Our Chickens Earn Over $30 a Month

“Buk buk buk buk… bukAAAhh!” That’s what we hear first thing in the morning. It’s our chickens singing their egg song after laying. They can get pretty loud sometimes, but as our friend once put it, “imagine shitting a watermelon.” You’d be singing pretty loudly too. We like to hear the song anyway, it means someone laid another egg.


We were nowhere near your deck!

Chickens are low maintenance

We have six ladies at the moment, and they are the only animals we own. We couldn’t commit to a pet that would require more responsibility, and chickens actually work for you providing top quality eggs. They’re very low maintenance, only needing food and water on a regular basis. When we are traveling, we just need someone to stop in to give them feed and fill up the waterer every few days.

They provide delicious eggs, bot not forever

Hens usually lay eggs for the first 3 years of their life, but can live up to 15 years. So when we got chickens, it was with the knowledge that one day we would have to butcher them and rotate in a new flock. We don’t raise our chickens specifically for meat, but with our first flock of chickens, the butchering came much sooner than we expected.

We got our first flock of chicks through a Craigslist ad. The guy hatched a bunch of himself so they were straight run, meaning there was no way of knowing how many hens and roosters there were. We knew there was risk of getting a rooster, but we got to picking.

Of course, we went for the healthiest and prettiest looking chicks. That selection method didn’t work out for us. A few weeks later, we started to realize 4 out of those 6 sturdy chicks were actually dudes. We live in a suburban neighborhood and couldn’t have roosters waking up or neighbors, so I ended up having to butcher 4 chickens way earlier than expected.

Having to butcher more than half our flock the first summer was hard on us, but the two hens we had left got us hooked. They behaved nicely, laid regularly, and when we let them out in the yard, they always return to the coop at dusk. We enjoyed having them so much that we decided to get another flock. This time though, we got sexed chicks from a reputable farm store. They are all hens, even if they don’t always act like ladies – unless you consider pooping on your friends’ deck ladylike.

I'm busy in here.

I’m busy in here!

So how many eggs do they lay?

On average, our 6 ladies lay 4 eggs a day, year round including winter. When the days get shorter we give them a timed light set to turn on early in the morning. This keeps their bodies thinking it’s still summertime so they continue producing eggs. At our farmers’ market, a dozen eggs sells for $5. The ladies give us ~10 dozen eggs a month. That’s $50 worth of eggs.

A 50 lb bag of pellet feed costs $16 and the ladies go through about one a month. They eat even less pellets in the summer when they graze on the lawn and snack on bugs. They also get to go over our garden scraps and leftovers. Mrs. CK even collects old food (expired flour, old oatmeal I cleaned out of my desk on my last day of work, etc.) and makes pancakes for them – a really special treat! We also purchase fresh straw for the coop every few months. That makes for about about $20 a month in total recurring expenses.


Got any more of that pancake??

Generally, we each eat two eggs a day for breakfast. We supplement from the market when we make other things like fresh pasta. Since we would get 10 dozen eggs every month anyway, the ladies provide us with $50 worth of eggs. Given it only costs us $20 a month to feed them and maintain the coop, they are earning $30 a month.

Chickens are also great for bug control

In our area, we have a lot of ticks and grubs. The ticks carry lyme disease and the grubs eat away at the roots of grass killing the lawn. In the summertime, our pool filter used to get clogged with the grown grub beetles.

Not cool, but those juicy little grubs and beetles are a favored snack, and we’ve notice a massive decline in their populations since the chickens have gone on patrol. Now, I might find 2 or 3 beetles a day in our strainer basket, which also means less pool maintenance.

Not only are the chickens are more effective than pesticides, but they even do us the favor of fertilizing. I was pretty surprised that our all-natural lawn looked better than our neighbor’s this year.


I like bugs.

Pasture raised eggs are second to none

If you don’t have chickens or don’t feel like dealing with them, try getting some eggs at the local farmers’ market. When a chickens diet is filled with grass and bugs, they pack a lot more omega-3s and flavor into their eggs. There is a huge difference in taste between pasture-raised and what you get out of a factory farm. As more people support our local markets, we have noticed that more farms have started up and prices are coming down. It’s great for the environment and your community.

14 thoughts on “Our Chickens Earn Over $30 a Month

  1. Mmmm…I love eggs! I’ve heard that chickens make for a pretty good ROI, and your experience seems to confirm that.

    That’s pretty good monthly income those ladies make too! Do you have any problems with your neighbors complaining about the chickens? They can be kind of noisy!

    • They can be noisy but not too bad. Our neighbors think it’s neat and like to watch them graze in our yard. We even get neighbors who like to peek at our chickens on their regular walks. Every now and then we also give eggs to our immediate neighbors.

  2. Thanks for sharing your experience having chickens! I definitely have chicken envy. Fresh eggs each day sounds delicious!

    I want chickens, but I’m not sure how it would work in my neighborhood. I don’t think the neighbors would complain (at least not to me), but I worry the big dogs roaming the neighborhood would get to them, plus I need to work on hubby to get him convinced it’s worth it.

    • Predators can be an issue. We do have our yard fenced in so the ladies are mostly safe to free range. We also have friends who gave their chickens a big run and don’t let them out very often.

  3. Hey MrCK – do you sell the extra eggs? Or have you come up with a million egg recipes? I’ve only got three ladies (and only two are laying.. someone needs to be eaten) and I have eggs coming out of my ears. I trade them for fresh produce, homemade tea and made massive quiches with 14+ eggs and somehow still have a dozen left.

    Drowning in eggs over here! Any suggestions?

    • We usually get about 4 eggs a day, and eat them for breakfast. I like having a solid breakfast with eggs, beans, and bacon every morning. This doesn’t leave us with many eggs for other dishes. If we have enough, we share with family and neighbors, but it’s rare we have excess 🙂

      • I just realised that your post says you BOTH eat two eggs for breakfast – 2+2=4. Haha, I thought you were have 2 together and wondering where the other dozen a week was going 🙂

        My partner and I are still buried in the rat race and love our sleep, so getting up early enough for eggs each morning is a bit of a stretch.

        Back to the drawing board 🙂 I feel like we’re not getting our best value when we trade eggs, but at least they don’t go to waste

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