Are your hens paying for themselves?


In the Brooder
9 Years
Nov 19, 2010
I just got my first egg yesterday. I figure that with the coop that I built plus their feed so far, that the first egg cost about $3,000. It is lots of fun, but I don't think they'll ever pay for themselves.LOL


8 Years
Jul 10, 2011
It seems to me the cost of feed is what tips the scales, if everything else is done efficiently. I've been looking into growing my own chicken feed. I know you can't do that easily in suburbia, because alfalfa needs a lot more land to grow on. But if you got together with other chicken-owners in the area maybe you could come up with an alternative.
Chickens don't have to eat commercial food. It's just a convenience.


8 Years
Mar 12, 2011
Bucks County PA
I guess it just depends on how much you invest in them, especially initially. We built our coop and run very cheaply, about $100-150, and we give them scraps and let them free range some. They are just starting to lay and based on the amount of feed they eat, and the projected number of eggs (ha!) I think they will pay for themselves. We also have a garden so the fertilizer is also a benefit!


9 Years
May 5, 2010
Milan, MI
If I forget the grand I put into the coup and run then yes, they are paying for themselves. I figure I get to sell about 3 dozen a week right now (that will be 1.5 - 2 dz in winter). That's 24 bucks a month in summer and maybe 16 bucks a month in winter. right now I go through 1 $16 bag of feed a month, double that for winter. So do the math. for about 6 months a year I make $8/month and for the other 6 months I loose $16/month.......$hit.....I'm loosing money! Well, just forget what I said in my first sentence and don't ask anymore questions we really don't want to know the answer to.


8 Years
Mar 28, 2011
Tallahassee, FL
Now THAT's teamwork!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


No, ours haven't and we started in March. I call it learning curve, and am happy because my son and I enjoy them. Our biggest investment was the 200yds of fence, which can (and probably will) be repurposed to enclose the garden (or part of it at least). Part of the issue may be the competition around here keeping prices down--A lady at work sells eggs (I have 7 coworkers in this office) and 3 houses (or 2/3 a mile down the road they are 1.25/doz). Since mine are not organic, I can't really tap into that (small) market. I don't know how you guys get $3 + out of yours!

My husband sais the whole thing is a dismal failure and when these guys die off or go to freezer camp we are done, never to buy another chicken again. So I'm really hoping for successful broodies in the spring!

Niss I get three and could maybe get $4 because I feed the organic no-soy, non-GMO corn feed and they free range 2 hours a day. I don't think I could get the increased price if I didn't have organic. Mine are actually cheaper than organic egg around here. But my feed is more expensive so it is just a choice. I wanted that feed for my family.


Apr 1, 2011
Oak Grove AR
Lets see I get better eggs than from the store.
Meat(once I get started) that is better than what is in the store.
low cost pest control, Even from the front of the car.
fertilizer that is spread around on its own.
Entertainment that is right out the window.
And a flock of follower that follow me around when I go out. just wish they would follow me to the front yard.
All that is priceless to me.

A.T. Hagan

Don't Panic
12 Years
Aug 13, 2007
North/Central Florida
Well, let's see. My feed runs me roughly thirty four cents a pound. It takes about five pounds of feed to produce a dozen eggs so I have about $1.70 per dozen in feed. I sell my eggs for $3.00 a dozen so that leaves $1.30 a dozen to cover all other costs such as tractors, waterers, feeders, and so on. But I get to amortize those out over their expected life spans. I'll typically get at least four years from a waterer. I've never had a feeder wear out yet and I'm not sure how long the tractors will last. My oldest is now over four years old and still in use. I learned a lot in building later models so I expect the newer ones will last still longer.

I don't feed a lot of expensive "treats" just two thirds Layena to one third game bird starter for a ration that provides 20% protein. I could cut out the gamebird starter but even if I eliminated it entirely that would only reduce my feed cost by 1.3 cents a pound and I like the way the birds perform on this blend than I do when I was using straight Layena.

For my actual working birds I am making a profit. It's the boys in the bachelor pen and the older birds in the fixed henyard that don't lay very well that aren't making a profit, but those are the birds I breed with for my own personal projects.

Erin K

8 Years
Aug 3, 2011
If mine even look like they MIGHT be paying for themselves I will reward them with more treats or a bigger/better coop! I don't expect them to pay for themselves. I expect them to let me pet them and pick them up. The eggs are a bonus.

Now that's just me. I have pet chickens:cd that incidentally lay eggs. (well they don't yet, but they tell me they plan to, when they get around to it).


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