Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Making Money with Poultry

If you're a struggling chicken rancher then I'd recommend you pick up a copy of Pastured Poultry Profits by Joel Salatin. The book covers a lot of bases with raising chickens for profit but also has some discussions related to keeping it small enough to have a great product but also have some decent net profit to keep yourself in the black. He seems to have a decent grasp of the general market and really wants to get homegrown, semi-organic, free range (although some might argue that his aren't "pure" free ranged. He discusses the minuses of catering so much to customers that you attract the complainers. All around I enjoyed his approach and if we get a larger acreage we might give it a shot.

Just applying a few of the issues he touches on has saved one chicken and is allowing us to generate some side income with minimal effort. The subtitle of the book is "Net $25,000 in 6 months on 20 acres". If you don't have 20 acres don't worry, just take what he discusses and scale it to your operation. The books doesn't lay it out in an all or nothing approach so it is easy to take what he presents and use it on a smaller scale.

I've provided the chapter titles below for those of you wanting a better overview of the book.

Why Pastured Poultry?
Chapter 1 - The Pastured Poultry Opportunity
Chapter 2 - What is Wrong With the Poultry Industry?
Chapter 3 - Fat Animals, Fat People
Chapter 4 - Family Background

In the Beginning
Chapter 5 - Getting Started
Chapter 6 - Choosing a Breed
Chapter 7 - The Brooder
Chapter 8 - Starting the Chicks
Chapter 9 - Ration

Out to Pasture
Chapter 10 - The Pen
Chapter 11 - Moving the Chicks Out to Pasture
Chapter 12 - Pasture Logistics
Chapter 13 - What Kind of Pasture?

Chapter 14 - On-Farm Slaughter: The Advantages
Chapter 15 - Slaughter Mechanics
Chapter 16 - Composting Slaughter Wastes
Chapter 17 - Inspection

Chapter 18 - The Learning Curve
Chapter 19 - Sickness and Death
Chapter 20 - Predators
Chapter 21 - Weather
Chapter 22 - Stress
Chapter 23 - Troubleshooting Poor Performance
Chapter 24 - Shortcuts
Chapter 25 - Seasonality
Chapter 26 - Solving Your Own Problems

Chapter 27 - Marketing
Chapter 28 - Relationship Marketing
Chapter 29 - Advertising
Chapter 30 - Liability
Chapter 31 - Is It Organic?

Chapter 32 - Vision
Chapter 33 - Laying Hens: 3 Options
Chapter 34 - Turkeys
Chapter 35 - Exotics

Appendix A - Resources
Appendix B - Newsletters
What is the Difference?
Addendum for 1996 Reprinting
Addendum for 1999 Reprinting

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