We speak to lots of folks who keep chickens and the degree to which flock owners’ track flock productivity varies wildly. Some flock owners track productivity mentally, taking note of things like egg count, color and size. Others we speak to go all out and create complex spreadsheets to track things like time of day laid, size, weight and location of each egg laid for each bird!
Keeping a record of your flocks’ egg production and laying habits is actually an important part of raising healthy birds. At a minimum, it is important to keep a record of the amount of eggs laid, preferably daily. As pointed out at farmingfriends.com “Poultry can stop laying and if you know the dates that this occurs it allows you to track any changes that may have occurred such as change in feed, weather, housing, lighting or the introduction of new birds which may all effect the egg laying of poultry.”
For us at Eggzy, we also believe in the many benefits of small-scale entrepreneurship that selling your eggs can enable. What Patricia Forman calls the Home Eggri-business. By tracking how many eggs you are getting from your flock today, you can determine how much you can expect to get tomorrow and next month and so on.
Why is it so important to track your flock productivity?
- Helps to identify disease or illness
- Helps to compare breed productivity – which birds are better layers
- Allows you to project how much you can sell and as such earn from eggs sales
- Helps to determine your return on investment from the birds
When you use Eggzy to track your flock production you’re accomplishing two things at once;
- You’re capturing important flock behavioral habits and gathering important information that will help you to manage your flock.
- You’re sharing your flock info with others who are interested in any surplus that you may have to sell.
Do you count your eggs?
Like many first time flock owners, our primary motivation for starting a flock of our own was the desire for fresh, delicious eggs from a trusted source – ourselves. It didn’t take long to realize that there were many other benefits to keeping a flock of chickens, benefits that are essential to the well being of our backyard ecosystem.
In an article written for McMurray hatchery, author and chicken expert Patricia Foreman lists why chickens are considered by many as an “essential part of urban agriculture that helps folks achieve some degree of self-sufficiency”.
Foreman encourages flock owners to think ‘outside the coop’ and argues for the many benefits of pasture raised birds. She goes on to list and explain more than half-a-dozen different, but inter-related “chicken skill sets’, things like pest and weed control, bio-mass waste management and fertilizer creation and distribution.
This closed loop system of inputs and outputs is so efficient and beneficial, with little to no waste whatsoever, that Mother Nature herself must have designed it.
One standard chicken eats about 8 pounds of food “waste” a month. A few hundred households keeping micro-flocks of laying hens can divert tons of yard and food biomass “waste” from trash collection saving municipalities millions … ~ City Chicks
So above and beyond the amazing fact that chicken eggs are a healthy source of protein (which they can produce over and over again), there are many other less celebrated benefits that those birds bring to the table (ahem). All of which makes it clear that the true value of your flock can’t simply be calculated by the price of the eggs they produce.
And even with the long list of practical skills enumerated, there are other simpler reasons to keep those birds near and dear, it’s because we like them. They are often beautiful creatures, and entertaining to watch as well as listen to. When all is said and done, they simply make great pets.
For more information about living sustainably – with or without chickens – take a look at some of these resources: