We are well into three plus years of chicken ownership and have learned a few things along the way. I have shared our lessons learned about winter chicken farming and fall brooding
So now I share with you what I have learned about Chickenomics...
For our family of four usually eats a few eggs for breakfast each week and uses eggs for baking a few times each week or about a dozen eggs a week...which means we need about four chickens for our personal use since a chicken lays about one egg every other day (more or less depending on breed, lighting conditions, food intake and age.)
|The one in the front was just layed...that's the bloom still wet on it.|
We have a dozen chickens which provides us with usually seven eggs a day (or 49 eggs a week...or four dozen more or less.)
So we have three dozen left after our personal consumption.
What do we do with the extra...
We let others "share" the wealth.
Sometimes we gift eggs to our neighbors as well (a few eggs really warm some hearts to chickens.)
We have several people locally who "board" their chickens with us and in exchange "buy" us feed for their chickens and ours. In other words...the chickens lay eggs which we sell to locals in exchange for money. We then put the money in a jar and when they need feed, straw, a new waterer...etc...the money comes out of their jar. We get our eggs for free in exchange for taking care of the chickens. In the summer when they are laying well, we sock away money for when they don't lay well and have expenses without income.
For example...people give us $3.00/dozen to board their chickens.
If 3 people a week board with us the chickens have $9.00 in their kitty a week.
Since they lay well for about 36 weeks a year it gives us $324/year.
During the other 16 weeks, we do not sell eggs, we use what little we get.
Grand total of income $324 more or less.
Feed costs $16/month or $192/year.
This means that the chickens bring in a wopping $132/year.
There are other expenses to the chickens including adding to the flock, straw, and the time/labor costs.
When we go on vacation, we barter eggs for chicken sitting so there isn't an expenditure there.
There are other benefits to the chickens in the form of brown gold...fertalizer...composted, I get enough chicken guano and spoiled straw, leaves, and other unsavory items to take care of all of my gardens.
So you see...taking care of chickens may not be the most financially profitable endevors one may have, but to boil this down...
Compost (deep littler)
Waste desposal (food scraps)
Time and labor (1 hour or so a week plus a deep cleaning 2x/yr)
Out building up keep (a bit here and there, but we keep it simple)
Straw (which costs about $6/year which is then composted so it becomes "income")
Flock replenishment (new chicks/ or get pullets...we get a few new ones each year)
Linked to The Morris Tribe and The Monday Barn Hop and Simple Lives Thursday