What I Have Found Out About Chickens, Ducks, and Guineas

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LustyWriter09, Mar 20, 2015.

  1. LustyWriter09

    LustyWriter09 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 22, 2014
    New Mexico
    Well... Hi. I just wanted to post my findings and hints. Or in general information. Information that can be changed if I have anything off or if any of you have information to add. I would love to find out!

    O.O I think I have turned into a chicken nut and hope this helps. Did I post this in the right spot?

    How Much They Eat:

    - (For 8-10 Chickens = one 50lb bag of Feed a month) and it keeps going as, (18-20 Chickens = (two bags of 50lbs = 100lbs of Feed a month)
    - (2 ducks = 3 normal large Chickens worth of feed) Because they eat a little bit more then chickens.
    - (2 bantams = 1 normal large Chickens worth of feed) Since bantams are so small.
    - (2 guineas = 3 normal large Chickens worth of feed)
    - When I give my Chickens, Ducks, and Guinea’s one bag of mixed Wild Bird Seed for 7-8$ a bag of 35lbs from Tractor Supply (for 8-10 birds) a month, I have noticed that it helps the birds be healthier, and that their eggs are richer in color. “That even if I let them out to forage, but there is not much to forage right now. Guess I’ll just have to wait till it rains!” Though you can get a bag of mixed Wild Bird Seed anywhere and I found out that it is cheaper only $10 to get a 50lb bag of layer feed at Gebos. Did anyone know that? Well where I am at, that’s the prices. Though I go back and forth. ^-^ Its good to help out businesses to keep them going! Eh… so long as I can afford it.

    Food Costs:

    -Tractor Supply on average one bag costs $15.00 - $16.00 - $26.00 for one 50lb bag of Non medicated Chicken feed (Which Chickens, Ducks, and Guineas “on if they are adults” can eat) and Medicated Chicken feed and special Chicken Feed.

    - At another store, Gebos it only costs $10.00 for one 50lb bag of Non medicated Chicken feed. (probably because they are closer or just because they buy from a different mill/producer)
    - There are other options, like online, but I have not tried that.

    How To Earn Enough To Pay For Their Feed:

    - From your own pay check.
    Or
    - From selling or keeping chickens, ducks, or/and guineas (and other poultry/peafowl/turkeys) for meat. (But you have to have a certain amount of birds to be able to get your moneys worth. If you know what I mean and have to save up a lot. It can sometimes save you a few more bucks every year. Depending on how many people for one year. And if you have enough room in your fridge. Though you can also just raise 5 or 10 and butcher one on occasion instead of large amounts.)
    Or
    - Some people actually do like to buy already laying hens and fully grown roosters. Average 10-15-20 dollars per bird. But you would have to have a certain amount to get your moneys worth back. For instance, what breed you will be picking because some
    breeds grow faster and slower then others, and some breeds are more expensive to raise or sell because they are rare or otherwise, then how much the feed costs as I had mentioned above. Once you get the handle on it, it should be fine.
    Or
    - This can be quite sad. Not many people know how to do this. But if they took the time to add up how much feed is needed to grow a certain amount of chickens, ducks, or guineas and count the amount of eggs (on average) that are laid and how much it is to sell those eggs. Is a lot of work I know. It mostly depends on what feed you buy and how much. Then think of the amount of eggs you might get and think of a few eggs lower so you can have a few for yourself or if they didn’t lay as many. Then the cost to sell those eggs and get the cartons for them. Since 8-10 Mixed or non mixed flock of birds eat 1, 50lbs of feed a month. Added with one 35lb bag of mixed Wild Bird Seed for $7.58-$8.00 or how ever much from which place you get it from.

    For where I live at it would take:
    You would have to have these amount of laying hens to be able to have an income. Well mostly all chickens. If you have a mixed flock it may vary.

    A) 12-16 laying hens = 1 ½ to 2, 50lbs bags of feed a month = $32.00 average
    B) 24-27 laying hens = 2 ½ to 3, 50lbs of feed a month = $48.00 average

    For where I live at it would take:
    You would have to have these amount of laying hens to be able to have an income. Well mostly all chickens. If you have a mixed flock it may vary.
    A) 12-16 laying hens = 1 ½ to 2, 50lbs bags of feed a month = $32.00 average
    B) 24-27 laying hens = 2 ½ to 3, 50lbs of feed a month = $48.00 average
    And to sell the eggs the best price would be:
    $1.00 8 Bantam eggs (since 4 bantam eggs =3 normal chicken eggs)
    $2.00 16 Bantam eggs (since 4 bantam eggs =3 normal chicken eggs)
    $1.00 for 6 Medium/Large Chicken eggs
    $2.00 for 12 Medium/Large Chicken eggs
    $1.20 for 6 Jumbo Chicken eggs
    $2.50 for 12 Jumbo Chicken eggs
    $1.50 for 6 Duck eggs or
    $2.00 for 6 Duck eggs (if you don’t have that many ducks or there are not many ducks in your area.)
    $3.00 for 12 Duck eggs or
    $4.00 for 12 Duck eggs (if you don’t have that many ducks or there are not many ducks in your area.)
    $4.00 for 6 Guinea eggs (2 Guinea eggs = 1 Large Chicken egg)
    (or $3 for 6 and $6 for 12 Guinea. A lady on cragslist sells 6 for $10-$12 and I have seen it drastically even higher then that. It also depends on if you wanted to sell them as fertilized eggs to hatch or not.)
    $8.00 for 12 Guinea eggs especially if you don’t have that many Guinea
    (or $3 for 6 and $6 for 12 Guinea. A lady on cragslist sells 6 for $10-$12 and I have seen it drastically even higher then that. It also depends on if you wanted to sell them as fertilized eggs to hatch or not.)
    How much the Egg Cartons Cost:
    For a Bantam egg carton = Don’t Know
    For a Medium/Large Chicken egg carton = 29cents a carton at tractor supply = 4 for $1
    For a Jumbo Chicken egg carton = Don’t Know
    For Duck eggs you can use a Jumbo Chicken carton if you want otherwise it = Don’t Know
    For Guinea egg carton = Don’t Know

    Average Estimate for 1 Month:

    For A) $32.00 = 1 carton a day. Average 30-31 days a month. = $7.50 for 30 cartons
    + $7.50 normal sized chicken egg carton.
    $39.50
    + $8.00 just in case
    $47.50 found it up to $48.00 (just in case)

    - (8-10 chickens = one 50lbs bag of bird feed) If you sell all of the medium/large chicken eggs at $2 a dozen = $62 for 31 days, $60 for 30 -days, $58 for 29 days, $56 for 28 days ect.
    You would need 1 ½ to 2 bags for 16 chickens at $16 a bag = $32 for feed, $7.50 for the egg cartons, and $8 for the mixed Wild Bird Seed your total would be $47.50 or $48.00 for one month.
    After buying all of the supplies, for 30 days your income will be $12 to $14 a month.

    - (2 ducks = 3 chickens) If you sell all of the duck eggs at $3 a dozen = $93 for 31 days, $90 for 30 days, $87 for 29 days ect.
    You would need 2 ½ to 3 bags for 16 ducks at $16 a bag = $48 for feed, $7.50 for the egg cartons, and $8 for the mixed Wild Bird Seed your total would be $63.50. Though the ducks are not likely to go for the mixed Wild Bird Seed .So your total without it would be $55.50 or $56.00 for one month. After 30 days your income back would be $37 to $40 a month.
    If you sold the ducks eggs at $4 a dozen it would become = $124 for 31 days, $120 for 30 days, and $116 for 29 days ect.
    After buying all of the supplies the profit would be $68 or $72 a 31 days month or $64 to $68 a 30 day month.

    - (2 guineas = 3 chickens in feed = 6 guineas for one 50lb bag a month) If you sell all of the guinea eggs at $8 a dozen when 1 guinea only lays 100 - 115 a year. So they might average 3 or 4 eggs a week per bird = 12 eggs in one month per bird. With 4 weeks in one month and if you had 6 guineas = 72 eggs a month average = 6 dozen eggs a month = $48.00 a month.
    They would need one, 50lbs of feed at $12-$16 a month.
    (2 guinea eggs = 1 large chicken egg in baking/cooking)

    2 ducks = 450 eggs a year because they lay up to 250-300 eggs a year per bird. Probably 26-30 eggs a month per bird.

    2 guinea =200 eggs a year because they only lay up to 115 a year per bird. Probably 15-20 eggs a month per bird.

    Chickens can lay up to 200-250-300. Bantams can lay the same amount but some breeds, large/normal chickens and Bantams sometimes lay less. 100+ and 100-

    Personally:
    I just like to have the farm fresh eggs in my baking and watching/learning/entertainment of the chickens.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015
  2. LustyWriter09

    LustyWriter09 Out Of The Brooder

    57
    6
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    Jun 22, 2014
    New Mexico
    Concerned Optional - What I have noticed is that if you leave out enough food for them to eat for a few days (instead of hand feeding them everyday) they will regulate how much they eat. WITHOUT our help. You can still hand feed them, its just thought to not be a good idea, unless its only for giving them snacks/scraps/ect. And ONLY on occasion. It’s not good to constantly give them snacks/scraps/ect. because then, they wont eat the other feed, and only want the snacks. Same thing happens with dogs. No joke.

    (What You Can Give Them)
    - Garlic (in SMALL amounts) since it is high in sulfur, helps get rid of internal and some external parasites in/on chickens and other animals. (only do on occasion if your worried they have internal or external parasites)
    - Apple Cider Vinegar (in certain amounts in your pets water) helps regulate their PH, detoxifies them, (and in ducks it can help keep their nostrils clean and healthy) and in general it is good for their health. (can be done once or twice a month) If your ducks are wheezing you might want to add this to their water every other day or when you change the water for one week. You will see a huge difference and they will breath easier.
    - Apparently so is Cyan Pepper?
    - Grapes can actually help them get rid of only certain internal parasites after long periods of small doses, helps cleanse their intestines, and a few other things. (only on occasion)
    - Chopped or not; Apples, Pumpkins, and other fruits, and green vegetables. (only on occasion) is good for them. BUT you must look online to double check which fruits and vegetables are good for which animal, Ducks, Chickens, Guineas ect. Because sometimes it can be poisonous. Like Rhubarb (if eaten) is poisonous to dogs, cats, and rabbits.
    - Only SEASONED or FRUITED bread is alright to feed them (ONLY on OCCATION) Regular or Plain bread is NOT good for them. Because it has NO nutrients and CAN CAUSE DEATH if they eat nothing but that, only that, or mostly that.

    (What Chickens Normally Eat)
    -Corn
    - Grass (Sometimes plants from your garden so be careful! Especially your spices or flowering plants. Some flowering plants are poisonous. Most Bulb growing plants are poisonous to chickens, Guineas, and Ducks. But Ducks normally leave your plants alone.)
    - Bugs (Even grubs, and worms. Guineas eat a lot more bugs then chickens. Ducks not so much.)
    - Mice or Small Rodents (Yes they hunt and eat mice! Watched it happen quite a few times.)
    - Fish
    - Oatmeal (Only give them Full oats not chopped and diced almost into a powder. Its harder for them to eat and they can Choke.)
    - Eggs (Yes their own eggs. (Not a good idea) (unless) it has been scrambled and cooked. With left over egg shells if you wish.)
    - Rice (Only in limited amounts and it should be mixed with something.)
    - Egg Shells (Not a good idea unless you crush it into smaller bits and mix it with something. If you give them bigger crushed pieces or whole pieces it will encourage your chickens or guinea to eat their own and everyone else’s eggs and you will not get any eggs from them. And even if you get them out of the habit, they will easily go right back to eating the eggs. Most people kill them for the pot if they start eating egg shells.)
    - Frogs (Yes even frogs. But frogs are good and mean that you have a healthy eco system. So if you see them going after a frog, you might want to save it, and put it outside of the chicken pens!)
    - Wheat, Oats, Millet… and there was a few others I think.

    What Chickens Lay Vs Store Bought Eggs
    Here is a contrast of what you will find with your farm eggs.
    - Sometimes you’ll get a double yolker which you will find more of in farm eggs.
    - The shell colors can range from various shades of light brown, to dark brown, to the lightest shades of blue, to even cream or pink, green, and white.
    - You might even find speckled eggs depending on the breed. Meaning there are spots of color all over the shell.
    - If you find bumps on the shells. Which are made up of too much calcium. Basically that could mean that the hen who laid it has too much calcium in her diet. It is fine to eat and the hen will be alright. Unless it has too many bumps you might want to notify the owner.
    - Sometimes you will find a small egg and a large egg. That usually means that the hen that laid it only just started laying eggs, was about to molt, or is really old.

    - The yolk will be a deep or bright orange instead of the pale yellow found in a store bought egg.

    - Meat Spots
    Meat spots are tiny pieces of tissue from the birds organs, usually brown in color. They are fine to eat. But most are squeamish. Or just like to take it out before cooking it.
    The eggs in a grocery store are normally “Candled” or “Scanned” with a machine to check the inside of the egg for any defects. That is why we rarely find any meat spots or blood spots in a store bought egg.
     
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