Food cost of raising chicks and hens.

2017 is going to be our start in trying to get things to pay for themselves and see what income, if any, we can generate from the smallholding.  We’ve lots of thoughts as many people who have done this, will have had over the years.  Ultimately the main goal is to feed and sustain ourselves from the smallholding.  Part of that may also be financial but it isn’t the main focus.  Self sufficiency is the focus with a side order of thoughts on making an income.  Clear as mud?
So to do this we need ideas and records.  Lots of records!  I don’t mean LP’s, I mean the kind I should have kept last year but didn’t manage to 100%.  So we’re off with a flying start when I report in with this.
We started a little experiment when out chicks hatched in December.  It took 14 chicks 39 days to get through a 20kg bag of chuck crumb.  The bag was £7.50.  That means the cost per day was 0.19p so it was slightly over 1p to feed each chick per day.  We will weigh one tonight to see what weight it got up to over the same period.
I’ll run the exercise again in the summer to compare a summer hatch to a winter hatch and then we know if it’s worth it or not.
Here they are trying to make an escape:
The cockerels will either sell or go in the freezer.  There’s 7 cockerels and 7 hens.
In addition our remaining 46 poultry (including 4 geese and 4 ducks in that total), got through a 25kg bag of layers pellets plus almost 2 20kg bags of corn in 6/7 days.  This is around £20 worth of food in a week!  The corn was fairly expensive this time round, however as we will get it from the farmer most of the time, it’ll be a lot cheaper then.
Eggs sales have made us £25 in 10 days, so I’d say at the moment, they are just covering themselves!  Of course it is winter and we’re lucky to be getting eggs at all, however we got 15 eggs yesterday, and the previous days haven’t been too shabby so as long as we can keep up the egg sales and they feed themselves then that’s ok.  However we need to be mindful of these figures going forward.  I haven’t taken into account bedding  or time and effort. 
They will potentially bring some pennies in if we sell a trio of the chicks, and some geese and ducklings when they hatch some out, plus there’s always our rare breeds.  So watch this space. 
Of course the eggs are feeding us too, so that isn’t a bill I need to pay the grocery shop for.  Little things…

2016 Oil, electricity, water and other bills plus a few 2017 plans

Sorry for no photos on this one, it’s more about keeping records!
In our first year in the house we’ve used 4500 litres of oil and it cost us £1402.02 plus £50.97 in additives for the oil.  There’s enough in the tank to see us until the end of Jan and maybe beyond but as we moved in on 15th Jan, this will balance out.  I shall compare usage and cost with 2017.  I do love doing things like that. 
We bought coal, which I didn’t keep a record for, so have started for 2017.  However we use wood which is free for the most part.
Electricity we used £438 and are just in credit so our monthly payment is about right.
Water was £322.
The septic tank was emptied at a cost of £145.
On top of that we have the usual bills, all of which I knew what the cost would be through the year, so could plan for those.  I am pleased that we forecasted appropriately and things came in on budget.  This year I want to decrease our use of electricity and oil, however will increase the oil savings as we’re just on par with what we saved v what we used and I can’t see the cost of oil going down.  Water is needed.  We’re on a metre and it is for the animals too.  That is what it is.  We waste very little I think.
The groceries came in on budget for the most part of the year and December went right up which I can handle but need to plan for if it is to happen again.  It was out first year celebrating in this house and I refused to scrimp on things.
Hopefully with the plans I have for veg for 2017, our grocery bill will be right down, even further in 2018 when we have more of our own meat on the table.
We’ve also spent a lot to get up and running.  That will continue this year as we continue to get set up in all areas.  2016 saw expenses on things like:  fences, wood, veg beds, an auger, hens, eggs, poultry essentials, decorating, field gates, 3 geese, 3 ducks, 3 sheep and our first cockerel Jto mention a few.  This coming year we are putting up more fencing and gates, buying 2 pigs (weaners), automating water supplies, buying more poultry housing, buying dairy goats, creating a new raised bed area and putting up a polytunnel.  That’s what we’ve already thought about, there will be SO much more comes to mind during the year as always!  Just a few things then J  I wouldn’t have it any other way.
We are hoping to make a small income from egg sales, geese and turkey at Christmas (just a few), selling surplus veg and fruit and even veg plants.  Enough to cover the cost of feed maybe?  We’ll see.