As I mentioned in the previous post about chickens, not only are they great pets, or if you like, willing workers in the garden, they also lay the best eggs ever.
Not only do they taste much better, they are nutritionally better as well! Mother Earth News mentions that eggs from chickens that are allowed to roam on grass (instead of being confined to cages as is the case for the majority of commercially produced eggs) have;
- 1⁄3 less cholesterol
- 1⁄4 less saturated fat
- 2⁄3 more vitamin A
- 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
- 3 times more vitamin E
- 7 times more beta carotene
I know that in economic terms this is an intangible benefit, so how does one calculate the Return On Investment for your backyard chickens?
Well do I have the tool for you! I found a fantastic calculator on-line that you can figure out the financial benefits of your chickens. Here is the link to it. http://www.ruleworks.co.uk/cgi-bin/PoultryROI.exe?Guide=Poultry&t=Poultry%20ROI%20Calculator
Here is how mine worked out.
“Poultry ROI Calculator
Your Poultry cost per year is $ 27.20
Housing cost per year is $ 52.00
Feed quantity required per year is 321 Kg for 8 Large Fowl
Cost of all feed products per year is $ 354.05
Consumables / other cost per year is $ 202.00
Total Cost per year is $ 635.25
Your eggs sold value per year is $ 87.75
Hatching eggs sold value per year is $ 0.00
The remaining eggs valued at shop prices $ 351.00 for your own use.
Total Return value per year is $ 822.75
Your Total Profit is $ 187.50 per year.
Well done. Of course this profit calculation does not include your labour costs”
Now even though it says I make a profit because they are great value for money, I personally wouldn’t care if I made a loss. They are just like any other household pet as far as I am concerned (unless of course you breed your chooks for meat). No-one questions the ROI of a dog or a cat, and they certainly don’t lay eggs for your breakfast!
So for those interested, I would love to see how your ROI comes out. Don’t forget to select the right currency for the calculator. It doesn’t affect the calculations as it just changes the currency symbol on the calculator. It look better, that’s all.
Anyway, happy ROI calculating. It is simple and easy to do if you know most of your costs on a monthly basis.
Let me know how you went.
Over $500 profit for the year. Thank goodness we like eggs!
I use shredded newspaper from work for their bedding and source free bread as a supplemental feed for them, so i guess that keeps the prices down.
We have 6 hens.
Oh, there’s no WAY I’m trying this out! My two girls are spoilt rotten, probably eat better than I do, and I just don’t want to know how much I fritter away on them, buying them treats! Though to be fair, I am a vegan, and I will only eat eggs that they produce, so their eggs are pretty much worth their weight in gold!
My flock of 50 laying hens gives an annual net profit on average of about $12-1300 CAD per year. Farmstand eggs locally (including mine) sell for $4/doz. The ladies, as we call them, definitely earn their keep!
Ours works out for 6 chooks
374.752 AUD profit/ROI
the yard was built from scrap
the only upkeep costs are pellets and straw/hay – which then the hay goes on the garden after it comes out of their run.
olive oil for their legs, garlic in their water and so far that’s all we’ve needed.
Bluebird Daydreams says
Ours are a bit spoilt too and get lots of organic goodness and kefir porridge etc. Although our gorgeous neighbor is constantly bringing us huge bags of leftover bread which helps keep the costs down too. I think the return on investment is higher when you factor in that the straw laid in the coop is then turned into garden fertilizer saving more money. 🙂
Neat find Gavin! I’ve done the sums and although it’s saying we’re making a small profit, I’m thinking we’re maybe breaking even. It’s always expensive when you start. I’m sure it gets cheaper as time goes on. (At least, that’s what I keep telling myself!)
oops. I should add that the pellets and straw are the only things we really ~buy~ (sounds like that’s all they have otherwise!). They have no shortage of kitchen offerings, scraps from the neighbours and friends (organic and not), plus stuff grown specially for them in the vege garden, plus whatever they find when they’re out foraging round the place. Plus, we have a toddler. The chooks are never hungry lol
Thanks for the link Gavin, now I want to keep an eye on my costs and see if I can improve on $300/yr profit. We really want to get better and breeding and have some extra to sell, so it will be interesting to play with the calculator to find our optimum numbers. The calculator didn’t include the benefit of homekilled pasture-fed organic chicken, which is pretty difficult to buy. For us this would add savings of at least 6 birds x $20/bird = $120.
Mine came out at about $190 per year for four chooks but I think I underestimated the number of eggs and the calculator over estimated the amount of feed. But, like many, the profit is less imprtant than the taste and quality of the eggs and the additional benefits to the garden (and the gardener) by having chooks.