Monday, October 5, 2015

What Are The Actual Costs For A Dozen Chicken Eggs?

Let's face it, most of us don't have chickens to make money from selling the eggs.  If that were the case, chicken eggs would have to cost a lot more than what our local market will pay or there would not be anyone selling farm fresh chicken eggs!  Most homesteaders that have and raise chickens do so for many reasons.

Some of those reasons may be:
  • We want to know more about where our food comes from.
  • We want to know what and how that food source is taken care of.
  • We want to know what our food source is consuming because ultimately the things the animals eat will end up in the end product from our livestock.
  • We want to know that "Free-Range" means they are actually out on grass eating bugs, scratching for seeds and are doing things that chickens do naturally.
  • We want to raise and replenish our livestock naturally.
  • We want to be able to have our own source for protein.
  • Chickens and their eggs are cheaper sources of meat protein.
  • Chickens require less land to raise them on.
  • More communities allow hens in residential neighborhoods\acreage isn't required. 
  • The housing needs of chickens are fairly minimal.
  • We do not like to hear how chickens are treated in commercial environments.
  • We want our children to know where an egg actually comes from.
  • We like our food to be as fresh as possible.
  • We love having chicken TV outside our windows for non-stop, free entertainment.
  • We want our garden soil enriched with chicken poo.
  • We want our garden soil naturally excavated, fertilized and turned at the end of the season.
  • We want natural bug control.
  • They sell eggs to off set the cost of having a flock of chickens.
  • They want to provide family members with farm fresh eggs.
The reasons are many!   

Most of us are "accidental" egg sellers.  We end up selling eggs because we have more eggs being produced than our family can consume.   

In order to calculate the actual costs involved in producing a dozen eggs, we have to breakdown more than just feed costs.  Below is how I figured out what the true costs of producing a dozen eggs:

Coop Costs w/labor  $1,500 divided by life expectancy 15 years/$100/yr by 365 = $.28/day
Cost for a Layer Hen $25.00 Laying Time 2 Years $12.50/yr/365 = $0.32/day
Straw and Pine Shavings for Coop/Nest box Cleaning Weekly $15/mth $0.50/day
Fencing & Fence Posts $85.00 Life Expectancy 15 yr $12.33/yr x 365 = $0.04/day
Electricity (lights/water/ heater) 6 months/$8.00/mth by 30 days = $0.26/day
Solar Predator Protection System & Hawk Netting on Run $185 5yr Life Expectancy $0.10/day
Layer Feed Daily Cost $0.73 per day to feed 12 Hens 
Real Estate Taxes  (broken down by acreage, then by acre and by 1/4 acre = $2.50/day)
Farm Liability Insurance $0.24/day
Egg Cartons and Required Labeling Cost  $0.32/each 
Automobile Gasoline/Expenses to pick up feed month $3.00/mth = $0.10/day

All of these expenses add up to $5.39/day divided by 12 = $0.45 per egg x 12 = $5.40/dozen

As you can see, there are no wages collected for cleaning the coop, feeding the chickens, collecting the eggs, refrigerating the eggs, keeping paperwork on the eggs, feeding the chickens, getting up to let them out, being home to lock them up, for medical supplies, for DE, feed storage, mouse control costs, treats or medical treatment......

Obviously your costs and expenses would be different than my costs and expenses.  I would not be able to get anywhere close to $5.40/dozen in my area but then again, I do not have chickens to sell eggs.  I have chickens for our family's consumption and for my entertainment & enjoyment.  

I wanted to know what it costs to bring a farm fresh egg to our table.  At a cost of $0.45 an egg, I'd say that is a heck of a deal just to know my girls are well cared for, eat healthy, are in a clean environment & are just plain ol' chickens allowed to be and act like chickens! 

Have you figured out what it costs you to provide your family with delicious, nutritious Farm Fresh Eggs?  I'd love to know!

I posted why I sat down and spent my time calculating costs on - Here is a link to that post - Click Here!


  1. Nice break down of costs on the farm for chicken eggs. Even if the numbers are exactly accurate (not saying yours aren't), it allows a person to understand that there are many costs that go into raising healthy food. Factory farmed eggs are unhealthy on so many levels.

    1. Hi Blake, I closely "guestimated" a few of the costs because I did not have receipts but I have a pretty good idea of what I spent on them - they are pretty close anyway. I did not include things like the feeders, the galvanized waterers, the winter water bucket heaters and other small incidentals. I pretty much knew selling eggs would basically pay for feed and unless done on a lot larger scale, would not be profitable. I just posted why I figured out the costs to reaffirm why I do not want to sell eggs. After an acquaintance kept on begging for a dozen even though I had said I did not sell eggs, I finally relented and sold them a dozen - Against my better judgement. I priced the eggs a dollar less than the store sells free range, cage free eggs for and they complained! I am still stupefied at their chutzpah! Anyway, long story short, it costs more to produce a dozen eggs for a small flock farmer than they can get for their superior in so many ways product! I shall get off my soap box at this time! LOL- I hope all is well with you and yours! Take Care.

  2. WOW that's a great breakdown. Like you though, I just plain old love having chickens. I'm off today to add four more to our flock. The more the merrier I say. Thanks for taking the time to break things down so nicely.