Some of the first questions that you get when you raise chickens are, “How many eggs do you get?” and “How much does it cost you per egg?” You may know how many eggs you got yesterday, or the day before, but do you remember how many you got last week? Or last winter? And just how much did you spend on feed last month? Your flock changes all the time, eating and laying less in the winter and more in the summer. You may add new chicks or hens to your flock, or lose some to predators or disease. At the end of the day you may not be sure whether you have the right number of chickens for the number of eggs you want. Maybe you got a new feeder or let them free range more. Do you know how this is affecting the health and productivity of your flock?
I started to wonder about these questions myself. I recently found Scratch and Peck organic feed at my local feed store. It’s expensive but my chickens love it and I’m happy that I’m supporting sustainable agricultural practices. Are my chickens laying more eggs? And how quickly do they go through a bag of feed? I started recording this information so I can answer such questions.
Tracking egg production and feed consumption can also help you identify pest problems. A few months ago I poured about 15 pounds of feed into the feeder before going on vacation for a few days. I was alarmed when I came back to an empty feeder and hungry chickens! I had noticed some rat droppings around my chicken coop before but I hadn’t realized just how big a problem it was. I did some research on backyardchickens.com and decided to get a treadle feeder from The Carpenter Shop. It has successfully kept the rats out and now I notice a lot less wasted feed. When I did the math, I realized this adds up to hundreds of dollars of savings in reduced feed costs!
Tracking eggs and feed can make a big difference in the health of your chickens and help you quickly identify problems with diseases and pests, but it also requires that you be diligent in your record keeping. It can be a pain to remember and keep track of exactly how many eggs you got and how much feed you gave your chickens. Many other chicken owners track information about their flock but all the apps and spreadsheets I found were cumbersome and not so convenient. I decided to develop a fun and easy way to track my chickens and make it available to everyone. You can find more information at FlockPlenty Chicken Egg Tracker App. I hope you find it as useful as I do. Wishing you happy and healthy hens!