Let’s talk about the cost of a dozen eggs. What I see in our area is that most farmers sell a dozen eggs for $5. A few farmers sell for $6 or $7, not many. In the grocery store prices range from $3 to $8.
I have been selling eggs for $6 and most people feel comfortable paying that price. Here’s the thing, I do not make any money off selling eggs. I basically sell eggs for the People. The People love farm, fresh eggs! That’s why I do it. I even try not to use eggs in my home so that I have more to sell. It is not because I’m being greedy and want to make more money but because I need to sell them all to break even. Yes. you heard that right! If I sell the majority of the eggs I collect, I break even but only with the cost of feed.
I have been using an app called “Count My Eggs” for the last 40 days. I can input how many chickens I have, how many eggs I collect each day, my expenses, and my sales. The app tells me that I have collected over 500 eggs (chicken and duck) and sold over 450 eggs. It shows me that I have spent $2 more on feed in last 40 days than I’ve made in sales. I lose money. Having said this, I do have eggs in the incubator and if I had sold them I would have made a tiny bit more on egg sales. Had I sold those 3 dozen eggs I would have made about $0.45/day of income. Yep, raking in the big bucks!!
I have the same feed expenses all year but chickens don’t lay all year. The math is about $6.64/day for about 40 laying hens and a few roosters all year round regardless of how many eggs they lay/day. In the winter they hardly lay and I use a light the coop during the winter to try and encourage laying (so a bit of hydro). The chickens take a lot of laying breaks throughout the year (if it’s too hot, or too cold, if they’re molting, if they’re stressed out, if there isn’t enough daylight, a hundred reasons!). No eggs, no income…but they keep on eating. There will be a bit of a flux in income for the next month or so selling day-old chicks but it won’t even begin to cover what I’ve spent feeding hens that aren’t laying.
Keeping chickens takes a lot of time, every day. I am not compensated for the hours spent feeding and watering, cleaning coops and water jugs, collecting and washing eggs, or building fences. Also anything extra, like sawdust or wood pellets for the floor and nesting boxes, replacment feeders, or the cost of fencing materials when needed is money out of my pocket.
Raising chickens is not a money maker, it is a passion project (like most farming is). I love being able to provide folks with eggs from happy, healthy, free-range chickens but I do so at a great cost to my bank account.
Please remember how hard I work every day, all year to provide people with eggs and please keep this article in mind when you are asked to pay a bit more for a dozen eggs. I do it all for you!
Dare I ask for $7.00/dozen?
Once a farm girl, always a farm girl.