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How much will it cost to start raising chickens?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi!  In May, I will be buying 8 Barred Plymouth Rocks, but I want to know how much money I will have to dish out when buying them and their supplies.  How much will it cost to start raising chickens?  How much money will I have to pay monthly?  Thank you for your answer!


post #2 of 7



For chicks?  $2.20 each.  For brooding lamp and bulb?  Around $15 if you shop smart.  Chick starter feed depends entirely on your local situation.  You'll feed 8 chicks 50 lbs, give or take to get them to 6 weeks and out of the brooder.


After you've brooded them out:


If you are handy and can build your own coop, your own feeder troughs, roosts, etc, this stuff doesn't HAVE to cost an arm and a leg.  A simple, 2 gallon waterer should suffice, or even a couple of free pails that ice cream, frozen berries, dishwasher detergent come in from large quantity type grocery stores.


You should allot a bale of straw per month for bedding $4.  Or, a bale of wood shavings $5.


You will be feeding close to 50lbs of feed per month.  The cost will depend entirely on what you pay for feed.  Purina at TSC?  You'll have to figure on $18.  If you have a local feed mill, you can often cut that cost in half.  I pay $17 for a hundred pounds of layer from our local mill.


That's about it.   We generally compute the cost of buying and raising a chick to point of lay to be $14, factoring in EVERYTHING.   It would an injustice to suggest to you much less, per pullet, especially the first time.  8 times $14 means roughly $120 to get them to point of lay.  Rough, rough estimates.  

Edited by Fred's Hens - 4/8/12 at 6:42am



Practicing Sustainable Agriculture At The 45th Parallel




Practicing Sustainable Agriculture At The 45th Parallel

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Fred's Hens, I already made the chicken coop and got the hay.

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

I also have the nesting boxes, roosts, and dust boxes inside the coop.

post #5 of 7

In addition to the above I would have electrolyte power on hand  too add to the water during times of stress and high heat. Paid a buck  for three packets that make 3 gallons.  It's cheaper than Gatorade.


I would not skimp on the mash, though you can supplement with your household (and your neighbor houshold) fruit and veggie scraps or even get these  free from your grocery store. If I show up early any weekday morning I can get a 20-30 pound box for my  worm bin from Safeway. The produce manager even separates the or gain stuff for me on Mondays since that's the day I grocery shop. I often get more than  I need so I am planning to feed  the salvageable stuff to the chickens instead of composting it.


I prefer the paper pellets to straw as they are more adsorbent and decompose faster. Someone gave me a 30 pound bag so I don't know how much it costs yet but between ease of transport and  how much better it smells, and needing less it might work out cost wise com paired to hay.


We  built a spacious and draft free brooder out of an old (and free) kitchen sink cabinet.


We are also building our own coop out of recycled wooden fencing and selvage.The coop floor will be 24 sq feet and it will house up to five adult hens.


I am trying to keep the total cost under $50.00, unless I get lucky on craigslist or at the ReStore it looks like most of the cost will end up being the builders wire fencing. I started shopping two weeks ago and so I have spent 19.50 for:

two 3x10 sheets of corrugated tin ( to cover the run)

ten assorted  hinges 

a 5X7 sheet of vinyl flooring

a 4X8 sheet of 2"  hard foam insulation( for under the floor)

tar paper (for the coop's roof) 

PVC pipe and stuff for the watering system

a really nice wooden box that's big enough for two nest boxes.


I was buying some re bar for a retaining wall and the guy had  some long cedar 4x4's in his burn pile so I hauled off six of them to use as the coop base . After I trimmed the ends and pulled out all the naise they look pretty good. and have a pile of klin dried pine 4-6 ' long 2x4's we are salvaging from the "free wood" pile at a local mill.

Edited by aggiemae - 4/8/12 at 7:34am
post #6 of 7

I myself just started with pullets a few days ago.  I agree with everything that others have said.  One of the things I also recommend is that you go to your county agents office and pick up any literature they have on raising chickens.  It is free and will cover problems in your area.  I would also keep in mind that chickens have been chickens long before you and I have been around and will be chickens long after we are gone.  They do not have a lot in actual requirements in the grand scheme of things, but do have some-a heat lamp to brood with (mine is a metal hooded one that I had from camera gear) as well as an old rabbit cage (the actual brooding "Chamber"), I am building a chicken tractor for them out of scrap materials.  I will next set about making a proper coop.  My local co-op so far is the cheapest source of feed.  And there is plenty of good infor here for making your own.


Good luck

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

bigbike4, I have already bought a book called "Raising Chickens with Ashley English".  I've also done my research (for about a year!).

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