Is raising chickens cheaper than buying eggs?
When it comes to food budget savings, what comes first -- the chicken or the egg?
Once you have fresh eggs that are laid by local hens that are not fed the CRAP the hens whose eggs are sold in the stores, you will NEVER eat store bought eggs again!
Store eggs taste like garbage.
I bought 9 baby RIR (Road Island Reds) for $1.25 each. The waterer I bought for them was about $35 and it is made of metal. DON'T BUY PLASTIC!! I spend about $30 for the metal feeder. Plasic you will have to replace....Winter months are easy too. Just one light bulb and a big ole scoop of corn a day is good for them. Whatever you do though do NOT get a coop that lays on the ground.
Here is what I spend monthly on my 9 darling hens.
$35 bedding (I have a VERY large homemade coop which is probably too large)
$30 layer feed (I only need two bags a month. My girls free range.)
$20 oyster shells every three months or so
So I spend 65 a month or so on my girls not including the start ups needed like containers/coop/bulbs etc. I get around 252 eggs a month. Farm fresh eggs are much tastier than store bought eggs. To me store bought has zero flavor.
That being said chickens are very awesome and humorous creatures. They all have unique personalities and are very rewarding when you finally get to taste your chickens eggs. My first egg from came from a hen trying to fly downwards and out popped an egg! Poor girl didn't know what was going on.They can be very loving if you raise them right. Mine adore me and run up to me when I call them. Love my chicks <3
I live in a nice suburban neighborhood. My neighbor had a fenced in yard with a chicken coop. She would sell a dozen eggs for 3 bucks. She had a line out the door of neighbors wanting to buy eggs. We quickly switched to her eggs from store bought eggs.
Two years later, she moved away to start a real farm. We had to switch back to store bought eggs.
We don't eat eggs that much any more.
We have chickens and we sell the extra eggs to the neighbors. Unless you are a commercial grower, raising chickens
for eggs is a hobby and if you break even after 5 years your lucky. So enjoy your chickens and stop clucking!
However when you include the value of their poop then they actually can pay for themselves if you make compost...
Also properly raised, chickens don't stink and aren't dirty. (chickens don't lick their brown eye then lick your face like dogs do...)
Just returned from Costco where there is no INFLATION.
That is if you care to eat a flat screen television for dinner.
That said how certain are you that the food you buy is really organic that you are feeding your chicken.
The FDA did a study of human organic foods and found about 25 percent of them were not organic.
and nobody is checking chicken feed. Sounds like a way a feed supplier can double his money by having the printer print organic on his bags.
Chickens do have a lot of predators....
Dogs, some cats, to Coyotes, foxes, etc..canines.
Raccoons, sometimes possums.
Hawks and other flying predators.
They have to be locked up secure or cooped at night.
Chickens require little Vet care, cheaper to buy another chick then go to Vet, unless it's your buddy.
Decent food and water, maybe a little wormer occasionally..
Free range is fine within reason, you don't want them in flower beds or mature gardens.
Good laying for maybe 3-7 years, then put them in the stew pot...Or Chicken and dumplings
Raising chickens can be done about anywhere, if it is allowed...City or town might have Regs..?
Country or rural usually never a problem.
If you or family eat/use a lot if eggs, maybe worthwhile...(4 people,etc.)
For two people using a dozen a week, only a labor of love; Saves nothing.
By them from friend or neighbor, help support their habit...Eggs normally much better then store.
Consider cost of coop, nest, feeders and watering apps...Then a fenced yarding area, if you don't want to "free range" them? But you still need coop and nests...Heat lamp when young.
Happy chickens need maybe 8-10 sq. feet per chicken 2'x4'=8 sft.
1-2 nests for every 3-5 chickens....About 4-5 for 10 chicks.
Might as well have 10 chickens as 3-5, because you can sell eggs to neighbors, friends, or co-workers to defray feed cost..
Good layers, probably average 1-1.5 eggs per two days; Good laying season, egg a day.
Winter time they lay less, have to have enhanced feed or use red pepper.
Believe you can save money on the feed costs, compared to above...
But good luck to all you Future Farmers of America...Fresh eggs, yummy !!
On the outset raising chickens seems like a way to save money but I can assure you that any savings are going to be negligible if any at all. Laying hens only lay for a few years and as they taper off most farm families would harvest their poor layers for Sunday diner. So you have a certain amount of attrition due to that. Then you have to worry about predators like foxes, coyotes, and even some neighborhood dogs who can prey upon your stock and even steal eggs from the nest. Finally you have to grade and candle your eggs for quality and suitable size and make sure you won't be treated with a surprise in your frying pan when a fetal chick pops out.
Like most things involved with food production whether it is raising meat (beef, pork, poultry, etc.) or growing a garden there is a lot more work involved than meets the eye. People who have grown up in an urban environment generally have no idea of what is involved in food production from scratch. It is usually pretty comical to watch a city slicker try to raise a garden or even collect eggs from the nest of a sitting hen who will defend her brood.
I usually advise those who have the sudden urge to try and become more agrarian and self sufficient in food production to first buy an old fashioned hand cranked ice cream maker and try making home made ice cream or perhaps get a churn and try making butter assuming they can find a source for whole milk that hasn't been homogenized. That usually is sufficient to discourage them. LOL
Listen to the long time farmers with regards to chickens. I live a village that got hit with the raising chicken craze a few years back. Most people who wanted them had no idea how to raise them; they just wanted their way. Now a few years later, it is all coming to roost on how unpractical it is, unless you are a full time chicken farm in the country with intent to sell hundreds of eggs per day. They are work, like any other pet, they have to have coops with heat in the winter, cost more money than you think, you need to protect them from all kinds of predators and most of all, they live to be about 18 yrs. old, but only lay eggs for about 1/3 of their lives if you are lucky. Lastly, but most important, animal shelters are full of chickens they can’t get rid of, because people did not do their homework and got fed up with little eggs and a lot of work. No doubt, farm fresh eggs are the best, but my advice is to go to the country and get your eggs from a farmer who has made a living raising them, not some suburbanite who jumped on the organic craze.
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