Sunday, 7 April 2013

Chicken Math Which Will Make you Cringe

A lady in the village yesterday was informing me that I should be really rich as I am selling my eggs, and doing really well. People like this make me chuckle, and often have no idea what goes into raising animals, or running a business. You will be amazed how much you spend out, and the return is typically so little that any sane business person would walk away.

Chicken math is madness, and makes no sense at all, unless they are your chickens, then it all becomes clear, well as a muddy puddle. Over a year ago we started this journey, we inherited the coop, and some of the chickens, so that was a bonus. We repaired what was here, therefore, spending very little on materials, but do you count the labour?

We fed the chickens for months with no real egg production, so that cost us at least 200€ in feed, and using the eggs as there were not enough to sell. Therefore, we were running at a loss immediately  and had to get back the money that we were investing without any profit. I was determined to make a profit, and ultimately chickens are capable of doing this.

I bought the batteries, which cost 200€, we were now 400€ in the red! The feed bills continued to grow and slowly the egg production increased, but as we sell them at 2€ for 10 and have to buy the cartons, this was an incredibly small profit, and a long road ahead. By the time we pay for the water, spare feeders, bedding, replace fencing, and give some roosters to the food project we are back deep in the red!

So, at this point are you sitting there wondering how on earth chickens make a profit  the honest answer is they don't, well not a huge one. However, they do provide my family with fresh, free range eggs, and hours of amusement.  My goal is always to make money, but I also think that providing a healthier, happier life for my family is also vital. Maybe one day we will break even on the chicken thing, and if we are lucky we will make a profit!

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