Saturday, May 23, 2009


Hypothosis- do fresh eggs from spoiled, free-range chickens taste better and can it be cost effective, while living in a suburban environment and using easily available support products.

Facts gathered- 1. Taste is subjective. The color of the yolk is definitely deeper and brighter and generally, the participants thought the eggs tasted a bit better. We do not possess the equipment to test for actual vitamin and food values so there is no attempt to prove that the eggs are actually "better" in that area.
2- Cost- Cage and pen materials $250, Dr. visit $400, cost of chicks $21, Costs of hay and bedding material $50, feeding equipment $100, food $240 ($10 mo.) Total - $1061.
We used PVC pipe, wire, chicken wire, bird cloth, steel posts and a manufactured shade tent. We recycled some equipment and lawn furniture for the roosts and nest boxes. The birds mostly ate wild bird seed mix and free range grass/bugs/down fruit/most of my garden. Medical expenses could be avoided by simply eating the sick chicken, but it was part of the learning experience to try to heal the poor thing.

Actual egg production- I didn't count every egg, so the number is an estimate based on the average number of eggs layed during their laying life in the experiment. There are periods of time when chickens do not lay- youth, brooding, moulting. One started laying at 5 months old, one at 9 mo. one at 7 mo. One layed no eggs while broody for 3 months, one layed no eggs while moulting 3 mo., one was an inconsistent layer.
Bieging- 60 eggs Q- 320 C- 200 Total- 580 eggs.
Apprx $1.83 per egg.

The experiment ended last night with about 3 pounds of prepared meat and a large bag of feathers.

Conclusion- chickens are very fun pets, lay tasty eggs that cost a fortune, make a mess everywhere, and get up very early. I prefer them to dogs or cats, but do not want to continue the experiment any further.


Khalila said...

Congratulations on your experiment, it sounds like it ended well for you. :) Loved reading the information as well, thanks for sharing! I don't think I'll be trying that anytime soon.

Julia said...

Hi Fluffy,

Drakonis came over and visited me via his friend Will so I am checking out D's links too! You being his wife, I thought I should pay you a visit. So HI!! :)

We have a flock of chickens too. If I discount the cost of the container my husband built since it did not cost us materially out of our bank account, and just add up the cost of feed the price per egg for us is about .27 each or 3.24/dozen. It's 50 dollars a month in feed and we get about 180 eggs from the flock.

But they are not so cheap and I can't really tell the difference eating them. The main thing I know is that eggs are just one more thing I can forget at the store and not suffer the consequences!! :)

fluffystuff said...

Julia, it is nice to virtually meet you. Yes, I loved not buying store eggs. I will miss that part, but the chickens and the responsibility I don't miss. You have a large flock to have 180 eggs a month. We had 3 chickens and averaged about 22 a month. That was just about the right amount for the 2 1/2 of us (Drak's part time teenage daughter). So 2 dozen would cost me about $4 here and I spent way more than that on treats, feed, and repairing what they dug up and destroyed. Plus they raided the blueberries, needed birdsitters while we traveled and annoyed the neighbors early in the morning. I can afford to buy the eggs. But it was great fun and I would do it again in a heartbeat if I had a larger yard and a bird friendly neighbor.