Are chickens exspencive to keep?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by midnightandshadow, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. midnightandshadow

    midnightandshadow Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 5, 2011
    My dad is currently unempolyed but i was wanting to get chickens are they exspencive ?
  2. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 28, 2011
    Yes and no. It's expensive to build a coop and run if using new materials. Chickens need a safe place to live away from predators. The feed isn't bad depending how many chickens you keep. I pay roughly 9.99-13.00 on a 50lb feed. 9.99 is cheapest on sale. I have 8 chickens and the feed lasts me a good month, sometimes longer when I free range. I buy pine chips for their coop and a big bag is roughly 10.00-11.00 for 5 cubic feet in the horse section. My hubby buys all the supplies, so I'm not exact sure on prices. I clean my coop often, so I buy a bag of chips monthly with the food. Some people use sand in the coop, which is eaiser to clean.

    There are extras that are not necessary unless needed like sevin dust, corid, vitamins, probiotics, and food grade DE.

    I would strongly wait until your dad gets a job. Chickens are amazing and they produce very yummy eggs! I wish you and your dad the best of luck!
  3. Erin~TheChickenLover

    Erin~TheChickenLover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2011
    Arkansas River Valley
    Chickens are really not bad at all. [​IMG] I have 15 chickens, some are little bitty and some are huge. One of our chicken coops is our old play house tower and it cost very little to convert.

    I sale their eggs for $2 a dozen and that pretty much pays for their feed. My chickens get to free range, too, so I do not have to buy grit for them and rarely do I have to get them vitamins.

    I use sand in the coops and runs so the bedding is covered. The sand is only about $4 a bag. Nesting boxes can just be a flower pot, bucket, or milk crate really. The roosting board can be a tree limb if that is all you have.

    Other than that I buy a hay bale or two once in a while to put in the nesting boxes and spray the pens and chickens once in a while to make sure they don't have any mites or lice. The spray only cost about $10 and a square hay bale only cost about $5. I spend less than $100 a year on things for my chickens other than feed.

    Look around for things to convert into a chicken coop. Some people have used old cars, play houses, or even gathered up old wood to build the coop
    with. I have even heard of people using old refrigerators! [​IMG] If you can find something convenient, go ahead and get chickens. If not, you might want to wait. But hey, chickens are so worth it!

    [​IMG] from Arkansas!
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011
  4. chrissum

    chrissum Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 28, 2007
    Initial start up cost can be a little high if you have nothing to start out with, after that it is not all that bad.
  5. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    If you're lucky to either have the materials/building for a coop or find a free or really cheap one, no.

    If you have the room to free range them, and best of all, grow a garden for yourself but also share with them, no.

    If you raise chickens that aren't production type birds, no. (true heritage or even more show-type ones actually lay longer)

    If you sell the extra eggs to neighbors/locals, no.

    If you breed your chickens and sell any extra chicks or eat extras, no.


    Chickens don't require maintainance like horses, too. I never use anything special for them except sprays or treatments for poultry lice. Beyond that, if I get a sick or injured hen or something, I usually have the means to deal with her. Such thing happens rarely for me though.
  6. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    It costs me more in feed to eat my own eggs than buy store bought eggs, but not much more. I don't keep records so can't give you an exact figure. As mentioned above, you can at least partly offset this if you can sell a few eggs or chicks. By far the most expensive part is the coop and (if you use one) a run or yard. If you happen to have a shed or barn around, and some scraps or "stuff" for nests and roosts, they are a very inexpensive pet. Or if you can scrounge or recycle enough to build one for free. And please don't skimp on the size of the coop or outdoor space; this so easily leads to pecking and other problems, even cannibalism.
  7. punky rooster

    punky rooster Awesome

    Jul 21, 2010
    Depends on your purposes, size of flock, ect.
    If you just want a half dozen backyard layers, no, they're not expensive.
    If you want to have a decent sized breeding program, then it can be (depends on breed & size, too. Bantams would be less expensive to keep than Large Fowl).
    If you can free range, that can cut down on costs.
  8. kera!

    kera! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2011
    Navajo County
    it cost me $1000 to start with supplies, chickens from breeders and hatchery coop that is 8X8 and a run that is 16X32 all my stuff was new and had to build it....[​IMG] but it is fun try to figure out cost and then times it by 2...but it is sure fun I waited many years until I could afford to start.
  9. tnbridman

    tnbridman New Egg

    Aug 5, 2011
    it cost about 200 a month for food
  10. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008

    How many birds are you feeding? I have a flock of 20 chickens and 4 ducks, cost me about $20-24.00 per month to feed them Flock Raiser.

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