What is the optimum number of chickens required to reach sustainability?
What breeds are best.
What is "The Right Number" ?
We are mulling over the idea of expanding our chickens for both meat and egg production; however, there is a point where the costs of feed would exceed the returns. Conversely, there is a point where we come out ahead- in dollars. I know the health benefits of raising our own, but I need to think in dollars too.
If we expand enough, we can sustain the occasional loss by hawks or other predators. Right now we have them under chicken wire to protect them from the raccoon and opossum plus the hawks that sit above them on the tree branches, drooling (well, if hawks could drool) at the scrumptious morsels below.
Does anyone have statistics?
Is there a formula?
And what prices do you pay for feed, assuming you purchase your feed.
What feed do you find best?
We can work our local prices into that.
Right now we have buff orpingtons, new to us and they are just starting to lay.
Our araucanas are nice but we have sterility issues with the rooster, which I hear is common. Never a chick.
The Rhode Island reds gave good eggs but not very broody.
We don't really prefer our wyandottss.
Our brown and white leghorns (in the past) - not sure if they are broody.
We were thinking about getting goats for milk, fiber and meat but those costs seem much higher, especially with the medicines and testing that come with goat raising- based on what I have seen on the blogs. Our situation doesn't allow us much leeway with our budget. (Plus, I don't know if I can eat my own goats after playing with them, they are just too cute)
We've been keeping chickens for years now so we seem to have that down- for a small flock.
Can anyone help?
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