One of our blog readers is thinking about getting chickens for the fresh eggs. If you have any experience raising chickens for this purpose, please help answer her questions. Thanks in advance for any help you can offer!
Here is the e-mail she sent:
"Do any of you keep chickens? I've seen a cost break-down, and after the initial investment in a coop/run, the ongoing cost per dozen eggs works out to be about $1.40 a dozen, but that's assuming you buy all your feed. You can reduce your feed cost supplementing with table scraps (they're omnivores, so they'll eat those bits of meat your kid dropped on the floor in addition to vegetable scraps) and some yard waste (chickens apparently love dandelions and will gladly eat the half a tomato the squirrels left on the vine), what would otherwise be waste, and they eat insects as well.
If you keep chickens, do you have any regrets or things you would have done differently? Any breed recommendations? Is the feed cost reasonable?
I'll be honest, the idea of cheap, high quality, super fresh eggs in my backyard appeals to me greatly.
Note: I am aware of the legal requirements (which vary town to town) regarding chickens where I live, and I fully intend to operate within the confines of the law."