chickens are bad investments!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by peep417, Oct 23, 2014.

  1. peep417

    peep417 In the Brooder

    Sep 12, 2014
    I bought 20 chickens to sell eggs but all I get is buying feed 2 times a month and not getting any eggs. They been molting for almost 3 month now. I have 9 month old chicks, no eggs yet. Omg this could have been a very bad idea for all the time and effort I put into them >:|
  2. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Songster

    Aug 28, 2014
    Oakland, CA
    My Coop
    Small scale production is not really cost effective from what I've seen and read. Most people who sell their eggs are lucky to break even on feed even when they can free range most of the time.
  3. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Honestly, for the average backyard flock there isn't really going to be a "profit" in the business of selling eating eggs - it's like horses where the saying is, "How do you make a small fortune in horses? Start with a large fortune." -- some byc flocks are able to be self sustaining in that the sale of eggs can cover the cost of upkeep and *maybe* put a little extra in the coffers, but the true return on investment for a small flock, is not financial in nature.

    For clarity's sake - is your entire flock 9 month old birds or do you have older birds as well. I ask because you mention that they have been molting for three months, which would be more an issue expected with a mature flock in the 18+ month age range than a flock of all young pullets just entering production.

    What breed(s) are you keeping? Some mature faster than others and start production sooner rather than later.
    What is your location? Season can have a lot to do with young birds who are just reaching the point of production - knowing where you are in the world will help identify which side of that coin you may be dealing with
    Are you certain your flock is all female?
    What are you currently feeding your flock?
    Are your birds confined 24/7 or able to free range? Free ranging always opens up the possibility of hidden nests where eggs are being laid without your knowledge.
  4. peep417

    peep417 In the Brooder

    Sep 12, 2014
    I have 8 9 months, 3 2yrs, 9 1 1/4 years.
  5. peep417

    peep417 In the Brooder

    Sep 12, 2014
    I'm in missouri, and I I free range from 8 am to 6:45 every day unless i'm on vacation ;)
  6. Aluckyshot

    Aluckyshot In the Brooder

    Oct 20, 2014
    I think you're going to find most people agree with your sentiments in regards to financial investment and chicken keeping. I am actually afraid to tally what I blew already, my first egg might be a $1000 egg.... How ever that money is well worth it just to see chickens at my house :)
    2 people like this.
  7. Toddrick

    Toddrick Songster

    Sep 28, 2014
    Wait until you buy all the medic medicines, bedding, tank de-icers, treats, fencing, OMG. There is certainly no way to profit unless you can charge a lot more than grocers for your eggs. Breaking even would be very lucky, but even then if you look at how much time and energy you spend, then it comes out a major net loss.

    I was freaked out about the cost at first, and now I am okay with it because I can't imagine not having chickens. I just like watching them, and learning how to take care of their coop. It is my only connection to self sufficiency.
  8. Peeps61

    Peeps61 Songster

    Apr 19, 2014
    NW Florida
    Hi Toddrick,

    I agree with your comment about self sufficiency because the eggs ain't cheap! My husband says that at least the *&$#@! chickens give us eggs on occasion - what do the horses, dogs, cats and rabbits produce other than work and the need to buy feed for them? I told him that they were my silly whims and that because he loved me he enabled me. He just laughed and said that I should buy more chicks - not rabbits!
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    I agree that it would be cheaper to buy eggs at the store: If you consider the costs of raising them, housing them, fencing them... But, there are benefits that don't impact the wallet in a tangible way: My garden produced better this year, after one year of chickens than it ever has. 2 ears of corn on every stalk. 9' tall sorghum. ABSOLUTELY NO SQUASH BUGS. Very few cucumber beetles. Potato bugs and slugs in manageable quantities. In years past, all of these pests were a huge issue. Wonderful piles of chicken bedding to build compost piles with. Then there's the benefit to the brain: I've learned so very much since spending the last 2 years studying everything I can get my hands on about poultry husbandry. This adds to my ongoing passion for gardening. Then, there's the exercise: All the extra time I've been able to spend outside tending my flock's needs has been great for getting me out of the house and more involved in gardening and landscaping. Not to mention the exercise achieved by building a green house, hoop coop, hoop coop addition, and 2 tractors... followed by a new coop which is close to being finished. Then there's the social benefits: I recently put out a sign to sell eggs, and have met some wonderful neighbors through this effort. I've also made some wonderful e-friends on BYC and an other forum, great people who I wouldn't have met if not for the love of chickens. Then, there's the impact on my family: Seeing my little girl out in the yard, perched on a hay bale reading a story to the chickens, who by the way seemed to be captivated by her every word: PRICELESS!!! Finally, there's the satisfaction of looking out across the yard, seeing my flock of birds busily working their way through the grass for the delightful little morsels hidden there. Or the anticipation followed by the excitement of tending eggs for 3 weeks to watch that little chick struggle out of the egg, and watching that little creature grow into a sleek pullet. Waiting and wondering what color her eggs will be, and delighting in the perfect shape and color of that first one.

    Last edited: Oct 24, 2014
    5 people like this.
  10. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    [​IMG] Love it! I feel the same way. I've put a little money in my "Egg Money Can" but certainly nowhere near what I've invested, and that's okay! I have some chicken in the freezer, eggs in my fridge, and my reputation for good, clean eggs has taken care of any advertising. In the beginning, while the girls were laying eggs that were small and/or inconsistent in size, I gave them away. Now that they are laying better sized eggs, I've begun to sell them. One gentleman, who had been getting his eggs from another lady in town, had gotten some free eggs from me. He stopped by to buy some more. He looked a little surprised that they'd been washed. I told him I don't wash the eggs - I just gather and refrigerate them. He was skeptical, so I took him out to the coop. The first thing he noticed was how bright it was and how much space the girls have. The second thing he commented on was that there was no smell. Then I reached in, took an egg right out of a nest, and handed it to him. It was clean. He's a customer for life.

    My grandchildren are my best chicken sitters. Katie is 8 and she's adopted one of the chickens, Agatha. Evan is 9 and he is so meticulous when he's in charge. They do a great job. They not only understand where their food comes from, they understand that in order to get the best eggs and meat they have to be diligent in the care they provide to the chickens. And they understand that those critters depend on the family to provide clean, airy housing, a good diet, and respect for the natural instincts and behaviors of the birds. How do you put a price tag on that?
    3 people like this.

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