Backyard chickens turn from hobby to business

Posted at 10:58 PM, Aug 27, 2016
and last updated 2019-03-10 20:11:01-04

Backyards chicken coops are becoming more commonplace.

With some supplies and a couple of chickens, it’s fairly simple to raise chickens as a hobby.

A sales leader at Waco Tractor Supply, Fernando Zambrano, said the store is stocking up due to greater demand.

The birds are typically featured in the spring but more people are asking for them year round.

“People have been asking for them in the fall so we decided to bring them in,” Zambrano said.

Zambrano maintains there are several reasons why people turn chickens into backyard pets. He says the animals can have personality traits, are affectionate, eat insects, and their eggs can be very lucrative.

“They make a lot of money from the eggs they produce. I’ve had customers come in who buy hundreds of chickens and sell their eggs,” said Zambrano.

Feathered Hatchery, a Hillsboro family business, got their start with just a dozen or so birds from the store.

In the past two years, they’ve been able to expand offering over 20 breeds of chicken, quails, pheasants and turkeys they have hundreds of birds.

When they started, Scott and Jody Rhodes wanted to teach their sons, Jeremy and Jamie, about agriculture and how to raise animals. In the past few years, they’ve been able to teach the boys about running a business.

"We have them do specific jobs and they understand. They have to be responsible so it gets them we want them to go outside we want them to learn from their animals and they enjoy it."

The boys help out daily with feeding the chickens and collecting eggs. They are also responsible for paying for feed and land.

With each customer, Jeremy and Jamie are responsible for greeting them and helping them out. The boys are knowledgeable about the business, something their parents say they can hold onto. The boys are able to keep the profits and place them towards a college fund.

“They are going to [University of Texas] in Austin. They’ll have a better idea of how to run a business if they want to stay into it. If they don’t want to then we’ll use it for retirement.”

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