These challenging times have led many people to consider adopting a page out of their parents’ and grandparents’ playbook by raising chickens to save money on egg costs. Unfortunately, backyard poultry typically is not cost effective, largely because of the upfront costs.
Even assuming a few things—a completed coop electrically wired to provide laying hens with the prescribed 16 hours of light each day—you still have to account for feed costs, which are often the biggest obstacle to raising backyard chickens.
A 20-bird flock will typically consume in 10 days a 40-pound bag of feed, which can cost more than $10.00. Add to that $6.00 for cracked corn and $6.00 for bedding material. With 20 chickens, a homegrown producer, under ideal circumstances, will harvest about 120 eggs in ten days.
Selling these eggs for $2.00 a dozen at a local farmers market nets a monthly profit of only $18.00. This profit doesn’t account for electricity costs for the coop, upkeep on anything that breaks, and any disease treatment that may be required for the birds.