did some depressing sums the other night and realised that with the recent rise in the cost of poultry feed (and everybl*odything else!!) our recent batch of table birds will end up costing us more than buying meat in
So far our layers are still costing less or the same as buying in eggs, mainly because they are free range all day and only come home for a top up! But of course in winter that changes and for most of that season we are basically keeping pets.
I love having chickens and love bringing home grown veg and freshly laid eggs in to the house for my DS but it is starting to make less financial sense. (And I can never get any time away for a holiday ...... ah, just ignore me, I'm hornonal and need a whinge! ).
I know that there's the whole 'tasting better' arguement too. However, since our local shops all buy from small/medium local producers (we're not in the UK) the food still tastes like food.
Now what we will probably see is a rise in the cost of shop-bought chicken and eggs as a result of the producers spending more on feed, hence making us feel a bit better about it all (kind of!), just with emptier pockets!
Anyone else noticed price rises and any thoughts about them?
I'm wavering here, ladies. Stop me from jumping off!!
I've known for years that growing my own veg is more expensive than buying it. Salad and fruit are the exceptions. But I like having the gardens full!
I haven't worked out the cost of raising chickens. Certainly the layers are more economic than buying eggs - particularly as mine lay through the winter (and I don't use artificial light or anything, just lucky). I like the fact that the meat birds are home reared and don't require transporting around the country or any packaging. I will now have to work the figures out!
So is it just the cost that's making you want to jump or is it the amount of work and commitment? Your DH is away a lot yes?
Duchess - "So is it just the cost that's making you want to jump or is it the amount of work and commitment? Your DH is away a lot yes?" ...to first Q, it's probably a combination of both tbh, exaggerated by extreme first trimester tiredness (like, so bad I didn't think it was possible!) and yes during the summer, the busiest time outside, DH needs to be away a lot. If I wasn't so utterly knackered I would be finding it loads easier but the reality of those sums was very depressing - that for all the hard work I put in and not being able to get away for one day ever, I haven't actually gained anything financially.
Judge - they get mixed grain and corn mash, kitchen scraps, and are free range on an acre all day. And their favourite place is the compost heap, where they get extra scraps, the insects, and warm bums!
From everything I've read about grain prices, food shortages and projected harvests in the US, Canada and Australia we won't be seeing it come down again either. Having said that I would think that chicken from the supermarket will go up in price too, so it will mean that raising your own will begin to be cost effective again. Do you raise them from day olds?
I'm still paying £7 for mixed corn and about £6 for the pellets.
My first batch of meat birds this year has so far cost me £9 in crumb and £7 in pellets - there are 9 of them, on grass, and I don't think they'll need another sack of pellets. So that's £16 for 9 chickens. That's not bad at all!
The layers cost about £21 every 2 months for food & straw and I get around 5 eggs a day. So they must be cost effective too.
Having bought some grain for the cooks yesterday I can now inform you that Countrywide own brand mixed corn (the worst stuff imaginable, like sweepings - my chooks won't touch it) is £5 per 25kg and the mixed corn I get which is clean and not at all dusty is £9.37 per 20kg. Chick crumbs were about £5 per (I think) 5 kilo (organic).
Wellies - would it be more cost effective to buy in some off-heat chicks?
Interesting thought, callisto, will look in to whether anyone sells off-heat chicks here. Thanks.
Amazing price difference between crppy corn and good corn.
I've even considered growing my own next year since we have the space but my two attempts to grow corn (in smaller quantities) here have failed miserably. Wonder if it has to do with being on an exposed hillside? Duchess - you'd probably know about that, right? We have access to a watermill on our friend's smallholding so would be able to grind it too IF I were able to grow it properly.
That's a hopeful comment from your farmers friend, FuriousGeorge (good name btw). I'm still finding it very expensive and I buy direct from wholesale agricultural suppliers. I was talking with a guy the other day who has a smallholdig with dozens of goats, poultry, rabbits, and a few cows, and even buying in those much larger quantities he is finding this year very tough.
I think that it is probably a short term dip - just as we are seeing with oil. I hate to sound so doomy gloomy but we are looking at generally increasing prices for food from now on. The era of cheap food is over for good I think.