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I am having a blast interviewing young people with a mission. Not only are these kids passionate about something; they are taking their passions and turning them into money-making ventures.
Today I want to tell you about Jo. This 12 year old is not normal–if you get my meaning. Oh, he loves to watch movies and play video games and hang out with friends. But that only comes after his birds.
Jo got turned on to chickens when he met some bantams, purchased a few of his own, entered them into the county fair and took home blue ribbons. But this kid didn’t stop there. He wanted more. And, he wanted to share his love with others.
After working a weekend for his brother, clearing pasture and putting up fencing, Jo used his earnings to purchase an incubator. That simple piece of equipment took his passion to a new level. First, he hatched out a new flock of bantams for himself. Then, he hatched a bunch of laying hens for his mama. Next, he realized that if he sold a dozen eggs he made $3.50. But if he hatched a dozen eggs and sold the chicks, he could make $42. If you could choose between $3.50 and $42, which would you take?
An Entrepreneur is Born
Jo saw an ad on Craigslist for quail. When he went to purchase them, the woman selling them was aghast that he pulled his own money out of his own wallet to pay her. “You mean he’s got to pay for them himself?” she asked. “It’s his business,” his mother replied.
Jo loved his new little birds and spent hours watching them in the pen. But that wasn’t enough. He wanted to hatch quail. You cannot hatch out two different types of birds in the same incubator at the same time because they require different temperature and humidity settings. So after selling his first batch of chicken chicks, Jo bought himself a second incubator. His mama said she feels like she lives in a poultry house–two incubators going in the living room, tubs of chicks lining the walls in the laundry room, the constant chirping of little birds.
It took him three tries to hatch a batch of quail (He’s working with the cheapest of equipment here, folks.) but he did it. They sold the next day! Then those customers gave him a dozen guinea eggs.
So far, Jo has sold his chicks word-of-mouth and he has a waiting list of potential customers. But when the second batch of quail didn’t sell instantaneously, he put a flier on the bulletin board at his local feed store and asked his mother to post them on Facebook.
What do you think? Is this boy going places? Have any incubator stories you’d like to share? We’d love to hear them.
This post is linked to the Homestead Barn Hop.