Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Backyard Chickens - Return on Investment

written by Gavin from The Greening of Gavin

This article is a re-post from my personal blog.


Not many backyard chicken urban farmers think about the return on investment of their flock very much, as chickens are more of a passion than a business, and as I have mentioned in previous posts about chickens, not only are they great pets, are willing workers in the garden, they also lay the best eggs ever.

Not only do these eggs taste much better, they are nutritionally better as well! Mother Earth News mentions that eggs from chickens that are allowed to roam on grass (instead of being confined to cages as is the case for the majority of commercially produced eggs) have;
  •  1⁄3 less cholesterol
  • 1⁄4 less saturated fat
  • 2⁄3 more vitamin A
  • 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
  • 3 times more vitamin E
  • 7 times more beta carotene
(reference; http://www.motherearthnews.com/eggs.aspx)

I know that in economic terms this is an intangible benefit, so how does one calculate the Return On Investment for your backyard chickens?

Well do I have the tool for you!  I found a fantastic calculator on-line that you can figure out the financial benefits of your chickens.  Here is the link to it.   http://www.ruleworks.co.uk/cgi-bin/PoultryROI.exe?Guide=Poultry&t=Poultry%20ROI%20Calculator

Here is how mine worked out.

"Poultry ROI Calculator

Your Poultry cost per year is $ 27.20
Housing cost per year is $ 52.00
Feed quantity required per year is 321 Kg for 8 Large Fowl
Cost of all feed products per year is $ 354.05
Consumables / other cost per year is $ 202.00
Total Cost per year is $ 635.25
Your eggs sold value per year is $ 87.75
Hatching eggs sold value per year is $ 0.00
The remaining eggs valued at shop prices $ 351.00 for your own use.
Total Return value per year is $ 822.75

Your Total Profit is $ 187.50 per year.

Well done. Of course this profit calculation does not include your labour costs"
Now even though it says I make a profit because they are great value for money, I personally wouldn't care if I made a loss.  They are just like any other household pet as far as I am concerned (unless of course you breed your chooks for meat).  No-one questions the ROI of a dog or a cat, and they certainly don't lay eggs for your breakfast!

So for those interested, I would love to see how your ROI comes out.  Don't forget to select the right currency for the calculator.  It doesn't affect the calculations as it just changes the currency symbol on the calculator.  It just looks better, that's all.

Anyway, happy ROI calculating.  It is simple and easy to do if you know most of your costs on a monthly basis.

Give it a go and let me know how you went.