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This question is not for large scale chicken owners. It's for those who own maybe 4 to 10 in a coop in their yard.
Why do you do this???? I have never understood it. I know several people who have them. They own anywhere from 4 to 10 chickens each and all talk about how great it is to have fresh eggs all the time. Okay, I understand that.
My question is this. Are the taste of store bought eggs that offensive that you need to raise chickens to have fresh ones???
My neighbors have around 10 chickens. Whenever they go on vacation or are out of town, I look after them. It struck me the other day when I was at the coop. How much did it cost for the materials to build this coop??? How much did it cost to buy these chickens and replace them as they are lost? How much did this feeder and watering system cost? And how much does this feed cost per month? I could buy ALOT of eggs for what all of that costed.
For the cost of what I just mentioned, I could buy a year's supply of eggs for my family, my parents and in-laws and have money left for bacon and toast to go along with those eggs.

So what is it??? Why do people really get these chickens to raise????

Not trying start an argument with anyone. I just can't wrap my mid around this.
 

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Chickens are a great renewable resource. They have always be popular for country pepple to have running around on farms.
 

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I kept chickens on the farm I rented in grad school, and now that I live in town I miss them so much. First, the eggs. Yes, they're better than store bought. The eggs from chickens that run half-wild eating bugs and weeds are so much better than the eggs from birds raised in layer batteries. I can and do buy such eggs now from small local farms, but it was way cheaper to get them from the back yard.

Another perk, chickens are a garbage disposal. We fed them almost all of our kitchen scraps, and they turned them into eggs! I used to toss my butchered deer carcasses in the pen, and they had them picked clean in a couple days. We threw them the mice and rats from the traps, mile-a-minute weed that we cleared from brush piles, all kinds of stuff and they devoured it.

I gave them access to my gardens and they helped with insect control, weeding, and of course fertilizing. It made an acre of vegetable garden manageable for me to keep up with by myself.

Lastly, the meat. A year old rooster from a heavy breed isn't going to be as big or as tender as a broiler you buy from the store, and a spent laying hen is going to need to be stewed for a long time to be tender enough to eat, but the flavor of birds that lived outdoors and had a natural diet is so much better than the flavorless factory birds.

The one danger is, chickens are a gateway drug. Sure, you think, I'll build one of those "chicken tractors" and get four hens. Next thing you know you've built a coop, and you're butchering roosters every year. There's a Murray McMurray hatchery catalog in the bathroom, you can't catch the guinea hens running around the yard, the peacocks have decided to sleep on the roof, your ducks keep emptying the water tubs, the mail carrier is complaining about your overly aggressive geese, and you're talking to a lady in the next county about buying some of her emu chicks.
 

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I used to small game hunt on a farm in Chester County in the '70's. We always bought fresh eggs from the farmer. I love to eat eggs and I honestly could not tell the difference between the eggs we bought from him and store bought eggs.
 

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Same question could be asked about hunting...wouldn't it just be cheaper to buy meat from a store? I think it has to do with the satisfaction of knowing where your food comes from and reduce the need to rely so much on the grocery store.
 

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The main reason we have chickens is the kids wanted them and they love them! They learn work habits, how animals "work"... the egg hole is not the same as the butt hole...lol The eggs are a nice bonus. But there is definitely not a financial gain vs the store.
 

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I guess its like most fun things - It is the satisfaction, similar to a garden or a venison roast. Like most fun things in life, if you break it down, it really doesn't make 'sense'. Lot easier and cheaper to get ground meat at the store vs sitting in a tree and hoping. Similar to golf just playing fetch with yourself - if you break it down
 

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I can't be about saving money. Eggs can be had at a local market for .79 a dozen. I believe those selling eggs at 1.50 a dozen from their home lose money. I get brown eggs, free ranged birds for 1.50. I do think eggs from free range birds are better. I keep 10 bee hives, have large gardens and a couple dozen fruit trees and grapevines. I won't keep chickens however. Everything under the sun wants to kill your birds. My aunt started this spring with 19 chickens and a turkey. She's down to 5 chickens now. She only leaves them out of the coop for a few hours before dark.
 

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I don't raise chickens, but I respect those who do raise free range chickens, and I buy eggs from them.

The eggs are much higher quality than factory farm eggs. The shells are thicker, the yolks are much deeper in color.

This is because the chickens are healthier and are getting a better diet and exercise.

The nutritional value of these eggs is higher.

Around here eggs like these range in price from about $2 to $3. A terrific food value.
 

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There is a huge difference between commercial and true free range eggs. Commercial eggs have yellow flat runny yolks with hardly an egg taste, they're just bland, free range are dark orange and stay round cracked on a plate, they're denser with a lot of eggy flavor.

My wife worked 10 years as a bird vaccination supervisor at Empresas Guadalupe one of the largest egg producers in the world, just left in April. The birds are routinely sprayed with disinfectant, medication and modifiers are in the food, and they are regularly vaccinated. Not sure if any of the residual gets into the egg. They need it because the birds never develop any natural immunity so the smallest infection could wipe out 1000's.

The other benefit is pest control, if you got chickens you don't need to worry about things like ticks. My daughter in florida keeps 2 chickens and 4 ducks for eggs. Prior to getting them she had fire ants everywhere and the dogs constantly had ticks and fleas. Now the dogs get nothing and you can walk barefoot or lay in her yard.

At about 3:00 - 4:30 you can see some of the chemical treatments they get.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQUjdzxpMVE
 

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I have asked myself the same question, only it was related to the perceived benefits verses real benefits of reloading shotgun shells and making my own fishing lures as opposed to just buying them. Yes, there is a corollary if you don't try to eat the reloads or lures.
 

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browninggold said:
The eggs out of the coop are much better than store bought...I would use the analogy of its similar to a store bought February tomato vs fresh off your vine
February tomato vs fresh off your vine? There is no comparison. The Feb. tomato has no taste.

An egg from the coop vs a store bought? In a blind taste test I'd be willing to bet most people can't tell the difference.

But, that's just my opinion.
 
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