the first return on our avian investment.

Behold! The first egg from our little flock of laying hens.


When I factor in the cost for the flock, the feed, the labor, and that deluxe chicken house and run, that egg is worth about three grand.

25 thoughts on “the first return on our avian investment.

  1. Buying them for $5 per 20 eggs(not unreasonably cheap), you could get 12000 eggs for 3 grand. Or about 6½ years worth of 5 eggs/day, or about 47 years worth of average american egg consumption(average 254/year).

    But I really do get that the feeling of providing your own food is priceless.

    • Having thoroughly enjoyed farm-fresh eggs with yolks that really stand up to baking challenges, I’d revise that to the frou-frou fancy organic eggs at $5/doz to 7200 eggs, which is a little under 4 years of average american egg consumption. On the other hand, average is a poor metric when you have the source (average zuchinni consumption of a gardener vs. a city-dweller radically varies in the summer).

      But I’m just quibbling with the numbers because I find it amusing; please take no offense.

      Marko, congratulation on your first egg! May there be many more to come, and every one be delicious!

  2. I still remember the day my wife uttered the words “Let’s get some chickens so we can have some free eggs.” As a farm boy, I knew better. As a married man, I knew better.

    Jon, that sounds about right. Every year a guy I work with takes a week off for deer season so he can “Feed his family”. He could buy a cow for what he spends.20 years and 3 deer. I shoot them off my tractor eating my squash.


    • Yep. My father was a farm boy and NEVER suggested keeping chickens. My mother grew up with her parents keeping chickens and rabbits in the back yard for food, and would talk about it but NEVER suggested WE keep chickens or rabbits.

  3. Great-uncle, before he died, wound up building a small bench and window into this garden shed, just to deal with the deer who thought his garden was there buffet.

  4. Roger, invite him over for vermin suppression. But, the real reason is of course he likes to get out of the house once a year.

    Funny story: My pal and his significant other lived in a house in the country. One year he goes deer hunting for a week, driving miles and miles to get there, and she due to a mix up at work was stuck at home for the week. ( but she had her tag)

    One morning she steps out on the porch with her coffee, sees a nice buck in the garden molesting her vegetables, goes back inside, grabs the rifle and shoots him. Finishes coffee and in her PJ’s drags the offender into the barn to hang up, gets dressed and goes to work.

    Pal comes home mid afternoon, tired, hasn’t seen a buck all week, walks some stuff over to barn for cleaning and drying, and ! there’s a beautiful buck hung from the rafters.

    There was much ribbing about the advantage of agriculture over hunting and gathering. :-)

  5. It isn’t so much that they are free (in the monetary sense). They are free of the crap factor farms feed their livestock. And they are a type of built-in prepping. Which is all the rage…

  6. The only man I knew who could do better than break even hunting was my grand-uncle Les.

    He used to poach for a living. He killed deer at night with a .22lr rifle.

    When he took up hunting again in his old age, he brought teen-age relatives with him to pack the meat out, by promising to show them how to hunt. He didn’t like using his .30-06 much … felt it was too easy.

  7. You should be ashamed of yourself for eating unborn baby chickens! How many productive avian lives have you callously snuffed out just so that you could have a tasty breakfast…

  8. I hope by now your average per egg is around $1000. How many chickens do you have? My mother, whose parents kept chickens during the Depression said that their chickens laid eggs about every other day, which meant that each chicken gave on average 3.5 eggs per week, so one person would need two chickens for one egg per day, or four chickens for two eggs per day. Factor in older chickens that don’t lay as often (candidates for chicken stew, btw) and you need a lot of chickens for a family of four, even if you don’t eat two whole eggs apiece every day.

    • Three of them are laying now, and they each lay an egg a day. Once all eight hens are laying, I expect we’ll have six to eight eggs a day, which is more than we usually eat unless the wife is making an egg-heavy recipe. There are plenty of friends and co-workers who will gladly buy whatever excess eggs the chickens produce.