What does a dozen fresh eggs cost? A duck or Chicken carcass? a fricassee of Rabbit? This is the real lesson of being an Urban Farmer. Life has a cost; and that cost is mostly for food. Granted $98 for feeding 5 chickens, 5 ducks, and 5 rabbits for three months might not seem too extreme. Let’s do the algebra: (5+5+5)90 = 1,350 this is my feed stock number. I feed the rabbits every other day 1 quart of food (rabbits are gluttons it is very easy to overfeed them) and the chickens free range and I use a treadle feeder to manage losses to coons and birds. When I factor in the cost of feed for 90 days as $98 and when I compute those figures I get $98/1,350 = $.07. That’s $.07 a mouth each day for each animal at Mezzacello.
But this post is just for eggs, so I will refactor this. Rabbit feed for a 23kg (50lb) bag is $15.99 at TSC. so I can deduct $32 from $98 and an additional $18 for the bag of specialized feed for baby chicks (This is Spring 2020 – There will be chicks) and I get a new number: $48 (Damn! Chick feed is expensive!) so now I have a new equation: 10 x 90 = 900 and $48/900 = $.05. a nickle a day per beak. I generally get 1 egg a day fro each animal, but we are going to reduce that number from 10 to 5 a day. That’s 5 x 7 = 35. That’s 35 eggs a week and 12 weeks in 3 months. 35 x 12 = 420 eggs. So $48/420 = $.11 that’s $1.37 a dozen. (My Math pantheon – Lynda Cook, Steve Lewis, Heather Mccreery Kellert check my math!)
So I pay $1.37 a dozen for eggs. An in addition I get manure, chickens, ducks, and rabbits for meat, feathers, and fats. Yes, this is a functional farm. These are not pets. They are an integral part of the ecosystem here. That’s why the Gates Foundation listed raising chickens as the most carbon neutral practice a family can take for eliminating hunger and poverty in the world.