Farm Economics: Poultry

When most people think of  “Chicken”, they think of packaged breasts in the meat department for $3.50/lb.  They may also think of eggs (if the next generation even realizes the eggs come from chickens) at $2 or so per dozen.  Well, you can think like that as long as you enjoy impoverishing yourself.  If you consider that chicken and eggs are a staple in almost every person’s diet and then consider that you will be purchasing them constantly throughout your life…you can see that your poultry needs make you poorer and poorer as far as cash is concerned.

On the farm, God has made poultry a source of great wealth and our ability to get much of our food from chickens is a great blessing since they are so easy to care for and highly productive.  Let’s consider the economics of farm-raised poultry. A flock may start with 12 birds ($25), ideally 10 hens and 2 roosters.  In 4 months, you’ll have 6-8 eggs per day feeding some mash and scratch grains (max. $7 per 50lb bag).  As long as you see your roosters “active” with the hens, most of your eggs will be fertile.  Putting the eggs you get each day into an incubator can give you 50 eggs in 7-8 days…and 40+ new birds 21 days after laying.  Now, while those eggs sit in the incubator, your hens go right on producing 6-8 eggs per day.  At a 1 dozen ($2) every two days, that easily pays for feed.  Remember too that the eggs you’re getting are much better than what you’re getting in the store.

In 6 months, if you do things right, you’ll have collected around 300 eggs and can have over 50 chickens.  Your new chicks will probably be half rooster, half hen, so now you’ve got birds for meat (the roosters) and more egg-layers.  For every 4 lb. rooster, you’ve got around 2.5lbs of meat, so count each one as at least $10 worth of meat.

The numbers…after 1 year…could look like this:

Original chick purchase:  $25
Housing (one-time):  $1000
Incubator (one time): $50
Feed: $300
Total Investment:  Max $1375.
Total eggs:  3600+ = $600+
Total meat:  (assume 20 roosters) $200
Total produce (in dollars) at 1 year:  $800

Now, when you consider that in year two, you can multiply your flock, continue bringing in eggs and not have the housing investment again…you’ve got a highly profitable poultry farm going.  Remember too that in year 1, your first hens didn’t produce for the first four months and second set of chicks didn’t produce until 8 months. Year two will be a full year of production. Fresh meat, fresh eggs and lots of healthy work for the kids. Let’s look at the numbers:

Original chick purchase: n/a
Housing (one-time): n/a
Incubator (one time): n/a
Feed: $500
Total Investment: Max $500.
INCOME (30 hens for eggs, 20 roosters for meat)
Total eggs: 9000+ = $1500+
Total meat: (assume 20 roosters) $200
Total produce (in dollars) 2nd year: $1700
PROFIT: $1200

When you realize further that the quality of eggs and chicken you’re enjoying on a farm, these numbers can multiply because you’re not eating $2/doz. eggs or $3.50/lb chicken. The bottom line is that on the farm chicken and eggs make one richer…not poorer.

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3 Responses to Farm Economics: Poultry

  1. Domestic Church says:

    Do you butcher the chickens yourself?

  2. Domestic Church says:

    I thought the same thing after watching a YouTube video. Would make a nice post.

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