Calculating the ROI of Our Chickens

| 1/4/2012 11:53:36 AM

Guest Post by Michelle Mather 

As you might know from reading previous posts on this blog, Cam and I acquired 4 laying hens in May. We had always toyed with the idea of having our own chickens, but we didn’t know anything about looking after them and so we kept “chickening out.” We both eat a vegetarian diet, partly for ethical reasons, and so unless we were able to find eggs from happy, free-range chickens, we just chose to do without. When we lived in the city I was able to get organic eggs from humanely raised chickens at the local farmer’s market, but the market was only open during the spring, summer and fall and so we often had a hard time finding eggs during the winter months.

Then we moved to our home in the country and discovered a local organic farmer with a flock of chickens. We could see for ourselves that his chickens were not confined to small cages but were free to roam around a large barn and in good weather they ventured out into a pen where they could scratch and peck to their hearts’ content. He fed them organic feed and so we made a point of purchasing our eggs from him.

Then in the fall of 2010 he announced that his current flock of chickens was getting on in years and he wasn’t planning on replacing them, at least not right away. There is another farm in our area that offers eggs from free-range chickens but their eggs aren’t always easy to get. So once again we were back to only eating eggs whenever we could find them and doing without when our only choice was commercially produced eggs.

So last May we made the big decision to get our own chickens. At first we got two but then realized that our coop (which Cam made out of scrap lumber and two pallets as shown here) was big enough for at least 2 more. We also read that in case you lose one chicken (to illness or a predator), it’s good to have “extras” so that you won’t find yourself with one lone chicken in your coop.


1/5/2012 4:45:51 PM

Great Article!

1/4/2012 10:20:40 PM

Please clarify -- the post first reads that you'er using 7 bags at $23/bag for an annual feed cost of $161 (which would be cost of $1.61/dozen); then in the ROI calculator section it's turned into 161 Kg costing $308 (or $3.08/dozen). Big difference. Did I miss something in the translation? Thanks! GEN

Jerry Brandt
1/4/2012 9:31:50 PM

16 hens 4 roosters 4 eggs a day sometime 3 50 pounds of feed every other week. $500 per egg.

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