Friday, April 1, 2011

March chicken financials

One of these eggs is supposed to be blue, I
just don't see it, looks green to me. 
Well, it is April fools day, but I am not fooling, the price of eggs is up!  I have officially raised the price to $3/dozen.  After all the Spring cleaning in the coop, new litter for the coop, heat lights for the baby chicks and new baby chicks I am back in the red again.  No big surprise there, but it still sucks.  The weather really killed me last month.  It rained, it snowed, it got warm then it did it all over again in no particular order.  The chickens just do not do well with unpredictable events, plus I had some molting.  
I lost $96.07 for the month on an average 27 hens laying (Sarah counted the hens a week ago and says we have more than 27, so I am going to try and do an official recount this weekend).  My net income total is $62.31 for the year  I had $55.60 in expenses for feed (250#) this month.  For the year, my monthly expenses are $65.42. We collected a total of 302 usable eggs (50 less than last month) averaging 9.7 eggs/day collected (for the year the average is 12.1 eggs/day).  My productivity for the month was 37% (down 10% from last month) (for the year it is 45%).  The chickens ate 0.83# food/egg (for the year are averaging 0.66# food/egg).   It cost $0.18/egg or $2.16/doz for feed ($0.50/doz more than last month) (my yearly average is $0.14/egg or $1.68/dozen).  We collected 20 quail eggs for the month.  
Of course, I do not want to discourage any new chicken owners, just run out and get some chickens!!  If you only have a few it is not bad.  I am trying to get up to 50 laying hens, which is the maximum number for my coop size. Some people would say my coop needs to be a little larger for 50 chickens but that will give them 120 sq ft inside and the whole farm outside, so I figure they will be comfortable with that arrangement.  I am still considering getting another dozen chicks.  I had one today that was sick.  I had to isolate and contain that chick from the rest of the flock (farm talk for remove potential vector).  I have always started my baby chicks with one 50# bag of medicated feed.  When they finish that I switch to unmedicated feed and never give it to them again. This year when I bought chick feed I forgot to ask for medicated feed and they gave me plain chick feed.   I realized this before the chicks arrived but figured I would give it shot.  That is why I always clean out the coop before the chicks arrive.  Didn't seem to work, this is the first time I have had a sick chick, it had some yellow goop all over one eye and the other almost covered up.  We found it laying on its side in the enclosure.  It was one of my Brahmas!!  I didn't want it to be one of them.  So we went out and bought a 50# bag of medicated feed.  I will bleach out the feeder and waterer in the morning and start over with the new feed.  My adult chickens have never had any problems. 
 The sheep have started finding all the holes in the fence again this year.  We just decided to let them roam outside while we are home.  The fenced in portion of the pasture has some very short grass, while the rest is 8 inches high.