We are receiving a lot of inquiries and questions about raising free-range chicken for egg production so in this article we are going to give you ideas so you can decide whether cage-free egg production is for you.
Brown eggs are laid by colored chickens which mostly are Dekalb Brown, Dominant CZ, or other breeds like Barred Plymouth Rock, Rhode Island Red, and Black Australorp. Brown eggs also cost higher than the normal white eggs produced in battery cages.
Although we’ve been raising chickens both for eggs and meat for more than a decade, in this study we are going to use 200 layers as our sample.
Here is the cost breakdown for starters.
- Ready-to-lay chicken – ₱460.00 each x 200 = ₱92,000.00 (Dekalb Brown)
- Each chicken consumes 110 grams of laying mash per day or a total of 22,000 grams (22 kgs) of feeds per day. At ₱26 per kgs, the total cost for feeds per day is ₱572.
- Electricity (for lighting) = ₱20/day
- Labor (if you hire someone) = ₱60 – one hour in the morning and one hour in the afternoon. This is not necessary if you do it yourself.
- Medicines and supplements = ₱30/day
Brown eggs cost from 8 to 10 and since you only have 200 layers, you can sell the eggs locally for ₱7.5/each (average small to jumbo)
- 19 to 23 weeks – 50% – 100 eggs (₱750.00) – ₱26,250 total for 5 weeks (3,500 eggs)
- 24 to 28 weeks – 90% – 180 eggs (₱1,350.00) – ₱47,250 total for 5 weeks (6,300 eggs)
- 29 to 32 weeks – 95% – 190 eggs (₱1,425.00 – ₱39,900 total for 4 weeks (5,320 eggs)
- 33 to 48 weeks – 90% – 180 eggs (₱1,350.00) – ₱151,200 total for 16 weeks (20,160 eggs)
- 49 to 75 weeks – 80% – 160 eggs (₱1,200.00) – ₱226,800 total for 27 weeks (30,240 eggs)
- 76 to 88 weeks – 70% – 140 eggs (₱1,050.00) – ₱88,200 total for 12 weeks (11,760 eggs)
- 89 to 93 weeks – 60% – 120 eggs (₱900.00) – ₱31,500 total for 5 weeks (4,200 eggs)
Culling and selling the old flock
Colored hens, when culled, can be sold higher than white leghorns. Each chicken can be sold for around ₱350. So 200 less 5% mortality, you’ll have 190 culled x ₱350 = ₱66,500
Total expenses and profit after 74 weeks of production
- RTL – ₱90,000
- Laying mash (feeds for a total of 518 days) = ₱296,000
- Building and fence = ₱50,000 (this can be lower is you have local materials like bamboo)
- Electricity = ₱10,360
- Labor = ₱31,080
- Medicines and supplements = ₱15,540
- Egg trays = ₱13,580
- Feeders and waterer = ₱6,500
- Transportation expenses = ₱15,000
Grand total expenses = ₱528,060
- Eggs = ₱611,100
- Sacks = ₱2,279
- Culled hens = ₱66,500
Total sales = ₱679,879 less ₱528,060 = ₱151,819 net profit
The price of brown eggs is mostly higher than ₱9 as most sell it at ₱110 to ₱115/dozen but we used a standard ₱7.5 for all sizes.
Of all the colored RTLS, Dekalb Brown is the cheapest. If you raise other hybrids like Dominant CZ, the price of each RTL is higher to around ₱500 to 600 per head. If you use pure breeds like RIR, BA, or BPR, the cost of each RTL will be significantly higher at around ₱1,500 each.
The ₱151,819 net profit for 18 months is not bad after all and the next time you load another batch of layers, you can cut 70% of your expenses on building and feeders.
If you want to try, we suggest you start at 100 hears or 50 then when there is a good market, expand gradually. It is not advisable to start big unless you have a sure market. Profit could change depends on the cost of feeds and the price of eggs. These are free-range chickens and the house is only used during the evening. They also don’t need battery cages.
Growing your own RTL can also reduce the cost dramatically. If you have enough space it is advisable to grow your own RTLs for cost reduction and also for sure steady supply. You just need quality parent stocks.
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