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Feasibility study on creating an organic Chicken Farm

PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:48 am
by Maitland123
We are looking for anyone who could help us do a feasibility study on creating from scratch an organic chicken farm for the production of organic chicken meat. The model we are considering would be similar in nature to Bostock Organics.
Please contact me if this is an area you are familiar with, we are happy to pay a good fee to the right person to help us through this exercise.

Re: Feasibility study on creating an organic Chicken Farm

PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 9:16 am
by Marina
Hi Maitland and welcome to PC.

Where in New Zealand are you? Do you want to raise meat birds for eating or produce eggs?

I know somebody who used to have an organic chicken farm to produce eggs and his main problem was to source organic feed for his hens. Also the organic feed available was very variable in protein content and therefore his egg supply was variable. Instead of 80% laying he sometimes got less than 40%, depending on the batch of feed.

He started with a flock of 1000 Hyline layers. During the first night he lost almost 200 of them due to smothering - they had not learnt to roost. He also lost half a dozen or so per day to harriers while they were free ranging in a paddock.

While I can't offer to do a feasibility study I can encourage you to do some very preliminary work: check whether organic feed is available in your area and how much it costs. Ask the possible supplier for a copy for his feed analysis - every batch should be checked for protein content. I stopped using organic feed for my hens when I paid 3 times as much for it as for the non-organic feed. Two weeks after switching over to non-organic feed laying increased dramatically.

An open paddock is not really suitable for organic production. You need shelter - trees, shrubs, bushes, flax, etc. This encourages the hens to lay there which is counterproductive. Harriers are a partially protected species so you can't just shoot or trap them. Back when this person I know had his organic chicken farm, harriers were a protected species and penalties for killing one were horrendous.

Much worse than harriers - who prefer to eat carrion - is the New Zealande falcon. A formidable hunter and fully protected with a prison sentence to look forward to when you get caught killing one.

So if you have a property available with natural shelter so the harrier can't efficiently hunt, not in an area where NZ falcon live and hunt, a reliable supply of organic feed, an outlet where to sell the eggs and a supplier of pullets who have already learnt to roost it's time to do the feasibility study.

Best of luck - it will be a challenging journey but with the ever increasing demand for organic food it's a well worth project.

Re: Feasibility study on creating an organic Chicken Farm

PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:05 am
by Maitland123
Hello Marina

Thanks for your reply. I should have clarified, we are looking to start an organic chicken farm for for chicken meat production.


Re: Feasibility study on creating an organic Chicken Farm

PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 2:43 pm
by Marina
Ok, and where in NZ are you? I do know someone who does this in Canterbury. There certainly is space for another player in the market.

This person raises 1 batch per year as the ground takes the remainder of the year to recover. They have huge freezers as all of them are killed at the same time. As the birds sit on the ground most of the time soil temperature has to be above a certain value. For broilers you need feed even higher in protein than for layers and it's not easy to get. Make sure you have a supplier first as there are agreements out there between suppliers and farmers: I guarantee that you get all the feed I produce and you agree to not buy from anyone else, even if they offer a cheaper deal.