Cost vs. Benefits of Chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by substandardtim, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. substandardtim

    substandardtim Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 15, 2009
    Not sure if this is the best forum for this topic but here goes.

    I've been thinking about getting some chickens this spring. Like half a dozen. I only have a family of three so we don't need a lot but I've been thinking about the costs vs the benefits of them. I'm not sure I have the stomach for butchering anything so that could pose a problem.

    So if all they produce for me is eggs then counting in the money spent getting them, building them a house, and feeding them. and the time dedicated to it. I think this gets really close to the edge of just being better off buying eggs from the store.

    If I paid someone else to do the butchering then I still think I'm walking close to that line.

    If I somehow found it in my disposition to suddenly not have a problem dealing with blood and guts and was able to butcher them myself then it gets a lot better financially.

    Just wondering what others thoughts are on this and if they use the chickens for just eggs or eggs and meat and how well they feel it provides for them and their family in either case.

  2. Chicken Woman

    Chicken Woman Incredible Egg

    Oct 16, 2008
    By the time you build a coop and run, buy feed,scratch,grit,oyster shell,products to get rid of worms, and to make your coop and chickens mite and lice free. You will never break even !

    Chickens are wonderful pets that will feed you and entertain you if they are well cared for but you will not make money off of them. You will get wonderful fresh eggs that taste so much better than store bought !

    Your children will learn responsibility by helping care for them and collecting eggs.

  3. cubalaya

    cubalaya Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 19, 2008
    central virginia
    lets say you buy 3 hens and 1 rooster for $30. each hen lays 200 eggs a year. thats 50 dozen eggs at $2 a dozen equals $100. if you hatch some out you could have the roosters processed and add more hens to your flock or sell some chicks. just something to think about.
  4. ginbart

    ginbart Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 9, 2008
    Bloomsburg, PA
    Well Tim, we have a family of three. I know it cost a lot in the beginning for the bator, turner, and the other things you need but, if your not going to use a bator and just buy the chickens then it's worth it.

    Your eggs will be better for you, and fresher. If you get six hens then you could sell some of the eggs and make enought money for them to pay for themselves.

    And, theres nothing funnier then watching you chickens in the summer time. You will be surprised at how rewarding they will be.

    Even with the temps here down to -2 last night I couldn't wait to go outside and give my chickens a little treat and get my one egg before it froze. LOL

    Get them, you will enjoy them.

    And, [​IMG]
  5. mistylady

    mistylady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 1, 2008
    Ohio near Coshocton
    My chickens are worth their wieght in gold to me. They are good company and they will listen to anything I have to say and never judge! I smile just watching them out in the run scratching and rolling. They are great!

    The cost? They give us eggs and happiness. The eggs are so much better than store eggs! We sell any extra. None of ours are meat birds (dh wanted to kill some but I made them all into pets). We have Dominiques - 13 hens and two roos. We still get an egg or two everyday even with it below freezing outside and they have no light in their coop for making the day seem longer. They are worth it to me. I love my chickies!!!! And the kids love them too. If you turn your chickens into pets: They will sit on your lap and chat with you if you sit down. And mine will stretch out on my leg and sun themselves with a wing up in the air so you can pet under the wing. They are spoiled. And I highly recommend them!

    And our hens when we had 9 layers produced 8 or 9 eggs day everyday when the sunlight and weather was decent. We have people calling for eggs and standing orders for any extras! You can have people bring their own cartons and give them a .25 off the egg price if you want.
  6. rooster0209

    rooster0209 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2008
    North Dakota
    I dont have the stomach or nature to butcher mine either. Husband will have to do that or maybe the kids from the farm up the road, who butcher their own birds.

    I don't have alot of $$ in mine, but the building for the coop was already here. I hatched free eggs given to my by some friends. I was also given waterers by some 'retired' chicken folks.

    If I were you, I would check into feed prices in your area, check locals who might have some chicks to sell/trade and check places like craigslist for coop ideas. I think some people who have backyard chickens have utilzed dog houses.

    read all the great info here too
  7. mistylady

    mistylady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 1, 2008
    Ohio near Coshocton
    And another bonus: you will have feathered garbage disposals at your feet! They eat leftovers and seasonal cheapies (pumpkins after Halloween are great cheap treats). Spaghetti noodles and yogurt are great fun to give them! Left over bread heels are saved up here and the chickens get them. Veggies left over at donner? Chicken snacks!!!! Between the dogs getting the meat scraps and the chickens getting the chicken safe stuff we have very little food related trash.
  8. Chicken Woman

    Chicken Woman Incredible Egg

    Oct 16, 2008
    Your chickens will help you make wonderful compost if you garden.!

  9. 1acrefarm

    1acrefarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 3, 2007
    Anytime I think chickens are not worth the cost I price a bag of fertilizer. I lose the notion of my chickens not being worth it quickly. They turn bugs that would eat my garden into natural fertilizer. No need for chemicals at all. What could be a better system than that?
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Chickens can be made profitable, in terms of providing you with eggs to eat, without too much trouble (other than requiring iron self-restraint <g>) IF you already pretty much have a place set up to keep 'em. BTW the only reason to eat your layers is if they are getting older and production is dropping off and you don't want to feed semi-retirees -- you will not be getting anything like an economically-meaningful amount of meat off 'em.

    If you do not have anywhere to keep 'em, and have to build a coop and run, then it is a lot more dicey. Many people here are eating $200 eggs <g>

    HOWEVER if you scrounge materials and build your coop and run FOR NEARLY FREE, then you are back to it being a reasonable economic venture.

    In order to do this, you need time/energy/inclination to scrounge*, probably access to a suitable vehicle to drag your scroungings home in, and you have to be the sort of person who will take the initiative to design your coop around what's actually available rather than going all Martha Stewart with preconceptions about how it should look. That is not to say a free or nearly-free coop has to be ramshackle or ugly -- if you look around on the coop pages on this site, you will see some people have built really nice, tidy, attractive coops out of scrounged stuff. I just mean that you can't draw up plans for a cutesy victorian style coop (or whatever) and then expect to build 'em out of whatever you can find.

    *-there are a number of threads here on scrounging materials, use the 'search' utility to find them. Best sources are relatives/neighbors, anyone doing renovations, freecycle, businesses getting rid of pallets and packing cases, and construction sites for 2x4s and plywood (but ask permission first). A coat of paint also works wonders when you're done -- you may get free leftovers from neighbors etc or on freecycle, or stores sell mistints at a discount.

    Chickens are really a lot of fun though. I got my first 3 just for eggs, I don't much like birds so I was sure there'd be no danger of getting 'into' them... and now look at me [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun, get chickens <g>,


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