Admittedly, The Omlet Eglu is a very cool-looking, functional, ingenious design for an urban chicken coop.
Of course I want one, but that’s besides the point.When you do the math paying for one just doesn’t make any sense… And besides that, is buying more plastic “stuff” really the answer we’re looking for?
The national average for a dozen eggs is $2.17 according to the Washington Post.
A standard Eglu Omlet costs about $500-$600 USD and keeps two chickens. Let’s say each of your girls lay an average of 250 eggs per year. JUST factoring in the cost of the Eglu Omlet backyard chicken coop – and not things like feed and your two healthy pullets – each of those eggs would cost you $1 (assuming you only paid $500 USD for your omlet eglu, but you probably paid even more). And a buck a piece of course is $12 per dozen: 5.5 times the amount you would pay on average if you just bought the eggs.
OK, the Eglu is going to last you more than a year. Let’s say it lasts as long as five years. But if we’re being reasonable here, let’s say you had to buy $10 worth of feed per year per bird, and the two birds cost you $13 each from somewhere like McMurray Hatchery, which all adds after tax somewhere around $50 or more in initial expenses and, assuming you keep both birds alive and producing, another $20 per year for feed. So over a five-year period you spend $650 for 2,500 eggs. (208 dozen).. IF everything goes swimmingly – which, as most chicken-owners will tell you, it won’t.
Congratulations, you just spent five years paying $2.32 a dozen for eggs – .15 cents more than the national average if you had just bought them from the store.
I know, I know – you’re not just raising chickens to save money. You like to watch them because they’re funny. Me too. You like to have fresh, organic eggs. Me too. But the same is true no matter what your motivation is for raising backyard hens… Save yourself some money by making your own hen house, or buy a wooden one for half the price that will probably last just as long. You can even reuse an old dog-house if you want. Mother Earth News has a good how-to guide for building your own portable hen house and run for under $100 (click here to read it).
If you want to build your own but don’t know where to start, paying $13 for a book with 45 different easy-designs for chicken coops is better than paying $500.