Backyard chicken farmers see increased interest in local eggs

With the high price of eggs, backyard chicken owners are finding out that their pets have become quite valuable.
With the rise in egg prices, many have been wondering if raising their own chickens is more cost-effective.
Published: Feb. 8, 2023 at 9:46 PM CST
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BELLEVUE, Neb. (WOWT) - With the high price of eggs, backyard chicken owners are finding out their pets have become quite valuable.

But the eggs aren’t the main reason why Logan Jones decided to get his chickens last spring.

“We really just wanted to do it to have more pets,” Jones said. “We weren’t necessarily worried about the eggs back in March but now it’s nice to have them.”

Jones lives in Bellevue, and city regulations only allow residents to own up to seven birds. Jones’ chickens produce around 35 eggs per week.

With those eggs, naturally, come customers.

“We’ve had more and more interest, probably starting around Thanksgiving to the end of the holidays, definitely a lot more interest in the eggs.”

“Word gets around and once word gets around, then you get phone calls, and I can’t keep up, my hens can’t keep up,” said Brett Kreifels, who owns 15 hens in his yard outside of Springfield, Nebraska.

His flock yields about a dozen eggs each day.

“I sell mine for $4 per dozen, which in some instances is cheaper than the stores, so I think that’s one reason why I get a few more customers,” he says.

But even though they’re selling all those eggs, both Kreifels and Jones say they aren’t making much of a profit.

“You have feed prices that have not gone down, they’re only gone up,” he says. Kreifels says he has about 200 other chickens on his property that serve other purposes.

“I got the laying hens strictly to pay for the feed for my other birds and for them, so if I put pen to paper, I probably am making a little money, not a whole lot because feed is expensive.”

Jones agrees.

“I can keep up with the feed costs by only charging $5 per dozen, and it’s just a perk not to have to pay for their feed,” he says.

Both say if you’re looking to save money on eggs at the store, getting your own chickens likely isn’t worth it.

“It’s a living thing, it’s not just an egg, so you have to commit to taking care of that living thing and the eggs are just an added bonus,” Jones says.

“If you’re not worried about feed price, fine, go ahead and get chickens, but feeds are not cheap, and it takes roughly, depending on the hen, weather all that stuff, it takes about three to four pounds of feed to give you one dozen eggs,” Kreifels adds.

But both say buying eggs from local chicken farmers may be your best bet in terms of pricing and freshness.