Culling hens in the process of removing old, unprofitable layer hens (costing you more to feed than they pay you back in eggs) from your flock and selling them for meat.
You’ll have to calculate the appropriate break-even point to know when your hens are spent.
But armed with this information, you’ll have sight of when is the time to turn your golden oldies into exit income.
Why is culling hens important?
Culling layer hens is a type purging your production line of profit drain.
Layer birds cost to keep. With feed accounting for as much as 70% of your farm expenses.
As long as they lay enough good quality eggs, the amount you make in eggs sales money will outrun feed costs.
But as layers age, their egg productivity declines and so does their profitability.
There comes a point when the relationship tips in the opposite direction – and steeply.
At which point they quickly become unprofitable. This is the point of cull.
Cutting future losses by selling them off and making room in your farm for the next batch of layers to take their place.
Get ready buyers prepared
Economic disposal of spent hens should never be an afterthought.
You’ll want to have your culling of layer hens hard-wired into your business model.
Keeping a consistent production profile and therefore profitability outlook will mean you’ll have to be uncompromising in your timings for culling.
As culled hens are a perishable product, much like broiler chicken,
To make sure you convert the product into profit, you MUST have ready buyers already prepared in advance.
This way, as soon as your culled hens hit fall below their targeted productivity they are separated and presented for sale to your spent hen buyers.
Give culling hens the attention of its own
See your spent hen sales like a broiler operation.
They warrant the attention of an entirely separate business unit.
Whilst they don’t compare to your mainline layer egg profits, they do contribute a considerable margin on the bottom line of your layer farming business.
Consider all the same specialist care you take on egg production and sales for spent hens too.
Make your marketing count in this area and you’ll maximise your sales margin.
Make a strategic partner
There are many potential buyers of spent hens out there who are just waiting to hear from you.
Think of all the processed food companies which want to increase their margin on sales, but deliver the most profitable ingredients.
Broiler meat is relatively expensive and will be prohibitive for processed foods companies.
But spent hens (of good enough quality) will provide the same nutritional benefit, taste and substance – but at a slightly lower cost.
Such partners will want to secure long term supply deals locking in the value with forward pricing (agreed in advance).
This kind of strategic partnership can prove a very advantageous bolt on to your layer farming profits.
Focus on getting the match right
Spent hen meat doesn’t appeal to everyone nor is it suitable for every use.
It tends to be less tender, darker, stronger flavoured and therefore quite estranged from the broiler product which consumers are so used to.
But that said, spent hen meat IS ideal for MANY other uses – especially in the processed foods sector.
Research and get your match right.