Is it monetarily worth raising chickens for eggs?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by tradosaurus, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. tradosaurus

    tradosaurus New Egg

    Nov 9, 2012
    I'm new here. I am interested in raising chickens for the eggs as we go through about 3 dozen eggs a week.

    I can build a coop fairly in expensively using existing pallets but considering the cost of chicken feed will I save money by having chickens?

    I'm looking at starting with 6 chickens.

    And yes I did a search but this site is so big I didn't want to have spend all day sifting through posts. [​IMG]
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Better to raise them for enjoyment, hobby, fun and a sense of doing something worthwhile.

    The numbers rarely crunch. The wise folks know that breaking even is very, very good. Plus, home grown eggs cannot compete with the $1.09 eggs at WalMart and ever hope to beat that. Better to compare against a natural $3.50 dozen of brown eggs. When you actually add up the cost of the chicks, the bedding, the lamps, the electricity, the equipment, the feed, more feed, and more feed? Breaking even is excellent. It takes almost 5-6 months before one gets an egg. It is oft times cheaper to buy pullets at point of lay.

    To get 3 dozen eggs per week consistently, you'd probably need 8 birds, quite honestly. Six chickens would be cutting it very close. You'd need to stagger their ages so they wouldn't be in moult at the same time. Some breeds and individuals only lay 250 eggs per year, so computing that is also realistic. You need to be "rotating" your flock, with younger birds coming in. During the darker days of Autumn, older birds may take as much as two months off with no laying at all. Older hens will drop in production, so be prepared to manage your flock for maximum laying average.

    These are all just things to put into the think tank.

    And welcome to BYC!!!
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  3. just me

    just me Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2012
    North Carolina

    I just want to say that Fred REALLY knows his stuff!! I'm new to the chicken world myself, but have learned a LOT from Fred's posts. The only thing I would like to add is that if you decide to get some chickens PLEASE be sure your set up allows them plenty of room with lots of fresh air and sunshine. From what I've learned here, if you don't your chickens will probably end up with some health issues that can be avoided simply with ample space, fresh air and sunshine!!

    Welcome to BYC
  4. ChickenFootRnch

    ChickenFootRnch Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 21, 2012
    East TN

    Fred's Hens is correct. I'm sure if I did a total cost per dozen it would be cheaper to buy from a store, but the quality of the egg would be no where near as good an egg from my hens. I currently have 20 layers and average around 10 eggs a day. My flock is also rotated in age as well. My oldest 5 hens will be two in the spring, and I currently have a brooder full of new chicks. It's an endless cycle and we love it. It teaches my children so much responsibility and a good work ethic.

    Hope you find the answers you need. One great thing about this web site. Tons of info, all one has to do is ask.

    Good luck on the eggers!
  5. tradosaurus

    tradosaurus New Egg

    Nov 9, 2012
    Thanks everyone for the input.

    I am currently working on an aquaponics system so I will be busy setting that up.

    Maybe I will find someone nearby that raises chickens and buy eggs from them. [​IMG]
  6. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    It isn't for me....I raise for eggs to eat and end up selling a dozen or two a week - just to help with feed costs. I raise primarily for the enjoyment they bring me.
  7. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Hello and welcome to BYC [​IMG] I raised chickens and sold most of their eggs. Ended up making a profit on it too, but with rising feed costs it's getting very hard. You'll have to buy it in huge amounts to get it at a good price and keep large numbers. But keeping hens for eggs for your own consumption will reward you in more than monetary terms. You'll have some great pets and fresh eggs every day!
  8. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Hello! Some great posts above.

    I think it is not impossible but would be hard and require a lot of research, planning and effort on your part. If you are wanting chickens anyway and enjoy a farming sort of lifestyle it might be a great goal. If you are only wanting cheap eggs, I wouldn't do it. There are lots of ways to cut down on costs like growing indoor fodder, fermenting feed, raising mealworms, supplementing with mill grains or things you grow, etc. All will require your time and thought.

    Your start up costs will likely be high but building the right things on the first try will save you money down the road. You would need to make sure to get only efficient laying breeds, vary your ages and be willing to cull/process for the more cost effective flock. Do you want to buy new chicks or hatch your own? Incubators are expensive but chicks costs add up over time. Would you be ok with culling chicks with health problems? (if not, then buy) Do you want to deal with a rooster?

    The other big factor is are you ok with taking care of your chicken health problems at home and not going to a vet. A vet would be a huge cost factor. I don't use one but some people prefer that.
  9. Chicken Happy

    Chicken Happy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 6, 2012
    North Idaho
    I am never with out eggs and the eggs I do sell pay for some of the upkeep. Nice to know what is fed to the girls and how they are raised....makes the eggs taste better to me.
  10. weimarmama

    weimarmama Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 4, 2010
    My Coop
    :frow & :welcome from Alabama. Glad you joined us. Like the others said, you rarely make a profit. In fact, I don't think we've broke even, yet, from selling fresh eggs alone. But the money made does at least help with the feed bill. We mainly do it for our own enjoyment and to have more control over what we eat (plus, backyard chicken eggs are so much tastier:drool). And it's nice not having to make a trip to the store when I discover I'm out of eggs. Instead, now, I just walk outside if I'm out of eggs lol.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by