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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Update on the backyard chicken experiment

Everyone has become a bit bothered by the Salmonella Outbreak that has sickened over 1,500 people and caused the recall of 550,000,000 eggs.  In the next few weeks, I will be visiting the Iowa factory that produced these fine eggs – some several million chickens.  But, is my chicken experiment in our backyard a sustainable alternative?

We spent $75.32 on the original purchase of the six chicks, food, and water and food dispensers.  I’ve spent another $148.69 on the pens I have built for them as they have quickly grown.

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Now, we are into the chicken coop, which if all things go as bid, will be about $3,500 plus more.  Now, the price per egg is what?  And, then there is the Salmonella testing I will be doing.

  • Carl Custer

    So, the facility should start clean and theoretically, the feed will be treated.
    But, did you get the chicks from a clean hatchery?

  • Sherry

    Organic eggs sell for a lot more. Would it be worth it? The feed can’t be Genetically Modified corn or anything GM. I wonder how that would work. I also, wonder what the difference in the Iowa farm & organic egg farms are? Very interesting what you are doing & I look forward to reading & seeing more from you.

  • John Munsell

    Totally unrelated to this half billion egg recall, I purchased 30 pullets this morning, and a friend blended them in with perhaps 30 of his own. We will share eggs, and next year have lots of stewing hens. I’ll let you know if the fresh eggs taste or appear different from store-bought eggs. If the cost isn’t too great, I’ll periodically send eggs to a lab for Salmonella testing. But, what would the statistics mean in the absence of data which reveal the incidence of Salmonella in factory-produced eggs? Are such statistics available? John Munsell

  • Laura Hendley

    That’s going to be a nice chicken coop! I’ve had hens for a number of years. They eat our scraps, which means pretty much all organic, and they scratch through the horse hay and horse manure, not organic. Every now and again I buy some grain for them, organic, but really they are pretty cheap to feed. In the winter they get watered once a day. The eggs are much better than those bought at the store, even those produced locally, because our hens are not production hens. We don’t keep them under lights in the winter but we have heavy, cold weather breeds so they lay all year. Since our hens are free range we can’t keep them away from wild birds and the wild birds like the shed where the hens go at night so we pretty much act like they have Salmonella or Campylobacter.

  • Shaun

    My god, $3500 for a chicken coop!? Are they getting their own ensuite bathrooms in there?

  • Is that your chicken coop in the picture? If it is you are seriously into chicken coop. Nice.
    Daniel
    Chicken coop plans

  • Is the chicken coop design you are looking at make it a snap to clean? This is where most Jerk Chicken
    coop blueprints fail. A good design will always allow easy maintenance, and easy cleaning. Look for things such as a downward sloped floor, for proper drainage and runoff. And Be sure the main door opens inward.