How to Start an Organic Chicken Farm

••• Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images

Explore America's Campgrounds

As more consumers move to organic foods, organic farmers are cashing in. If your location lacks an organic chicken farmer, or can support more than one, and you would genuinely enjoy the challenges of farming and self-employment, why not start your own organic chicken farm? The United States Department of Agriculture is the certifying authority for organic farmers. In addition to meeting federal standards, you must adhere to approved farming methods to be considered an organic farmer.

    Learn the eligibility requirements for organic chicken farmers. To get certified, you will need to provide information on the type of operation you own, a 3-year history of the land your chicken farm resides on, information about how your chickens are being raised, and an organic system plan that details the substances and practices used on your chicken farm.

    Read literature on raising chickens and roosters. You’ll need to know the various breeds and their egg production rates, what they eat, longevity and which types produce the best eggs.

    Select a location for your chicken farm that has a history of being free of any chemicals that would make you ineligible for certification. Ensure that the landowner can provide you with details for at least three years on any chemicals or substances that were used on the land. If you intend to farm free-range chickens, you’ll likely need more land. USDA requirements for free-range chickens are relatively lax--chickens must simply have access to the outside.

    Register your business with your county clerk and purchase liability insurance for your business. Contact your bank or find a provider.

    Construct or purchase laying boxes, chicken coops and chicken pens for your poultry farm. Your coop should protect your chickens from wind, rain and extreme temperatures as well as predators and parasites. Generally, in a coop, hens need at least 3 square feet each. Implement a system that dispenses clean water. Implement a natural technique for pest control. Purchase organic feed for your chickens and a range feeder.

    Purchase a flock of chickens and a rooster for every ten hens from a reputable supplier. Have your chickens regularly inspected by a veterinarian.

    Items you will need

    • Soil statement

    • Organic system plan

    • Business license

    • Liability insurance

    • Chickens

    • Rooster

    • Coop

    • Pen

    • Organic feed

    • Water dispense system

    Tips

    • Join your Chamber of Commerce. Set up shop at Farmer's Markets. Submit your farm to local directories.

References

Resources

About the Author

Shanika Chapman has been writing business-related articles since 2009. She holds a Bachelor of Science in social science from the University of Maryland University College. Chapman also served for four years in the Air Force and has run a successful business since 2008.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images