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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gj4utoo, Dec 8, 2009.
In this day and age is a profit even possible on 30 to 50 hens?
It's difficult. A lot depends on what people are willing to pay for eggs at your location.
probably a little more than wally world lets say small 1.50 and jumbo 2.00 a doz
I have 19 hens right now (and 3 roos), only 8 of the hens are laying.
They are laying machines and I get about 5 to 6 sellable eggs every day (some are too small, or come out sandpapery, or have dried poop on the shell, etc - we use those for our own consumption).
I can't get the eggs out fast the door enough, DH brings them to his office in the city and people are happy to pay $5 a dozen.
They are regular customers, too.
Sold 2 dozen yesterday and 2 dozen are pre-sold for Thursday and next Monday
Right now we are cashing in about $20 a week in egg sales from a few hard-working hens, which more than covers the ongoing maintenance cost for the whole flock (food, treats, bedding, heat lamp bill, etc).
So yes, we are making a profit!
IF YOU DON'T INCLUDE what we sank into the flock and coop in the first place
Once all our girls are laying, we expect to sell twice as many eggs per week on a regular basis and that's how you can make a profit... build a regular clientele who is willing to pay top dollar for the best eggs they can possibly get (fresh, organic, free-range, unusual, etc)
Also plan on the 'drop' ... when they slow down due to reaching second year, wintertime and moult. I had so many eggs out of my 50 hens this summer I couldn't find enough customers. Also had a huge supply of duck eggs I couldn't give away~!! I decided to sell some of my hens in the fall because they are going into their second year of laying and I knew they would slow down in production. Well, now my remaining 25 hens are moulting giving me less than a dozen eggs a day. Sometimes only 3-6. They will recover and come back up to better production, but in the meantime I've had to turn away most of my regular customers and I'm still feeding them.
Lots of folks where I live have backyard chickens and often produce enough to give to family and friends. I can't get more than $1.50 a dozen in my rural area. I figured I was about breaking even (feeding chickens & ducks) until now. I'm rethinking my plan and might start with a smaller flock of 25, hatch out chicks on occasion to replace the hens earlier, and maybe also sell extra chicks and/or pullets. If you live somewhere that you can access a market willing to pay more per dozen, you can make a small profit. If it entails setting up a booth at a farmers market on weekends, it is another obligation to your time and whatever costs are incurred to do it.
I have 28 layers and I'm trying to sell eggs to stores. A organic store has not called in two weeks. I have over 20 dozen in my fridge right now. I'm having trouble getting my eggs out the door. Once spring starts I'm going to saturday markets in our local town. I'm expecting success there. I have lighting and my girls haven't slowed down one bit. I'm just in the red on making a profit. I just want to pay for the feed. I think I'm going to put up chicken eggs sign around my roads to help with advertising.
Have you guys ever tried resturants?
I'm in the city here too, and where we are, free range organic eggs retail for $6-7 a doz, and you have to be on a reserve list at the health food store, and they don't have enough for all their customers! A bag of organic layer ration is $25 and 12 hens eat it in a week. Since I know folks who are happy to pay the same as the store, and be happy to just have the eggs....if I can just get my hens laying, I would save us $56 a month in eggs, plus cover all the feed, and that's enough to make me smile. In the meantime.....feed is costly and they aren't laying.
Once we get rural, I don't expect our eggs to be worth as much.
As stated on other threads, it is all about location and the ability to differentiate and market your product.
Happy to be among the hobbyists in my area that have chickens, but when everyone has excess eggs and are interested in selling them to offset their feed costs, it is difficult for anyone to make a profit at $1.50 a dz.
However, sold a dozen today, and my Dad plowed the LONG driveway for a dozen yesterday, so it isn't all bad.
My step son was coming over here twice a week asking for eggs. I thought nothing of it because he is a big healthy eating boy that works very hard. Of course I gave him the eggs for free after all he is family. Somehow one day the eggs came up in conversation and boy was I in for an awakening. He had not been eating those eggs at all!!!! He was coming here getting them for free from me and selling them to a school mate of his that now owns and runs his own organic restaurant. Well he don't get eggs for free anymore that's for sure.
My point is...it might really be worth it to check out local "healthy" restaurants to sell your eggs as another poster here commented.