Once they finally get their growth the appetite of laying hens backs off a bit, so that the picture above is enough pellets to keep layers going for six weeks or a couple of months, plus a sack of sunflower seeds just because for some reason chickens love sunflower seeds. The seeds cost almost exactly twice as much as the pellets, so what you’re looking at is just a hair under $80 worth of chicken feed. Counting only the pellets, it would be more like $52 and change. That would buy a lot of eggs at the dollar store. More than these 13 hens will lay in the same period of time. And when the hens are through laying eggs, their meat is good for nothing but stew – and not especially meaty stew at that.
On the other hand, I don’t have on-demand transportation so if I bought eggs in town I’d either have to stockpile several dozen or face times without eggs – and eggs have always been a major part of my diet. And raising at least some of my own food scratches an emotional itch. I have no plan to stop doing it. I did contemplate raising meat rabbits for a while, looked into the matter, decided that it was quite feasible – and then decided not to pursue the matter at this time. I don’t need the meat, and frankly the violent parts of raising my own food are by far my least favorite parts. I can do it, but prefer not to. I won’t take it up recreationally.
So for now I’ll keep raising chickens even though it doesn’t really make economic sense. But I’ll just remain in readiness to raise meat rabbits without actually doing so.