Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Summer Chick Project for Kids

For a young entrepreneur like my son Caleb, age 7, raising and selling chicks can be a wonderful summer project that teaches responsibility, compassion, finances, and work ethics. 

Partridge Cochin chick

For the last two years raising day old chicks was my daughter, Rebecca's, summer job.  But now she is waitressing and going to college,  and the time, grossness, and effort of raising chicks is not worth the money to her.  So Caleb, age 7, has decided to take over the business!  Because he is so young Caleb will need a lot more help from me than Rebecca did, but for us it is a good way to start out, and I am allowing him to keep the profits!

You can purchase day old chicks from local farmers or order them through the mail.  Mail order chicks tend to be riskier since problems and delays can occur in shipping, however, the "fancier" breeds like Polish tend to sell better.  We purchased day old Polish and Cochin chicks from Meyer Hatchery for Caleb to raise. 

Caleb and Lucas were so excited to see and hold the adorable chicks, but they understood they needed to mostly stay in the brooder until they became a bit stronger.  (Click here to see more info about setting up a brooder)


Caleb's responsibilities include checking each chick daily for pasty butt, cleaning and drying said pasty butts, checking food and water daily, cleaning out the brooder as needed, socializing the chicks, and teaching them to come when called.  At seven years old, he will need reminders, assistance, and a lot of oversight on my part!

Caleb doing a great job feeding the chicks

He also needs to learn all about the breeds that we are raising including color, size, and frequency of eggs produced, what type of pet they will make, and how to introduce them to an existing flock.  In preparation for the local chicken swap, we dress well, make signs, and make sure the chicks are clean, friendly, and perfectly healthy - ready for their new homes!  When we attend the poultry swap to sell the chicks, it will be up to Caleb to have the confidence and knowledge to be able to sell them!

Expenses and Profits:

The cost of the 10 chicks plus shipping was approximately $70.00.  Because of shipping costs, the price goes down with the more chicks you get.  (Rebecca raised 30 chicks last year, but 10 is a good number for Caleb.)  Since we have raised chicks for the past few years, we already have most of the brooder supplies, but we still purchased chick food, vitamins, pro-biotic powder, and Poly Vi Sol for a cost of approximately $20.00.  The chicks will sell for $20.00 each when they are 8 weeks old, so he has a potential profit of $120.00, not to mention all the skills he will gain!

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