Rearing organic chickens
A while ago we did some quick back of the envelope math on getting a chicken vs buying store bought eggs here in Lahore. We were interested in the desi (somewhat more flavourful) eggs, ideally organic.
Whilst there are now some options if you’re looking for organic eggs here in Lahore, it gets tricker if you are trying to get desi eggs that are also responsibly / organically farmed. Desi (I suppose you could call them heirloom varieties) produce fewer eggs than the modern chicken varieties and tend to take longer to mature, which may explain why there are fewer large scale producers.
When did do the math it seemed to be pretty obvious that this was going to payback quickly too - though as you can see our model wasn’t particularly rigorous so caveat emptor. Subsequently, we realized that the egg price assumptions were quite conservative: particularly in the winter, where desi eggs are around Rs 400 a dozen.
Things we’ve learnt
Happy chickens lay more eggs. Seriously. Easy things you can do:
- A perch to sit on at night
- Plenty of clean, fresh water
- Dust to play around / bathe in
A neat trick we picked up is to bury some tripe in a shallow ditch in the garden. This soon triggers a healthy colony of worms to develop, and the Chickens have a field day
Artificial light: Winter egg production is helped by increasing ‘sunlight hours’ – we’ve done this by adding lights to their coop, which we keep switched on to say they get approx. 12 hours of light a day
Here is the model (mostly done for fun): A financial model for home-rearing (desi) chickens in Pakistan
Go to forum: http://www.backyardchickens.com/