Sunday, February 14, 2016

Counting Chicken Eggs

Before I regale you with the newest episode in "life with chickens...and donkeys" let me say I was tickled pink to hear from readers new to me.  Perhaps not new to the blog, but new to comment responses.  I so appreciate your feedback, even if its just to say hi.  So thank you!

Now on to the story.

Although we only have four chickens -- pop quiz, do you know all four names?? -- I sell what eggs we cannot consume to pay for their feed.  Self-sustaining chickens.  Now if only the donks would pull their weight.  Sigh...

The girls are fed only organic feed.  This choice really sprang from my desire to put uncontaminated eggs into our bodies, but now that the girls are part of the family (at least in my eyes) I want them to be healthy too.  I sell the eggs for $3 per dozen.  I've been told that's unreasonably cheap and that I should up the ante.  But, I'm not convinced the market here would bear a significant hike in price. We decided to get a better factual fix on whether the current price is actually covering the cost of feed.

Hence this hi-performance chart.  

If you can make sense of it, you can see that from January 9 through February 3 the clucks produced 76 eggs.  We kept count through one bag of feed.  Now, of course, sizes of feed bags vary and this was a smaller poundage.  But it still gives us a starting point.

The long and short of it is, I think we're covering costs right now.

  The girls are about one year old this month so this has been our first winter with them.  Production has dropped significantly from the summer and fall; our chart tells us we were averaging 3 eggs per day.  Some days there'd be 2, sometimes 5.  In the summer we could count on 4 a day.

We were darn serious about our counting.  We'd remind each other to write down the all important slash marks for the day.

And four clucks were oblivious to our efforts, instead concentrating on treats.  And that's as it should be.

Quiz answers:  Ruby Dee, Golda, Sweet Pea and Emmy Lou.  Hope you all got an "A".  It will be going on your permanent record.


  1. If I didn't live in the city I would have chickens. How wonderful to have eggs without having to run to the store.

    1. Wasn't sure I'd cozy up to chickens but I find them a constant source of amusement. Each with their own distinct personality. :)

  2. Hi Janet, I only have 2 chickens now - I absolutely adore them! They make such wonderful pets. They are cheeky, lovable (sometimes will sit on our knees)and in spite of what many people think, they are very intelligent (they know exactly what they want and have me wrapped around their little toes). Life is so much more interesting with chickens around, you couldn't stay fed up for long watching their antics. The eggs - well they are a lovely bonus. I just love them for them though and they are definitely treated as part of the family. If I had more space, I would love more and perhaps some donkeys!! Kind regards, Louise S, Cheshire UK.

    1. Louise, do you have a blog? I love your writing style and could listen to some more stories.

  3. Thank you Janet for your comment. No, I don't have a blog. I just love to hear other people's stories about animals and gardens and smallholdings etc. I would love to have some land and it probably wouldn't only be chickens and donkeys I'd keep (quite fancy kune kune pigs, goats, ducks), but alas this is a dream. That is why I feel that it is so generous of other people (bloggers) to share their stories and experiences. It gives inspiration to other like-minded people. I have found a handful of blogs that I visit regularly and thoroughly enjoy reading (yours, of course being one of those). So even if I only have a relatively small garden, I am inspired by people like yourself to make the most of it and grow my own veg and flowers and, of course, keep my gorgeous girls. You are never short of amusing stories when you keep chickens! So, thank you for the enjoyment that you provide by sharing and giving others an insight into your life - it brings a lot of joy. Kind regards, Louise S, Cheshire UK