New for 2008RSS feed

Posted: Friday 28 December, 2007

by Rosemary at 9:48am in Anything goes 4 comments Add your own

We don't currently run our smallholding as a business. However, in 2008, I want to put it on a more business-like footing, at least keeping a better track of income and expenditure.

Last night, I decided to work out what the financial picture was for the pigs last year. We sold two half pigs and kept a whole pig for ourselves; I had a record of the purchase price of the weaners, the slaughterhouse and butchery charges; although I hadn't recorded all feed bought, I was able to make a fairly accurate calculation of the cost of feed. All in all, our whole pig cost us £120. We have to decide if that is OK - if not, then we need to have a think about making changes to the way we manage this "enterprise", especially with rising feed prices.

When Dan set up his business, we transferred certain assets to the business, so I also started to list the equipment or "assets" that we have purchased over the years for the smallholding. Because we are comparatively "cash rich, time poor", we have bought equipment rather than building our own. I haven't finished the list yet, but I was surprised at how much there is.

When the hens come back into lay and I'm selling eggs again, I'm going to keep the income seperate. I'm pretty sure we're subsidising egg production but we'll see.

At the moment, it's fine to be subsidising the smallholding - it's only a hobby, but if our circumstances were to change, then it might become more important to break even, if not generate cash from the smallholding, so I'd better start getting a handle on this now.



Monday 31 December, 2007 at 3:51pm

We try to do similar with our little patch- and we have found that the chickens by no means keep themselves with egg production. we have decided to try and also "cost" the vegetables this year to see if they make or break even , although time consuming, it is useful to gauge next years planting. We kept some chickens just for meat this year and these proved very cost effective(even though the abbatoir did the deed of killing , plucking and preparing, with 15 to do we didnt have the time and at £1.75 a bird seemed a bargain)so now have 10 birds in the freezer which have cost us only food and our time as the ones we sold covered the abbatoir costs. enjoyed your video of the place and looking forward to more. Good luck with your ventures in 2008


Wednesday 2 January, 2008 at 2:29pm

Any chance you could post the breakdown of costs for your pigs? I am thinking about keeping pigs and would be very interested to see how the costs stack up.




Thursday 3 January, 2008 at 8:59am

Remember when you cost things (like eggs) to include all the incidentals. I did my eggs the other day, and purely in food our eggs cost 15.2 cents each (down here in Oz). But our egg laying hens are covering for the young ones not laying, and our males. We also didn't take into account manure and bedding provided for composting, weeding, pest control, waste management (vege scraps), and entertainment. And soon we will have meat too. All these added bonuses reduce how much our eggs cost, and as we produce more of our own food, the price will drop again.

Rosemary Champion

Friday 4 January, 2008 at 5:07pm

Guy, thanks for this. We need to think more about meat from chickens - the shop prices are incredible.

Chris, I'll do some text in the next couple of days about costs and put it in the articles - or at least Dan will.

Naomi, you're right - it's tempting to cost things because you can, but the "priceless" bits are much more difficult but no less important. I couldn't put a price on how much pleasure we get from the hens.

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