Cost of a dozen eggs

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Limomike

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I agree with Jim.... the cost to keep chickens and feed them is quite high. ONly reason we do it, is to have our own "homegrown" chickens and eggs. Plus we are fortunate enough to live by a port that loads and unloads feed, and we are able to go shovel up some of the spilled feed and bring it back to my place to store, and feed the chickens.
 

djinwa

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All the talk here about efficient production of beef – same ideas apply to chickens. If you do it like some I know - wild chickens running everywhere, don't know ages or production, no wonder they're costly.

As RR said, you’ve got to have light on them. My pullets started laying at just over 4 months of age. If yours aren’t laying til 9 months, no wonder you’re losing money. Just like a cow that isn’t bred.

Next, you’ve got to get the right breed if you’re into feed efficiency. The most efficient converters are white leghorns because they lay many large eggs, and are small so less feed goes to support body mass. Only negatives with them are they’re flighty and are not good in severe cold, but would be great for Texas. Texas A&M extension wrote this great article on that.

http://agebb.missouri.edu/mac/links/lin ... nknum=2864

My Hoover hatchery catalog lists Australorps at 5 to 6.5 lbs. Leghorns are 3.6 to 3.8 lbs and probably lay better. I also get some Gold Stars (a hybrid) which are 4.1 to 4.2 lbs. And one or two Auracanas (Ameracaunas) for novelty of green eggs.

The next secret is to keep them culled, just as with cows. Can be a challenge to know who is laying. I have a pen split into 2 sections and I put 2 Leghorns (white eggs), 2 Gold Stars (brown eggs) and an Auracana in each part. That helps me know who is laying. If I’m only getting one brown egg, I’ll put one of those hens in a crate and see if she lays, if not, she is fired!

Besides the value of eggs, there is value in chicken manure. Good nitrogen for gardens. My pens are raised up on legs for easy cleaning. Pull up the wheelbarrow, open the door and rake the bedding out.

Of course, considering labor, I’m sure you’d do better economically buying store eggs and getting a job at WalMart with your time. If you don't like chickens, don't do them.

Because of the time involved, I refuse to sell for less than $3 a dozen, so I don’t have many takers. Most tell me they can get them on sale for a dollar a dozen. I tell them to go for it, if they want bland old eggs. I tell them if they want fresh flavorful eggs at old bland egg prices, they can get their own d—n chickens. People waste money like crazy on latte's , beer or whatever and won’t pay an extra buck for quality eggs.

Interesting that we can boil store eggs immediately and be able to peel them. Our fresh eggs, we have to let sit at room temperature several days to let them rot a bit so we can peel after boiling.
 

MoGal

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mmmm..... well.... if you need any eggs would you stop by? They say you can't sell them at a farmers market as they have to be USDA inspected so I've given everyone I can some eggs and I still have about 12 dozen in the frig. I need to call the food pantry this week and see if I can donate them there.

Cal, I remember you talking about getting chickens in another thread and I got some also back in the spring. I went a little overboard, got them 3 weeks apart 50 at a time. A baby's pac-n-play will raise about 50 baby chicks nicely for about 4 weeks. Anyway the brother in law kept about 50 pullets, we have 30 and i gave another neighbor 20........ and we butchered the roosters a few months ago. There for a while feeding chick starter, I went thru a 50 lb bag every 5 days and that stuff is expensive. Luckily the bro in law had some corn leftover from last year so when they were 9 weeks old I took them over to the homeplace for him to feed.

Anyway, I got light brahmas, white orphingtons, buff rocks and partridge rocks. I also had a dozen white leghorns (got them because hubby had them as kids) and we only have about 4 of those.............. in late October we started getting one, maye 2 eggs a day.... in November it increased to six to ten eggs a day and now........... we're getting 19-25 eggs a day. The leghorns started laying at 4 1/2 months and the others at 5 months.

They didn't cut down because of the snow/sleet this past week although I was really hoping they would. The lt brahmas and the rocks are supposed to be a cold, hardy breed and I can attest that they sure seem to be. These buff rocks are dandys and very, very gentle I really like them.

I've had australorps and buff orphingtons and wyandotes (wyandotes are my least favorite as they are not a hardy chicken nor are they good egg layers). Come to think of it we had about 15 each of the australorps and buff orphingtons and never got gobs of eggs.......... nothing like what I'm getting now.

No, I don't have a light on these and I'm not putting one on them either and although they get scant laying mash I'm thinking of cutting that out entirely and restart laying mash about 2 weeks before my folks come home in April because I manage quite nicely on 4-5 eggs a day ....... I mean I'm tired of scrambled eggs, poached eggs, fried eggs, boiled eggs, deviled eggs, egg salad, chicken salad and even custard pies.
 

angie1

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Feed your chickens corn mash. It is cheaper, and they will eat less. Never feed them their own eggs. I give extra eggs away, but people need to have their own cartons. If you are wanting your hens to hatch their own eggs, don't provide a calcium supplement like oyster shell ~ it has kept more than one chick from being able to hatch from an egg. Always my chickens enjoy leftovers from the house. You go out to the barn yard and call "Chick, chick, chicken!!" and it is like a Hitchcock movie!

PS ~ If you have a hard time getting the eggs sold (I cannot imagine!), maybe you could sell them at your feed store. The local feed stores here sell for like a quarter commission. Something to think about.
 

MoGal

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Ah yes, you asked if those were expensive eggs? I turn mine out during the day (when the weather is nice) so they do get free range and there's no comparison in the color of the yolk or the taste. That's worth quite a bit to me.

Chickens can be quite entertaining........ how much was the laugh or chuckle you got over one of their crazy antics worth??........... when mine were baby chicks EVERY time I would feed them I'd sing a little song and to this day I can sing that little song and some of them turn their head sideways and look at me and they come running for food. I guess chickens can be "conditioned" to response.

I keep my egg shells and put them in a 3lb can and after I've used the oven and turned it off I set the can in there and the egg shells dry out .... I smash em and they get them back. They also get all the vegetable table scraps or old bread, etc....
 

Lammie

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I stopped feeding egg shells because I would up with egg eaters. I think I have culled those out now and my chickens are laying around the barn. It's an easter egg hunt. I know rodents have been bad here. I set out baits where the chickens can't get them, but I always end up with dead mice around and the chickens seem to like to peck at those. I have seen chickens fall upon and kill a mouse. Pecked it to death.

I am just glad that my feed bill has gone down by half since I turned mine out. Now, when the garden and flowers go in, I may be in trouble. But I guess that's what shotguns are for.
 
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Calman

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All six hens are laying daily now,but two of them haven't figured out what the nests are for and lay on the chicken house floor.

Cal
 

Lammie

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Calman":1mftxbnh said:
All six hens are laying daily now,but two of them haven't figured out what the nests are for and lay on the chicken house floor.

Cal

They will get the hang of it.
 
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Calman

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Lammie":3dxne71o said:
Calman":3dxne71o said:
All six hens are laying daily now,but two of them haven't figured out what the nests are for and lay on the chicken house floor.

Cal

They will get the hang of it.

Hope so stepped on an egg yesterday. Sure makes a mess.

Cal
 

Limomike

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Calman":2xf3bwsm said:
Lammie":2xf3bwsm said:
Calman":2xf3bwsm said:
All six hens are laying daily now,but two of them haven't figured out what the nests are for and lay on the chicken house floor.

Cal

They will get the hang of it.

Hope so stepped on an egg yesterday. Sure makes a mess.

Cal

Whats worse, stepping on an egg, or stepping in a cow pie? :lol2:
Also, ever try to smash and egg in the palm of your hand by squeezing it? CAnt be done.. unless you are wearing a ring or something on your finger that could break the shell while your squeezing.
 

Lammie

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Calman":2e92qw7v said:
Lammie":2e92qw7v said:
Calman":2e92qw7v said:
All six hens are laying daily now,but two of them haven't figured out what the nests are for and lay on the chicken house floor.

Cal

They will get the hang of it.

Hope so stepped on an egg yesterday. Sure makes a mess.

Cal

Once they start seeing other eggs in the nesting boxes they will all start laying in the boxes unless it is crowded or they are stressed. You might want to try plastic easter eggs or putting a golf ball in the nesting box. "Prime the pump." I have goofy banties that sat on a golf ball trying to hatch it.
 

Limomike

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That is exactly what we do is put a plastic egg, or golf balls in the nests. My aunt used to have a glass egg she used, but I keep that one as a keepsake now. its old... almost old as me I am sure.. :lol2:
 

Lammie

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Limomike":2jsgw2m9 said:
That is exactly what we do is put a plastic egg, or golf balls in the nests. My aunt used to have a glass egg she used, but I keep that one as a keepsake now. its old... almost old as me I am sure.. :lol2:

I had a glass egg that disappeared. I found it several weeks later under a bush in the yard, in tact, but it smelled like death. I guess the snake managed to vomit it up before he crushed it. I never did get the smell out of that egg.
 

cowman30

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Rustler9":iu6weyef said:
I hate to break the news but I think we're in the Depression now. At least it is here in this part of the world.


I heard that. I am afraid to cash the economic stimulus checks they are going to be sending us. I am afraid they will bounce. As will the unemployment checks I am about to be receiving.
 
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Calman

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Once they start seeing other eggs in the nesting boxes they will all start laying in the boxes unless it is crowded or they are stressed. You might want to try plastic easter eggs or putting a golf ball in the nesting box. "Prime the pump." I have goofy banties that sat on a golf ball trying to hatch it.[/quote]

I do keep a golf ball in each nest.But started this because of the Bull snakes. The snakes will swallow the golf ball and lay coiled in the nest trying to bust the shell. I've killed around a dozen snakes like this.

I'm going to try to paint one with a can of spray paint like another member on here does.(The snake)
Can't be letting him have all the fun. :lol: :lol: :lol:
Of course I'll have to wait till spring,don't want to be trying to paint them winter snakes.Heard tell they are the meanist and most poison ever.

Cal
 

Caustic Burno

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cowman30":qn2a3qma said:
Rustler9":qn2a3qma said:
I hate to break the news but I think we're in the Depression now. At least it is here in this part of the world.


I heard that. I am afraid to cash the economic stimulus checks they are going to be sending us. I am afraid they will bounce. As will the unemployment checks I am about to be receiving.

The difference in a recession and depression are in a recession your neighbor is out of work in a depression you are.
 

Ryder

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Calman":2pd00csf said:
quote]

I do keep a golf ball in each nest.But started this because of the Bull snakes. The snakes will swallow the golf ball and lay coiled in the nest trying to bust the shell. I've killed around a dozen snakes like this.

Cal
You did a good deed.
Kill some more of them.
 

Limomike

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I know alot of folks like those black snakes (or King snakes) because they eat mice or rats. But when you go gather eggs, and see one of thoe in a nest... it kinda gets your dander up a bit. Or to have them take a swipe at you when you dont see em laying on top of the hen's nests...
 
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