How much does it cost to feed 12 hens for 150 days?

How much does it cost you to feed 12 hens for 150 days?

Let’s say your birds moved in right before Thanksgiving day 11/25/15 and you wanted to figure the upkeep for 150 days so say until 4/24/16 roughly for example.  This means you have fed the birds through the winter which is when they eat the MOST FEED since they have no bugs or grass or weeds to munch on and lay the LEAST EGGS.  The average hen eats about 1/4 lb of feed per day so if you have a dozen birds that would bring you to 3 lbs/day x 150 days = 450 lbs of feed or 9 of the 50# bags of layer pellets.  Layer pellets at most feed stores in this area range in price from $16.50-$20 a bag.  So even if we go on the low end would be $148.50  to $180 just in feed unless you go for the high end organic and it is even more $$$ such as  Nature’s Best Organic Layer Pellets coming in on a google search for $27.99/bag (this is not counting you gas & time to go to the feed store) but keep in mind since they eat more in the colder months they may even eat more than this 1/4 per day per bird. This $148.50 does not count your crushed oyster shells $13-15/bag &/or calcium chips for strong egg shell development or bedding aka kiln dried pine shavings which are around $8/bag to keep the coop clean and money you may pay someone to help clean their coop or any other incidentals.  So your birds are eating almost $1 – $1.20/day in feed for 12 hens which means for an entire year of 365 days around $365-$438 for feed alone just to give you an idea of your costs.  So for 6 hens it would be 50-60 cents a day and 3 hens 25-30 cents a day to feed ONLY.

A very conservative figure on the low end would be a cost of $200 to feed & care for the 12 hens for 150 days which does not include your time.  Also keep in mind in the winter the birds slow way down on their laying of eggs and many go through the molting process at that time where they use all their energy to grow new feathers instead of laying eggs.  In my barn group of 120 birds of which 90 are females their were days in the winter that I did not get more than 12 eggs in total from the entire group.  This is why some of you customers who buy multiple dozen eggs at a time were told to wait for a call before coming in the winter months.  Good news to try and remedy this I am adding 36 young layers to my flock.  Now that spring has come I am getting at least 3 dozen a day from the Barn Group and sometimes 4 dozen which hopefully will continue to increase.  Please keep in mind that the pleasure of having these feathered friends far outweighs the cost :-).  

I hope you have found this article helpful and informative.  Feel free to like & follow us on Facebook under Macopin Farm.

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