abstractjello (abstractjello) wrote in self_sustain,
abstractjello
abstractjello
self_sustain

Keeping a backyard flock

I know at least one other member on here has backyard chickens.  I personally prefer ducks since they don't typically have as many poultry-related illnesses.  Since we are coming up on spring, I thought I'd go ahead and pick up a few more ducks so that I can keep my flock in rotation, and while I picked up some ducks, I also opted to get some Cornish cross chickens.  There are a lot of good resources online for starting up your own backyard flock, so I will spare you from reading it here.  The surprising thing is that it is not too expensive to start-up, considering the payback.

Brooder requirements:
I just used a rubbermaid tote that I had in the attic, so no cost there.
Waterer: $3.49--I purchased the kind that a mason jar screws in to (already had mason jar=free)
Feeder: $3.49--Same "mason jar" type as waterer
Feed: $7.99
Heat lamp and bulb: about $10

The ducks I got were Khaki Campells (supposedly the most prolific eggers of the duck world), and I went ahead and paid the extra $1 to have each of them sexed to give me a better chance of getting females (I use my ducks for eggs), bringing the total to $4.75 each at my local hatchery; I bought 5, and he gave me a freebie.

The Cornish cross chicks were $1.49 each, I bought 10, he threw in an extra.

Lastly, I bought 1 dozen fertilized Cornish cross eggs at $4.75.  I found an incubator in my garage that hubby's dad had given us a few years ago (didn't know we had it until a few weeks ago), so I thought I'd give it a try. 

Total start-up: $68.37

The ducks I currently have in my backyard (the adults) are Rouens, and there are also four black ducks that I am unsure of their breed.  We have one drake, the other 11 are hens.  We have been getting 8-11 eggs per day consistantly the past two weeks.  We give them scrap vegetables as well as egg-layer feed ($9.97/bag, lasts 3 weeks).  To offset cost, we have also been selling a dozen eggs/week to two of our neighbors for $2/dozen ($4/week times three weeks=$12, offsetting the cost of the feed).  This gives us free eggs, and since we have so many eggs, we have been eating them more, which saves on our regular grocery bill.
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