If you feed organic, how much do your eggs cost you per dozen?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by gophert, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. gophert

    gophert Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 20, 2011
    Just counting feed, I mean.

    Now, don't get me wrong....I LOVE my chickens and will keep them no matter what. However, part of the reason we got them was that free-range pastured local eggs are going for FIVE DOLLARS per dozen at our local grocery.

    I have since found another local source that will sell such eggs to me for $3 per dozen. In a way I wish I didn't know this. I do think she says they are organic.

    I have done the math on my chickens, like so:

    Eggs per day: 2 on average (I have 3 hens)
    Feed per day: 18 oz. (they also free-range and get scraps)
    Feed costs: $33 per 50 pound bag, meaning
    Feed is .66 a pound or .04 an ounce, meaning
    Chickens cost about .72/day to feed, meaning
    Each egg costs about .36, meaning
    A dozen eggs cost 4.32. Ugh!

    Of course this does not include all my other costs, though I got my set-up very cheaply.

    I really do believe in organic. However, it is going to BUG me that these eggs are conservatively costing me WAY more than those other eggs. There is NO feed mill anywhere near me so that's not an option.

    I'm wondering if others who feed organic have done the math and what their costs are. I would love to find a way to make this cheaper. Obviously, I know I could go to nonorganic, of course. I may. I do not know what it runs locally but obviously it will be way less.

    In my mind this is only going to get worse as my hens get older and lay less. I don't think we will have the heart to cull (well, I might, but my kids will not).
     
  2. fisher39

    fisher39 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 12, 2011
    I am not an expert (far from it) but from what I understand people mix their own feed, i.e. buy organic grains and stuff in bulk, then mix the right ratios themselves. I'm still doing research on what that mix is, though. There are a lot of questions and variations about it.
     
  3. TedJan92_in_Idaho

    TedJan92_in_Idaho Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What are you feeding that cost $33 a 50# bag?
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I feed healthy, local grain mill feed, ($20 per hundred) but it is not GMO free, as far as I know, so they are not organic under a strict interpretation and I do not market the eggs as such.

    We do the math religiously and find we have $1.50 in the eggs, counting some bedding, electricity and other side costs. If we fed certified organic feed, we would absolutely pay double and perhaps 2.5 time as much for the feed. This would raise my cost per dozen to $3-$4. Our customer base here in this rural area would never, ever support $6 a dozen eggs, organic. They'd have to be a cure for diabetes or cancer before folks here would ever pay that much.

    Every locale is different.
     
  5. gophert

    gophert Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 20, 2011
    Yup, the only organic feed available in my area is $33 per 50 pounds. I don't know the brand as I have not yet bought it myself and what I have now is in an unmarked container. That's a bit high for organic but not unusually so. It's even more expensive online.

    from what I understand people mix their own feed, i.e. buy organic grains and stuff in bulk, then mix the right ratios themselves. I'm still doing research on what that mix is, though. There are a lot of questions and variations about it.

    I sort of looked into this, but with no feed mill nearby and no other apparent source of bulk organic grains, the math is even worse because I'd be buying human-grade stuff.​
     
  6. kizanne

    kizanne Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 11 hens and get about 6 dozen a week sometimes 5 1/2 dozen. My family eats 2 dozen a week. I pay 23.50 / 50 lbs of Organic CountrySide Feed. which lasts about 3 1/2 weeks. They free range 2 -3 hours a day.

    I sell 3 to 4 dozen a week at $3/doz. so I make 9-12 dollars a week x 3 weeks is 27 to 36 dollars in a 3 week period. I pay 23.50 that leaves some left over to pay for oyster shell, scratch (which I don't use much of) and pine shavings.

    In the end not counting start up costs. My chickens give me 2 dozen eggs a week for free. They have just stared really laying good so my I should have more and more weeks that are 4 dozen sold per week which would leave me 13.50 to 16 per month for oyster shell and pine shavings and I have yet to use up a 50 lbs bag of oyster shell and don't use that much shavings either. So until they molt I am making the smallest amount but I'm saving big. Around here Store bought Organic Free Range eggs are $4.27 and don't taste near as yummy. So I'm saving 8.54/week or $32/month.
     
  7. PressOn

    PressOn Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 21, 2011
    Woods Cross Utah
    Eggs per day: 2 on average (I have 3 hens)
    Feed per day: 18 oz. (they also free-range and get scraps)
    Feed costs: $33 per 50 pound bag, meaning
    Feed is .66 a pound or .04 an ounce, meaning
    Chickens cost about .72/day to feed, meaning
    Each egg costs about .36, meaning
    A dozen eggs cost 4.32. Ugh!

    Eggs per day: 4 on average (I have 4 hens 2 gold comets, 2 Black Sex Lincs)
    Feed per day: 13.33 oz. (they also free-range, get scraps, grass, garden, Canola Oil, and unfortunately dog poop). I have some flax but they do not eat it.
    Feed costs: $14.5 per 50 pound bag (I buy from the manufacture, next to my work), meaning
    Feed is .29 a pound or .02 an ounce, meaning
    Chickens cost about .24/day to feed, meaning
    Each egg costs about .06, meaning
    A dozen eggs cost .73. Ugh! , I mean, oh yea.

    However if it makes you feel better, I spend about 10.00/ month playing with the coop. Plus the cost will go up next spring when I plant 1,000 marigolds, and 30 pepper plants for them to eat. No starts, from seed only. Plus the cost of blocking them out of the family garden, seeing how they will have their own next year. This winter I will also have an additional cost; next week I am planting winter rye for free ranging through the winter months. Plus I have the cover crop advantages of the winter rye.​
     
  8. gophert

    gophert Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 20, 2011
    PressOn, that's for organic feed? Wow, what a deal.

    I see you feed only about 3-4 oz of feed per chicken per day. I was feeding 18 oz (6 oz/bird) when they were cooped up more and haven't changed the amount. I suspect I could reduce their feed now that they freerange 4-6 hours a day. I notice they don't clean it up as well as they used to. They are also not fully eating the scraps the way they used to. I guess they are finding a ton to eat in my weedy yard.

    I am considering planting winter rye, too. I live in the south but the amount of green will certainly reduce this winter.

    I have 11 hens and get about 6 dozen a week sometimes 5 1/2 dozen

    That seems really good. My friends have 13-14 chickens and seem to only get about 5-6 eggs a day. I have considered adding a chicken or two but am not sure if it would actually make sense, financially.​
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011
  9. PressOn

    PressOn Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 21, 2011
    Woods Cross Utah
    PressOn, that's for organic feed? Wow, what a deal.

    I see you feed only about 3-4 oz of feed per chicken per day. I was feeding 18 oz (6 oz/bird) when they were cooped up more and haven't changed the amount. I suspect I could reduce their feed now that they free-range 4-6 hours a day. I notice they don't clean it up as well as they used to. They are also not fully eating the scraps the way they used to. I guess they are finding a ton to eat in my weedy yard.

    I am considering planting winter rye, too. I live in the south but the amount of green will certainly reduce this winter.

    There are no additives or hormones to the feed, it is just the right blend of grains containing 20% Crude protein, aminos, lysine, methionine Calcium, phosphorus, salt, A,D & E. The grain its self may or may not be organic. I am sure the organic certification is not worth the cost considering that the clientele that buys this feed does not care about organic as long as additives and hormones are not added. A very conservative marketing base.

    On occasion I throw additional healthy items into their feed, like calcium, & Flax. This prevents them from wanting too much of layer pellet. I would never limit their intake, just encourage it to go elsewhere. My chickens eat everything; if they did not lay eggs, I would think they were goats.

    In the south you will have more free range options than we have up in Utah, it is quite cold up here, it snowed today in fact. If you can plant peas through the winter in your climate I would hop on it. Peas are a nitrogen fixation legume, great cover crop for your soil if your climate will allow. I will plant peas in February but they will not pop up for a month or two after.

    I am sure that If I go above 6 hens, my cost / hen will go up because they will have to compete for food more in the limited yard.
    Always Press On​
     
  10. kizanne

    kizanne Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine are first year layers who have just hit full laying compacity. It will probably wane later. I have 11 only cause of chicken math. It just worked out great that they are paying for themselves. I orginally had 17 but got rid of the boys and a few pullets that didn't have good personalities. I've gotten more than 6 eggs for a long time. for over a week I've gotten 8-11 eggs almost everyday. I also live in the south so I still have good temps and some daylight.

    I also picked most my chicks on laying, I have 2 production reds, 3 EE mixes, a speckled sussex, 5 barred rock mixes.
     

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