How to Start a Chicken Diaper Business

Chicken Diaper Business Image

Chicken diapers are a fashion accessory only die-hard chicken breeders knew about 10 years ago. Those who don’t have chickens often still raise their eyebrows at the idea of diapering poultry. Among a rising culture of urban chicken owners, however, there is a steady demand for functional and handsome chicken diapers.

A survey of four major cities (Denver, Miami, New York City, and Los Angeles) found that 0.8 percent of residents already owned at least one chicken, and another 4 percent intended to purchase chickens within 5 years.

While these percentages may seem small, just a fractional percentage of any one of these cities equates to thousands of chicken owners. Moreover, almost all of these owners need diapers for their poultry because the birds are kept at least partially indoors. Chicken diaper businesses specialize in making fashionable and practical diapers for these birds.

Learn how to start your own Chicken Diaper Business and whether it is the right fit for you.

Start a chicken diaper business by following these 9 steps:

You have found the perfect business idea, and now you are ready to take the next step. There is more to starting a business than just registering it with the state. We have put together this simple step guide to starting your chicken diaper business. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.

STEP 1: Plan your Business

A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:

  • What are the startup and ongoing costs?
  • Who is your target market?
  • How long it will take you to break even?
  • What will you name your business?

Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.

What are the costs involved in opening a chicken diaper business?

The startup costs for a chicken diapering business are extremely low.

Business owners who already have a sewing machine and serger need little more than a website and materials. A website can be created for less than $100 on platforms like Wix and Shopify. Materials cost little, and business owners who have limited capital can start out with only what they need to create their store’s sample diapers. The materials required for customers’ orders can be purchased after orders are placed.

Those who don’t have a sewing machine and serger will need to acquire each. Amazon has many sewing machines available for a few hundred dollars, and sergers run in a similar price range. (A computerized sewing machine isn’t necessary.)

What are the ongoing expenses for a chicken diaper business?

The ongoing expenses for a chicken diaper business are minimal. They mostly consist of website hosting and maintenance fees and material costs. Businesses that have a seamstress must also factor in employee wages.

Who is the target market?

The target market for chicken diaper businesses is primarily people who have smaller flocks of chickens. Some customers are backyard chicken raisers, generally keeping flocks of twenty or fewer birds. Others are urbanites who have just one or two birds indoors.

How does a chicken diaper business make money?

A chicken diaper business makes money by selling diapers that are designed for poultry. Most businesses sell diapers individually at retail prices, but business owners could theoretically also sell diapers wholesale.

How much can you charge customers?

Pampered Poultry sells their diapers for around $18, and Purely Poultry sells diapers for about $17. My Pet Chicken’s diapers are custom-made and cost nearly $30.

How much profit can a chicken diaper business make?

Successful chicken diaper businesses bring in a substantial revenue. Pampered Poultry sells between 500 and 1,000 diapers each month, generating an annual revenue over $50,000. Since operating expenses are so low, most of this is profit.

How can you make your business more profitable?

A chicken diaper business can increase revenue by selling other, related products. Pampered Poultry also has peep pouches (for chicks), saddles (to protect hens during mating) and dresses (which serve no practical function). The business sells around 100 dresses per month. FeatherWear makes diapers for many kinds of birds.

What will you name your business?

Choosing the right name is very important. We recommend checking if the business name you choose is available as a web domain and securing it early so no one else can take it.

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STEP 2: Form a legal entity

Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC prevents you from being personally liable if your chicken diaper business is sued. There are many business structures to choose from including: Corporations, LLC's, and DBA's.

You should also consider using a registered agent service to help protect your privacy and stay compliant.

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For most small businesses forming an LLC is a great option, but if you still want to weigh all your options check our our article, What Structure Should I Choose for My Business?

STEP 3: Register for taxes

You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.

In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!

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You can acquire your EIN for free through the IRS website, via fax, or by mail. If you would like to learn more about EINs and how they can benefit your LLC, read our article, What is an EIN?.

STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card

Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.

When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.

Open a business bank account

  • This separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
  • It also makes accounting and tax filing easier.

Get a business credit card

  • This helps you separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
  • It also builds your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money and investment later on.

STEP 5: Set up business accounting

Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.

STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses

Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.

State & Local Business Licensing Requirements

Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a chicken diaper business. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.

Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.

For information about local licenses and permits:

STEP 7: Get Business Insurance

Insurance is highly recommended for all business owners. If you hire employees, workers compensation insurance may be a legal requirement in your state.

STEP 8: Define your brand

Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.

How to promote & market a chicken diaper business

Chicken diapers are as much fashion pieces as they are functional items, and their fashion side lends itself to social media. Many customers post pictures of their chickens in diapers and other duds on Instagram and Facebook, which are also natural marketing channels for businesses. In addition to asking customers to tag their photos with a company-specific hashtag, business owners can also manage their own channels.

Recommended: Get started with local advertising for your business with a $300 credit from Yelp.

How to keep customers coming back

Business owners can keep their customers returning by regularly coming out with new designs. Since fashion is as important as function, many customers will buy pieces that they like well before their chicken’s current diapers are worn out.

STEP 9: Establish your Web Presence

A business website allows customers to learn more about your company and the products or services you offer. You can also use social media to attract new clients or customers.

Start A Chicken Diaper Business In Your State

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Select your state below for an in-depth guide on completing each of these steps in your home state.

Is this Business Right For You?

Anyone who is interested in raising urban chickens and likes sewing may enjoy running a chicken diaper business. A passion for the hobby helps business owners connect with their customers and anticipate diapering features that customers will like. Most business owners at least design their own diapers, which requires spending a lot of time sewing.

What happens during a typical day at a chicken diaper business?

A typical day at a chicken diaper business involves sewing diapers, shipping orders, and ordering supplies as needed. When not working on these tasks, business owners spend time designing new pieces and marketing their business.

What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful chicken diaper business?

In order to design chicken diapers well, business owners should have experience owning chickens and sewing. Those who don’t already have chickens may want to spend a year raising them before they get into this line of work.

Anyone who isn’t an accomplished sewer ought to take classes on sewing and/or pattern making. Jo-Ann Fabrics offers in-person sewing classes, and Craftsy has online sewing courses. SkillShare and Craftsy both have online pattern-making courses.

What is the growth potential for a chicken diaper business?

Chicken diaper businesses are limited by the size of the market. While businesses can be quite successful and ship to all 50 states, even the most well-known ones are still small businesses. Some of the more recognized names in the industry are Pampered Poultry, My Pet Chicken, Purely Poultry and FeatherWear.

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Take the Next Step

Find a business mentor

One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.

Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.

What are some insider tips for jump starting a chicken diaper business?

Business owners can quickly increase their brand’s visibility and credibility by supplying diapers for show chickens. Even if a chicken doesn’t win its show, everyone at the show will see the diaper and the business can advertise that the diapers were used in the show.

How and when to build a team

Business owners don’t have to hire employees as long as they can do all the sewing themselves. Some, however, choose to hire a seamstress to help with the workload. According to Indeed, the average wage for a seamstress is $12.15 per hour.

Next Steps

Get more ideas with our Business Ideas Tool.

Check out our How to Start a Business page.

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