So for the past couple years I’ve been considering the idea of raising chickens. I thought it would be a great way to enjoy fresh eggs and meat. I would know where it came from and it would save me money and the food would likely be far better quality than what I can buy at the grocery store. During the past couple of weeks I started considering this more seriously and sought some advice on the matter. Some of the friendly people in the forums at Backyardchickens.com have been very helpful and have cleared up a couple of misconceptions that I had.
It turns out that it’s fairly unlikely that raising my own chickens will save me money and could actually cost me more than store bought. My eggs will be cage-free organic eggs but I don’t spend the money on cage-free organic eggs from the store now so I can’t consider the cost of those kind of eggs. Even if I build a coop as cheaply as possible, the cost of grain will make up a good amount of the cost of the eggs I get. The eggs themselves won’t start coming until five or six months from the time I actually get the little chicks.
There’s also the matter of butchering. I really don’t have the stomach for it and if I pay someone else to do it then I’m right back to where I started to it not being worth it financially. I also learned that most people butcher between eight and nine weeks which seemed awfully young to me but I’m certainly no expert.
After learning all of this I was still on the fence about whether or not this was going to be a good thing to pursue. Then another tainted food recall appeared on the local evening news. It seems that this is happening several times a year now where we can’t trust the food that is being certified as safe to eat by the FDA. When I started to think about that and combined it with the massive inflation that many economists are expecting due to the government meddling in the economic system, I knew that I really didn’t have a choice anymore. I knew that even if financially it doesn’t work out better right away, that in a very short amount of time it could be a great investment and if safer, more nutritious food is the result then that is even better. So this Spring, I will most likely have some chickens and you will have a front row seat to all of my chicken escapades.