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TOPIC | [Guide] So You Want to Start a Hatchery
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THERE IS A NEW VERSION OF THIS GUIDE HERE - MUCH LONGER BETTER AND MORE IN DEPTH WITH UPDATED RESOURCES GO READ THAT INSTEAD

I am no longer subbed to this thread. If you need help please ask in the new guide




Great! Congratulations, I'm glad you've been enjoying breeding dragons and want to make the commitment to starting a hatchery. I'm here to help you along. I have had a hatchery here on FR since October 2014, and I've run "business" threads on other forum games such as Gaia many times in the past. Running a hatchery is a serious commitment, but it can be fun, a great way to play the game and make some treasure.

Before you begin: Is starting a hatchery really for you?

This is a very important question you will have to answer before you even get your feet wet with the whole “hatchery” thing. What kind of breeding operation are you looking at starting? You must remember that everyone on Flight Rising breeds dragons, as it is a major part of the game, but not everyone has a hatchery.

A hatchery is distinct from simply breeding dragons and selling them, and you do not have to have a hatchery to do this. Not every “sales” thread constitutes a hatchery. So what does? A hatchery is a large breeding operation that specializes in a theme and has a highly organized and scheduled breeding regimen. If you want the freedom to breed whatever you want, whenever you want, and sell the hatchlings, you should look into making a more casual sales thread and selling dragons to people looking on the “dragons wanted” forum, without worrying about the organization required to run a full scale hatchery.

So, now you have to ask yourself, what will your hatchery theme be? I highly encourage hatcheries to have a theme, because they are more likely to be successful. When people buy from hatcheries, they are in the market for something specific, so a hatchery theme tells buyers right off the bat if they're likely to find what they want in your thread. I suggest going and browsing the Dragons for Sale forum and seeing how different hatcheries specialize. There are tons of possibilities and I'm sure you could come up with one that will let you do what you like that incorporates what you want to breed. I wanted a free-for-all style where I could breed multiple breeds, colors and genes and I ended up choosing the Flight Rising festivals as my theme.

Preparation: Research, Make Contacts and Save Treasure

Before you run off and try to build a hatchery thread, you need to research and think about how you're going to organize your operation. Again, prowl the Dragon Sales forum and look at how other hatcheries operate. Pay particular attention to threads that have a similar theme as the one you want and decide how you are going to distinguish yourself from the competition.

Whenever possible, try to turn your major competitors into your affiliates. Contact the owners of hatcheries who share a theme with you and get to know them. Maybe plan to buy a dragon from them to get you started and make sure you eventually list them on your hatchery thread in order send customers their way. This is not only a great way to avoid direct competition, but it is good customer service- if you don't have what the customer wants, you can still help them find it by suggesting other places to look. If you befriend other hatchery owners, you may be able to buy and sell dragons to each other at a discounted price, cross breed your dragons to get new looks and many other beneficial things. Are you at a loss for making your first contact? I would love to be affiliates and see your new hatchery. Just ask me.

Next, make a plan for your hatchery. You want to know how large your operation is going to be before you start buying dragons (believe me, I learned this one the hard way) and what services you are going to provide. Some hatcheries also offer studding services and nest rentals, some take requests for specific eye colors and genes, etc. All of these things will have different impacts and you can only have so many nests and so much lair space. Your lair space needs to allot for all of your breeding pairs, any personal dragons who won't be part of the breeding operation and at least 1 full empty page for dragons you are selling. Lair expansions are very expensive, and so you should plan to grow your hatchery slowly in order to save up over time for them.

This brings me to one of the most important points: Save your treasure. Don't rush out and start buying dragons to start up your hatchery stock. You only need two or three mated pairs to run a successful small hatchery, but you need lair space a whole heck of a lot more than that. Once you have your starting pairs, always purchase lair expansions before you purchase additional dragons. You will also need multiple nests, which also cost money.

While you're saving up, you will want to do some research. Look at guides like this one and others which are geared towards helping people start hatcheries. You want a clear picture in your mind of how your business will be organized before you even begin to launch the operation.

Beginning: Purchasing Your First Breeders

You will likely change your pairs around as you settle into your niche, so unless you see a dragon which perfectly exemplifies what your hatchery will be, don't buy really expensive dragons. You want to commit to your theme, which means you see lots of dragons that you love that you may not be able to actually justify buying. To get around this, I allot myself a few pairs of dragons which are not members of my breeding operation, my personal dragons, but I am constantly having to make sure I avoid impulse buys and that they do not take up a lot of space.

Try to avoid purchasing any dragons that are geneing projects unless it is necessary. (For example, if your hatchery specializes in 2nd Generation dragons, you will only be buying first gens, which by their nature are always geneing projects.) If your hatchery does not depend on dragons that need to be gened, try to buy dragons that already have the breed and genes you want. It shouldn't be too difficult, since everyone on FR breeds dragons and most everyone sells them. This will save you a lot of money in the long run.

You won't want to buy too many pairs at once (another mistake I made). Try to limit yourself to as few pairs as possible. In my case, my hatchery specializes to the Flight Rising festivals, so theoretically I would need 11 pairs to get started. This is a pretty high number and it would have been a better idea for me to buy three pairs (one for the upcoming festival, and one for each festival after it) and then to purchase the rest with the profits I made from the initial pairs.

Sales Styles and Cornering Your Market

As you get closer to your hatchery's grand opening, you have some more decisions to make. Who is your target consumer? There are people who buy exalts for their flight's dominance pushes, role playing clan who like dragons with full bios, other hatcheries and dragon collectors of all stripes, just to give you an idea.

You should decide on a general price range for your dragons depending on who your target consumer base is. My prices typically in the 30k-50k range. Anything that is 10k or less is considered exalt fodder, anything 50k or over would qualify for high end collectors. Different price ranges will attract different kinds of customers. Low ones will attract those looking to train and exalt dragons for profit or for dominance pushes, and newer players. Higher ones will attract players who have been around longer and are willing to pay quite a bit for very specific, high quality dragons for personal projects. Medium ranges such as mine aim to attract the average long-term player, who has enough treasure to save up a little bit, but isn't looking to break their bank on a single dragon.

There are also different sales styles, which for simplicity I am breaking up into Active and Passive. Passive sales styles include things like just having (and bumping to the top of the forum) a Dragon Sales thread, and listing dragons on the Auction House. This style can work great for some hatchery operations, particularly exalt fodder where the buyers are not looking to have much personal contact with the breeder. An Active sales style would be scouring the Dragons Wanted forum and posting your hatchlings in every thread for which they fit. This is rather labor intense, and not everyone enjoys doing it.

Keeping “pinglists” for hatchlings that aren't yet born is another form of Active selling. Many hatcheries employ both methods for the best results, but any approach can be a good one. It just depends on what works best for both your hatchery and your personal schedule. People who have more time to be online will benefit more from an Active style than those who cannot check in on FR several times a day.

Breeding Associations

Breeding Associations can be found in the Dragon Sales forum, and there are directories for them floating around here in the Guides forum. They are well worth the time spent seeking them out and applying to their member list.

Associations have massive pinglists for you to reach dozens, sometimes hundreds, of potential customers. Most associations don't require your hatchery to specialize in their particular combination- only to have at least one pair that will breed whatever genes the association is dedicated to. This means that you can gain access to several associations even if they are not officially your "specialty."

Many also allow you to post dragons for sale in their threads, but I've found using their pinglists in your own hatchery thread is a little more effective.

Before joining any Associations, please see cooneyms' Pinglist Usage Guide.

Building Your Thread

Okay, you've kept up with all of that, stayed with me and you've decided that a hatchery really is for you. You're ready to start building your thread. This is where a lot of your market research that you did when you saving up treasure for lair expansions is going to pay off. Go back to your favorite hatchery threads and look at how they are organized. Look at them from the point of view of a buyer and take note of what parts of the layout work and what parts don't.

Buyers who come to your thread are looking primarily to see the dragons you have for sale right then so you want to put your post with those hatchlings as close to the top post as possible. Your opening post should be sort and concise, and not daunt customers with a wall of text they have to read through. Have a short welcome (some people like to do this in character for a roleplay-type experience) and list the rules regarding how to contact you and any other pertinent information. A table of contents with links to your vital posts is often helpful too.

Although not strictly necessary, graphic banners can really enhance the atmosphere of your thread. If you have the skills you can make them yourself and there are tools to help you achieve this. You can also purchase graphics services from many of the talented artists here on Flight Rising, by checking out the Art Sales forum.

Resources

[How to Make a Hatchery Thread]
Breeding Dragons for Newbies
Breeding Tracker Tool
Color Theory with Dragons
Breeding Rarity Comparisons
Art Sales Directory
FR Tools [Tumblr]
Color Range Predictor
Pricing Dragons
Little Dragon Icons
Linking to Posts (New Format)
Super Hoard Organizer
Kosmo's Dragon Pricing Spreadsheet
Math Geek's System to Pricing Dragon (values outdated but can be recalculated for the current times)
Auto Minimum Price Calculator
Pinglist Usage Guide

More Questions? Feel free to drop a comment below and ask me :)
THERE IS A NEW VERSION OF THIS GUIDE HERE - MUCH LONGER BETTER AND MORE IN DEPTH WITH UPDATED RESOURCES GO READ THAT INSTEAD

I am no longer subbed to this thread. If you need help please ask in the new guide




Great! Congratulations, I'm glad you've been enjoying breeding dragons and want to make the commitment to starting a hatchery. I'm here to help you along. I have had a hatchery here on FR since October 2014, and I've run "business" threads on other forum games such as Gaia many times in the past. Running a hatchery is a serious commitment, but it can be fun, a great way to play the game and make some treasure.

Before you begin: Is starting a hatchery really for you?

This is a very important question you will have to answer before you even get your feet wet with the whole “hatchery” thing. What kind of breeding operation are you looking at starting? You must remember that everyone on Flight Rising breeds dragons, as it is a major part of the game, but not everyone has a hatchery.

A hatchery is distinct from simply breeding dragons and selling them, and you do not have to have a hatchery to do this. Not every “sales” thread constitutes a hatchery. So what does? A hatchery is a large breeding operation that specializes in a theme and has a highly organized and scheduled breeding regimen. If you want the freedom to breed whatever you want, whenever you want, and sell the hatchlings, you should look into making a more casual sales thread and selling dragons to people looking on the “dragons wanted” forum, without worrying about the organization required to run a full scale hatchery.

So, now you have to ask yourself, what will your hatchery theme be? I highly encourage hatcheries to have a theme, because they are more likely to be successful. When people buy from hatcheries, they are in the market for something specific, so a hatchery theme tells buyers right off the bat if they're likely to find what they want in your thread. I suggest going and browsing the Dragons for Sale forum and seeing how different hatcheries specialize. There are tons of possibilities and I'm sure you could come up with one that will let you do what you like that incorporates what you want to breed. I wanted a free-for-all style where I could breed multiple breeds, colors and genes and I ended up choosing the Flight Rising festivals as my theme.

Preparation: Research, Make Contacts and Save Treasure

Before you run off and try to build a hatchery thread, you need to research and think about how you're going to organize your operation. Again, prowl the Dragon Sales forum and look at how other hatcheries operate. Pay particular attention to threads that have a similar theme as the one you want and decide how you are going to distinguish yourself from the competition.

Whenever possible, try to turn your major competitors into your affiliates. Contact the owners of hatcheries who share a theme with you and get to know them. Maybe plan to buy a dragon from them to get you started and make sure you eventually list them on your hatchery thread in order send customers their way. This is not only a great way to avoid direct competition, but it is good customer service- if you don't have what the customer wants, you can still help them find it by suggesting other places to look. If you befriend other hatchery owners, you may be able to buy and sell dragons to each other at a discounted price, cross breed your dragons to get new looks and many other beneficial things. Are you at a loss for making your first contact? I would love to be affiliates and see your new hatchery. Just ask me.

Next, make a plan for your hatchery. You want to know how large your operation is going to be before you start buying dragons (believe me, I learned this one the hard way) and what services you are going to provide. Some hatcheries also offer studding services and nest rentals, some take requests for specific eye colors and genes, etc. All of these things will have different impacts and you can only have so many nests and so much lair space. Your lair space needs to allot for all of your breeding pairs, any personal dragons who won't be part of the breeding operation and at least 1 full empty page for dragons you are selling. Lair expansions are very expensive, and so you should plan to grow your hatchery slowly in order to save up over time for them.

This brings me to one of the most important points: Save your treasure. Don't rush out and start buying dragons to start up your hatchery stock. You only need two or three mated pairs to run a successful small hatchery, but you need lair space a whole heck of a lot more than that. Once you have your starting pairs, always purchase lair expansions before you purchase additional dragons. You will also need multiple nests, which also cost money.

While you're saving up, you will want to do some research. Look at guides like this one and others which are geared towards helping people start hatcheries. You want a clear picture in your mind of how your business will be organized before you even begin to launch the operation.

Beginning: Purchasing Your First Breeders

You will likely change your pairs around as you settle into your niche, so unless you see a dragon which perfectly exemplifies what your hatchery will be, don't buy really expensive dragons. You want to commit to your theme, which means you see lots of dragons that you love that you may not be able to actually justify buying. To get around this, I allot myself a few pairs of dragons which are not members of my breeding operation, my personal dragons, but I am constantly having to make sure I avoid impulse buys and that they do not take up a lot of space.

Try to avoid purchasing any dragons that are geneing projects unless it is necessary. (For example, if your hatchery specializes in 2nd Generation dragons, you will only be buying first gens, which by their nature are always geneing projects.) If your hatchery does not depend on dragons that need to be gened, try to buy dragons that already have the breed and genes you want. It shouldn't be too difficult, since everyone on FR breeds dragons and most everyone sells them. This will save you a lot of money in the long run.

You won't want to buy too many pairs at once (another mistake I made). Try to limit yourself to as few pairs as possible. In my case, my hatchery specializes to the Flight Rising festivals, so theoretically I would need 11 pairs to get started. This is a pretty high number and it would have been a better idea for me to buy three pairs (one for the upcoming festival, and one for each festival after it) and then to purchase the rest with the profits I made from the initial pairs.

Sales Styles and Cornering Your Market

As you get closer to your hatchery's grand opening, you have some more decisions to make. Who is your target consumer? There are people who buy exalts for their flight's dominance pushes, role playing clan who like dragons with full bios, other hatcheries and dragon collectors of all stripes, just to give you an idea.

You should decide on a general price range for your dragons depending on who your target consumer base is. My prices typically in the 30k-50k range. Anything that is 10k or less is considered exalt fodder, anything 50k or over would qualify for high end collectors. Different price ranges will attract different kinds of customers. Low ones will attract those looking to train and exalt dragons for profit or for dominance pushes, and newer players. Higher ones will attract players who have been around longer and are willing to pay quite a bit for very specific, high quality dragons for personal projects. Medium ranges such as mine aim to attract the average long-term player, who has enough treasure to save up a little bit, but isn't looking to break their bank on a single dragon.

There are also different sales styles, which for simplicity I am breaking up into Active and Passive. Passive sales styles include things like just having (and bumping to the top of the forum) a Dragon Sales thread, and listing dragons on the Auction House. This style can work great for some hatchery operations, particularly exalt fodder where the buyers are not looking to have much personal contact with the breeder. An Active sales style would be scouring the Dragons Wanted forum and posting your hatchlings in every thread for which they fit. This is rather labor intense, and not everyone enjoys doing it.

Keeping “pinglists” for hatchlings that aren't yet born is another form of Active selling. Many hatcheries employ both methods for the best results, but any approach can be a good one. It just depends on what works best for both your hatchery and your personal schedule. People who have more time to be online will benefit more from an Active style than those who cannot check in on FR several times a day.

Breeding Associations

Breeding Associations can be found in the Dragon Sales forum, and there are directories for them floating around here in the Guides forum. They are well worth the time spent seeking them out and applying to their member list.

Associations have massive pinglists for you to reach dozens, sometimes hundreds, of potential customers. Most associations don't require your hatchery to specialize in their particular combination- only to have at least one pair that will breed whatever genes the association is dedicated to. This means that you can gain access to several associations even if they are not officially your "specialty."

Many also allow you to post dragons for sale in their threads, but I've found using their pinglists in your own hatchery thread is a little more effective.

Before joining any Associations, please see cooneyms' Pinglist Usage Guide.

Building Your Thread

Okay, you've kept up with all of that, stayed with me and you've decided that a hatchery really is for you. You're ready to start building your thread. This is where a lot of your market research that you did when you saving up treasure for lair expansions is going to pay off. Go back to your favorite hatchery threads and look at how they are organized. Look at them from the point of view of a buyer and take note of what parts of the layout work and what parts don't.

Buyers who come to your thread are looking primarily to see the dragons you have for sale right then so you want to put your post with those hatchlings as close to the top post as possible. Your opening post should be sort and concise, and not daunt customers with a wall of text they have to read through. Have a short welcome (some people like to do this in character for a roleplay-type experience) and list the rules regarding how to contact you and any other pertinent information. A table of contents with links to your vital posts is often helpful too.

Although not strictly necessary, graphic banners can really enhance the atmosphere of your thread. If you have the skills you can make them yourself and there are tools to help you achieve this. You can also purchase graphics services from many of the talented artists here on Flight Rising, by checking out the Art Sales forum.

Resources

[How to Make a Hatchery Thread]
Breeding Dragons for Newbies
Breeding Tracker Tool
Color Theory with Dragons
Breeding Rarity Comparisons
Art Sales Directory
FR Tools [Tumblr]
Color Range Predictor
Pricing Dragons
Little Dragon Icons
Linking to Posts (New Format)
Super Hoard Organizer
Kosmo's Dragon Pricing Spreadsheet
Math Geek's System to Pricing Dragon (values outdated but can be recalculated for the current times)
Auto Minimum Price Calculator
Pinglist Usage Guide

More Questions? Feel free to drop a comment below and ask me :)
Quinn
Xe/Xem/Xyr pronouns
@Acacophony Thanks very much for making this guide! I'll definitely be referring to it while I establish my hatchery.

One question: can you explain a little more about pricing or possibly refer me to a guide that goes in-depth on pricing dragons? I guess I'm looking for starting points-really all I know about the FR economy is that cheap dragons = exalt fodder.
@Acacophony Thanks very much for making this guide! I'll definitely be referring to it while I establish my hatchery.

One question: can you explain a little more about pricing or possibly refer me to a guide that goes in-depth on pricing dragons? I guess I'm looking for starting points-really all I know about the FR economy is that cheap dragons = exalt fodder.
you_cant_prove.png
@Apotheocrisy Pricing is something that everyone does a little differently. Things that impact price are: breed rarity, gene rarity, number of genes, rarity of colors, repeated colors, clutch size, and attractiveness of the dragon. There are likely pricing guides around this forum (and if you find one, please ping me with a link, because I'd like to add it to the links section at the bottom). I'll give you a breakdown of how I price dragons to give you an idea. First, I have a 'base price' below which I will not drop. My base price is 1k per cooldown day of the breed, which means that coatls and wildclaws (the rarest breeds) will be the most expensive, while plentiful breeds will be on the cheap end. Then I use the Search feature (under Library in the sidebar) and do a dragon search for my hatchling's colors. If my dragon is one of 10 or less with those colors who haven't been exalted, I add 5k. If my dragon is totally unique, the only one in the game who has not been exalted, I will add 10k. Double colors (XXY, XYX, XYY) I will add 3k, triple colors I will add 5k. Then I will subtract about 3k from the price for each sibling numbering at two or more that the hatching has. This means that nests with one or two eggs do not get a discount. Nests with 3 or more eggs, where I have more dragons to sell, get a small discount on the individual hatchlings. Lastly, I adjust that price up or down as seems fair for the attractiveness of the dragon. A lot of people simply ask prices based on attractiveness alone, but I try to make that the very last thing I consider, because beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I also put up an info tag in my hatchery with each dragon which displays some of the features they have, as well as their birthday. Here's an example: Coatl Female - 45,000 (136 gems, 30 Geodes) Triple Gene XYZ, 11/25/14 Reference Name "Deep Cave" [url=http://flightrising.com/main.php?dragon=8095120] [img]http://flightrising.com/rendern/350/80952/8095120_350.png[/img] [/url] I hope that helps you!
@Apotheocrisy

Pricing is something that everyone does a little differently. Things that impact price are: breed rarity, gene rarity, number of genes, rarity of colors, repeated colors, clutch size, and attractiveness of the dragon.

There are likely pricing guides around this forum (and if you find one, please ping me with a link, because I'd like to add it to the links section at the bottom). I'll give you a breakdown of how I price dragons to give you an idea.

First, I have a 'base price' below which I will not drop. My base price is 1k per cooldown day of the breed, which means that coatls and wildclaws (the rarest breeds) will be the most expensive, while plentiful breeds will be on the cheap end.

Then I use the Search feature (under Library in the sidebar) and do a dragon search for my hatchling's colors. If my dragon is one of 10 or less with those colors who haven't been exalted, I add 5k. If my dragon is totally unique, the only one in the game who has not been exalted, I will add 10k. Double colors (XXY, XYX, XYY) I will add 3k, triple colors I will add 5k.

Then I will subtract about 3k from the price for each sibling numbering at two or more that the hatching has. This means that nests with one or two eggs do not get a discount. Nests with 3 or more eggs, where I have more dragons to sell, get a small discount on the individual hatchlings.

Lastly, I adjust that price up or down as seems fair for the attractiveness of the dragon. A lot of people simply ask prices based on attractiveness alone, but I try to make that the very last thing I consider, because beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I also put up an info tag in my hatchery with each dragon which displays some of the features they have, as well as their birthday. Here's an example:

Coatl Female - 45,000 (136 gems, 30 Geodes)
Triple Gene XYZ, 11/25/14
Reference Name "Deep Cave"

8095120_350.png


I hope that helps you!
Quinn
Xe/Xem/Xyr pronouns
@Acacophony It definitely did! Thank you very much c:
@Acacophony It definitely did! Thank you very much c:
you_cant_prove.png
@Acacophony Very helpful, especially the breakdown of how you determine your prices.
@Acacophony Very helpful, especially the breakdown of how you determine your prices.
tumblr_inline_o3dilmkK3O1r3h1o8_540.png mlk7aif.pnglnAFce8.giftumblr_ntwzxj7Nls1r7cw6zo3_100.png
@janetlin

Glad you liked it :)
@janetlin

Glad you liked it :)
Quinn
Xe/Xem/Xyr pronouns
@Acacophony Thanks a bunch for this guide! Was considering opening a hatchery soon, and I’ve been lately planning.
@Acacophony Thanks a bunch for this guide! Was considering opening a hatchery soon, and I’ve been lately planning.
eppAZHY.png
@kinderla
My pleasure! I'm glad it helped you, and good luck with your hatchery
@kinderla
My pleasure! I'm glad it helped you, and good luck with your hatchery
Quinn
Xe/Xem/Xyr pronouns
@Acacophony

You mentioned genes in your pricing, though you did not include them in the breakdown - how would you go about those?
@Acacophony

You mentioned genes in your pricing, though you did not include them in the breakdown - how would you go about those?
tumblr_inline_njfq26vNyG1r3h1o8.pngtumblr_inline_nsif1jouiH1r3h1o8_540.pngHePTcTV.png
@kiwiusa77

I usually only worry about the number of genes I have and how pretty the dragon is, unless I happen to have one of the newer genes.
Crystal, and Spines being the newest genes are all in fairly high demand, and go for a little more money.
@kiwiusa77

I usually only worry about the number of genes I have and how pretty the dragon is, unless I happen to have one of the newer genes.
Crystal, and Spines being the newest genes are all in fairly high demand, and go for a little more money.
Quinn
Xe/Xem/Xyr pronouns
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