Monday, March 11, 2013

The Chickens Are Earning Their Keep

We have been getting a consistent supply of eggs from our 7 hens since the beginning of the year.  A co-worker had put dibs on fresh brown eggs since November of last year.  A price was agreed upon and then we (patiently) waited for the first dozen eggs to become available.

We are finding that the new breeds of hens we have right now are not as consistent at laying eggs as our originals.  Their eggs are also smaller than our original hen’s eggs.  Due to a problem with a hungry red tail hawk this past winter, we lost 3 full-grown chickens in the span of a month; one of them being one of the original red sex link hens who was our best layer.  Let me tell you, our red sex links lay an egg almost every single day and their eggs are huge: we are talking XL or XXL.

In January and February, we sold 5 dozen eggs to my coworker friend as well as another coworker.  The proceeds from the sales are almost enough to purchase another 50 lb. bag of chicken feed.  The best part is: we still have more than half a bag of food for the chickens to (hopefully) last us another month or two.

My goal for this year was to spend no more than $50 on chicken feed by supplementing their diet with mealworms, table scraps, food from the chicken garden and free food we get from friends and family that is expired.  So far this year, we have purchased 1 bag of chicken food for $17.24.  This is about $4 more than what we usually spend on their food, but we needed it and it wasn’t worth driving 30 additional minutes to get it from our usual supply store. 

As mentioned, we still have more than half a bag of food left for the chickens.  Assuming we sell another 5+ dozen eggs in the next month and a half, we will have more money from the sale than the food costs to feed the chickens.  Not only that, we eat our fair share of chicken eggs throughout the week! To me, this is a win-win scenario!

Are your chickens earning their keep?
How many do you have?



  1. Awesome that they're starting to earn their keep! Ours most definitely are not...yet! We've had our 5 grown layers for 2 weeks now and we've yet to see an egg, hopefully soon! And, our chicks are now over 4 weeks old and we still have months to go before they'll be laying! Of course, it is still fun just having many ways they're pets!

    1. Rachel, if I counted how much it cost from the beginning when we got them 3 years ago, and then the chicky babies last year, they arent earning their keep..and that' OK by me. I started with 2013 and what we've spent on their feed. I am proud to say that to date, we have sold enough to pay for that first bag of food and I have "orders" in for 4 more dozen by the end of the month. It is working out well for us. And yes, I agree that even if they werent earning their keep, it is great just having the chickens. I love watching them and their quirky attitudes.