Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Cost v. benefit on backyard chickens

Good story here on the dubious economics of backyard chickens. I still think ours might eventually pay for themselves because we already had a shed to use as a hen house, a tall fence, and lots of forage. But maybe not. Maybe they're just amusing pets who happen to lay eggs. That's also okay.

I can't wait for someone to write a story about the cost of beekeeping.   

7 comments:

  1. they may not pay vis a vis food costs but there is one adorable 8 year old who absolutely loves the chicken...so they pay that way.......

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  2. thanksalot8/4/09, 6:02 PM

    Have they started laying eggs??? i guess its stupid to ask you that because i'll can find out tomorrow!!!! YAY!!!

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  3. Don't forget the payoff of knowing you are helping maintain hives of honey bees at a time when they may be disappearing. Pat yourself on the back for that one. I think all avid gardeners with space to spare should raise bees as part of their operations.

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  4. we're starting a sheep experiment at our place. of course, we don't eat mutton or lamb... so the pay out is purely wool and companionship (and the joy of seeing a dozen woolly sheep in our pasture).

    Speaking of which - is there an argument in favor of providing domestic bees and hive structures if we're in an area that seems to be teeming with "wild" bees? We have about 9 acres of clover and it's constantly abuzz. Should I consider domestic beekeeping, or would I be displacing the existing colony? I don't get honey from the wild ones - but I am satisfied to buy that from local beekeepers.

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  5. Daney -- re: bees, I don't know the answer to that question. It sounds like there's plenty of pollinating going on, so unless you're fascinated by the insect itself . . . I have found it an expensive and sometimes nerve-wracking hobby. But really interesting.

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  7. Thanks! Just wondered if I was missing something - bees to my farm would be like coals to Newcastle.

    I love the look of chickens out pecking, but we're just a generation off the subsistence farm - I am not ready to go back there just yet. I hate the smell of the feathers when it's time to pluck! And i really suck as executioner.

    The way you all do it is something beyond how my grandmother worked chickens in the farmyard, of course.

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