Five things to cosnider before investing in hatchery business


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If the hatchery runs well, it will continue to create profits for investors. However, if the construction or the operation is not good, it may cause great losses on the other hand. I have worked in the incubation equipment industry for 17 years, and have helped Yunfeng brand incubation equipment to be installed in dozens of countries around the world. During these years, I assisted a large number of investors to achieve success. But at the same time, I have also saw some investors who failed in this business due to not enough preparation or poor management. With this article, I hope to share my experiences, to help later investors to be more considerate when investing in the hatchery and avoid failure.

Before investing in a hatchery, investors should at least consider the following questions: what species (chicken breeds) to hatch, where do the hatchable eggs come from, where the hatchery is built, what facilities are needed, whether the funds are sufficient, what personnel are needed, etc. And also shall do a research on the local market about the hatchery business.

What breeds eggs to hatch

  • Generally there are local breeds, white feather broilers, layer breeds, hybrid breeds, etc. Professional layer breeds have a high egg production rate and consume less feed per egg, while professional broiler breeds (usually white feather broilers) grow fast and consume less feed per kilogram weight gain. If the goal is to lay eggs, it is generally necessary to choose professional layer breeds. If your target market is killed chicken, then better select white broilers. If your market is live birds that looks like local birds, you can consider local breeds, hybrid breeds, or some other kinds of color birds breeds. If you want the birds for both laying egg market and meat market, you may not be able to compete with other producers in the market in any aspect.
  • Different breeds of chickens have different abilities to adapt to the local climate. If it is a breed that has not been bred locally before, and this is the first time it is introduced, you may face a risk of poor adaptation to the local climate

Location of the hatchery

  • The hatchery location shall have good ventilation conditions. Poor ventilation conditions can cause bacteria to grow, disease epidemics, and affect hatchability and future performance of hatched chicks.
  • The hatchery better to be far from villages, settlements, and other poultry farms. This can avoid the mutual transmission of diseases. At the same time, the waste from the hatchery will also produce a bad smell, which may cause complaints from neighbors. In some coujntries, there might be government regulations that require environmental assessment.
  • Electrical facilities, water sources, and drainage should be easy approached.
  • If the weather conditions are good in the hatchery location, energy consumption can be saved.
  • The altitude should not be too high, high altitude will affect the hatching rate.

Infrastructure design and equipment selection 

  • Infrastructure such as buildings, fences, ground hardening, electricity, water delivery, and drainage. Large egg incubators usually require three phase electricity.
  • Whether to use existing buildings or build a new hatchery. If you use an existing building, you need to look at the height of the building and whether the room size fits the incubator. If it is a new hatchery, the hatchery layout must be negotiated with the hatchery equipment supplier, or simply ask the hatchery equipment supplier to provide a hatchery layout design drawing.
  • Various equipment in the hatchery: incubators, hatchers, air conditioners, chillers, generators, washing machines, and various other supporting equipment, etc.
  • According to the hatching capacity requirement, investor shall consider capacity per hatch, the interval between each hatch, and other requirements, to choose the type of incubation equipment. How big is each incubator and hatcher, how many sets, whether to single-stage incubators, or multi-stage incubators etc.
  • When selecting equipment suppliers, try to choose those with rich experience, long-lived in the market, better quality, and more reliable reputation, and then comprehensively consider the price, service, delivery period, and other factors. Don’t just look at the price of the hatching equipment, because there are lives in the eggs, if having one time problem, and one batch of chicks dead in the machine, you may face great losses.


  • Infrastructure construction funds.
  • Purchase funds for various equipment.
  • Funds for purchasing the hatchable eggs. The cost for the breeding eggs to fill the incubators maybe very costly. It takes 21 days for breeding eggs to hatch and have chicks to sell and get back the investment. So when the hatchery first started operating, there was almost no income in the first month. In some areas, it is likely that the cost of breeding eggs to fill the machines will be more costly than all the equipment investment.
  • Personnel expenses.
  • Electricity cost: Different incubation equipment consumes different energy, and different climatic conditions will also lead to different energy consumption levels. Generally, the average electricity of an egg consumed from incubation to chick out of the shell, is between 0.02 and 0.2 kilowatt-hours. Good incubators can save quite a lot energy consumption and bring more profit to the investors.
  • If the breeding eggs are not purchased but collected from your own breeder farm, you also need to consider the construction and operating costs of the breeder farm. The infrastructure construction of the breeder farm includes the building, hardening of the building floor, the breeding equipment, water and electricity facilities, and so on. The purchase cost of breeders needs to be considered. In addition, it will take more than twenty weeks for breeders to start laying eggs. In this period of time before laying eggs, breeders will eat a lot of feed, and investors only have input but no output.


  • Managers: 

  • In small hatcheries, the boss must know some incubation-related knowledge. In large hatcheries, the investor must hire a manager with rich experience in hatchery business, or even a management team composed of several personnel. The follow are some of the requirements:
  • Years of working experience in the hatchery business.
  • Understand the basic maintenance knowledge of incubation equipment.
  • Understand the setting and adjustment of incubation related parameters.
  • Ability to solve problems during incubation.
  • Having knowledge about breeder farm and broiler farm.
  • Organizational communication skills, language skills, data analysis skills.

  • Salesperson: 

  • Responsible for selling chicks to farmers

  • Maintenance personnel: 

  • A large hatchery must have a regular professional maintenance personnel or even a team. Small hatcheries must have at least one electrician who understands the electrical structure of the incubator and can be available on call.
  • Experienced in electricity. Have electrician training certificate.
  • Familiar with the knowledge of common electrical components.
  • Having working experience in a hatchery is better. Or have the incubator operation training experience by the incubator equipment manufacturer.
  • Main Responsibilities: Daily maintenance of various equipment in the hatchery, timely and rapid resolution of various failures of hatchery equipment.

  • Ordinary worker

  • Main Responsibilities: Selecting an traying breeding eggs, loading eggs to setters, 18th-day egg candling and transfer, 21th-day chicken picking, vaccination, sex identification (mainly layer, or some few cases for broilers), hatchery related cleaning work, etc.
  • Diligent, responsible, quick-hand