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Old 08-29-2008, 12:15 AM
 
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I am finding every way I can to save money and we use about
10 dozen eggs/month
Would the feed I used for them cost as much as the eggs I gather.
The initial set up would not be very much and I am assuming
buying the chicks isn't expensive.
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:23 AM
 
Location: West Virginia
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Once you do all the calculating of costs to feed them house them purchase them . And you need to care, clean up after them Year Round...even tho 6 months out of the yr some will not be laying....will it be worth it? Oh dont forget the vet bills....
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:40 AM
 
Location: rain city
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Chickens are not so expensive to raise, they eat just about anything in addition to their chicken feed.

My favorite layers are Barred Rocks and Rhode Island Reds. Black Astrolorps are great too, but because they're such big birds they probably eat a little more. All of them lay big beautiful brown eggs.

The quality of the egg and the eggshell are totally dependent on their diet and environment. The more they're outside--eating bugs and grass and whatnot--the better the quality of egg. Indoor birds raised purely on chicken feed lay eggs as pale and thin as the ones in the supermarket.

We raised chickens for many years and never bought eggs. Each hen will lay an egg a day in the spring, summer, and most of the fall. In the winter you never know what you're going to get. Chickens are kind of dormant in the winter.

What's best is the convenience. No need to run to the store for eggs anymore, just go out to the laying boxes and find what you need.

Raising laying hens from chicks however is a crapshoot. All babies need a mother. Bought baby chicks raised without a mother hen have a much higher mortality rate than a hen raising her own chicks. You might be better off buying some hens and letting them raise their own chicks than starting out with just the chicks. You'll need ONE rooster for this project. I've done it both ways and have lost an awful lot of store bought chicks. Plus it's always sad when the little ones die.

Most animals will not adopt offspring not their own. So buying hens and then buying them some chicks won't work. The hens will just ignore them.

Lotta beautiful kinds of chickens around. You'll either love them or learn to hate them.
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie1 View Post
Once you do all the calculating of costs to feed them house them purchase them . And you need to care, clean up after them Year Round...even tho 6 months out of the yr some will not be laying....will it be worth it? Oh dont forget the vet bills....
Vet bill???? Don't you just eat them if they get hurt
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Old 08-29-2008, 12:49 AM
 
8,166 posts, read 13,697,147 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azoria View Post
Chickens are not so expensive to raise, they eat just about anything in addition to their chicken feed.

My favorite layers are Barred Rocks and Rhode Island Reds. Black Astrolorps are great too, but because they're such big birds they probably eat a little more. All of them lay big beautiful brown eggs.

The quality of the egg and the eggshell are totally dependent on their diet and environment. The more they're outside--eating bugs and grass and whatnot--the better the quality of egg. Indoor birds raised purely on chicken feed lay eggs as pale and thin as the ones in the supermarket.

We raised chickens for many years and never bought eggs. Each hen will lay an egg a day in the spring, summer, and most of the fall. In the winter you never know what you're going to get. Chickens are kind of dormant in the winter.

What's best is the convenience. No need to run to the store for eggs anymore, just go out to the laying boxes and find what you need.

Raising laying hens from chicks however is a crapshoot. All babies need a mother. Bought baby chicks raised without a mother hen have a much higher mortality rate than a hen raising her own chicks. You might be better off buying some hens and letting them raise their own chicks than starting out with just the chicks. You'll need ONE rooster for this project. I've done it both ways and have lost an awful lot of store bought chicks. Plus it's always sad when the little ones die.

Most animals will not adopt offspring not their own. So buying hens and then buying them some chicks won't work. The hens will just ignore them.

Lotta beautiful kinds of chickens around. You'll either love them or learn to hate them.
I like the idea of letting them free range but we only have 3 acres and I am not sure how far they would roam.
I may think of a simple set up for 5 or so and see how that goes.
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Old 08-29-2008, 01:00 AM
 
Location: West Virginia
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No cause there is bird flu & west nile to name a few. You say you buy 10 Dozen eggs a month either you have a large family or you run a reastant [in which case they will need health checks by a vet & health dept]

Right now eggs in my area are about $1.50 per dozen ...which means you are spending $15 a month.
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Old 08-29-2008, 06:30 AM
 
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a neighbor of mine has laying hens as a sideline (gets about 4 dozen eggs a day that he sells for $1.50 a dozen)

He stated the cost to buy the baby chicks has gotten very high.
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Old 08-29-2008, 06:48 AM
 
Location: In a chartreuse microbus
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The cost for chicken feed in our area has doubled in the last year or so. You also need to buy grit, laying mash, crushed oyster shell to make the egg shells hard, etc. If you go free range, you need serious fencing for predators. In addition, you won't get any eggs during the time when they are molting, (getting new feathers).
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Old 08-29-2008, 08:49 AM
 
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No one has mentioned what you do with the stuff you clean out of the hen house. You are going to have piles of the stuff to shovel and dispose of. With three acres of land, that will not be a problem, but you must plan on doing it regularly all year around. In hot weather, it gets a little stinky in the hen house. Hens that are free range sometimes get in the habit of laying out in the field, so that when you find an egg, you have no way of knowing how fresh or rotten it is until you crack it.

My aunt raised chickens to bring in a little extra money. It was as much a hobby as anything. I don't know where you live, but even here in the south, the biddies still needed warmth in their pen when they were small. That meant a set up that kept heat on their area night and day. special pens are needed for the little ones.

The hens have to be replaced regularly as the older hens simply don't lay well. You can count on one egg a day for a while most of the year, but that changes too quickly. Then you have to dispose of the old hens and get new ones. To get a regular supply, my aunt replaced them every year. She thought the best layers were the White Leghorns. She didn't keep a rooster, she just bought the biddies.

If you decide to raise your own, (Don't forget the noisy, crowing rooster) you need to know that after she lays a certain number of eggs, she decides that she wants to "set". That's when you either get rid of her or try changing her mind.

It can be done. It can be a worth while thing to do, but it's not easy!!

At ten dozen per week, you would need about two dozen laying size hens.
If you have children, they will enjoy the biddies. You won't enjoy cleaning up the floor from shoe soles that have stepped in the crap.
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Old 08-29-2008, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Great State of Texas
86,093 posts, read 73,688,500 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie1 View Post
Once you do all the calculating of costs to feed them house them purchase them . And you need to care, clean up after them Year Round...even tho 6 months out of the yr some will not be laying....will it be worth it? Oh dont forget the vet bills....
Vet bills for chickens ?

I raise chickens. I have 15 of them right now. They pay for themselves.
I sell the extra eggs I get from them and it pays for their food.

I grow some veggies for them as well.

I get about 1doz eggs per day from them. I sell the extras at $4/doz.
Feed costs about $25/month.

I get less eggs in the winter but at most only have to go 3-4 weeks with yucky store-bought eggs.

I do worm them in the winter when they are not laying as much and for 2 weeks I give those eggs to the dogs.

They do not cost very much to start and keep. Just make sure they have plenty of water.

I do deep littering..I add pine shavings to their existing litter and give the house a complete cleaning once per year. By then most of their droppings are composted and it goes to all the trees and veggie garden I have.

Baby chicks are less than $2/each. I've been rasing and caring for chickens for over 10 years now. They are easy to keep. My girls live to full retirement here and when they pass on we have an area by the pond called "pet cemetary"
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