estimate of minimum number of chickens to have eggs to sell?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by wyoDreamer, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 10, 2010
    I am wondering if anyone has determined the minimum number of chickens that they would need to keep in order to sell enough eggs to pay feed costs?

    or could anyone tell me what the average number of eggs you could expect from a chicken per week? I know this will vary by breed somewhat, but I guess I am just trying to get an idea of chicken productivity vs. feed costs.

    For instance: 12 chickens = 8 eggs per day @ 7 days a week that is 56 eggs. minus 12 eggs for the family, that is 3 1/2 dozen extra eggs to sell. Selling for $2.50 (price for my co-workers eggs) that would give $9.16 per week in cash to help pay for feed.

    Is my chicken math anywhere near correct?

    I would really appreciate any opinions or information on this topic.
  2. roverjohn

    roverjohn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2010
    using your math you might be able to pay for feed. If you want to 'break even' you'd better choose production type birds like Golden Comets and be less concerned with prettiness or fancy colored eggs.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  3. abhaya

    abhaya Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2010
    cookeville, tn
    as long as they are good layers that is probably good. But keep in mind molting and winter slow down. You may want to keep a few more to be on the safe side. They also go broody now and then.
  4. rungirl

    rungirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2010
    Columbus, Ohio
    That's actually very close to how I figured my chickens. I did the calculation with only 8 hens though. I figured around 6 eggs on average. I've been selling about 2 or 3 dozen a week @$2.50, so that's at least $5/week. I go through a bag of feed a month at around $15, so the feed is paid for. So the only problem now is that word is getting out about my eggs and now I have more demand! A good problem to have, but I won't get more chicks until next spring.

    Of course, this is just some sort of game I play to justify my costs. In reality, I have way more invested than I can ever recoup, but that's OK... I didn't do this to make money. I did it for fun.


    Oh, and by the way... half my hens are Easter Eggers, so I can sell the "pretty eggs", and they lay very consistantly... better than the Orpingtons. The pretty eggs are probably what's driving my demand up.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  5. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    The math for feed vs eggs is all well and good but the real cost is in your housing/feeders etc. Few extra chickens to pay for your personal use eggs looks good what you have. Again it's most dependent on their breed and general happiness as to what they will lay for you.

    Feed and sundry to egg rate I'm seeing equals upwards of $2 per dozen. This of course goes down depending how often/much they can free range forage and how much table scraps you can give them. I've 7 great layer hens giving better than 5 eggs per week each. They eat a bag of feed in just over 3 weeks. Plus say 3 bucks for pine shavings and hay. That's $15/ (7*5*3)= 14 cents per egg or $1.72 per dozen.

    Will mine ever pay for their housing I built? Nope. But do supply the houshold with all it's egg needs, family of 6 that eats 3 doz per week, for a mere 20 bucks a month, and a few eggs left over for friends and family.

    Forgetting the original question...oops. Say 2 birds for doz eggs per week for you and you'd need 4 times that to pay for your food cost is my estimate. So 8 chickens shoud do it if you stick with Sex-Links (Black, Red or Comets), Leghorns and Production Reds (hatchery RIR's).
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  6. grandmaof5

    grandmaof5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2009
    Central N.S.
    I figure my first dozen eggs (when the girls start laying) will have cost me about $800, so mine will have to lay for about 42 years to pay for THEIR food bill. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Quote:[​IMG] So true, I've been keeping a Chicken log. Adding up everything spent and eggs to date. My first sunny side up egg was a mere $218 and that was only because my partner gave me the toast for free. And back then I'd not even purchased the heated waterer let alone material for permanent coop!

    It's much better now that they are all laying. Only $3.25 per egg. By spring it should be down to 70 cents per. A real bargin!
  8. Cavendish Chickens

    Cavendish Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2010
    Summit County, Ohio
    If you go to, they tell you about how many eggs per week each breed lays. Leghorns (which we have) lay about three eggs per week per one hen. That's probably in warmer weather. We're in winter, so productivity may be down. We don't use artificial lighting to keep egg production up. And the only bit of heat they have are 5 or 6 heating pads under the straw in their coop. The run has plastic over top the fencing to keep the winds down when they are out of the coop. (Next year I plan for different.) Our cost to make the coop was about... eh... $5. Seriously. It was a cheap dog house someone made and left at a house where my sister-in-law moved into. It's 8 ft by 4 ft by 4 ft. and sitting up on cinder blocks to keep off of the ground. The pen cost us somewhere around $200-400 with the cost of wood, fencing, screws, and plastic for the winter. Plus the heating pads to keep the coop comfortable for them during the winter as well. Each of those were $15. One bag of feed costs about $15ish. Hay is $5. We'll be lucky to break even any time soon. We did all that for just 3 chickens. In spring we plan to expand. Purchase a shed, split in half for the chickens we have now and some we plan to get in spring. Then we'll need to two runs instead of one, more hay, more feed. I don't look to break even or make a profit. It's just not going to happen. But it's nice to have the eggs, and the chickens add a little more adventure and entertainment to life. And that's worth a lot there. A happy heart is a healthy heart.

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