Free range chicken farming has been seeing very heady growth in South Africa in the recent years and many farmers are realizing that it is actually profitable to set up a free range chicken farming and run a commercial operation out of the farm.
One area that is seeing steady growth in this niche is the free range egg production market. Many consumers now prefer the deep yellow and nutritious yolks of free range eggs, especially ones which have been produced in an ethical manner. Before you venture into any free range eggs production in South Africa, it is important to perform adequate research about the prospects of this trade, talk to other farmers that are involved in organic or free range farming ventures. You can also talk to the packers and feed suppliers in order to understand various variables such as what to feed and the cost of feeding your free range layers.
Good market research is the foundation of profitable free range egg farming in South Africa. Check out with the major retailers on their pricing and specifications. What egg weight are they looking for? How much can they buy? Can you meet their capacity? Free range eggs still account for a tiny fraction of total egg sales in South Africa but that proportion is growing fairly fast in South Africa. Most of the free range eggs in South Africa are sold via supermarkets and organic farmer co-ops or buyer groups that are into healthy living.
If you are planning to venture out, you can contact some of these buyer groups in order to learn more about their specifications and requirements. What are they looking for in free range eggs? Egg packing companies are another good target if you are looking for market information. Egg packing companies generally determine the market prices for free range eggs based on the demand and supply. The main advantage with egg packing companies is that they are a fairly low risk and can assure you of a regular income.
Start by Finding the Market
An important piece of advice that most South African free-range poultry farmers should heed is that they can start by looking out for the market before they venture into the farming itself. You must have a clear idea of where you are going to sell your free range eggs and it is important that important contacts are made well in advance which can be leveraged later on when you need to sell your product.
If you are a new producer, you might encounter a few rejections initially but do not be disheartened. It generally takes time and trust to break into the market. For example, packing companies and buyer groups may want to establish that you are a trusted producer.
There are farmers who may also choose direct marketing of their free-range products directly to the retail outlets, markets, and farm shops. If you are more proactive when it comes to marketing your product, then you are certainly going to see some quick success with your range egg production venture in South Africa.
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