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Market For Pheasant Chicks And Poults


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#1 Rabid

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 12:43 pm

As some of you know, I run a few incubators and hatchers, I have 24/7 access to 80 plus acres of grass, buildings, water and electricity, and live on site.

I always hatch a few pheasants and partridge, just a small hobby really, and I give them to local farms and shoots, in return I get a bit of shooting, ferreting, bales of straw and such likes, all very fine and dandy, I enjoy it and it works.

But, I am seriously thinking about upping the pheasant and partridge side of things, getting a laying pen set up, and rearing in larger numbers, all stuff I can do (25-30 years ago we used to hatch 30k plus), but I have been out the rearing for many years as above, and all the keepers and shoots we supplied have either gone, changed hands or lost contact with, so I was wondering if there is still a market out there (obviously there is) or if it has all been taken by the big boys, I know a few hatcheries who do this on a monsterous scale, so wanted to gauge your opinions if it's viable still, as I know the costs of setting up, it's not in the realms of a hobbyist.

All opinions welcome, whether you think I am a twat, mental, or give it a go, please don't be shy.

#2 Miesque

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Posted 08 May 2016 - 12:53 pm

The industrial places like BettwsHall can sell chicks and young birds for what it will cost a small place to rear them - numbers game. It's hard to see how the small places can compete



#3 Rabid

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 10:33 am

The industrial places like BettwsHall can sell chicks and young birds for what it will cost a small place to rear them - numbers game. It's hard to see how the small places can compete

Yes I can see the problem there, my 'theory' is,

I already have the labour invested in the hatching I am doing, that's a fixed weekly cost already, but with lots of spare time, so the extra work would fill the week, and possibly more, so I would be looking to invest more of my own time in future.

I already have the incubators running, but far from full capacity, so I am paying those costs and not making full use of it.

The buildings and fields have no cost to me.

The bulk costs would be building the pens, sheds and equipment (brooders, drinkers, feeders etc) and the added consumables, (gas and electricity) water is already paid so no extra costs there, obviously there will be a n increase in labour during the initial construction of these.

I have accounts with a certain feed merchant direct from source and have some very good prices agreed on the account, so I possibly wouldn't be so far from what any other company would be paying for feed, and certainly a lot less than some I have heard.

I agree the big boys are producing cheap by virtue of numbers, but I see an edge for me in that my running costs for production are lower than most people can achieve to start with.

Basically, what I am saying, this would obviously have to be a viable business, but most of the costs I am already either paying, or are covered, so the main expense for me would be equipment for the fields, (I am realistic that I am looking into tens of thousands here).

Thanks for the reply, it gives me some more insight into what I need to be looking and thinking about.

#4 Crosshair

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 10:55 am

Yes I think it certainly is viable. The price for poults varies considerably so you really need to be churning out top quality produce to get the best possible price. That's your way to steal custom from the big boys too I think.
I guess the first step is to gauge interest locally. Find out which shoots are having issues with wandering, poor flying or poor returns as those guys will be looking to change things up.
If everything is working, it's hard to get a keeper to change their supplier.

I buy from a large supplier but get A1 stock, service and delivery from them.
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#5 Rabid

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 11:58 am

Yes I think it certainly is viable. The price for poults varies considerably so you really need to be churning out top quality produce to get the best possible price. That's your way to steal custom from the big boys too I think.
I guess the first step is to gauge interest locally. Find out which shoots are having issues with wandering, poor flying or poor returns as those guys will be looking to change things up.
If everything is working, it's hard to get a keeper to change their supplier.
I buy from a large supplier but get A1 stock, service and delivery from them.


One of the comments we used to get on a weekly basis were just how hardy our poults were, and how they had never known birds to fly so well, to this day I don't know what we were doing that made them so special, but some of the toughest keepers we supplied gave us praise, and by all accounts they never gave praise to anyone for anything, so guess we were doing something right.
Thanks for your input
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#6 devon flighter

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 05:11 pm

 

 

 

Yes I think it certainly is viable. The price for poults varies considerably so you really need to be churning out top quality produce to get the best possible price. That's your way to steal custom from the big boys too I think.
I guess the first step is to gauge interest locally. Find out which shoots are having issues with wandering, poor flying or poor returns as those guys will be looking to change things up.
If everything is working, it's hard to get a keeper to change their supplier.
I buy from a large supplier but get A1 stock, service and delivery from them.


One of the comments we used to get on a weekly basis were just how hardy our poults were, and how they had never known birds to fly so well, to this day I don't know what we were doing that made them so special, but some of the toughest keepers we supplied gave us praise, and by all accounts they never gave praise to anyone for anything, so guess we were doing something right.
Thanks for your input

 

crosshair : agree with al, the comments you make 

 

rabid : quality will always win long term  in that game at the end of the day "though there could be some long days initially !"

 

WILL IT WORK ? and cost out ,i cant say for you, but 2 of my friends do it on a reasonable scale successfully  and 1 has done for around 30 years "supplying mostly small shoots who work on providing quality birds to guns " and the other  for 15 years ish providing himself and again small ish quantities of quality birds to shoots who pride themselves on what they provide !

  i also have had contact with someone for 30 odd years (who used to be what i classed as a friend "thats another story now ") who provides paid days and takes in shall we say lesser quality birds and struggles almost annually  providing sporting birds and with suppliers he deals with and has chopped and changed constantly as most of the lower quality suppliers struggle it seems  !!!!!!!!!!

 

i wish you luck if you do go ahead and i can see your logic in how your thinking 


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#7 Qbgrey

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 05:28 pm

A mate does,20,000 poults a year,and he told me he makes £1 per bird.if you got the land and buildings etc I'd go for it,some of these big boys birds aren't to great, on meds all the time,soon as you release pen them they drop like flies.
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#8 Lab

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 05:33 pm

I gave it up 3 years ago now.....glad I'm away from it.
The huge rearing operations are killing it for the small game farms. Rearing in huge sheds with state of the art equipment is very hard to compete against.
I'd say you need to have orders lined up and doing it yourself (odd help at biting time and catching up) you'd need to look at 30-40 thousand to make it worth the time and effort. At a £1-1.50 profit it's not a bad seasons graft if it all goes well.
Apart from the weather the things most annoying is the rising cost of feed, gas and equipment yet the keepers don't want to fork out any more for poults. In the end it's just easier to go with the cheap option and if they have any disasters these huge companies just crates up another few thousand and send them up.
Atb if you go for it.
Oh and see when it's pishing down in the middle of the night and the rain wakes me up.....,I just laugh and go back to sleep now....😂
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#9 sussex

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 06:14 pm

Rob , you know the scale I've been helping out on you would think the market would be saturated , but I also know four other rearing operation within a ten mile radius that ran successfully and have been for a tidy few years..as Lab said 30 to 40 thousand can make it worth it ..all our birds are pre ordered and most years we could still sell more ..the only problem with going big is if it goes wrong it can go wrong big ....
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#10 Rabid

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 07:19 pm

Input appreciated gents, it seems as though my thoughts were about right, it's hard work and during peak season long hours, but it could work.
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#11 devon flighter

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 07:26 pm

  1. a way of life rather than a job ! if your that way inclined try it ,no prizes for regrets later on if you dont try 

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#12 Rabid

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 07:32 pm

Yes mate, that's fine by me, I can't stand bustling round people and towns, fighting traffic, does my nut in, much prefer the piece and quite of the fields and woods, I don't even like visitors ffs.

One of my biggest concerns (apart from having a field full of poults and no customers), is the friggin loonies who think it's a good idea to come let your birds out cos you must be a monster rearing them !

#13 Rabid

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 07:35 pm

  • a way of life rather than a job ! if your that way inclined try it ,no prizes for regrets later on if you dont try 

Defo that way inclined mate, but it's a big investment, not just a 'think I will give that a try this year' it's been on my mind to get back into for maybe the last ten years or so, but am now actually in a position to do it.

#14 Rabid

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 07:38 pm

Rob , you know the scale I've been helping out on you would think the market would be saturated , but I also know four other rearing operation within a ten mile radius that ran successfully and have been for a tidy few years..as Lab said 30 to 40 thousand can make it worth it ..all our birds are pre ordered and most years we could still sell more ..the only problem with going big is if it goes wrong it can go wrong big ....

Cheers Rich, your input means a lot as I know your background and what you do, I did wonder if the market was flooded now, interesting to hear those comments, we only have one small set up near me, he does maybe 3-4 thousand a year, and often heard he could treble that tomorrow if he wanted too ! And he rents everything, land, buildings, and buys his birds in Day old and rears them.

Currently Looking at the pros and cons of going in head first-big numbers, high investment, with returns the first season, or building it up a few thousand a year and investing every year until I get to the size I want, and can handle.

#15 Lab

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Posted 09 May 2016 - 07:49 pm

You'd need to get confirmed orders first before going all guns blazing mate. No point having a great rearing season with a field full of birds white no place for them too go. Once they start hitting 7/8 weeks they don't have eat the profits away.
Don't know what your thoughts on having laying stock but that cuts the cost also. Lengthens the season but defo saves money, especially if you can produce more eggs than you need and you can sell the eggs or trade them for day olds.
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