So it goes without saying that the number one advantage to having your own flock is that you get fresh eggs from happy chickens that are much tastier than store-bought, and much better for you (and the chickens) also. The poor birds aren't stuffed into tiny little cages for their entire lives like the commercial farm chickens. Poor things. And you know what they've eaten, so you know whether or not you're getting quality eggs. ("Garbage in, garbage out"! My fellow computer science nerds will recognize that one.)
But, like becoming any pet owner, someone considering taking the leap into chicken-keeping should spend some time thinking about the expenses related to becoming a flock owner: you have to provide housing, food, water, protection, sometimes vet bills, and treats. And, if you're raising them from chicks (or hatching eggs), you'll need a special heat light, a place to keep them that's protected, chick food, etc.
I don't think I've ever admitted it here, but my 8' x 10' chicken coop cost over $800 to build.
|With temps forecast to hit 98 today, this snowy pic looks refreshing!|
I just ran across this really cool online tool that can help you think about the costs of keeping chickens and, for you business majors and MBA types, whether or not you're getting a positive return on investment (ROI). Go check out the Poultry Calculator!
Change the costs to dollars, choose bantams or large chickens, and then plug in your numbers for each category. Then hit "calculate" and out pops the information on your ROI.