~How Much Does it REALLY cost to raise chickens?~
We are going by the BARE MINIMUM. Nothing more then we need...okay...most of the time!
Chicks are $2-$6 normally, rare/more sought after breeds can be $10-$15+ per chick.
Pullets/Hens are $15+, averaging around $25.. Let's say you wanted to buy 5 pullets to start your flock-or add to it! They are the average price of $20 and are 18wks+.
If you bought 5 18wk+ pullets for the average price: $100- not counting supplies..
Lets say you bought 6 chicks for $3 each (average price), SR or Sexed, your choice. They are 1wk or younger:
If you bought 6 1wk or younger chicks for the average price: $18-not counting supplies
**Tractor Supply Chicks are $2-$3 each.**
If you went with chicks, you'll need supplies.
Plastic Totes, Cardboard Boxes are the most common. Say you buy 3 plastic totes to connect together and use, at the price of $6 each (I **think** that's how much mine were, from Target). =$18
For bigger brooders a 1gallon waterer can be used from the start, but I use chick waterers. You only need the base if you have a 1quart jar available! = $3 aprox
Same as the waterer, just a different base. =$3
I buy a 25lb non medicated bag for $9, but I'm gonna say $15 for those folks with a bigger bag. = $15
Infrared AVOID! = $5 (mine do anyways)
___Heat Lamp Base:
___Sav A Chick
Not necessary, but I bought it just in case. =$2.50
Not necessary, but I wanted to try it out and it was on sale. Normal Price will be listed. =$7
Flake shavings, you can get a bag at TSC for $6. =$6
Total Chick Supplies Price (With chicks factored in) = $86.50
Also, for the unnecessary stuff, subtract $9.50 from total, add a couple $ for tax.
Wow! You got the chicks plus all the supplies to brood them for less then the 5 pullets, which doesn't even factor in supplies!
Those are the chick supplies, perhaps your going even cheaper and making a feeder & waterer, or perhaps you already have the heat lamp from last years brood! Or maybe you are making a DIY ecoglow heater! Or maybe your making your own chick starter! Cut the cost without taking away the essentials.
Sooner or later, depending on if you got pullets or chicks, you'll have adult chickens. And they can't stay in the brooder!!!
Free-$2000+ (boy is that a fancy coop!)
The average is $500. =$500
Shavings are the common choice, you'll probably need 3 bags if your including nest boxes (which you need!) =$18
If you didn't get a 1gallon waterer in chickhood, then you'll be needing one now! You can also use a bucket, filled to the near top, a pan, a kiddie pool even. =$15
A kiddie pool is a bit big for feed, but a pan or feeder works best. =$15
Pellets are more nutritional, and less waste as the chickens won't scratch them and loss them. =$15
**Not necessary Good to have on hand. =$10
**Not necessary Good to have on hand. =$15
Counting Pullets, your total cost is: $688.00
Not counting pullets, but counting you raising the chicks and the chick supplies: $674.50
I guess they come close, $15 apart.
Raising chicks is an awesome experience and great if you want social chickens.
If your in it for the eggs and not social chickens, go with pullets, not saying they can't socialize, just can be harder.
BUT! I'm gonna twist things up a bit..Say your coop was made mainly out of things already on hand, and the coop cost was $100, your total, going the chick way is: $186.50
Your total, going the pullet way is: $200.00
Oh, and you may pay for more then just one bag of 25lb feed till laying age...
One more thing! Getting chicks from a reptubale source is more likely to be disease free, as people CAN & WILL clean up chickens just enough to sell them, soon you have a licey flock or respiratory illness on your hands!
Please comment with thoughts!