through organic agriculture business ideas. If you’re going to produce eggs, you need to choose from one of four different business models.
Conventional Cages (Factory Farms)
This type of hen housing was designed to protect the hens from predators and the elements. Raised floor cages were brought in the 1940s. And conveyor belts in the 1960s.
UEP Certified guidelines for hen care were released in 2002.
Enriched Colony Housing Units
Each hen has more square feet with this system. Orange folds are added as privacy curtains. Scratch pads for laying hens equals more egg production.
Cage Free Systems
Cage-free hens can wander freely. However, even cage-free farms restrict the chickens to the hen housing structure. Still, the birds can perch on roosts and lay eggs in nests.
Hens are not caged here. They are cage-free, and they get to roam around outside. The cost of feeding the chickens is lower. Part of their natural behaviors includes foraging. The hens can at least partially feed themselves.
This option is an integral part of having a green business model. Plus, any enclosed area is harder to keep clean.
How Much Land Do Egg Farmers Need?
The standard area when you’re starting is 2 acres. Farmers must check ordinances that prohibit the type or number of birds they can keep. A flock of 50 to 100 hens is good at first.
Start by Planning the Egg Farm Business
Here’s a graphic on the best states to start a farm. And some information on the steps aspiring farmers should take.
Create an Egg Farm Business Plan
There are several steps you need to take to get this right. An important part is the financial plan. Your farm business plan should include projected income, operational costs, and startup costs.
Do Market Research
Finding the most profitable eggs is important. Social media can help identify current trends. Cover items like demographics, market size, and key competitors. You may also research other types of farms, like how to start potato farming.
Form a Legal Entity and Register Your Egg Business
Your business structure and your location will determine how you need to proceed. Many small businesses in the egg industry will only need to register a business name with local and state governments.
Becoming a legal entity is as simple as filling out a federal tax ID for many businesses.
Name and Brand Your Egg Farm Business
The vast majority of successful brands and names are simple. Avoid hard-to-spell names. Grab a domain name, preferably a .com
Open a Business Bank Account
Get a federal EIN. These offer personal liability protection. And a line of credit to sell more eggs.
A Simple Guide to Starting Egg Farming
Here are a few steps for new farmers.
Check What Permits May be Needed to Raise Poultry in Your Area
Here’s a link for keeping hens in your yard. Permits for businesses depend on where you grow this food. For example, A Washington State Egg Handler/Dealer License is needed.
Learn Everything You Can About Egg Farming
There’s some good information if you’re looking at a small-scale operation right here. For example, one of the quickest ways to get started is to have a flock of 50 to 100 hands in an existing facility.
Choose which Poultry Breed to Keep
There are a variety of chicken breeds to choose from. Some hens are for meat production, their appearance, or egg production. The climate is important because some hen breeds struggle in the heat. Other birds produce different-sized eggs. You get the most eggs from breeds like the Rhode Island Red and Leghorn.
Obtain or Build Suitable Housing for Baby Chicks and Egg Laying Hens
Purchasing day-old birds is less risky than starting with older birds. A well-ventilated dry location is best. Hens and baby birds need to be kept in a separate house. New chickens can be added to the family flock when they are eight weeks old.
Baby chicks should be kept on burlap. Loose bedding is mistaken for feed.
Consider the Best Farming Practices for Hen Health and Animal Welfare
Hens raised in a cage don’t do as well as those that roam. They don’t have room to spread their wings.
Here are some other longer profitable business ideas selling eggs accounting for hen health.
Begin Egg Production
Consider cage-free housing when you ramp up egg production.
- Hens need a good diet. Their food needs protein and fat to produce good eggs. Their feathers will benefit.
- Some conventional cages have wire mesh floors so hen’s manure falls through. And sloped floors so eggs roll to conveyor belts.
- Good egg products come from hens kept in enriched colony housing units.
- A hen’s health is improved when they can roam outside to lay eggs.
There are several places to sell this food. Tens of thousands of eggs get sold in these locations.
Eggs from hens and ducks do well when selling at farmers markets.
People love to eat this food when it’s authentic. A high-traffic location sells more eggs.
You might need a state license.
Is an Egg Farm Profitable?
According to IBIS World, this food is a $10 billion industry. With the right hens, you can be part of the 13% growth in profit from 2017 to 2022.
What Are The Downsides of Egg Farming?
There are some drawbacks to this type of chicken farming.
- You can lose many hens to poultry diseases like Fowl Cholera.
- Chicks can only be hatched in the presence of non-acidic clean water. The ground will need to be tested before you begin.
- Methane, carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gases are produced.
The Bottom Line
Egg farming is one of the oldest farming enterprises. Requirements are changing the way each hen and male chicks get treated. And there are food safety checks.
Egg Farm FAQs
Do Hens Lay Eggs All Year Round?
Yes. But they need 14 to 16 hours of light. These animals produce in those conditions.
What do You Call an Egg Farm?
Here are some ideas.
How do I Start Egg Farming?
Start small with about 50 hens. If you’re wondering how to start farming without money, that’s impossible.
Is Egg Farming Ethical?
Yes, but you need to care for the birds properly, including what they eat. However, a large percentage still suffers from broken bones. And some hens have their beaks cut with a hot blade.
Food safety is handled at several levels to reduce Salmonella enteritidis (SE) and other issues.
Are Free Range Systems Best for Keeping Hens?
These chickens produce better-eating eggs. It’s becoming a standard practice. They can dust and bathe outside.
Image: Envato Elements
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