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economical animals

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I'm in the CA bay area, just dreaming about escaping, and I was wondering...

how much would a milk cow cost, to buy and feed, compared to the value of the milk?

how much is a chicken to buy and feed, and how many eggs does it bring?

and etcetera
is animal ownership cheaper than groceries? if so, is it enough cheaper to copensate for the work?

and furthermore, what about fruit trees and veggies? we buy lots of squash, tomatoes, bell peppers, strawberries, onions... how much does a plant produce?
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Ok, keep in mind that I'm in New England.

I never had a cow. We don't have any pasture and my kids are dairy allergic.

Day old chicks cost a couple of bucks each, picked up at the feed store. A 50 lb bag of organic feed costs $14.85. Extended with table scraps, found bugs and seeds, etc. it lasts my 15 hens 3 weeks. Since they don't start laying until about six months old, you gotta feed 'em for a while before you get an egg.

They'd be cheaper to buy.

BUT, they don't look or taste the same! And you could easily house 3 hens in a dog house with a run on the front. Let them out a few hours a day. Most hens average about 6 eggs a week, so 3 would give you 18 or so.

Veggies are much cheaper to grow. A packet of seeds costs a buck, and will plant like, 500 lettuce plants. Water, some manure (here, chickie!), some weeding and your set. A tomato plant will yield 6 or more ripe juicy tomaotes, depending on variety. Cherry tom plants yeild hundrends!

A strawberry plant will pproduce dozens of berries and lots of new plants!

Asparagus comes back every year, for 40 or more years, and requires only manure and weeding.

Is it worth it? Only if you can sell enough. Unless top-quality, organic produce, eggs and meat are soemthing you'd like. I can't afford to BUY those things, but I can afford to raise them. And I do sell off the extra.
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