raising chickens as a money saver??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by norahsmommy, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. norahsmommy

    norahsmommy Out Of The Brooder

    Is raising a flock of your own for meat and eggs a money saving venture or not? Or is it just that you know your birds are living good lives and the eggs and meat are clean and healthy? My husband and I want to raise chickens this spring but we don't have alot of money laying around [​IMG], is it expensive? I want to make sure the birds we have are well taken care of.
     
  2. linben

    linben Chillin' With My Peeps

    316
    1
    121
    Apr 5, 2010
    Austin, TX
    I don't think it saves money compared to buying your own at the store. Weekly ad had 30 eggs for 88 cents at one store. That is cheap. Who knows what condition those poor hens are living in.


    Now if you are only buying free range eggs in the long run raising your own could save money but it would take awhile to break even.
     
  3. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    739
    6
    121
    Sep 7, 2010
    If you can find/build very low cost housing it can likely save money, otherwise they will likely be a money pit. None the less fun and possibly entertainment... better value than a pet dog or cat.

    Very easy to drop hundreds of dollars in coups and it would take years to pay back at a couple dozen eggs a week at 1$- $2 each net saving/profit.
     
  4. txcarl1258

    txcarl1258 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,044
    27
    161
    Sep 11, 2010
    Pleasanton
    You can build a very secure coop for not a lot of money. I am building mine a three sided shed with an attached run. I do live in South Texas though and they don't need a lot of shelter, because it rarely gets cold here. My suggestion is to start slow on building your coop. Get every thing planned out and then buy one thing at a time. For ex. buy some wire or lumber each time you get paid or that you can afford it. If you don't want or need a lot of chickens then it should not be too costly. The reward of raising your own food far outweighs the cost to get started.
     
  5. possumqueen

    possumqueen Chillin' With My Peeps

    601
    2
    121
    Aug 17, 2009
    Monroe, North Carolina
    DEFINITELY cheaper than a dog or cat! Pets with benefits!

    But does it save money compared to just buying eggs and meat at the store? If saving money is your only reason to get chickens then forget it. On the other hand, yes, you CAN spend lots of money on them, but you don't have to.

    They're a lot of fun. They're good for the garden, the eggs, the meat (or not, if you don't want to eat them), they're good for the soul. What price do you put on that? [​IMG]
     
  6. dogdollar

    dogdollar Chillin' With My Peeps

    131
    2
    101
    May 19, 2010
    Do you have space for them to free range? It's cheaper and easier than keeping them confined.
    If you have to keep them in a run, or can only free range them a few hours a day.....I would put it like this......it's a labor of love. Eggs at the store are very inexpensive to begin with, and there's no work involved. Keeping chickens means housing them, keeping them safe, their environment clean, feeding them good food and giving them clean water.
    But, chickens are very funny, curious, wonderful animals and working with them is great therapy, plus the eggs you get from your own flock will have a taste and quality you can't buy at the store.

    In other words, it's not one of those things you have to do to survive...........it's a thing that makes surviving desirable in the first place.

    DD
     
  7. blaundee

    blaundee Chillin' With My Peeps

    889
    4
    133
    Aug 3, 2009
    Well... Typically you can buy eggs and meat for MUCH less than it costs to produce it yourself, and that's NOT including the work the chicken's care will require form you.

    BUT I would rather eat my own eggs than those from the store- I can barely stomach those things they call eggs!!!

    And I like chickens for the entertainment and just to talk to them and play with them, and they are great at fertilizing my garden, so I would keep chickens even if they DID NOT lay eggs!!! LOL The fact that they lay eggs is just a bonus. [​IMG]

    They are FAR less expensive and FAR less work than my horses. [​IMG] And I'll be keeping horses AND chickens until I croak.
     
  8. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    739
    6
    121
    Sep 7, 2010
    Not to be discoraging but if you are buying new lumber then likely you will be loosing money.

    If two good hens can lay a dozen eggs a week thats only a couple bucks and you need to feed the hens so really each hen might only make/save 50 cents a week at the most. Hens likely only will lay eggs well enough to justify their feed for a year or two and you will have the better part of 10$ wrapped up in buying or developing a layer.

    What that works out to is; it will take a hen nearly half a year just to pay for her self and rest of her productive youth to pay for a single sheet of plywood.

    Now if you want to factor having really freash eggs that you know what the chickens are being fed, entertainment, sense of self sufficiency, fertilizer and all that good stuff thats where chicken math kicks in and it makes sense, otherwise on simple economics small flock chickens don't add up well if you need to outlay very much start up money. If you are already part way set up on a farm adding them in to other farm activities make the numbers better. Helps too if you can hit a niche market for organics eggs at twice the price.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2010
  9. blaundee

    blaundee Chillin' With My Peeps

    889
    4
    133
    Aug 3, 2009
    Quote:VERY well said....

    Speaking of funny and curious- my hen Christine has decided that she should roost in MY house... so every night I pick her up off of the coffee table and take her to HER house! LOL (And I must say, she has a NICE house! lol)
     
  10. blaundee

    blaundee Chillin' With My Peeps

    889
    4
    133
    Aug 3, 2009
    Quote:Also, the eggs don't HAVE to be "organic" to be able to find a good market for them! People here only want to pay $3 for a 4 month old chick, but will happily pay $3 for a dozen eggs. lol I've heard of people selling eggs that aren't technically organic for $5 and more per DOZEN!!! lol To be "organic", you have to follow certain guidelines on feeds and housing and I believe you have to have a certification- at least that's what I was told when looking into selling eggs labeled as "organic". However, they don't have to be "organic" for you to be able to sell them. [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by