Why do you guys choose to have backyard chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by activia, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. activia

    activia Out Of The Brooder

    66
    1
    33
    Feb 1, 2012
    I'm curious. I was into it because I care about high quality food and would love to practice it.. but after reading all this stuff I'm starting to get turned off. It seems like a lot of cost/effort/time to maintain a flock with a lot of risk and not a lot of payoff. I can go to whole foods and get really good quality pasture raised eggs for $5 a dozen, a local farmer $4. I know I can give them slightly better feed then them... but is it really worth it?

    At most if I could feed them for free and got the chicks for free, and not counting startup costs like coop and fencing.. I would be saving $60 a month. In reality I know I'd be paying for shavings/food, so this savings would be down to probably closer to $30 as long as egg production was good and I didn't have problems with predators/disease/or broodiness. With a lot of work that needs to be done everyday.

    High risk/low reward? Although I would love seeing my future children react to them that MIGHT make it worth it.

    Please tell me what your thoughts are, what savings you think you are getting, how much work you spend to care for them daily/weekly, and any other benefits I might not be seeing.
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    This may sound very blunt but if you don't love chickens there is no point...you are correct. Feed prices are high and there are other costs such as medication and bedding that add up.

    It is more expensive to have them than to buy eggs.

    But you will find that they are quite personable and loving. They will cheer you up, keep you busy away from TV and mindless entertainment, and instead you watch "chicken TV." [​IMG]

    I have spent more than 4K on my chickens in the past 6 years (I'll admit this is not typical most likely of most chicken owners but I have bought many things for them). I haven't had them the whole time...I take breaks here and there, but all in all my life just feels like it is missing something when I look out in the yard and have no one to give leftover spaghetti noodles off someone's plate to.

    A healthy chicken smells like fresh laundry that has been hanging in the sunshine. They are delightful creatures to be around. So I would say, try them out for the love of them. Eggs are a side benefit!

    They pour peace everywhere. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
  3. trailchick

    trailchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Have you ever heard that saying
    "If you had to ask, you just wouldn't understand" ?

    1. We all love our birds here!

    2. It is a country - homestead thing.

    3. We know where those eggs come from &
    we are what we eat.

    4. It keeps us close to nature.

    It is not usually a monetary gain-
    unless you are very diligent & disciplined.

    Anybody else like to add something?
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. activia

    activia Out Of The Brooder

    66
    1
    33
    Feb 1, 2012
    Don't get me wrong, I love animals (I have 2 cats and a dog). It just seems like a lot to worry about, and a lot of time, and the dog is going to drive me NUTS with the chickens! She saw chickens ONCE and she went CRAZY! (german shepherd) Plus I'm not sure what great "pets" they are. Some seem nice, others not so much... then there is the noise/smell to be concerned about. Although there is some terrible pricker bushes I'd love if they could destroy *evil face*
     
  5. magnolia-1971

    magnolia-1971 Chillin' With My Peeps

    193
    2
    114
    Apr 15, 2010
    SE Wisconsin
    I don't think that there is a savings. It is a lot of other rewards. The same kind that you get from a dog or cat. A dog ends up costing a lot of cash over their life, but they give you so much it is worth it. Chickens are awsome, they all have unique personalities. You can have different kinds, big, little. Different colors. It is fun making coops and taking care of them. It is an added bonus that you get eggs from them.

    If you are just trying to save money, you should just buy some farm fresh eggs from you local farmer or back yard chicken neighbor.
     
  6. activia

    activia Out Of The Brooder

    66
    1
    33
    Feb 1, 2012
    I love all the answers so far, and that was the conclusion I was starting to come to myself. I just hope I have the time to commit and the monetary investment is a little bit for us after just getting married and trying to prepare financially for having a family. It's a lot easier to sell to the husband if we'd actually be "saving" money. Keep em coming, also I'd love to hear what your costs/time spend are so I can rationalize this lol.
     
  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I forgot to add that if you put in an automatic coop door opener you will be delighted at the time savings per day of not going out there morning and night to open and shut the door. We just bought one and I have yet to install it, but am kicking myself for not doing this right in the beginning. That is a significant part of the work...opening and closing that door right on time, even when you are out in the evening and having to rush home.

    I have left gatherings to come home to close the chickens up, then driven back to the function!
     
  8. magnolia-1971

    magnolia-1971 Chillin' With My Peeps

    193
    2
    114
    Apr 15, 2010
    SE Wisconsin
    There are a lot of possitives. They eat bugs and tics. Thats a big one. Just start with 3. If you do end up with a real mean one, you can eat it [​IMG]

    You can spend as little cash as possible also. You don't need to go all out. Also, if you try it and it doesn't work, you can re home the chickens and you are no worse off than you were.

    bottom line, its fun!
     
  9. bj taylor

    bj taylor Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,131
    35
    168
    Oct 28, 2011
    North Central Texas
    i don't have any chickens yet. my first ones are coming next wk. i'm getting into it because i've had a life-long fascination for one thing. the other thing for me is i like learning & knowing how to provide for my family in the event the grocery store shelves were empty (not as impossible as it sounds). that is also why i chose dual purpose breeds. i will admit these posts about illness and predation kinda take the fun edge off.
     
  10. crankster76

    crankster76 Chillin' With My Peeps

    253
    5
    101
    Dec 25, 2011
    Kingston,Tn.
    I live in the country where there are alot of ticks and skeeters. my birds put a good dent in that problem.
    I know what Im getting as far as eggs and meat. [which is getting higher and higher all the time at the store]
    my roo is best alarm clock I own.
    most of my setup was free so I dont have alot of cost.
    and I will face it, I went to the birds along time ago.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by