For a while (read: when we first started this challenge), we were getting 6-7 eggs a day and I was feeling extremely optimistic about our little experiment.
Then, the ladies started molting, their eating habits changed, their laying sharply decreased and we were quickly down to no more than a few eggs a week. Add to this the weird (super cold at night) weather we've been having and I started wondering why the heck I started this whole experiment in the first place!!!
I kept tracking it all, though, keeping my fingers tightly crossed that it would all work out! Well, guess what? It did! Our chickens officially pay for themselves!
Now, of course, as I mentioned before, we will probably never re-coup our coop and fencing costs and we're OK with that! Especially since the weekly costs of the Ladies are being covered by their yummy eggs!
Here's how it breaks down:
Feed & Scratch Purchased:
8/13/11 - 180# = $125.92
$4.50/dozen organic eggs
340 - eggs collected
I've also been challenged by a comment Greenpa left a couple of months ago asking me to think about a few of the extra benefits our Ladies offer us...
"A word on your chicken economics- it's going to be hard to get into the black if you only count the eggs on the plus side; at this scale. Do they eat any pesty bugs for you? Put that down as an economic plus - it IS; just hard to quantify. Likewise- there are human mood benefits; do they make you happy? That counts. Hard to quantify, but very real; there ARE people working on doing this kind of accounting, so we can talk to the plain money people out there."
I love this way of thinking!!! So, do they eat gross bugs for us? Yes!
Do they make us happy? Absolutely!
Sounds like we're winning all around! Hooray for backyard chickens!