Getting Answers: raising chickens to help with egg prices

With the rising cost of eggs, many people are looking into raising chickens in their backyards to save money.
Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 3:32 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 1, 2023 at 5:14 PM EST
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WESTFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - With the rising cost of eggs, many people are looking into raising chickens in their backyards to save money. However, is this a good investment for you and your family?

“I think that folks are wanting to raise backyard chickens and knowing where their eggs are coming from, I think that’s important to people as well,” said Mike Sadowski, owner of Westfield Feed and Supplies.

At Westfield Feed and Supplies, they will be accepting orders for chicks March through mid-April. Sadowski told Western Mass News that owning chickens has become popular, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID years was crazy. Our chicken order went from say 200 birds to 400 birds the first year and then we saw a slight decline after that, but it’s held higher than years before COVID which is nice,” Sadowski added.

However, like any other animal, he explained raising chickens is a big responsibility.

“That’s something you need to think about, is that something you’re ready to do…Somebody’s got to go out there and fill the water and put the feeder in the feeders and clean the coop out and gather the eggs and all that stuff,” Sadowski noted.

Before you decide to pick-up some chickens to bring home, Sadowski said important to look into your city or towns rules and regulations for raising poultry. Many communities do not allow this. Also, research which chickens will do best in your area and keep in mind the costs that come with the endeavor.

“Last year, day-old chickens were retailing for $2.95…I’ve seen adult laying birds going anywhere from $10 to $15 range…With just the rising cost of everything, chicken feed a little bit more expensive than what it was. We used to see chicken feed at $15 to $16 a bag and I am looking at like anywhere from like $23 to $25,” Sadowski said.

As for the eggs, there’s a chance you won’t be able to make an omelet for some time. Sadowski told Western Mass News it could take about a year for the investment to start paying for itself.

“If you want to raise a chicken from a day-old to its first egg, you’re looking at, you know, around 20 weeks, so the golden egg could be pretty expensive, so probably take about a year after that, maybe you’ll start seeing the benefits of raising your own chickens,” Sadowski added.