The Egg Farm sector in the United States generated $10.1 billion in revenue this year. It is also projected to grow by 1.4% in 2023. However, there are some challenges that egg farmers are currently facing, with the market size declining by an average of 3.2% between 2018 and 2023.
Despite these challenges, starting an egg farm can be a lucrative business opportunity. Egg farms provide employment opportunities, with 112,723 jobs being created by egg farmers. The average salary for an egg farmer is $49,450.
There are four different types of egg farming business models to choose from. Conventional Cages, also known as factory farms, provide protection for hens but have ethical concerns and limited space. Enriched Colony Housing Units offer more space and privacy for hens, resulting in better welfare and increased egg production. Cage-Free Systems allow hens to roam freely within a structure, promoting natural behaviors but also requiring larger space and higher costs. Free Range farms allow hens to roam outside, providing the best welfare for hens but also requiring the most land and facing predator risks.
When starting an egg farm, it is recommended to have a standard area of 2 acres. However, it is important to check local and state ordinances for any restrictions on bird keeping. Starting with a flock size of 50 to 100 hens allows for resource management and skill development.
To start an egg farm, it is crucial to create a business plan that includes projected income, operational costs, and startup costs. Market research is important to identify profitable egg types and current trends. It is also necessary to form a legal entity and register the egg business. Choosing a simple and easily recognizable name and brand is advised. Opening a business bank account with a federal EIN provides personal liability protection and financial benefits.
New farmers should obtain the necessary permits for raising poultry in their area and learn as much as they can about egg farming. Deciding on the poultry breed to keep depends on factors like climate and egg production goals. Suitable housing for baby chicks and egg-laying hens should be provided, considering factors like ventilation and predator protection. Good farming practices that prioritize hen health and animal welfare should be followed.
When it comes to egg production, different housing systems have their advantages. Cage-free housing is recommended for ramping up egg production, as it provides hens with freedom and improves their health. Selling eggs can be done through various channels such as farmers markets, roadside stands, grocery stores, online stores, restaurants, community-supported agriculture (CSA), and subscription services. Each channel has its own advantages and challenges, and it is important to comply with regulations and meet quality standards.
Starting an egg farm can be a rewarding business venture that contributes to the economy and provides employment opportunities. With careful planning, research, and implementation of best practices, entrepreneurs can successfully enter the egg farming industry.