The cost of backyard hens

The Royal Veterinary College’s survey of backyard hen keepers in Greater London has attracted a good deal of media coverage.

Most of the nationals that ran the story managed to mention Jamie Oliver somewhere in the headline, (complying with the first rule of Search Engine Optimisation), and some even lifted quotes direct from Poultry World and passed them off as their own, (plagiarism used to be a dirty word).

But the most interesting angle on the story comes from the Scottish Egg Producer Retailer’s Association’s weekly Market  Report, and I quote:

“Most of these hens would be sourced from garden centres etc. As the cost per hen at the average garden centre is now £25 and the house £100 per hen, multiplying an average investment of £250 by the figure of 500,000 households, you come up with the possible total investment figure of £125m!”

And that’s before the cost of feed, bedding and returfing the lawn. Oh – and here’s a picture of Jamie Oliver: