Weslaco, Texas (KVEO) — With the national average price of about $4 for a dozen eggs, people are more likely to buy chickens to raise at home.
But is raising chickens enough?
Before we hunted down chickens, we asked Leroy Moreno, owner of Moreno’s Feed & Pet Stores in Weslaco, Texas, for as much insight as we could.
At Moreno’s, the “Best Place in Town to Pick Up Chicks” sells 5-month-old hens for $25 and 2-day-old chicks for $3.
Chickens start laying eggs at six months of age, and fertilization isn’t necessary for roosters unless they want baby chicks, Moreno said. Otherwise, the hen will continue to lay 5-7 eggs a week, with no work other than feeding, rearing and cleaning.
Some might think it would be more economical to buy a $3 chick or a $25 chicken and source the eggs at home. But how much will that chicken eat in 6 months?
Based on the national average ($4 per 12 eggs), estimating that a family of 5 eats about 12 eggs every half day each week, the family spends about $72.8 over 6 months on store-bought eggs. It will be. And they end up buying about 200 eggs during that time.
If someone buys 3 ready-to-lay hens (about $25 each), the household will lay about 21 eggs a week.
But on average, three chickens use up a 50-pound bag of feed in 20 days, says Moreno. In Weslaco, Texas, a 50-pound bag of feed sells for about $18.
So a household keeping chickens on a proper feeding schedule would pay about $163 every six months in feed alone to produce 546 eggs. This is a lot more money and eggs than buying 200 at the store. ) does not include the price of chickens or the cost of caring for chicken coops, fences, etc. Also, the prices of eggs, feed and breeding materials depend on where you live.
Depending on how many eggs your family plans to consume, the work may be worth the investment. admitted that it would be difficult.
“big [farms] There are government subsidies. He can’t live selling dozens of eggs for $2 or he for $3,” Moreno said.
“So you’re either going to be a tycoon or you’re out of business.”
Cost aside, there may still be advantages to harvesting your own eggs. CoopAn Austin-based company that offers courses for beginners in raising chickens. Kanzan Homemade eggs boast more beta-carotene and B vitamins and less cholesterol than store-bought ones.
Customers are also queuing to pre-register for Coop’s “Intro to Chickens 101” course, he said.
But what these newbies should know, Moreno adds, is that hens don’t lay consistent amounts of eggs throughout their lives.
For example, baby chicks do not lay eggs for six months, so extreme care must be taken. For her first 4 weeks, the chick cannot grow enough feathers and must be kept in a box or cage with a heat source such as a lamp or heater.
Chickens also don’t lay eggs during cold weather and moult, Moreno said. Molting is the time when chickens lose their feathers and grow new feathers, just like snakes molt. This is usually July and he August.
Chickens can’t eat just grains either, Moreno said. Healthy chickens need mineral grit and oyster shells to provide calcium, Moreno said. Chickens also need vegetables and filtered water for best results.
“And during the day, the healthiest thing to do is put them out in the garden for an hour or two, or the whole day, to graze and eat bugs in the garden. is the healthiest way to grow
Not to mention the installation of chicken coops. Every city has its own livestock ordinances, but Weslaco allows a resident to own six of her chickens at a time, said the feed owner. Anyone interested in investing in chickens should check their city ordinances before purchasing.
Moreno said there are no land restrictions required to own chickens, as most cities require chickens to be cooped so as not to disturb neighbors.
After a few years, the chickens will not lay as many eggs and the owner may be left with barren hens. A decision must be made whether to keep them as pets or to use them as poultry.
While the idea of eating fresh eggs every morning may sound appealing, it’s also important to weigh the pros and cons and take into account your responsibility to raise healthy chickens.
From a cost standpoint, anyone considering purchasing a few chicks may also want to consider why they are taking on these responsibilities. for your health? for profit?
The latter is pretty tough on farmers, let alone the average homeowner, Moreno says.
“I do not know the method [small-time farmers] As long as they don’t live in something else, they can survive,’ he said. but very few.”
https://www.mystateline.com/news/will-buying-chickens-save-you-money-on-high-egg-prices/ Can you save money by buying chickens because eggs are expensive?