After someone asking me how much a single egg is worth it got me thinking. Are keeping chickens for eggs saving me money or am I just feeding them up to occasionally feed me? Is it cheaper to buy eggs from the store than feed my flock. The farmer down the road told me his mother use to keep an eye on her egg production and I thought it time to do my own.
Every back yard should have chooks scratching around, they eat the bugs, they dig up your veggies and they are super friendly when you have food in your hands. What’s not to like. Most folk keep chooks for eggs and I am now dabbling in keeping my birds for meat too. I have a dual purpose bird which is the light sussex. At the moment our hen-house comprises of Berk the Rooster who is a light sussex, eleven light sussex hens, four rode island reds and three ISA browns. The ISA’s are getting old now and have seen better days and are definitely not worth eating. They still produce eggs but not as often as they use too. All my ladies are currently at lay. Though you would not think it.
So what do you need to consider when costing your eggs? I decided that the cost of feed is the most crucial element along with my time that it takes to feed and water them each day. My girls free range all day so my feed costs are not as high as I thought however when I was feeding twenty chooks and only getting three eggs a day while waiting for them to get old enough to lay was another story. That will be my next experiment. I am waiting for my next lot of chicks to hatch, any day now.
My Study: (over a three-week period)Chooks – 19 birds including Berk Bag of feed – $22.50 Time tending to chickens each day – 15min My hourly rate – $20 p/hour
Over the course of the three weeks I collected 204 eggs. A poor effort really as the average daily take was 7/8 we are now averaging at 10/11. It takes two bags of feed to feed the flock for the three weeks exactly. So $45 divided by 204 = 22 cents per egg. Moving on to time, a total of 5 hours and 15 minutes took to tend the animals though I swear I spend a lot longer doing things for them like chasing them to bed, cleaning out nesting boxes, check on them when there is an unusual racket as you never know if a snake is around. Works out that I would pay myself $105 for the three weeks, 105 divided by 204 = 51 cents per egg.
Total: Feed (0.22 c) + Time (0.51 c) = 0.73 cents per egg
This makes a dozen of eggs cost $8.76 which I think is on par with egg prices these days – we are talking organic eggs here. Since I love my birds dearly and the time I tend to them kinda makes up for the scrumptious eggs we get. If I did not value my self and the time I put in a dozen eggs based on just feed would be $2.64. Which seems like a sweet deal.
Do you have chickens, are your girls better layers than mine?