Beat egg-flation by raising your own backyard chickens

Feb 10, 2023, 7:00 PM

Members of the Abta family, from left, Allison, Violet, Eli, and Ariella hold hens in front of thei...

Members of the Abta family, from left, Allison, Violet, Eli, and Ariella hold hens in front of their backyard chicken run in Ross, Calif., on Dec. 15, 2020. The coronavirus pandemic is coming home to roost in America's backyards. Forced to hunker down at home, more people are setting up coops and raising their own chickens, which provide an earthy hobby, animal companionship and a steady supply of fresh eggs. (AP Photo/Terry Chea)

(AP Photo/Terry Chea)

SALT LAKE CITY — Tired of laying out $5 for a dozen eggs? Have your own backyard chickens lay eggs for you.

According to Consumer Price Index (CPI), the average retail cost in U.S. cities for a dozen eggs increased nearly 50% from $1.72 in November 2021 to a record-breaking $5.59 in November 2022 as reported by The News & Observer.

Klayton Thompson, a real estate agent who also started raising his own chickens last year, joined Dave & Dujanovic recently to explain the cost of raising chickens and compares it to buying eggs in a grocery store.

Dave Noriega, the Dave in Dave & Dujanovic, said he recently paid $7.50 for 18 eggs or about $.42 an egg. He was madder than a wet hen!

“I was so angry, but I didn’t have another choice,” he said. “Am I going to live without eggs? That’s what I eat every morning. I am an egg eater. I eat three eggs. That’s what I eat. That’s how I go.”

Backyard chickens: setup costs

“Break it down for Dave,” Debbie Dujanovic said. “He does have a backyard that he’s considering taking the play-set out of and the trampolines out of in favor of a chicken coop. So how much is it going to cost him to set this up?” Debbie asked.

Thompson recommended Dave get rid of the play-set because kids have more fun with chicks.

“What’s funner than a little baby chick kind of wandering around the kitchen floor,” he said.

Thompson said the chicks will start laying eggs in about five months.

Chicks need less than a quarter pound a food per day, he said. 

“The cost of that food could be free, as low as free, if you have the ability to free range the chicken or feed them some table scraps or let them forage for bugs and grass out in the yard.”

Thompson said he buys feed for his chicks from an IFA store.

“The cost of feed from the store is roughly 15 cents to create an egg.”

For Dave, that’s a saving of 27 cents per egg. For 18 eggs, that’s a saving of $4.80. That’s not chicken feed!

Backyard chickens: coop costs

Chicken coops can range from $10 to $2,295 (chicken mansions as Thompson put it) on KSL Classifieds.

“So you can go as bougie as you want, Dave, in the backyard and really impress your neighbors,” he said.

How long does a hen lay eggs?

According to the University of Wisconsin-Madison:

  • Hens may live in backyard flocks for 6-8 years, and most flocks will produce eggs for 3-4 years.
  • The level of egg production, egg size, and shell quality decrease each year.
  • Most commercial layers are kept for 2-3 years as their egg production decreases after this time.
  • To keep a small flock producing, owners should plan to retire old hens and add young hens (pullets) every 2-3 years.

Apply for a permit in SLC

Salt Lake City has changed city ordinances to relax restrictions and allow residential chicken coops. A permit costs $50. They’ve provided a lot more information about raising backyard chickens on their webpage.

Thompson has more about raising chickens which you can readd if you follow @realestateklay on Instagram or Facebook.


Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.  

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Beat egg-flation by raising your own backyard chickens