DH and I joked that the chickens could never possibly pay off their nearly $1000 coop. But, the other day, we realized they are! We all consider the cost of feed, coop, heating (if necessary), med supplies, etc. and then subtract out egg sales. Well, for us, we can now subtract out a yearly vet bill for our dogs! Yep...that's right...a dog vet bill (well, 2 actually). We live in a desert and have fox tails ALL over. I HATE fox tails! They get into everything. The vet bill comes when the girl dogs squat over fox tails to pee and get fox tails in their private area. They also get them in their ear canals. Fox tails are designed to be able to push themselves forward so that they can seed. Well, in dogs, that means that we find out that the dogs has a fox tail because they shake their head a lot or are licking their privates a lot. The ear one isn't so bad on the wallet, but the "other area" is expensive since it usually requires the remove a deeply imbedded fox tail and the antibiotics from the infection it usually costs. On average, we pay ~$350-500 a summer for fox tails. Well, the other day, DH and I were talking about how we didn't have a single fox tail issue this summer. Then, we got to thinking...we don't remember having had a fox tail issue the summer prior either. Why? Well, fox tails grow similar to grass and the seeds (the fox tails) form on the top of long stocks. Our chickens eat the wild grasses in the spring time as the grass sprouts, so the number of fox tails that reach maturity is significantly reduce! Our chickens have prevented the nasty summer vet bills!! Therefore, they are paying off their coop!!