Chickens that Pay for Themselves ???

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by doublejfarm, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. doublejfarm

    doublejfarm Out Of The Brooder

    94
    0
    39
    Jun 6, 2011
    Modoc, SC
    Ok so I've been crunching some numbers, and I have a few questions. My chickens are a hobby right now ( get just enough eggs for my family). I know there are a lot of variables but if I were to expand a good bit, about how many head would I need between selling. Chicks, pullets, and eggs, to not make money, but just have the whole thing pay for itself.
    Does anyone have an operation like this and what does it look like? Opinions please
     
  2. itsy

    itsy Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,790
    13
    163
    Mar 14, 2011
    New England
    I've been thinking about this for a while, too. It's such a broad based question and there are SO many variables - including regional ones. I wouldn't mind breaking even, either. I was just talking with a local farmer who I'm becoming friendly with. He's managed to sell 50 dozen eggs weekly to another farmer who sells them at his roadside stand. I'm not likely going to ever have such a large operation, but it was a nice "deal" for him to score. I'm going to buy some polish eggs from him this weekend to incubate. We were talking about the types of chicks that sell well and he does well with Araucana and Polish because of the fancy egg color and the fancy look of the polish. That farmer who buys eggs from him only wants green/blue and brown eggs. General folks seem to think they're better for you because of the color. lol. [​IMG]

    It would be nice if people had charts and graphs of their operation costs and sales [​IMG] We should all keep such detailed records!

    I'm currently raising my first batch of meat birds. They're for my family to eat, not to sell. I've been doing research on the "legal requirements" to sell meat birds and I don't know if I'd want to go through the trouble of all the inspections, so we'll probably not sell any meat any time soon.
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    OK, I don't have my "chart" on the computer, just on paper ledgers, but we have a very small, 40-50 chicken operation. Mostly the chickens are for the manure and litter for the market gardens and for my "hobby". We sold 30 dozen eggs last month. We clear $1 a dozen, so that $30 is "profit", but I'd make much more working part time and saying, "Good Morning, Welcome to WalMart"

    I total my balance sheet, with expenses in one column and sales in another. Pretty honest about the real costs and don't hide them. I also keep a running Year to Date.

    You have to figure your equipment purchases over the long haul, but the electricity for lights, heating dog dishes waterers in winter, straw for bedding, chips for bedding, and of course, FEED. Even if you get your chicks for "free", they aren't free, because you have to feed the roos and broody hens, or electricity for brooding. Either way, let's say you've got $3 in a chick and $8-$12 in a POL pullet. She'll have to lay for the first six months to get your investment back, so that $1 a dozen "profit" doesn't kick in until after that.

    There is a bit of money in fertile eggs sales and a small amount to be made from selling live birds, but again, it is very small.

    I do it because I love it, and we work hard to "break even".
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011
  4. R.M. Hens

    R.M. Hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    149
    1
    99
    Apr 27, 2011
    Pearl River, LA
    Fred's Hens :

    OK, I don't have my "chart" on the computer, just on paper ledgers, but we have a very small, 40-50 chicken operation. Mostly the chickens are for the manure and litter for the market gardens and for my "hobby". We sold 30 dozen eggs last month. We clear $1 a dozen, so that $30 is "profit", but I'd make much more working part time and saying, "Good Morning, Welcome to WalMart"

    I total my balance sheet, with expenses in one column and sales in another. Pretty honest about the real costs and don't hide them. I also keep a running Year to Date.

    You have to figure your equipment purchases over the long haul, but the electricity for lights, heating dog dishes waterers in winter, straw for bedding, chips for bedding, and of course, FEED. Even if you get your chicks for "free", they aren't free, because you have to feed the roos and broody hens, or electricity for brooding. Either way, let's say you've got $3 in a chick and $8-$12 in a POL pullet. She'll have to lay for the first six months to get your investment back, so that $1 a dozen "profit" doesn't kick in until after that.

    There is a bit of money in fertile eggs sales and a small amount to be made from selling live birds, but again, it is very small.

    I do it because I love it, and we work hard to "break even".

    By the end of next year, I hope to have a very small 40-50 chicken operation like your own. I want to have this many chickens because, like you, my whole family and I absolutely love it. My question to you is (and I hope I am not being too personal) Can you claim on your yearly taxes all that goes along with maintaining your chicken "farm" as a small business or yourself being self employed? Basically, can you get a tax break in the form of deductions from a 40-50 chicken operation run as a small business?​
     
  5. southerndesert

    southerndesert B & M Chicken Ranch

    1,356
    12
    141
    Jun 17, 2011
    Morristown, AZ
    Yes we make a small "profit" my daughter gets to keep after purchasing food and supplies each month. But we do not figure in labor [​IMG] We do it to get free food and fert as well and it is well worth the effort.
     
  6. Sniggle

    Sniggle Out Of The Brooder

    16
    0
    22
    Jul 7, 2011
    We say our hens lay 'golden eggs' because the cost of feed far outweighs the egg production, even with them free ranging during the day...I've been afraid to officially check the numbers but now you've got me curious!
     
  7. pinkwindsong

    pinkwindsong Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2011
    Laurens SC
    R.M. Hens :

    Fred's Hens :

    OK, I don't have my "chart" on the computer, just on paper ledgers, but we have a very small, 40-50 chicken operation. Mostly the chickens are for the manure and litter for the market gardens and for my "hobby". We sold 30 dozen eggs last month. We clear $1 a dozen, so that $30 is "profit", but I'd make much more working part time and saying, "Good Morning, Welcome to WalMart"

    I total my balance sheet, with expenses in one column and sales in another. Pretty honest about the real costs and don't hide them. I also keep a running Year to Date.

    You have to figure your equipment purchases over the long haul, but the electricity for lights, heating dog dishes waterers in winter, straw for bedding, chips for bedding, and of course, FEED. Even if you get your chicks for "free", they aren't free, because you have to feed the roos and broody hens, or electricity for brooding. Either way, let's say you've got $3 in a chick and $8-$12 in a POL pullet. She'll have to lay for the first six months to get your investment back, so that $1 a dozen "profit" doesn't kick in until after that.

    There is a bit of money in fertile eggs sales and a small amount to be made from selling live birds, but again, it is very small.

    I do it because I love it, and we work hard to "break even".

    By the end of next year, I hope to have a very small 40-50 chicken operation like your own. I want to have this many chickens because, like you, my whole family and I absolutely love it. My question to you is (and I hope I am not being too personal) Can you claim on your yearly taxes all that goes along with maintaining your chicken "farm" as a small business or yourself being self employed? Basically, can you get a tax break in the form of deductions from a 40-50 chicken operation run as a small business?​

    great question.. [​IMG]
     
  8. homesteadapps

    homesteadapps Chillin' With My Peeps

    257
    7
    111
    Nov 8, 2010
    Ohio
    See this post. Plug in your own numbers

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=5528345#p5528345

    In addition to the above spread the cost of buildings, etc into the operation.
    Electric for the coop is minimal. Fans in the summer for coops and lights in the winter. Brooding lamps if not using hens.

    Brooding cost. I generally figure estimates that it cost $3.00 to $4.00 to get a chick to laying age and that includes brooding costs including feed, heat lamps, etc and feed.


    Just remember there are:

    DIRECT COSTS = costs that are only there when the chicken are there, such as feed, water, bedding,etc.....
    FIXED COSTS = costs that are there irregardless if there are chickens on the property, such as depreciation, repairs, etc...
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2011
  9. homesteadapps

    homesteadapps Chillin' With My Peeps

    257
    7
    111
    Nov 8, 2010
    Ohio
    Quote:By the end of next year, I hope to have a very small 40-50 chicken operation like your own. I want to have this many chickens because, like you, my whole family and I absolutely love it. My question to you is (and I hope I am not being too personal) Can you claim on your yearly taxes all that goes along with maintaining your chicken "farm" as a small business or yourself being self employed? Basically, can you get a tax break in the form of deductions from a 40-50 chicken operation run as a small business?

    great question.. [​IMG]

    Check with your accountant but generally if you are running your operation as a farm as a business (selling, advertising, trying to make money,etc) then you can file a schedule F. You can have losses and still be able to claim them if the intent is to make profit.

    If you only use for personal use then the answer is no. I've included a link to more info below.

    http://taxes.about.com/b/2005/02/22/schedule-f-tax-tips-for-farmers.htm
     
  10. annep

    annep Chillin' With My Peeps

    308
    1
    111
    Mar 4, 2011
    Webought our girls for $10 each. A bag of feed will last us a month. That's &15...they supply us enough eggs for our fam, and we have 8 kiddos..If I compare store bought eggs, and count in especially the quality of the eggs, by far, it's cheaper for us to have our own...
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by