Roughly speaking your costs can be divided up into the chickens, feed, housing and maintenance or fixed costs. Without a doubt the most costly for most people is the coop.
A brand new, secure and well-made coop will set you back anywhere from $500, to several thousand dollars depending on what you want. Many of those cheaper coops are badly made and the wood is of poor quality, flimsy and chemically treated.
Folks who have bought them report that the wood starts to warp within a few months and the coop is almost un-usable by the second year. Large breeds will need 4 square feet of space, per bird in the coop, make sure there is enough room . Tight quarters can lead to anti-social behaviors such as plucking and pecking, especially in the long winter months.
Inspect the coop before you buy, if you arent sure what you are looking for take a friend along preferably someone who already has chickens and can give you the benefit of insider advice. Hanging a thirty pound feeder for six chickens will lead to moldy, wasted feed. Many people use a metal trash bin to store feed in as it is rodent proof.
The good news is, if you purchase quality accessories from the start, you can reuse them for many years. If this is your first time starting out, I would recommend chicks that are hardy and require minimum input of care. Rhode Island Reds, Speckled Sussex, Barnvelders and Wyandottes all fall in this category .
Buying chicks is a great way to get your birds, especially if you want to bond with them and make them outdoor pets or simply want friendly hens. The down side to started pullets is that they tend to be less friendly with you since they havent bonded with you from the beginning. This is a great school room or 4H project for the kids, but requires time and attention to keep the eggs at the right temperature and humidity in order to hatch healthy chicks.
Going in on chicks with feed stores who will order in bulk is also an option for decreasing shipping costs. An average adult hen will consume about 1/4lb of feed per day, which equals 1 1/2lb per week. A fifty pound bag of feed costs around sixteen dollars where I live it may be different in your area.
Much will depend on whether you put an extra light on to encourage egg laying and if you are hatching or brooding small chicks. If you manage your chickens well and have a market for all their products (including manure), you could make a reasonable profit from them. Your hens can be a huge source of enjoyment to you (priceless) as well as paying for themselves and perhaps making a small profit for you.
How much does it cost to buy chickens?
Day old chickens usually cost around $12 each. You should expect to have them vaccinated but unsexed. Pure bred chicks (sexed) are available from around 4 weeks of age. For a point of lay hen, common varieties cost around $26 each.
How much do chickens cost monthly?
Feed and Other Materials Needed. Chickens must be fed regularly. Plan on a minimum budget of about $15 per month per chicken for feed. Free-range chickens may need slightly less, and organic and or medicated feed will cost more. There are many brands to choose from.
Is it expensive to keep chickens?
Keeping chickens can be a relatively low cost pet, but unlike lots of other pets they produce food for you! You can even sell the eggs to friends and family. There are start up costs which can be expensive but the cost of keeping chickens when you have got all the things you need is surprisingly cheap.
Are backyard chickens worth it?
If you spend $7 weekly for a dozen farmers market eggs, then yes, raising chickens probably will save you money, says Sarah Cook, founder of Sustainable Cooks. … Cook estimates that it costs her $3.50 per dozen eggs to feed and care for her admittedly “spoiled” chickens.
Lets be honest, if youre raising backyard chickens and hoping to make the Fortune 500, youre probably going to be disappointed. However, there are numerous ways that raising chickens can actually save you money!
Everyone is looking for a bargain, and raising chickens for eggs is the second rung on the homesteading ladder. The first is growing your own veggies. But how much do chickens cost, and does having your own backyard chickens actually save you any money? Lets do some chicken math and find out.
I will give you the math and you can do the research for how much do chickens cost in your area, and then enter your own numbers into the formulas. You do not live on a farm and will not be buying feed or chicks in bulk, forgoing those types of discounts.
This varies WIDELY across the country by the current dozen eggs price . If I go to my local grocery store or farmers market and select brown, free-range eggs I will pay about $5/dozen. Cost of a heritage breed chick purchased online and shipped to my local post office.
Pause: Before my bird starts laying, I have spent $13.12 to procure the chick and feed it for 22 weeks. In 30 weeks, thats 150 eggs, assuming you light the coop to keep up winter production. You have charged her an additional $11.82 in birdie rent based on fixed costs (see below).
You need a brooder with lights for the chicks, a coop with perches and nest boxes, waterer (including the possibility of needing a heated chicken waterer if you live in a colder climate), feeder and bedding.
**Please note: that all prices listed here are very general estimates only and can vary greatly from state to state, between cities and towns etc. So shop around for the best prices before buying, especially with ongoing expenses such as feed. All prices listed are US$.
I once calculated that if I bought day-old chicks instead of POL hens from a breeder, I would’ve spent half the money I paid for those pullets! (Make sure you allow enough space – ideally at least 1 sq foot per chick – for the little guys as they will need to stay in there for around 6 weeks, unless the weather is really mild and you can move them to the coop sooner.)
**Tip: Egg boxes make excellent “feeders” in the brooder and most shallow, clean, dishes can work quite well for water while the chicks are small. In addition to feed and bedding materials, add roughly $10.00 per month for miscellaneous extras, such as medicine, pest control, egg boxes etc. Another question that gets asked frequently is: will keeping my own hens work out cheaper in the long run than buying eggs from the shop?
Chicken Coop Costs
A brand new, secure and well-made coop will set you back anywhere from $500, to several thousand dollars depending on what you want.Large breeds will need 4 square feet of space, per bird in the coop, make sure there is enough room.Tight quarters can lead to anti-social behaviors such as plucking and pecking, especially in the long winter months. It is better to have a little too much room than not enough.Inspect the coop before you buy, if you aren’t sure what you are looking for take a friend along – preferably someone who already has chickens and can give you the benefit of insider advice.If you are handy, you could easily build your own from scraps and scavenged items. A homemade sturdy coop will cost you less than $250 for sure. We even have coop plans available on our website here.If you’re looking for coops online, you need to be extra cautious. Buying something sight-unseen can lead to extreme buyer’s remorse, especially when purchasing online.Always read customer reviews if possible. In addition, look for online reviews by searching for the manufacturer. Usually, if something isn’t right, and is cheaply made, past purchasers will have something to say about it.
Once you’ve got your coop, you need to think about accessories…
How Much Do Chickens Cost?
Now you’ve bought your coop and accessories you need to actually buy the chickens!
There is a different feed for each stage of development in chickens. It is important to follow the recommended feed regime and not try to skimp on cost.
Electricity, water and your time can be considered fixed costs.
This is the biggest reoccurring cost of raising chickens.
5. Miscellaneous Costs
Besides the main costs of raising backyard chickens, there will always be those little extras that seem to pop up here and there.