The pros and cons of raising your own chickens

The late evening news on KEVN Black Hills Fox Monday-Friday
Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 6:30 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - With eggs sitting around $5 a dozen, some people may wonder how they can farm their own eggs.

Over the past year, egg prices have skyrocketed from their national average in 2021 of $1.72 to an average of $5.59 currently. This increase is likely impacted by multiple factors from weather conditions to disease like the avian flu.

With eggs leveling out around this $5 average, consumers may be looking to alternative sources for eggs like raising chickens yourself. While this may sound appealing at first, chicken farmers in the area want to emphasize how much work goes into raising the chickens.

“Research do lots and lots of research. There are certain breeds that do better in town or better out in the country than they do in town. My chickens aren’t loud, they’re free range. You have to research the square footage per chicken, depends on how many eggs you want. There’s a lot that goes into different types of breeds, way more than ever dreamt of,” said Joni Burgess, a local owner of chickens.

Outside of the labor involved in raising and caring for these chickens, there is a significant investment before the first batch of eggs would be lain by the chickens.

“It is a lot. It is an investment in the beginning and then you can, I do, give eggs to my friends and we have eggs for ourselves, but people are complaining about egg prices now but our eggs actually from the farm cost a lot more than what everybody is paying in the store right now,” said Elizabeth Smith, another local chicken farmer.

These farmers both echoed the sentiment that it is much more expensive to raise these chickens than to buy eggs from the grocery store, but it can be worth it for the right person who is willing to go through the labor of love that is raising them properly.

Click here for more information on how to raise chickens properly.