Mississippi teen builds business by breeding, selling birds

Published 6:59 am Saturday, August 21, 2021

Less than two miles outside of Starkville city limits, a young entrepreneur with a passion for farm animals is building a business for the birds.

While many teenagers are home playing video games or watching the latest TikTok, BB Ingram, 13, spends her free time breeding and selling chickens, quail, roosters and goats.

Hailing from an animal-loving family, Ingram has always been surrounded by animals, but three years ago, she decided to take her interests to the next level. After researching chicken breeding, she took up raising chickens and has become a local success.

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“I started watching some YouTube videos on incubating,” Ingram said. “After a few weeks of watching those, we went to Tractor Supply and we got incubators that I tried out, and it kind of just went from there.”

After mastering chicken breeding with her first and favorite chicken, Bethany, Ingram learned how to raise quails, roosters and peacocks. All of these birds live in her backyard barnyard, along with all of her family’s other animals — pigs, rabbits, goats and more. While her family all pitches in to help with the animals, Ingram said she is the one in charge of the fowl.

Ingram wakes up every day about 5 a.m. to feed and take care of her chickens. Being involved at her school, Hebron Christian School, and active in sports, she has learned to manage her time wisely.

“These animals rely on me,” Ingram said. “If I don’t feed them, then that’s on me. So, I’ve learned a lot of responsibility and learned how to manage my time by taking care of them.”

During the February winter storm, Ingram was outside for hours breaking up ice for the animals so they could get to their water bowls. She said she knows her responsibility is to care for the animals and does whatever she can to help them.

When Ingram established herself as a breeder, she decided she wanted to sell the hundreds of birds she was producing. Along with selling at local animal auctions, she created “BB’s Barnyard” on Facebook, which gains hundreds of viewers a week and where she has learned valuable marketing and entrepreneurial skills, she said.

“It’s just a hobby I like to do,” Ingram said. “I just like being around the animals and now I can sell them to people all across the state.”

Ingram said people come to tour her barnyard regularly to purchase birds or to just visit with some animals. Ingram’s mom, Joni, said her daughter has spent countless hours researching different ways to incubate the birds and how to mix various breeds together.

“She’s the one that knows about the incubator,” Joni said. “She knows when to turn it on, when to put them in lock down. She keeps her records.”

After years of raising chickens, Ingram said she recently has taken an interest in selling goats and plans to work with more of them in the near future. While she may be young, she said she is excited for what the future holds as a breeder and hopes to work with animals when she grows up.

“I’m not quite sure what I want to do yet when I get older, but I know I want to keep working with animals,” Ingram said.