When considering starting up a poultry farm,
You may have asked the question,
Well, the answer is: it depends.
[Ok, maybe not exactly what you were looking for. But it’s true.]
…and much more.
But if I were to put my spin on it,
I’d consider layer farming to have some very distinct advantages over broiler farming.
Hear me out…
- Consistent cash flow
- No processing
- Easier delivery
- Less house cleaning costs
- Spent hen income
Consistent cash flow
Layers lay once per day, on average.
By nature, therefore, you have an advantage in that your layer farm will produce marketable product – EVERY day.
As with any product, you’ll want to hand over the goods asap.
Thinking things through, this would mean that your business will bring in sales revenue every day.
Cash coming in daily makes all the difference to keeping on top of expenses…
…and being able to tie up loose financial ends, readily.
There should always be money available in hand put towards something, or other.
Meat needs processing.
Eggs at most require cleaning, grading, and packaging but nothing anywhere near as intensive as broiler meat.
The post-production procedure is far less costly with layer farms compared with broiler farms.
Less cost = more profitability.
According to this breakdown provided by North Carolina State University,
Broiler meat processing fees can amount to as much as 18.6 – 21.6% of the total costs of production.
For a layer farm you’ll need:
- Packaging (recurring)
- Labelling (recurring)
…but, the cost, in the long run, is less with egg preparation than meat with processing.
Physically delivering product to market is less complicated with eggs, than meat.
Eggs require nothing more than trays/boxes for transporting to customers.
Broiler meat requires refrigeration or the way for delivery.
And if you have used a 3rd party processor/slaughterhouse,
Then getting live birds to lairage also requires cost:
- Evisceration etc.
Eggs don’t require any more doing to them other than packaging and labelling.
No vehicle modification.
No slaughter/ evisceration.
Far less hassle.
Most likely you’ll run deliveries from your mini-van rather than use a logistics partner.
Less house cleaning cost
With layer farming, you’d accommodate the same flock for 70 weeks.
Deep cleaning only once, in between batches.
In the same period of time, an equivalent broiler farmer would have incurred 10x deep clean costs.
A very simple point to make and one for cost consideration.
Spent hen income
At the end of their egg-laying peak of production, layer hens become unprofitable.
At such time they are culled.
Another batch of layer birds is usually waiting in the wings to take the place of your recent end-of-lay batch.
As for the spent hens, they possess lower quality meat than standard broilers.
Their meat is usually smaller, lighter, and less tender.
As such, they attract a much lower price than their higher-performing relatives at market.
That said, there IS a market for spent hens.
Taking yours to market will help you recoup further ROI on every egg is sold.
The bottom line…
Layer farming and broiler farming are twinned towns in the agri-sector.
Related, they share similarities, but their differences cannot be denied.
Layer farming has distinct business model advantages that might better suit your expectations.
Consider the business profile of each mode of poultry farming and settle on what works best toward achieving your goals.
And now, I’d like to hear from you:
Are you a former broiler farmer who is looking to switch codes?
Are you new to poultry and want to tread carefully in decision making?
Either way, write me back and let me know.
I read every comment.