The 80¢ Egg

I know it was cold and windy and dreary yesterday, but was that cause enough for the hens to slack off? I mean, really, just one egg? From thirteen hens? Here it is.


I don’t usually compare the cost of raising homegrown eggs to the supermarket commodity. I know that the ones I get are oh, so much better, and that the benefits of keeping chickens goes beyond the eggs that they produce.

Still. One egg? 

On average, each hen consumes 1/4 pound of laying hen feed a day. Which comes to 6¢ per bird. Times by 13, and add a couple of pennies to cover the scratch corn and it comes to an egg that cost 80¢. (Don’t even ask me to factor in the electricity, the feeders, the oyster shell, etc. etc.)

This is why commercial farmers don’t keep older hens. A hen younger than two years usually lays five to six eggs a week (about once every 26 hours from spring through fall). An older hen lays one egg every few days, if that. Buffy is three. Twinkydink and Blackie hatched in May of 2005. Marge and Petunia are now five years old! Currently, we’re getting an average of 5 eggs a day from the thirteen hens. All things considered, not too bad. 

The solution here isn’t to get rid of the old girls – instead I think I’ll stop doing the math. And, maybe I need some new, young chickens?

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