April Chicken financials

Well it is officially May and I can do another chicken report.  I would like to say it is going to be good, but that is not going to happen.  I purchased the Chicken Butler (automatic door) last month and that threw me even more negative.  Since I have been negative for a while it is going to take me a while to dig out.  At this point I am hoping to be positive by July.  That gives me 2-3 months of good egg production before it drops off again.  Hopefully, I can get enough ahead to cover the feed until the end of the year.  On a plus note, I did not lose any customers by raising my prices.  I didn’t really have any choice in raising the prices, but no one likes to do it.  I have been watching the prices in the grocery store and depending upon where you shop $3/dozen for farm fresh, free range, no antibiotic, colored eggs is a great deal.  Walmart had them at $4/dozen and certified organic are pushing $5/dozen.  Feed prices jumped another 5% last month from the beginning of the month.  It is crazy how fast the price of feed is changing.  The screwy weather in the Midwest may make it even worse this year.  I would have to charge $5/dozen to make any money (other than expenses) and I am unwilling to do that.  I would have to start hitting all the local farmers markets and most likely get certified organic to make it work.  I see eggs on Craigslist going for $2.50-3.00/dozen, with an occasional $2/dozen.  I realize those people are probably not tracking their expenses and most likely do not realize how much they are actually spending on their chickens.  

April report:  I lost $115.16 for the month on an average 27 hens laying (Should not lose any more to predators with the automatic door!  Now if I only had a door for the sheep that would lock them in at night…).  My net income total is $177.47 for the year .  I had $50.21 in expenses for feed (200#) this month (the weather is improving and the chickens are actually getting food when they forage now).  For the year, my monthly expenses are $108.54 (an increase of $42.12/month). We collected a total of 414 usable eggs (110 more than last month) averaging 17.8 eggs/day collected (for the year the average is 13.5 eggs/day).  My productivity for the month was 66% (increased 29% from last month) (for the year it is 50%).  The chickens ate 0.38# food/egg (this is a drop of 118% from last month!!  Say hello to better weather and I included the feed for the baby chickies as a feed expense) (for the year are averaging 0.59# food/egg).   It cost $0.9/egg or $1.08/doz for feed (half of what it cost last month) (my yearly average is $0.13/egg or $1.56/dozen).  My monthly net income is a loss of $44.37/month this year.  I have hope if the chickens can keep up production that I may break even this year.  My babies will start producing in late Fall so that should help.  Unfortunately, the Brahmas sometimes take up to 9 months to start laying instead of the average 6 months for most breeds.  

I was taking pictures last night and happened to catch the sunset.  I took some pictures of the machine shop with the sun shining through the holes in the walls and then some more around one of our 100 year old trees.  I just could not decide which ones I liked best.

Machine shop with setting sun #1
Machine shop with setting sun #2

Machine shop with setting sun #3

Setting sun horizon #1
Setting sun horizon #2

Setting sun horizon #3

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