People frequently ponder if investing the time and money necessary to raise hens in the backyard is worthwhile. But how much do chickens cost?
Everyone who is thinking about taking this step will need to make a personal choice. But, it will be useful to have a general notion of how much it costs to raise the chickens.
You may also want to read about the best chicken coop.
What Is The Price Of Raising Chickens?
You’ll need to take into account a number of different expenses when calculating your budget for raising chickens.
- The chickens
- A coop for chickens
- Vet visits
We’ll go through each one in depth so you may modify the numbers for the size of your anticipated flock.
How Much Do Chickens Cost
How much do chickens cost? The breed you choose will affect the cost per chicken. Depending on the age and breed of the chicken, you might anticipate paying anywhere from $3 to $30 per chicken.
We’ll utilize the Rhode Island Reds, a popular breed for many backyard flocks, as our example breed.
Even though baby chicks only cost a few dollars each, they need special attention when they first hatch. If you are raising newborn chickens, increase your budget by at least $100.
A brooder box for chicks costs around $70 on Amazon, and a heat lamp and bulb cost around $30 to keep them warm.
As they need less particular care and equipment in their new home, starting chickens who are at least 4 weeks old may be preferred by novice chicken owners. Online stores and nearby hatcheries both sell young chicks. For instance, at the McMurray Hatchery, four-week-old Rhode Island Reds cost roughly $17 each.
Take into account the price and amount of time it will take to raise your new hens until they are old enough to begin laying eggs. At around 18 to 20 weeks, the Reds will begin to lay their first eggs.
What Will The Price Of The Chicken Coop Be?
How much do chickens cost, coop? Chickens genuinely don’t have much selection when it comes to their shelter. You can buy a great chicken coop on amazon.
They often have happier lives if they have space to roam, a place to roost, and a place for hens to lay their eggs. Because of this, one may spend as little or as much money as they like on building this shelter.
The cost of the chicken coop typically depends more on the owner’s preferences and design preferences.
Remember that this is not required and that a coop for four birds will cost the average individual about $500. Therefore, it’s generally recommended to size your chicken coop larger than you anticipate needing it. We always find ourselves adding to our flock of hens.
You can also build your own since this is often a significant expense for families. Even better, you can keep expenses very low by using materials that are primarily recycled.
You will have a wide selection of materials to choose from depending on your budget if you decide to build from a set of chicken coop design plans.
Requirement for Food and Other Resources
How much do chickens cost, food? Regular feeding is required for chickens. Consider allocating a minimum of $15 per month for food for each bird. Chickens raised outdoors may require slightly less feed, however organic or medication-infused feed will cost more. There are numerous brands available.
A hen needs more food when she is actively laying eggs, and birds consume less as the weather gets warmer. While planning your food budget, be sure to take these aspects into consideration.
The expense of feeding your chickens can be reduced in a few simple ways. You can give them table scraps in addition to their regular food. If you don’t have a compost pile, this saves you money in the beginning and is a useful method to use vegetable waste.
Supplies for keeping chickens and general care
How much do chickens cost, supplies? You’ll need various materials to take care of your herd. Here are a few typical costs you might anticipate.
In the hen house, bedding components like straw bales, wood shavings, or shreds of newspaper will require replacement on a regular basis. Spend $10 every month on bedding.
Sometimes chickens need to see the doctor and sometimes they need medicine. The price of raising them goes up as a result. A typical visit to the vet will cost you around $75.
You should budget for the cost of repairs to the coop and/or chicken fencing, especially if there are predators like foxes or raccoons nearby.
The cost of pest eradication and treatment may increase for poultry owners. In the hen house, snakes and mice are frequently encountered and need to be dealt with right away.
The overall budget should take daily necessities like egg cartons, tools, and cleaning materials into account.
Examine the price of eggs at the grocery store and the cost of buying chicken for lunch or dinner as you decide whether keeping hens is a practical alternative. We’ll use some averages to determine the general price point even though prices vary by location. A dozen eggs typically costs $3; organic or free-range eggs cost $4.
Will You Save Money in the End?
Let’s now calculate the cost savings associated with producing your own farm-fresh eggs.
Assumed is a family of four that consumes eggs three times each week. This makes math very simple. It is around the amount of eggs that four chickens would lay each week, or a dozen.
Overall Savings: $4 multiplied by 36 weeks equals $144 in savings on grocery store eggs. Based on the procurement of 4-week-old chicks that are ready to lay eggs at 20 weeks, we calculated a 36-week egg production cycle.
A flock of four chickens will actually cost you money in the first year. Using our example, you would have added $346 to your spending.
But, you won’t have to pay the additional expense for building the hen house or wait for your chickens to reach maturity in year two. The whole 52 weeks at $4 each, or 208, will be saved in year two. Hence, you will achieve financial parity by the second year.
By the second year, when the cost is $210 and the savings are $208, you will break even.
But when consumers buy chicken or eggs in a grocery store, they also need to think about the food’s quality. Can one really tell if food contains hormones or chemicals?
These are only two of the worries that many individuals have regarding their grocery. To avoid these problems, some consumers decide to purchase organic products. Yet, this pushes up the price even further. As a result, many people will think it’s a wise decision to raise chickens for eggs and meat.
When deciding whether keeping hens is worthwhile, many people neglect to take into account the pleasure they offer. Many families choose to buy breeds that enjoy being caressed and held, which makes them excellent outdoor pets for children.
Also, they don’t cause messes inside the house, and watching them run around the backyard can be a lot of fun. One of my favorite farm-related memories is of feeding the hens. One of life’s little pleasures is seeing your flock welcome you with such joy when you bring them new delicacies.
In addition to learning how to care for animals, kids also learn a lot about life. They learn firsthand what it takes to maintain the animals secure, at ease, and content. Something cannot be valued in terms of money.