I see a lot of questions out there from people wondering if they should get backyard chickens or just keep buying eggs at the store.
The answer… get the chickens!!
You don’t need more than like 3, a chicken coop can consist of a dog kennel with roosting bars, they don’t eat that much feed during the summer, and they are so much fun!!
A family of 4 can eat about 6 eggs a day. Guess how many eggs a chicken will lay a day?? 1 to 2. And lets face it, you aren’t going to have eggs every single day for breakfast. So, 3 chickens that lay 1.5 eggs a day will give you 4.5 eggs per day. That is 31.5 eggs per week.
Now, take into account the fact that these are averages and not every chicken lays exactly 1.5 eggs per day so if we round down, we are still looking at about 2 dozen eggs per week.
Next is their home. You don’t need that fancy chicken coop Rural King sells. Although, yes, the picture above is our coop, my husband went all out for our Old Style Saloon Chicken Coop. But, its not necessary!
One chicken needs about 3 square feet of moving around room inside a coop, and about 8 square feet outside a coop. You can buy a 10 foot by 10 foot dog kennel run with a roof on it for about $150 – $200, depending on where you are looking. Then, find some handy carpenter, yeah we all have one, and ask them to build a simple shelter inside the kennel run. All you need is 4 walls, a place to out a feeder and waterer, a roosting bar (literally a 2×2 stick of wood is great!), and a few nesting boxes. This shouldn’t cost you more than a $150, depending on where you are.
They need to eat something. We use a simple laying hen pellet sold at Rural King. Each bag is 50 pounds and costs about $10. Chickens are little animals so they don’t eat much. But you want them to have free access to food at all times so they can make these delicious little butt nuggets for you.
The best part is that you can let chicken roam the yard during the summer!! Yeah… you may find some little surprises in your yard, but its free fertilizer. And you shouldn’t be afraid of a little poo anyway, everyone poops! By letting the chickens roam the yard in the summer they are eating more grass and bugs than they have access to inside their run so they eat less of the feed your buying. Also, they don’t over fertilize their run, frying the soil and not allowing grass to grow.
I guess you need the chicken though, right? You can buy a chick for about $7 a piece, depending on where you are what breed you get. If you buy them as chicks you get to watch them grow up and they more easily become adapted to you as their owner. There are many different breeds that bring a lot of different things to the table. Some have high production, some are impossible to kill, some are protectors, and others are just cute. I’ll write another post over what chickens are good for what reason later. We have Road Island Reds. They are hardy, impossible to kill, and produce a higher amount of eggs. They lay the brown eggs.
*Side note: there is not nutritional difference the difference in color of egg. They all have about the same nutrient quality. Any changes in that quality comes down to what you are feeding the chicken.
Lastly, they are so much fun!! They listen to you!! I have mine trained! I let them roam during the day and at night, I take a few table scraps out to the coop and say “Hey chickens, lets go, time to go”. They all come running! Literally, running!! Its the funniest thing you may ever see! I’ll have to make a social media post about it and show you.
Okay, so I put out some harsh numbers. You’re total investment is under $400. Wow! That’s a lot for stupid chickens, especially when you could just buy the darned eggs at the store!
Yeah, that’s true. But what about when a new virus breaks out and the store is out of eggs. We’ve seen that recently, haven’t we?
Maybe it will take you a few months to save up. But I promise, in the long run they worth it!! After the initial investment you will be paying about $10 every month for free range, organic, grass fed, fairy dust, butt nuggets. Using the numbers from earlier, that is about $0.10 per egg.
OH!!! Not so expensive now is it?! Because if you were to buy the same free range, organic, grass fed, fairy dust, butt nuggets at the store you would be paying easily over $10 a dozen, that is over $0.80 per egg!
I bet you have a question though, how are you raising free range, organic, grass fed, fairy dust, butt nuggets?? Isn’t there a special license or something you have to have for that?? NOPE! If you raise chickens in your backyard and let them roam round, chase butterflies, and eat warms, you my friend are raising free range, organic, grass fed, fairy dust, butt nuggets!! I’ll write a post another time explaining how that all works. But trust me, you can do it!!
So go out there, buy yourself some backyard chickens, and each the freshest, yummiest eggs, you’ll ever have!