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How much dose it cost to homestead?
A common question I get asked is “how much dose it cost?” Anyone that wants to do anything wants to know how much will it cost so they can figure out if they can afford it. This is a very difficult question when it comes to homesteading. There am many variables that can make some thing I do for very little money that would cost you more. I am going to attempt to cove the cost of our projects here and when at all possible will point out things that may cause a variance in your pricing and what to look for to try and get the best deal you can get to accomplish your goals.
Lets start with the chickens, average harvest is about 132 eggs a week the is 11 dozen eggs. If i was to go to the grocery store and found good quality eggs for about 2.50 a dozen it would cost me $27.50 to purchase this amount of eggs. Instead I go to the feed store and spend about $40 dollars a month on the chicken feed. This works out to be 10 dollars a week which is cheaper than buying the eggs so in my mind it is a profit. We do things around her like the things in this article, and also this article, that greatly reduce the cost of our chicken feed.
On to the hogs, it is i bit more difficult to compare pork prices due to the different types of cuts and the cost for each of the cuts vary dramatically. I bought our pigs for 60 dollars each from a guy up the road that breads hogs. The feed store bill for the hogs ends up around 15 dollars a week, we supplement our store feed with things like scraps from the garden, and produce that was going to be thrown away from some local grocery stores that we get for free. Keep in mind if you are going to feed scraps from the table, their are diseases that can be passed on from this kind of scraps. To be on the safe side you may want to cook your scrap food to 212 degrees before feeding to the pigs, or at least that is what I have been told. We raise hogs out for about 6 months.
The largest portion of our meat comes for our beef cows. We typical buy the cows at a market rate from a local rancher, I believe the last ones cost us about $1,200 dollars. The feed cost can be largely different depending on what part of the country you live in and what the going rate for hay is in your area, hay for us is an average of $14.75 for a bale of alfalfa. Some times we feed cow hay which is much lowers quality but can be purchased for 5-8 dollars a bale depending on where we get it. Two good ways to help with the cost of raising cows are, grow your own food for them if you have enough land to do so, and also buy in bulk every feed store has some sort of bulk discount and you will buy the feed anyways so save some money and make a bulk purchase. Buy to time the cows go into the freezer we will have about $1500 dollars of feed money spent. We typically get 800 pounds of beef give or take a few pounds.