I've been raising chickens since 2012 -- initially for their eggs and to keep our yard clear of bugs and now as pets. Ready-to-lay chickens, called pullets, cost about $15 to $25 each. Photo Credit: Furry Tips. When planning for your flock, remember to plan for feeders and waterers. Skimping on space requirements for a flock of chickens can cause stress, cannibalism, pecking, and sometimes even death. Peelings, leafy vegetables, bruised fruit, stale bread and other table scraps can be fed sparingly to chickens as a treat. Just be sure to select one large enough for the maximum number of chickens you want to raise so that you don’t have to upgrade it later if you decide to get more chickens. Unfortunately, free-ranging is not enough to keep a chicken well-fed, especially if you want to harvest eggs from your hens. Amazon product data was last updated on 2020-12-06. If you have a rooster, you can sell fertilized eggs or hatch the eggs to sell your own chicks. There would also be a considerable difference in mob effect with 500 or 1000 chooks vs 14 as well. You can get a free quote on an Amish-built chicken coop here. If your chickens don’t free-range in the yard, you’ll need to offer scratch grains in the chicken run as a form of dietary and mental enrichment. There are an incredible variety of bedding materials that chicken owners use in their chicken coops including straw, wood shavings, hemp, shredded paper, pine needles, sand, wood chips, grass clippings, dirt, and dried leaves. A clean coop will give happier, healthier chickens. (Get it? For a flock of 5 chickens, you will likely spend less than $30 a month, if you feed a â¦ Fancy chicken breeds may be beautiful to look at, but they will cost more money to buy and may not be worth the expense. If you’re not sure you have the skills required to construct a coop yourself, or you just don’t have the extra time and energy it would take, a prefab chicken coop is probably the route to go. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfE2adCyA_o, Cost to Raise 30 Chickens on Pasture (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfE2adCyA_o), Purina Layena | Nutritionally Complete Layer Hen Feed Crumbles | 25 Pound (25 lb) Bag. A dozen organic free-range backyard eggs can easily sell for $5 or more, earning you $50 per month in eggs. Just to give you an idea, here is an example of the breakdown of when we raised 30 meat chickens. This is the most rewarding job involved with back yard chickens. To guarantee that you’ll get eggs right away, an adult hen is the best choice. In the four to five weeks from hatching to the coop, chicks need a deep container with smooth walls, bedding, a heat lamp, and nutrient-rich food that's more expensive than chicken feed. Chickens are omnivores who naturally subsist on a varied diet. That means we should actually be raising chickens 4 times a year but we typically do it 2-3 times over the summer months as it is easier that way. ), You may even consider selling extra eggs to friends and neighbors. We raised Cornish Cross chickens. You’ll want to start chicks with “Crumbles” or chick starter feed, which usually costs from $0.50 -$0.75/lb., with organic options being on the more expensive end. Chickens rely on grit to help break apart and digest the grains in their diet. A chicken coop with an enclosed run or a safely fenced-in free-ranging space, Nesting boxes where hens can lay their eggs, Roosting bars for chickens to sleep on at night. We compare â¦ That’s a $20 per month profit above the cost of keeping the chickens. Day-old chicks are a surer bet and cost just a little bit more. Cost of 120 Chicks: $185.00 Cost of 2075 lbs. They can also start laying eggs right away. drastically and the more kitchen scraps you can feed your chickens, the less store-bought feed they’ll require! Cost for 1000 local chickens for the first 23 weeks: 39 225 SEK. Individual pullets may cost between $20 to $50 depending on their age. Four chickens can lay up to 120 eggs per month, or ten dozen. With so much rain, even more grass would be destroyed. If you buy chicks, you’ll need a brooder and heat lamp. Some of the most popular chicken breeds are also quite common and affordable: These breeds can usually be obtained at a feed store or from a local breeder or chicken farmer. If you’d rather have an enclosed chicken run, you’ll need a larger coop design that can accommodate it. Once the chickens start to lay eggs, you can start to recover those costs by selling the eggs or simply keeping them for your own use. Let’s be honest, if you’re raising backyard chickens and hoping to make the Fortune 500, you’re probably going to be disappointed. GMO-Free Chicken Feed: $771.82 Total: $956.62 Some of the fancy chicken breeds might be very expensive to buy, and certain breeds such as silkies require special upkeep and maintenance that will add to your husbandry costs. “Chicken scratch” refers to cracked, rolled or whole grains that have been scattered across the ground. Chicken Acerage in rotation / batch. Bantam chicken breeds are smaller than other chickens and have become quite popular as pets. It will also be secure against anything that might want to get in and eat them. If you have a fenced-in yard and don’t mind allowing your chickens to free-range throughout the day, you can get by with a small coop. By this age, they’ve grown out feathers and can survive being moved to an outdoor coop. Going back to the land is all the rage these days. Photo Credit: Backyard Chickens. In a natural environment, a chicken would come by grit naturally by eating small rocks and pebbles. Factors that influence the cost of a backyard chicken farm include the initial cost of your hens, how many hens you intend to raise, what type of coop you’re setting up, how you feed your chickens and general husbandry practices. Manufacturer of beautiful backyard chicken coops. More square footage is better. For one thing, they provide food! However, bantam breeds are very trendy and may be more expensive to buy, so you’ll need to factor this cost into your budget. A brooder can be purchased or made from recycled materials such as plastic tubs or crates. This makes it easy to feed the chickens with minimal mess and spoilage. It’s easily possible for a good laying hen to produce 200 to 250 eggs each year. Those with the DIY gene might prefer to build their own coop from scratch. A started pullet â a young hen that has just started to lay eggs â should cost about $15 to $20 each. Plan on one square foot of brood space per chicken. Yes, raising chickens costs you more per egg than buying the eggs from the grocery store, but itâs definitely worth doing. Chicken Acerage out of rotation / batch. Things to Do. Alternatively, you could go the route of building your own coop with new materials. If you treat it like a business, you could even turn a profit! Aside from the coop itself, you’ll also need to set aside some money for feeders, waterers, nesting boxes and a place for the chickens to roost. ~L Want information on raising chickens sent right to your email weekly? Eggs laid by well-fed hens with a diverse diet are also richer in taste and have more nutritional value, so it’s in your best interests to feed your hens well without breaking the bank. The benefit is, the seller might be able to tell you roughly how many eggs to expect per week. Some of the eggs you buy may be duds. It is relatively inexpensive. $1,722.02 As you can see, chicken keeping doesn't have to be expensive! A chicken coop doesn’t need to be fancy. Because the chickens will not yield any eggs for the first six months, you can expect a total investment of $180 in upkeep, bringing the total cost of your starter chickens up to $400 for six months. Whether you’re planning to keep chickens as pets or are hoping to profit from eggs or even meat sales, there are only a few things you’ll need to keep your flock happy and healthy: The most expensive part of raising chickens is setting up the coop, but there are ways to reduce those costs and keep your hens healthy even on a shoestring budget. free quote on an Amish-built chicken coop here. These are not commonly sold by hatcheries; you’ll probably need to find someone with chickens willing to sell them privately. If you use recycled materials such as wood pallets and leftover fencing, you could essentially make the coop for free. Photo Credit: Counting My Chickens, Wood shavings may currently be the most popular type of bedding for chickens since they are easy to buy at most farm or home improvement stores. Straw generally costs from $5 to $10 per bale (14”x18”x36”). Marketing Hours. Chickens range only up to 250 feet (extreme outer limits) from their nesting boxes, â¦ Chickens also love kitchen scraps! The benefit of this is obvious: hopefully no months of waiting to start enjoying eggs from your backyard flock! Opt for a design that can be swept out easily and which will make egg collection simple. It was common in the United States centuries ago but has only recently made a comeback as an animal bedding material. By composting the waste your flock creates, you’ll avoid paying for those expensive bags of fertilizer at the store. Some methods of bedding management, like the deep litter method, involve adding fresh bedding on top of the old to allow deeper layers to self-compost. A high-quality coop will contain nesting boxes, roosting spaces above the ground, and good ventilation. The cost for pullets is usually about $12-$20 more than a day-old chick of the same breed. Why would anyone raise chickens? A chick will eat an average of 1 pound of feed per week for its first 10 weeks. A 50 pound bag of chicken feed at the feed store or purchased online might cost you anywhere from $10 to $35 depending on the brand and quality. You will need the basic equipment of an incubator (or broody hen), heat lamps, a coop and run and feeders and drinkers. Save the egg-hatching experience for later when you can breed your own chickens for free if you really want. However, direct expense is not all we need to consider. Raising backyard chickens is really easy and a lot of fun, too. Unless you’re a hardcore chicken fancier, there is no need to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a rare or exotic chicken. This includes the birds, feed, bedding, a brand-new high-quality coop, and miscellaneous costs like medicine, pest control, and feeders and waterers. A chick will eat an average of 1 pound â¦ Essential Amino Acids - Enhanced with lysine and methionine... Key Levels of Vitamin A, D, E - Strong reproduction and... Free-ranging. If you're interested, you can read my story. Rich yellow yolks - A high level of xanthophyll, a coloring... Calcium Manganese and Trace Minerals - For strong shells. Other costs that might factor in from time to time are pest control, such as diatomaceous earth for treating lice and mites, and any medications needed to keep your flock happy and healthy. The cost of raising your own birds depends on a number of factors. Plan for the long-term (for example, buy a backyard chicken coop that will last for decades). Best of luck to you and your flock! These grains are then fortified with nutritional additives and protein sources like soybean meal or even bone meal. If you don’t want to wait several months for your chickens to start laying, you may want to spend a little more money to buy “started pullets,” which are older hens. Let’s look at the specific costs that go into raising backyard chickens. If you plan smart and go for the long haul, it’s possible that this figure could be as low as $10/month. I know my parents have sometimes remarked that it cost more in water to grow themselves a tomato than it would cost to simply buy one from the store. But how much do chickens cost, and does having your own backyard chickens actually save you any money? I have between 70 and 100 chickens at any time. Whether it’s the excitement of a pet (especially one that produces food), savings on the grocery bill, or just a desire to know where our eggs are coming from, raising chickens is an activity that’s attracted more than a few backyard farmers. Popular backyard chicken breeds are often the cheapest. Chickens will scratch and peck at these grains, fulfilling their natural instinctive behavior. Keep in mind that the bigger the chicken, the more expensive its upkeep will cost. That’s a $20 up-front cost for the chickens themselves. Todd Graves had the initial idea for a chicken finger restaurant while in college and his professor told him the idea would never work. 16. In an enclosed chicken run, you may need to provide fine gravel or commercial grit from the feed store. There are folks who will pay a premium for farm-raised chicken but you have to be in a market where they will do that. In this video I break down the cost of raising meat chickens. With local, free-range eggs going for at least $3.00/dozen in many parts of the US, that’s several hundred dollars of savings right there. 1. Depending on how many chickens you have, you may only need a bag of feed once a month or even every other month. There are plenty of chicken coop plans for sale or for free. Monthly maintenance for a handful of chickens usually costs around $20 per month after the initial setup period. Over a 5-year span, it’s safe to figure on a coop being about 30%-50% of your total costs. Hens will happily share a nesting box, so you only need one box for every three to four hens. Before we look at the cost of buying chickens, letâs first look at the cost of chicken coops. Remember two tips that will help you save on your feed costs: buying feed in bulk will bring down your cost/lb. However, you may find it easier and more economical to buy older birds. Besides the main costs of raising backyard chickens, there will always be those little extras that seem to pop up here and there. A nesting box is essential if you don’t want to waste time every day searching for scattered eggs. There is a massive variation in types of coops and how much each will cost. How much raising chickens should cost. Chickens require bedding in their coop and nesting boxes. 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