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If *you* were starting from scratch... - Page 2

post #21 of 23
Originally Posted by FarmerBeth View Post

I won't comment about the whole expenses, but for chickens.


We've raised layers from chicks and from pullets.  By the time you raise the chicks to point of lay, the food cost equals the little extra you paid on buying pullets at point of lay.  I do raise chicks now that I have lots of mature layers, and my own chickens are the brooders, but it's really easy to make one, as the above poster said.


We spent $800 dollars on a shed kit and converted it for chickens, because we new we'd end up wanting more.  Right now we're at 24, with chicks on the way!


And about gardening tools : I spent 35$ on a hand tiller and it is indispensable.  I got through all kinds of rock with no noisy machinery.  We also save on labour by planting right into the compost once it is soil.


And the biggest continued canning expense is good lids.  Your jars will last over and over.  Save the ones the neighbours gave you, too.

Really? People around here are getting $3.50 per pound and making a pretty good profit. The chicken I buy at the store (hormone free) is around $3.00 a pound, so I cant see how the expense would be as high to raise them from lay. I dont raise chickens, so I dont really know. It just seems like you could save money and make money after initial costs.
post #22 of 23

I'm not sure about prices for chicks where you are, but here we would have paid a minimum of 2$ per chick, and the pullets at point of lay are 6$ per chick.  Even with only the four chicks we raised from scratch before we got point of lay pullets, we went through at least four 10$ bags of layer growing mash. Also, we ended up with two roosters in the bunch (sexing day old chicks is very difficult, even when done professionally, and if you are hatching out eggs there is definitely no guarantee), so financially speaking, they weren't worth much in terms of age (but we do love the roosters, they are such characters!) If you live in an area where the cost of grain is lower, this may be different for you.  Our feed prices here are adjusted accordingly to the rise and fall of grain, so we have cheaper costs some parts of the year due to supply and demand.  The manager of our local farmer's co-op thinks most people aren't saving on chicks, either. 


Meat bird prices are a different issue because when people raise for meat, the birds are alive a relatively shorter time.  Laying hens need anywhere from 18-24 weeks  to reach maturity to lay depending on breed.  Then they are alive for many years after if allowed, and have at least two years (usually 3) of very industrious laying ahead of them.  They need more calcium in their diet and a different balance of food than meet chickens.  This could be affecting the food cost/gain ratio, too.


That being said, raising chicks was a lovely experience to have with the children, and now that we have the opportunity to raise "free chicks" from our own mature hens and rooster, we are letting them brood some eggs for chicks.  If you really enjoy the process, you might want to raise them from chicks regardless of the bottom line.

post #23 of 23

If you can haul pallets that is the way to go for making coops and sheds. If you have the land consider making a cellar in the ground to store food items. I have bought cheap stuff(like tools ) and I would recommend spending more for quality items.For rain barrels I would recommend buying the 55 gallon food grade plastic ones and retrofitting them with spouts and lids. I did just see some rain barrels at home depot for $100.


I have always heard it costs more to raise chickens than to just buy,but you are getting the security of knowing what was fed/done to the food you eat.Hormone free and free range on the package does not always mean it! We just eat the eggs as my kids refuse to kill the hens.Rabbits are good for meat too.I had an uncle in Hungary raise meat rabbits.


We are in the city on just under and acre land. I have 8 chickens which includes a roo. I planted fruit trees and shrubs. Trying to make the best of what we got.I dream of a place with much land,a creek,and maybe even a lake.Aw well we will make due till THAT dream comes our way.In the meantime I will work on what we have,and hopefully we can sell it to someone that would appreciate gardens,fruits,and a chicken coop.LOL,to think there are people out there that would hate to buy a house with such things!

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