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Small Farms Income – Livestock – Birds

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Eggs for hatching

Selling unfertilized eggs for people to cook with brings you into competition with a huge number of other producers. Although your eggs might be superior in flavor and quality the buyer might not feel that they feel like paying the higher price you have to charge for the extra costs of organic poultry production.

You can, however, definitely charge a higher price for fertilized hatching eggs for chickens, ducks and quail, particularly if you are offering a rare or in-demand heirloom breed.


Whatever type of poultry you raise, you can sell extra chicks (or pullets – young hens under a year old), ducklings, turkey poults and quail chicks for profit, especially in the spring for even more money than you can raise from hatching eggs (although of course it is more work and costs more to raise them.) Hatchlings do not take up a big area of your land and they do not need much food.

You could also consider selling a complete setup for someone who wants backyard chickens which could include feeders, waterers, starter feed, and a heat lamp.

incubator with eggs
Incubator with eggs and newly hatched chicks

Guinea fowl

Guinea fowl are excellent for pest control, especially for getting rid of ticks. And they make good alarms when predators are near. They will even gang up on and eat snakes. They can also be bred for meat, eggs and young and their very distinctive feathers.


Quail take up very little space, have a great feed-to-egg conversion ratio, reproduce and grow quickly, and are not nearly as regulated as chickens. You can raise them for both meat and eggs and for the sale of their chicks.


Ostriches can be raised for their particularly lean meat, for their giant eggs, highly sought-after feathers and for their young. They can also create a special attraction for paying visitors to your farm, though they do need to be carefully controlled to maintain safety.


Emus can be raised for eggs, feathers, young and emu oil (for cosmetic products), as well as a source of interest at a zoo.  They are not really suitable for a petting zoo as they can be aggressive.  And yes, their eggs really are that amazing color and can be used in jewelry making!

Emu egg
Emu egg on the ground


Note: dollar amounts mentioned are given at time of publishing and subject to change.

Please see the Earnings Disclaimer associated with these articles.

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