It is just my husband and myself so lots of eggs are not critical to us. I do pass them along to my sons and their families. Two hens who laid 4 eggs per week each would take care of our egg needs but I love to have a varied flock and I do feed my chickens eggs for extra protein and animal fat. With that being said, I hatch replacement layers each year. At least that is the excuse I am using. LOL. I don't necessarily replace the ones I have but I try to keep fresh hens each year. If one of my hens is prone to being nasty to the young ones, she goes. If they are nice and accomodating to the new ones, then they can stay. It sounds cruel but my layers are not my pets, those are the Silkies and Sizzles. I currently have 25 chickens all different ages so we have plenty of eggs to share. There are lots of hungry people who live nearby and I donate to the food bank and DH has some people he works with that are really struggling and they appreciate the eggs.
Having fresh food is the main reason I got the chickens to start with, all the rest of the crazy addiction has developed since I got discovered BYC. I still try to maintain a realistic outlook regarding the poultry. DH will not eat a chicken that we raised from a baby or one that he knows lived here. He never had a problem shooting geese, doves and ducks and eating them, go figure! Because of his aversion, I don't process the spent or culled layers or extra roosters but that would be my first choice. We always had fresh home grown chicken at my grandparents farm when I was growing up and I remember how good it was. That was the only chicken I would eat for years.
I raise the bantams to sell eggs for hatching and I feel I have make enough to feed them. Of course it does not include meds, feeders, coops and all the other things, that is just part of the hobby. As with any hobby, there is always an expense but the therapy value is what count. I also quilt and the chickens are still cheaper and much easier. I have replaced some of my little hens but they found very nice homes and I usualy have some extra young ones each year that I give awayor sell as they don't fit my goals in breeding. These little ones earn their keep incubating the eggs I want to hatch for layer replacements or the bantam breeders.
Having fresh food has become a bonus to a very rewarding hobby. I love the work, I love the birds and I spend lots of time each day with my chickens. I hate to loose one or to part with any of them but learning to keep a balance with this addiction is an important part of this wonderful pastime.
I am not sure if all this information is what you were looking for, Nifty, but I hope it helps its just one womans approach to owning chickens.