What started as entertainment turned in to an interesting retirement hobby. My wife wanted “a few chickens, just to watch them scratch in the yard”. 6 soon became 16, then 40, then 70! She keeps finding new breeds to try and we have very active roosters.
No one in the family ever runs out of eggs now and she even has enough to sell a few extra dozen each week. Some months they lay enough to pay their feed bill, but not often. We will never recover the $4000 in coops building costs.
I keep chickens for food, eggs and meat,
grown under better conditions than grocery food.
Egg sales pay for their feed.
No space or resources for keeping 'pet' birds, pet budget goes to my dog.
It's a hard balance, but that's where the Romance meets Reality.
Every fall I sell or (usually)slaughter half dozen 2 to 3 yo hens, some get sold as stewing hens. Got to make room for new pullets (hatched here) in my limited space before hard winter sets in. Cockerels go at 12-16 weeks in early summer.
I love them a pets...and pets with benefits (I love having colorful baskets full of eggs!). They are my entertainment, hobby and they bring me joy... I am literally full of smiles when I'm out at the coops