Ecuador is closing its borders.
To many imported products that is.
I don’t necessarily agree with it, but it is what it is.
Like it or not, with policies like this there are always a few “winners” and often a lot of “losers” (like the end consumer who now has to pay more for inferior products).
But why not take advantage of the opportunity and start producing one of the products that has now become more restricted to import?
Already, one of Ecuadors most popular short-cycle “cash crops” among locals.
It’s great because every 6-7 weeks you “cash out” recouping everything you’ve invested and the take-home-profit.
And its one of those produce it and someone will buy it things.
Everyone eats chicken in Ecuador.
This week I had the chance to sit down with a veteran chicken farm manager at his place during my research.
Here’s the skinny…
Start up costs, Investment
One of the great things about chicken farming is the small amount of land comparatively you need to get started. Plus, the land itself can be in the boonies and CHEAP because thats ideal for a chicken farm. You want to distance yourself from any sizable populations or neighbors cause they may not be fond of the smell.
You’ll need a lot with at least space for one farm house big enough for a sizable population of chickens. Most chicken farm houses are 20 meters by 120 meters to be precise. Thats 2400 m squared of land. Not much.
The lot has to be flat and have a water source.
But many chicken farmers have more than one farm house, for instance 7, with a batch of chickens each, so they can be harvesting a new batch each week providing a steady income so this business pays for itself.
Each farm house this size holds 20,000 chickens.
You can chicken farm about anywhere in Ecuador, but it is ideal in the warmer regions of Ecuador like the coastal lowlands.
In warmer weather the growth cycle shortens to 40-42 days, while in colder highland areas the cycle can be more around 50 days.
This business is also nice because its not labor-intensive.
You’ll have to pay one farm house keeper per farm house. They usually make the basic wage in Ecuador ($340/ month PLUS incentives totaling around $800/month).
Every 6 weeks you’ll have to pay about 10 guys $10 a day each for three days to round up the chickens for sale. Total $300.
The food can run around $7000 per cycle (6 cycle).
Basic services like water and electricity aren’t much in Ecuador but could also cost a few hundred dollars.
The chickens themselves are bought young and little at $.40-.50 cents each.
In total, budget $70,000 USD to raise 20,000 chickens my expert explains.
Income and Production
After 6 weeks the chickens are sold (alive) for $.80 cents per pound. Each chicken weighs around 5.5 pounds. Total= $4.40 per chicken roughly.
$4.40 x 20,000 chickens = $88,000.
Talking in ballpark figures per farm house which holds 20,000 chickens over a lot of 2,400m2 the profit would be roughly $88,000-$70,000 TOTAL $18,000 every 6-7 weeks.
Then depending on personal preference anywhere from 5-15 days will be needed for farm house cleaning and disinfecting between cycles.
Of course, diseases are the biggest risk, thats why if you have multiple farm houses you want to spread them out and be sure to have only one farm worker exclusively per farm house. He could carry a disease on his clothes from one house to the other.
But now a days the chickens come vaccinated and this is not a huge problem at all in Ecuador.
Selling the crop is not a problem, just make it and finding a buyer is relatively trivial. What does vary a bit is the market price like most commodities.
Like but what about the technical aspects of the actual chicken-growing, how to get started, buy the best chickens, find the best workers and more?
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