How many hens for 110 eggs a week?

lauravollset

Hatching
6 Years
Nov 15, 2013
5
1
9
Hi fellow poultry peeps!

Ok so here's the deal. I'm thinking of starting a flock to supply my local twins club with eggs. I've got 10 families interested, who want 12 eggs a week on average.

How many birds would I need to get to meet that demand? I'll happily get some really excellent layers, but also want a variety of colors ( playing the heritage breed, free-range, utterly spoiled chickens, pretty eggs card ).

Also if this is the wrong forum for this post let me know and I'll repost elsewhere.
Thanks gang!
 

newchickmomma4

Songster
5 Years
Apr 11, 2014
207
10
118
California
From the research I've done the average "excellent layer" hen will lay an average of 5 eggs per week. With needing 10 dozen eggs per week you will need 24 of the "excellent layers", but not all of the breeds that meet your criteria meet the "excellent layer" criteria, they are considered "good layers" and will lay 3-5 eggs per week.
 

Fred's Hens

Crowing
Premium member
9 Years
An egg business is tricky. It takes more layers than you may think. It is also difficult to have a consistent supply of eggs, 52 weeks a year. No matter what, some won't be laying. Some will be having some difficulty. The bitter days of winter makes laying inconsistent, even with supplemental lighting.

If the birds all go into moult at the same time, what then? You also need to be rotating in new pullets and rotating out older birds that don't lay as well anymore. In spite of your best efforts, it is challenging to have a consistent number of eggs for your customers. Some weeks you won't be able to meet the demand while other weeks, you'll be drowning in surplus, unsold eggs. It takes incredible good management to produce eggs at a tolerable rate of consistency. Good luck on your proposed adventure.

At a dollar or perhaps a dollar and a half "profit" margin, you'll have a lot, a lot of work to keep up with and your pay will be substantially less than the kid who asks you at Micky D's whether you want to supersize it.

Kidding, but only a little.




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sepaditty1

Songster
11 Years
Mar 29, 2008
771
76
198
South Carolina
I'm assuming this is a side thing & not your only means of supporting the family, right?

So 20-25 hens. You'd want to read up on the pros & cons of using a light in the winter. Your friends may be willing to take half dozens if you have a short week. A business is a business, of course, but you're allowed to be flexible. They're your babies, after all.

I only have 4 large fowl & 2 bantams laying. I get 4-6 a day. 2 or 3 in the winter. Leghorns & gold sexlinks. I think you have a great idea & should give it a go.
 

ChickenLegs13

Songster
6 Years
Sep 4, 2013
1,401
178
143
Lower Alabama
What's going to hurt; figure your 30-40 chickens will eat a bag of expensive $20 bag of starter or grower each week for 20 weeks before you see the first egg. Then $15 a week for layer afterward. Then what Fred's Hens said.
And that's after you build pens, coops, buy equipment etc.
Not trying to poo-poo your idea but most people don't realize that first egg is gonna cost @ least $1,000. Most of us started small with just a handful of chickens and gradually increased, starting big is quite an undertaking.
 

lauravollset

Hatching
6 Years
Nov 15, 2013
5
1
9
Thanks guys!
Don't worry Fred...this isn't a make or break business plan :) It's a hobby, I have twins, I have chickens, my potential customers are all fellow twin club members and can be flexible. I'm not doing it for profit just for kicks, to help out other parents of multiples and maybe eventually hoping to break even. (Plus I WANT MOAR CHICKENS!!) Oh and as I live in Santa Cruz our weather is very seldom harsh. What's snow again? Of course day length will affect production, but that's ok, my twin rearing peeps will just have to grab some store bought eggs in addition to the one's I give 'em!
 

lauravollset

Hatching
6 Years
Nov 15, 2013
5
1
9
ChickenLegs13. I think we ate our first $1000 egg two years back....and that's an underestimate. My girls have lived a luxury life! Funny, for $1000 it didn't taste any better! :)
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
3,899
581
Southern Oregon


I'm not sure who else on the board has a small egg business like you're talking about, but if WalkingonSunshine doesn't happen along here, I'd PM her. I think her flock is larger than you're thinking...she's up near triple digits if I recall correctly, but she's been doing this at least a few years and can give you some good tips.

Fred brings up excellent points, as always.

Your breeds are going to make the difference. You can go with Leghorns and red sex links and have an egg a day per bird during peak season. However, folks don't want white eggs from backyard flocks (or at least not all white, a few thrown in the carton for contrast work nicely
) and red sex links are far from heritage birds.
 
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