Backyard critters as an economic buffer?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Wifezilla, Dec 3, 2008.

  1. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    11,199
    43
    311
    Oct 2, 2008
    Colorado
    During the depression, people raised critters in their back yards to feed their families. Chickens, ducks, pigeons, etc... My grandma had a garden, a berry patch, apple trees and rabbit hutches. The bunnies were food. Not pets.

    A few questions for the people with only a few critters....With the current economic environment, are you raising your chickens (or ducks, or whatever) to lessen the impact of the crazy economy? Or is this just a hobby?

    Are you thinking about increasing your flock?
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    It's just a hobby for me. Unless you have the space paid for, the buildings already deducted from cost, it costs more per egg and lb of meat to raise because I have to feed them to keep them healthy and productive. As for garden, have one of those, on a good year can get 500+ lbs of veggies, but if you count the cost of the property taxes alone, each lb of food costs about 50 bucks.
     
  3. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    6,583
    14
    261
    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    Hrm...

    My flock of 4 birds has cost around $500 between the chicks, feed, coop construction, Seven5, DE, etc.

    One bird is now laying. Once the other 2 standards start laying, we could be getting 75 eggs/month.

    If DBF and I keep 25 eggs/month and sell the remaining 4 dozen at $3 each, that's $12/month. That will take 50 months to recover the cost to date.

    So nope, didn't get chicks to save money!

    But if we add 2 working girls... we could sell 8 dozen/month and bring home $24/month. Then they've paid for themselves in 25 months.
     
  4. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    For me, it's sort of a hobby, but also because I want to be self reliant to a certain degree. I want to raise my own pastured poultry, eggs, rabbits. I also garden, and plan on getting a hog, and a dairy cow. It is not a money saver, but it is a lifestyle choice we have made. I do believe that these things are good though, too, if you are uncertain as to where the economy is going.
     
  5. djackjr

    djackjr Chillin' With My Peeps

    545
    0
    139
    Sep 24, 2008
    Graham Wa.
    Both for me. Or soon will be once I get my chickens. Also plan on huge vegy garden in the spring. Not to make money but to have my own eats where I know where it came from....
     
  6. BettyR

    BettyR Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,834
    30
    191
    Mar 1, 2008
    Texas Gulf Coast
    Quote:On the other hand you would still have to pay the property tax whether you had the garden or not just to keep a roof over your head...so the veggies are a pretty good deal after all.

    My girls free rang and find a lot of their own food but I still spend about $30.00 a month on them. I've been getting an average of about 1-1/2 dozen eggs a day this winter so I figure the eggs cost me around 67ยข a dozen. I'm feeding 4 families with the eggs I get so I'd say we are doing ok.

    Edited to add: I also have a garden...being in the deep South I still have tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, bell peppers, broccoli, butternut squash and collards in my garden. If we don't have a freeze before the end of January I will have to pull it all up to get the beds ready to plant...we start our Spring gardens the end of February.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2008
  7. hypnofrogstevie

    hypnofrogstevie chick magnet

    Jul 12, 2007
    Newton NJ
    hobby but they also make good pets
     
  8. bheila

    bheila Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2008
    Kent, Wa
    Yup, we feed em and eat em. I've never eaten duck before, but now I'm seriously considering it now that no one is buying my ducklings. I can't afford to feed 15 extras ducks. We raised our own chickens/turkeys for meat this year and it was a great experience. We also have a steer down at the neighbors getting nice and fat. I would like to grow an even bigger garden next year. I learned long ago that you can only rely and depend on yourself.
     
  9. Sequin

    Sequin Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2008
    My flock started as a sort of hobby, but the benefits are far greater than first imagined. We do plan on increasing our flock, but the only meat birds that we will eat will be the extras thrown in for warmth of our order. Once the hens have stopped laying they will also be used for meat, but for our dogs. I would consider raising ducks/geese for eating though.

    But now, with the economy, yes - what we grow/raise here is to help off-set expenses in the grocery budget.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2008
  10. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    35,112
    121
    458
    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    For me its pretty much a hobby...but..i do plan on getting some meat birds and quail this spring to eat....but, at any time if i REALLY needed to..i could turn them into meat for my family....i also have a doe goat..if i really need milk and more meat i could breed her...i have ducks..(no nevermind..i cant eat plucky...)..[​IMG]..
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by