With egg prices on the rise, is it worth owning your own chickens?

With egg prices on the rise, is it worth owning your own chickens?

If you've shopped for eggs recently, you've probably noticed that prices are steeper than they were before. The average price of eggs in 2023 in Australia was $4.75 a carton, according to a report by Selina Wamucci. There are a variety of reasons for this, notably a massive bird flu that's affecting many farms' ability to produce. Combine this with worldwide inflation and it's a perfect recipe for sky-high egg prices.

In response, some have resorted to raising their own chickens to produce eggs. But is that an answer? It depends. Let's go into some of the details of why this may or may not work for you.

The startup costs

If you plan to raise chickens yourself, expect a sizeable upfront investment. The chicken coop alone will probably run you somewhere between $300 to $900, according to a report by Yahoo.

Naturally, you have to feed your chickens — prices vary, but the best-selling feed will run you about $1.30 per week for each bird, give or take a few cents.

Chicks need to be kept warm, so you'll have to buy special heating lights, too. Make sure you account for veterinarian costs, as chickens require care just like any other animal.

What are the health risks?

Chickens sometimes carry germs that can potentially transfer to humans. It's best not to take this lightly; always wash your hands after handling poultry or anything in their environment. If you're not especially hygienic around your chickens, you can catch illnesses ranging from minor skin infections to serious illnesses that can sometimes even lead to death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

When will I make my first omelette?

Chicks generally take about six months to mature and lay eggs. The number of eggs they lay varies with the season, as spring and summer are the most productive months. Don't expect much in winter, though: During the colder periods, several weeks can pass without a chicken laying a single egg.

Yes, you can raise chickens — but be careful

Despite considerable startup costs and many months before you can expect your first egg, it's a perfectly feasible goal to raise your own chickens (as long as your area legally allows for it). Be especially conscientious with hygiene and understand the risks before you commit to it. Plus, it can be a fun hobby, so that's one more reason to own chickens.

Latest Business Accounting Articles