how chickens do you keep?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by coldinnh, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. coldinnh

    coldinnh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 13, 2010
    NH
    I am trying to figure out how many chickens I would need to keep to have them "earn their keep" as egg producers. My hubby and I usually only an egg or two a week - but plan to share with his his family and sell to friends... so is there a chicken math equation to get x number of eggs per week you need x number of chickens with x cost for feeding?

    I was really bad at algebra so the simpler the better...thanks

    i know that farm eggs or backyard flocks sell for $2-3 depending on source and 'organic' vs free range in the area, even at the farmer's markes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  2. Ms.FuzzyButts

    Ms.FuzzyButts Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 5, 2009
    North Alabama
    Well, a healthy hen usually lays an egg every 24 hours give or take. If they are stressed or it's real hot outside, they may not lay as I am experiencing now. A bag of layer pellet costs me $10 and a bag of scratch (Treat) costs me $8.00. How many chickens you have determines how long the feed lasts. I go through 2 bags of each per month. As far as my situation, I sell 12 dozen per month, give away 3 to 6 dozen to my family and eat a bunch every month. They sell for $2.00 a dozen here. So I don't make money. It covers my feed cost. But that's about it. Oh, and this figure does not include my silkies. Just what I keep for egg layers which is about 10 with another 20 who aren't laying yet.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  3. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Overrun With Chickens

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    ... AND once you factor in times they are not laying you will never come close to breaking even.

    They don't lay when they are molting which can last for several weeks or up to 3 months.

    If they are stressed they will stop laying most of the time. Stress can come from a change in their world, sickness, change in weather, predators, etc...

    If a hen goes broody she will not be laying either. If you can manage to break the hen from being broody then she should start laying again in 2-4 weeks.

    Not to mention that hens will take a break from time to time anyways. This is just natural.

    Good luck,
    Matt
     
  4. helloroe

    helloroe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 16, 2009
    Cetral FL
    I think they covered it well. Ours sell for $2 a dozen in this area and I sell enough to pay for their feed and give the family free eggs. Breaking even is great and we are happy.

    We have 30 laying hens and I go through about 250+/- lbs of bulk feed per month at 8.75 /50 lb.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2010
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I think you might consider how many you yourself need. I think that the number of people in the house, plus one or two more, is pretty good. They won't eat so much, but you will still have some to give away.

    It is hard to make money with chickens in a backyard set up, but if you are breaking fairly close to even, (not that I have!) and you have all the fun.... then it is worth it
     

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