Does it not balance out?

writerskramp

Chirping
Oct 20, 2020
31
135
53
If you are looking to balance the books.. You are on the wrong site. Chickens are a love hate relationship.. I love em' and care for them. Nurse them.. whatever must be done, been doing it 8 years and longer if you count prior experience. Have one I recently nursed back to health and expects me to coodle it and hand feed it. NO!.. Predators are an easy fix with some work.. I no longer free range. When I lived far back from the road I did.. and still never lost a one.. except for the pecking order. My dogs over the years have been a problem.. I now give them a large run, roost and adjoining egg house.. Live to close to a busy road to allow them free range.. Why did the the chicken cross the road? To get flattened.. A stout fence and fencing laid horizontally around the perimter keeps out the diggers.. A net too chicken wire top will keep out eagles to raccoons.. Had an eagle perch right on top of my coop.. Bears do what they do.. bowed in my fencing, but must not have been hungry enough.. Dog.. chained or pen a dog next to your coop in the woods.. Problem solved. Miine is up by the house so I can keep an eye on it.. and dogs too. Only problem I have had as of late was chipmunks raiding the nests.. a full 50% of eggs.. daily. Took care of that.. Fattest chipmunk I ever saw! Auto-feeder!? You have nothing invested.. Hands on and muck boots.. I ferment my feed and have been doing so two years now.. A great improvement in health and wealth of eggs.. No more naked chickens and a full 50% feed savings as most proclaim.. I get 66% easily. The occasoinal chicken murder.. but thats the pecking order of this.. Usually the new guy or gal.. or some nesting Banti with atidude problem. Speaking of problem. Daddy Banti Rooster loves to spur me.. I love to hate him. His sons run him off.. Lions, Tigers and Bears - Oh my!
 

Judy Todd

Chirping
Dec 27, 2017
148
215
98
Yacolt Wa.
Thanks. I missed that. Not ideal free rangers.
I am confused, why would you have Silkies, they are just eye candy. I have 24,plus one young rooster, they all free range from morning until they put thenselves to bed about 4. I trained them to go out with just a handful of corn and can get them to go in the same way.
Also, my Americanas are great free rangers. I get 9 to 10 eggs a day, have 7 young who are not laying yet and 3 old gals who are retired. I sell my eggs, for $3 and this pays for the food. I have never had any chickens who don't roam around eating bugs, etc. Weird. Also, the feeder is always available to them.
 

Judy Todd

Chirping
Dec 27, 2017
148
215
98
Yacolt Wa.
I could only read so far before the many distractions at home kept me from going further.... but, have you thought about EGG producing breeds? Has someone mentioned that? The breeds you have are not what I would put my money into if I wanted eggs....
Go get a dozen sex links birds, any color, and watch the eggs roll in! But you will have a surplus that you can sell, and help pay for layer rations!
No offense, this is kinda easy. Your just feeding the wrong type of girls for surplus production.
When I want eggs, I get golden comets. Done
Right on, my new gals,7, are all sex linked. had a black sex link who laid 4 to 5 eggs a week until she was 5 years old.
 

Chickenclaude

Chirping
Dec 16, 2019
77
152
63
Chickens are not the smartest animals/pets in the world. They , my girls—have a “new” house (6 mo.) If I let them out to fill the feeder, 2 of the 6 cannot find their way back in..without circling the house several times just missing the 4’ opening🤦🏼‍♀️🤦🏼‍♀️ That being said, I love my girls. I free range them and fill up the feeder...they take their time going to the feeder...We have lots of other animals who would enjoy a chicken dinner so I rarely leave them out when I’m not home. There are places for them to hide. They need access to clean water and food for you to get eggs. It’s a labor of love. Your payment is more in high nutrition and tasty eggs, not really a inexpensive hobby. I wonder how many other animals you maybe feeding?
 

TheFarm41

Chirping
Nov 14, 2018
48
89
65
So I've been trying to do chickens for a few years now and it's been a losing process financially. The coop is basically in the woods, and constantly dealing with predators etc. But my real question is. Food. I gave a few auto feeders in a tree that sling food around, my hope was that by throwing food onto the ground they would dig around and get natural sustenance as well but it seems that they are just too stupid to feed themselves AT ALL. They are free roam totally. There is plenty of leaf litter with bugs in it everywhere. They wait for the feeder, etc. Whatever comes out of it, then stand around and wait for it again. It only goes off 1 time a day. I feel like at the cost of food for them to stay in a healthy laying stage I could just buy eggs from the store and avoid all the other problems that come along with them. Its become a "don't want to give up" situation because I feel like this should not be difficult. I thought OK I'll just set feeders to every other day, force them to look for food on off days. Well they just stand around and starve. Is the only way to get them to look for food on their own to not feed them in a cage as chicks? It's like they learn 1 way, 1 food or water source and then never deviate even at cost of starving to death.
Chickens are a headache! We run a small farm we raise and sell veggies, fruit, eggs, pork, lamb and turkeys. Chickens by far are the most aggravating. The cost of chicken feed vs egg sales actually has a high profit margin. But is it worth it?

We hatch our own chicks, unless there is a sale at the farm store and I get sucked in to buying a dozen of the little fluff balls.

We average 40 laying hens and sell about 400 dozen eggs every year at $6.00 dozen. Plus eat about 75 dozen a year. This puts our gross sales at $2,400.00, not counting what we eat. $2,400 divided by 40 birds = $60.00 per year in gross sales.

We do not feed commercial feed, it is too expensive and I do not think it would be profitable. We buy whole grain barley, oats and peas direct from local farmers, usually organic, at 15 cents per lb. We soak and ferment the feed, which is work. We feed 2 lbs per week per chicken. 2 lbs X .15 per lb = .30 per week. 52 weeks X .30 = $15.60 per year per chicken. In addition to the grain, we source free food; windfall fruit, garden scraps, pumpkins, crushed oyster shells, buckets of seaweed, this too is all work. These chickens free range on a large space and are busy all day finding food. We only put feed out twice a day.

Egg sells per chicken $ 60.00
Feed cost per chicken - 15.60
Net profit $ 44.40 per chicken X 40 chickens $1,776.00 profit per year

Is it worth it by the time you factor in labor for buying and soaking feed, sourcing free food, coop cleaning and fence maintenance, hatching out and feeding the chicks for 6 months prior to egg production, wiping their pasty bottoms, being sad when they don't make it, pulling your hair out when they fly into the garden and wreak havoc - probably not…but maybe. There are many hidden benefits of keeping chickens. We use their poop and bedding in the gardens, they clean up after the pigs and sheep sanitizing the pastures by scratching their poop into the ground and eating bugs out of it. They are very entertaining. We eat a lot of amazing eggs. We sell or eat the hens who have aged out and the roosters from our hatches. Learning to keep chickens is good for our son.

We run a working farm, all parts of it work together. If you look at each individual part, most of them won't make sense. But as a whole it works, and I can't imagine running a farm with out chickens.
 

writerskramp

Chirping
Oct 20, 2020
31
135
53
I don’t think the OP is coming back. They only ever posted or were seen on BYC the day they joined.
Chicken math: "Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it!" + "If you go looking for trouble you will find it." = "I got up here, now how do I get down?" All The Above..
 

gclarrot

Chirping
Apr 21, 2020
146
226
70
I agree with everyone’s sentiments here and recommendations so far. I got to page 3 but I do have to say, the best way to handle a predator problem is electric fencing your girls in to a safe area. Even if they have a half acre you will still have losses from hawks and so forth.

I have 13 ladies and knock on wood not to lose one yet. I buy a bag of all flock pellet for 17.99 a month and a bag of oyster shell from TS maybe it’s 6.99? A month.

I get a dozen a week from my three that are laying. My buff orphington lays every other day most days but my EEs (2) that’s laying are doing it every day.


And you are not feeding a complete ratio so you won’t get as much eggs as a person who is feeding daily with a complete ratio. I can guarantee you once they all get the hang of the nesting boxes, feel safe and have proper feeding with minimum treats you’ll be getting more eggs (just don’t expect your silkies to give a lot. They aren’t egg birds).
 

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