urban chickens--why do you do it? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Why do you raise urban chickens?
Chickens are FUN!!!! 9 100.00%
Raising chickens is a learning experience and our first step towards sustainability. 13 100.00%
We end up saving money on eggs! 4 100.00%
Other 1 25.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 4. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 8 Old 01-13-2011, 08:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We've been toying with the idea for a while, but now after I looked at the actual costs, it seems like so much work for barely breaking even (financially).

 

Do you keep chickens because it is fun? Or because it is your first step towards sustainability? Or because it actually saves you money? Any other reasons?

 

It seems that we can get free range organic eggs from local farmers at about the same price that we would have our own eggs. In our yard we wouldn't be able to have more than 4-5 chickens max, so there wouldn't be eggs left to sell.


My kids are 8, 5 and 2!
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#2 of 8 Old 01-13-2011, 09:20 AM
 
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I would say fun,because the cost of feed and bedding are more than what I get for selling the eggs. I sell to my neighbors at times,but also give them free. It would be better if I ate some of them,but the kids won't let me kill any of the hens.

 

Some people get less eggs in the winter,but I always got eggs.I started with 3 then got another 5 from my dd's school for free. They are fun to watch except for the whole pecking order stuff. Then there is the issue of predators.Everything wants to eat chickens!

 

I don't mind the cost.Some lessen it by free ranging more. I think if we ate some of the hens it would be better money-wise. I have been thinking about that with rabbits too,but again the kids wouldn't let me kill rabbits.

 

I say give it a try and if you don't like the hassle sell them off.

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#3 of 8 Old 01-13-2011, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My kids wouldn't let me kill them either. We can't really free range now--we don't have that much space. DH pointed out we won't be able to go away camping or anything like that. We don't travel much, but not sure we want this to be take away as an option.

 

We are thinking about trying and then selling, that's an option, of course.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattemma04 View Post

I would say fun,because the cost of feed and bedding are more than what I get for selling the eggs. I sell to my neighbors at times,but also give them free. It would be better if I ate some of them,but the kids won't let me kill any of the hens.

 

Some people get less eggs in the winter,but I always got eggs.I started with 3 then got another 5 from my dd's school for free. They are fun to watch except for the whole pecking order stuff. Then there is the issue of predators.Everything wants to eat chickens!

 

I don't mind the cost.Some lessen it by free ranging more. I think if we ate some of the hens it would be better money-wise. I have been thinking about that with rabbits too,but again the kids wouldn't let me kill rabbits.

 

I say give it a try and if you don't like the hassle sell them off.




My kids are 8, 5 and 2!
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#4 of 8 Old 01-14-2011, 11:33 AM
 
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It's not *too* much work--we have a set up that holds several days' worth of food & water, so you only need to peek at them and collect eggs daily; this makes it easier to find chicken-sitters.

 

I think of my chickens as part of the garden system, not a separate entity which makes keeping them more worthwhile, IME.  We give them all the weeds from the garden and lots of table scraps, apple cores and the like which they either eat or scratch around like crazy, which breaks it down a *lot* faster than those materials do in the compost pile.  Their manure gets composted too, which is excellent fertilizer. 

 

Also, it helps my son think about the bigger picture of where food comes from--i.e. not "away"--it happens right here.

 

Give it a whirl!  And get a heated base for the waterer, or you'll quickly hate the whole operation.

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#5 of 8 Old 01-15-2011, 05:47 PM
 
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We have 4 hens we got as 2-day-old chicks last May. They started laying in the fall, and still are laying now through the winter. Although we only get 2 eggs a day now, I expect their production to go up in the spring when daylight hours lengthen. Having chickens doesn't save any money (between the cost of making a coop and buying their feed and bedding), but we are not doing it for the cost savings.  We LOVE our chickens. They are pets for us, that earn their keep. My daughters like picking them up and carrying them around the yard (we let them free range, when our garden isn't in production - they eat the seeds and veggies!), and they are pretty entertaining to watch. Chickens are funny, social animals and have added not only a bit of sustainability to our lives, but a lot of fun! 

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#6 of 8 Old 01-18-2011, 06:40 PM
 
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we're just getting started, but we're starting big.... we've a 1/2 acre, so enough space for chickens for eggs and meat. we're ordering 30 chickens, and will butcher the guys and maybe sell a few hens.... we should save plenty that way.


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#7 of 8 Old 02-01-2011, 10:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by junebugmidwife View Post

It's not *too* much work--we have a set up that holds several days' worth of food & water, so you only need to peek at them and collect eggs daily; this makes it easier to find chicken-sitters.

 

I think of my chickens as part of the garden system, not a separate entity which makes keeping them more worthwhile, IME.  We give them all the weeds from the garden and lots of table scraps, apple cores and the like which they either eat or scratch around like crazy, which breaks it down a *lot* faster than those materials do in the compost pile.  Their manure gets composted too, which is excellent fertilizer. 

 

Also, it helps my son think about the bigger picture of where food comes from--i.e. not "away"--it happens right here.

 

Give it a whirl!  And get a heated base for the waterer, or you'll quickly hate the whole operation.



yeahthat.gif

 

I love that my DS is learning the Whole process of living off the land. It is so fulfilling.

 

I wish there was a place here that we could discuss chicken farming.


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#8 of 8 Old 02-06-2011, 09:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by junebugmidwife View Post

It's not *too* much work--we have a set up that holds several days' worth of food & water, so you only need to peek at them and collect eggs daily; this makes it easier to find chicken-sitters.

 

 

Our waterer holds enough for a couple days, but I figure if I don't like stale water, my birds wouldn't either, so I give them fresh water daily.  It only takes a minute to dump the old and put in the new, even in the dead of winter.  Every week or so I use a towel and clean the ick out of the waterer, and then I dump the feed and fill the feeders up with fresh food since they love leaving the teeny crumbs at the bottom. 

 

We get enough eggs from our 19 layers (14-16 a day) to eat for ourselves, share with our kids, and barter with the feed lady for a good portion of our chicken feed.  Since we use a higher-quality feed, ours isn't as cheap as some, but we also get better egg quantity and the birds aren't prone to plucking feathers like they are when we use the lower protein feed.  We also mix DE in with the feed and free feed oyster shells. 

 

I love my birds.  This is our fifth year, and I like it more every year.  We finally found a breed we really, really like and I plan on moving on to show birds now that I'm happy with the temperament, coloring and egg-laying of our birds. 

 

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