Larry forwarded an article about the cost of backyard chickens today. Here’s the graphic overview. The graph on top is the price of a dozen commercial eggs (not organic BTW, you’d have to at least double, and in some cases triple that number for pasture-raised organic eggs).
The lower figures are pretty accurate for startup costs, though they don’t include fencing, the electric fence, and the labor of scrounging fresh greens, straw, etc. for the birds. Also, the $3.50 cost of a baby chick wouldn’t include anything beyond your local feed-store variety. Add up these costs, and the 6 initial months of feeding and tending before you start getting eggs, and the fact that the very best layers lay about 5 eggs a week… Well, economically it’s absurd. People often ask if I sell my eggs; I don’t. I’d have to charge $20 a dozen to break even. I do give them to neighbors and friends, though. It’s not a business, it’s a hobby.