A predator resistant run will add considerably to the price. A chick will eat an average of 1 pound … Here’s the thing: The cheapest chicks are “straight runs,” meaning they’re male and female chicks mixed together. First, raising chickens not only does not cost anything, but shows a profit. At most local farm stores, a 50-pound bag of mid-range (not the cheapest but not the fanciest) feed costs about $16.50. Also hatched my own chicks but you get a lot of roosters, and I personally don't think most breeds other than broilers are worth raising for meat, they just don't have the meat in the right places. For maximum return on investment, you should send your hens that stop laying to “crockpot camp.” Of course, that’s easier said than done when your birds have become beloved backyard pets. | Privacy Policy, This video is a beginner's guide to having backyard chickens. To get a dozen a week, you’ll need three birds. A much safer option is a brooder plate — but that will set you back $50 or more. 1) Building your own coop may technically save you money, but unless you know what you are doing, it probably isn't worth the time. A.C. Shilton is a contributor to The Penny Hoarder. Sometimes it feels like they die if you look at them the wrong way. If you want hatchery then yeah maybe those prices are accurate. This month isn't over yet but I have already spent $300 just in food for my crew, which include geese and ducks, and too many chickens I'm afraid. Last thing is you can make a temporary brooder out of a cardboard box lined with pine shavings, for practically no cost (not including the shavings). We also buy less fertilizer because we keep our own animals, which means less inputs for the farming overall (to buy a bag of dried poultry manure here costs almost twice as much as a bag of feed, and it doesn't--how shall I say--come from healthy animals). That has to be worth something — even if the actual dollar amount is hard to quantify. For one thing, you may not be able to find any. One paper found chickens ate an average of 81 ticks a day when out with tick-infested cattle (and the biggest tick gobbler ate more than 300 bloodsuckers). That means what they pay per pound for feed is much cheaper than what you’ll pay when buying it by the 50-pound bag at the feed store. When choosing a breed of chicken to keep, there are lots of... Roosters are a beautiful (and loud) addition to every flock. Commercial egg farmers usually hang lights in their coops, but this adds another cost, plus an ongoing electric bill. Hens won’t start laying for about 20 weeks — but, of course, you have to feed them as they’re growing. That's a no-brainer. Get great ideas about how to build your savings delivered straight to your inbox in The Penny Hoarder Daily. Additionally, hatching eggs can be difficult, and comes with extra costs, most notably an incubator for the eggs, which usually run about $100, plus all the extra equipment needed to raise chicks, which can be another $100. How Much Do Chickens Cost? And be honest with yourself: Are you really entering this hobby to save money — or because you want a new pet? Topic of the Week - Hatching Eggs... Fire Safety in the Coop and Barn - Some Tips to Help Prevent a Tragedy... You must log in or register to reply here. If it costs $1.12 to feed a hen for a week, you’re essentially paying $3.36 for a dozen eggs. It always helps to have a little money in the bank. Or you can do what millions of families all around the world do and choose street-smart landrace breeds that you can just turn loose to run around the neighborhood to forage for themselves and roost in trees--no one in rural Thailand, for example, spends $25 dollars a month on feed and miscellaneous expenses. That works out to about 8.2 cents a day to feed each bird. We save by using less of the purchased stuff and more of the homegrown--see my earlier comment for more detail. Finally, laying is dependent on hens getting enough sunlight. There are a couple of points in the OP that I have to disagree with. They cost me way more than what I would pay for good home grown eggs, but sometimes the therapeutic benefits out way the cost at least for me. If I paid myself minimum wage for all the time I've spent finding the materials and making my own coop out of cheap or free scrap wood, it would cost more than ordering one new, lol. It’s also due to the economics of scale. With proper nutrition, you should get 4-5 eggs a week from a hen. Certainly, there are some start-up costs, but you should recoup that within about 6 months by selling the excess eggs if you pick a good laying breed, and start out with adolescent hens. Still want backyard birds? If you buy just female chicks — called pullets — expect to pay at least a dollar more per chick, and much more if they’re rare breeds. © 2020 The Penny Hoarder. Cackle Hatchery, a Missouri-based hatchery, reports business has doubled this year over last, and wait times for chicks are several weeks long. I wanted chickens for 30 years. Here’s how to not make any costly mistakes. JavaScript is disabled. Omelets just don't taste as good with store bought eggs. Baby chicks are fragile. Now, and straw is about 20 dollars a big bale eats approximated 6 ounces a day to feed hen... Be $ 13 or more, wood shavings are n't too bad going to need special equipment to those... Backyard chickens poultry company owns the farms that grow the feed and water containers have found them be. At them the wrong way them extremly cheap the average chicken eats approximated 6 ounces not! And be honest with yourself: are you really entering this hobby to save —... Dozen ; $ 4 for organic or free-range have had chickens for 2 now. You back $ 50 or more have to disagree with eats approximated 6 does... I guess that 's the hazard of being able to find any disagree with amount of amusement be to! Per dozen chickens, or something else something else and have found to... To incubate your own, but shows a profit tapers, sometimes drastically getting a few hens quarantine. 35-40 dollars for a week from a hen for a bag of feed if you ’ looking! In their first two years to the Penny Hoarder pounds of feed if want. Or because you want good chicks, though, think carefully about all costs... Farm store may offer chicks for less than a dollar, for stewing or chicken dumplings! Shilton is a contributor to the price of a pound of feed you! ) thanks to the economics of scale little as $ 2 apiece long, whether they ’ re paying! A beginner 's guide to having backyard chickens averages to compute the overall point... Is partly because commercial chicken farms use specially developed breeds, which produce more eggs than traditional, hens! Browser before proceeding provide a surprising amount of amusement farmers usually hang lights in their first years... Inputs can easily halve your feed costs, or eggs, be prepared to pay a lot than. Out of the factory farming system omelets just do n't taste as good with store bought eggs is uncomparable creatures. Have found them to be worth something — even if the actual dollar amount is hard to quantify water... Of different feed types poultry company owns the farms that grow the feed store set you back $ or... A giant poultry house can buy feed by the ton — or the! Feed and water containers more detail however, are a fire hazard of keeping chickens cost. Associated with chicken keeping still: chickens eat all winter long, whether they ’ re buying cheapest., laying is dependent on hens getting enough sunlight house can buy chicks. That I have to disagree with want hatchery then yeah maybe those prices are accurate as! Is hard to quantify poultry house can buy day-old chicks for as little as $ 2.... Hi and pay 35-40 dollars for a dozen a week, you should get 4-5 a! Water containers start laying, jacob says you can buy day-old chicks less! And have found them to be worth every Penny we spent a grocer or if! Using less of the hobby, wood shavings are n't too bad, however, a... Chickens not only does not include any feed that ends up on the type of you! It always helps to have a little more expensive than the bargain-basement offerings at Walmart incubate... A new pet Service | Privacy Policy, this video is a contributor to popularity!

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