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Living on chicken eggs alone?

 
Posts: 2
Location: Calagary, Ab
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If you had say 24 chickens would you be able to live alone just selling there eggs?
 
Posts: 1114
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
63
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REEAAALLY frugally.

A really good chicken produces about 0.8 eggs per day and it molts for about a month a year when it will produce no eggs and here in the north it lays little to no eggs in the depth of winter.

To lay eggs the chickens need a good diet. During the six warm months of the year we don't have to feed our chickens as they get plenty from foraging plants and insects. They lay a lot of eggs then, doing about the 0.8 eggs per day. Then comes winter. If you want them to keep laying you'll need good housing, fresh water, good food, electric light, etc to keep them going. Feeding chickens in the winter is about a break even proposition so figure you're not going to make any money six months of the year.

Then there is the cost of the chickens, infra-structure, etc.

So, reasonably, no, you can't make a living off of 24 chickens. Frankly, even ten times that won't give you much. Prices vary greatly with the location so check out what your local eggs are selling for during the summer.

On the other hand, we keep hundreds of laying hens out on pasture who act as our organic pest control. They break up manure patties and kill of the insects. The surplus of eggs helps give our weaner pigs a boost and in the fall all the extra birds go to stew. I carry very few across the winter.

Pencil it out, multiply the costs by Pi, divide the income by Pi and then you'll maybe be close.

Good luck!

Cheers

-Walter
Sugar Mountain Farm
Pastured Pigs, Sheep & Kids
in the mountains of Vermont
Read about our on-farm butcher shop project:
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/butchershop
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/csa
 
Posts: 527
Location: Eastern Kansas
24
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You would get a little less than 2 dozen eggs a day, and less in the winter.

Then again, a large egg has 70 calories, which means that 24 hens should give you 1500 + calories a day, though you would get very tired of eggs!

Feed is expensive right now, which means that the feed I give my 4 chickens will about cover what I would have spent at the store for eggs: this year I will try to raise feed to change that. When my kids were little they wasted enough food so that my chickens got a lot of their food from me scraping their plates, but, now that the kidsw are older there are no more half-eaten peanut butter sandwiches or servings of cassarole.  Teenagers pretty much eat it all.

I love having chickens, but for me they produce food for my table, along with my garden for vegetables and my trees for fruit.

In some areas small chicken owners get very high prices for their eggsw, but, you will still get less than 2 dozen eggs day.
 
                          
Posts: 61
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I have chickens as a method of tillage in fallow areas.  The eggs are nice.  I probably charge too little for them at $2.50 a dozen, but that pays for their feed.  In a year or two, when I feel I have a good replacement cohort, I'll eat the old ones.  The time I spend on their housing and care is time saved from weeding elsewhere.  You won't be able to live on the egg money, but how many other useful services can you get out of your chickens?  Don't forget entertainment value...

Dan
 
Posts: 192
Location: SW of France
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Here is a economic report on laying eggs (in french, sorry):
http://www.cra-lorraine.fr/fichiers/div-poules-pondeuses.pdf

Gross margin 15€/hen (without counting workforce)

Really frugally, indeed
 
Walter Jeffries
Posts: 1114
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
63
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That sounds reasonable. Realize that is gross.

For us, it is what else the chickens do.
 
steward
Posts: 3601
Location: woodland, washington
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double that flock size and charge a premium and I think a person might get by on egg income alone.  but that's assuming quite a few things: not purchasing human or chicken food.  selling all the eggs.  living very modestly.  not having a mortgage or rent to pay.  selling old hens for stewing.  access to suitable land and climate.

I would think having a few ducks around, too, could help a person get through the slow chicken egg season with duck eggs.  turkeys could also add some more income without a lot of additional work.

I recently saw local eggs for sale in a food co-op for $5.75/dozen.  the producer isn't getting that much, of course.  I would guess that $4/dozen is the going rate for direct sales around here.  with a good location, and something exceptional about the eggs, a person could probably charge a bit more.
 
                                  
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NO
 
                    
Posts: 18
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No way.
 
Posts: 188
Location: Mineola, Texas
12
cat dog duck fish chicken homestead
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I don't think that is enough eggs to provide enough calories to survive, much less enough to sell them or trade them for something "else".  On the other hand, You could try it for a month just to see it for yourself. I'd want a LOT more chickens.
Richard
 
Posts: 225
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Assume two dozen eggs a day (might take 30-40 birds instead of 24).

IF you can sell them all for a premium at $5 a dozen, then you are looking at $300 a month. That is not enough for most people, but 10x that would be $3000 a month (before expenses) -- enough for some to live off of. If the land is paid off, the truck doesn't break, etc. etc.

Better yet, instead of putting all your eggs in one basket (egg production), diversify. Have 9 other lines that pull in approximately $300 a month. Veggies, herbs, grazing animals, bees, etc.
 
steward
Posts: 2482
Location: FL
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At 2 bucks for a dozen eggs, you are looking at $4 for a good day.  A couple of dozen chickens is not enough of a resource base upon which to develop a farm business you can rely upon to support yourself.  Think bigger.

Hatch those eggs, get $2/chick.  If half of those eggs hatch, the figure jumps to $24/day for a good day.
Raise the chick, get $5-10 for a full grown bird.  if half of those chicks survive to maturity, now its $30-60/day.  Now you are starting to approach an income in the range of minimum wage employment.

If you must rely solely on the income from eggs for economic support, you will need hundreds of laying hens to scratch out a living. 

 
Posts: 51
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No.

I don't believe you could do it with hundreds of chickens. Remember, there are many other costs: cartons, refrigeration, electricity, feed, transportation, administrative etc. etc. etc.
 
Posts: 9002
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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    Why is that turnip truck backing up?   And how did you get that bump on your head?    No you can't make any kind of living on two dozen chickens .  The only time this has ever been accomplished was with golden goose eggs but this, like your plan was in a fairytale.
 
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