18 August 2018 | Online since 2003

9 August 2018

Pullet finance - new loan plan hatched to support egg producers

There are several challenges which farmers need to contend with, from tightening regulations to increased competition. But an often overlooked problem is the need to effectively manage cashflow when new batches of livestock are ‘bedding in’. One such area where this is a common complaint is in pullet farming – the rearing and farming of young hens to produce eggs for market.

The challenges to pullet farmers

In 2018 it was reported that the number of eggs we consume in the UK is only increasing, with retail sales rising for the eleventh year on record, up 250 million from the previous year. But with increased demand, farmers need to continually invest in new flocks of hens to ensure there’s no drop in output. To help farmers continue to meet this demand and overcome the financial constraints associated with investing in new livestock, some banks and lending institutions are increasingly offering tailored products such as pullet finance to reduce financial hardship and remove uncertainty.

What is pullet finance?
Pullet finance refers to a short-term loan that egg producers can take out to substitute the lack of income while their hens are not laying eggs. From the time at which farmers acquire new flocks, it often takes around eight weeks for hens to settle into their surrounds before they reach maturity and start producing eggs.

To reduce the burden on farmers, pullet finance is tied to the lifecycle of the hens, which is usually around fourteen months. Since the repayment only begins once farmers start receiving an income from that batch of hens, farmers have nothing to pay for the first two months. As such, loans can be paid off before the next flock of hens are acquired; or for farms which rotate flocks, separate loan plans could run in tandem.

What are the benefits of pullet finance?
By having working capital to hand with the acquisition of a new intake of birds, farmers can maintain a healthy cashflow even while their hens aren’t yet bringing in any money. It’s a flexible solution that can alleviate pressure on finances when outgoings are spent on caring for and rearing new hens, even though they aren’t generating any income.

Furthermore, loans can be tied to specific flocks of hens, so farmers can easily keep track of the profits made on each batch and improve their financial reporting.

Pullet finance is an ideal way for struggling farms to stay operational when investing in their livestock. But it can also aid start-up pullet farms or those new to the industry who may not yet have accrued a financial buffer to help them get through periods with little income. Having a healthy amount of working capital can be good for a farm’s credit rating and help them to meet any expansion goals.

If you’re a pullet farmer who would like to find out how pullet finance could help your business, speak to us at Nationwide Corporate Finance today.


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