Cost of keeping poultry?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by nayeli, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. nayeli

    nayeli Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm seeing many people building coops that cost many hundreds to thousands of dollars. I'm wondering if this is an expensive hobby for most rather than a viable way of producing food in a cost effective way.
     
  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Well, to me at least, if you want cost effective or cheap then you buy grocery store eggs and meat. Yes, my eggs and meat that I raise cost a lot more comparatively then if I just bought it at the store. But.... I know how those birds were raised, I know what they were fed, I know they were housed and slaughtered humanely. And not just humanely, my birds are kept very well! That is generally what matters to people who want to raise their own meat and eggs. I don't have fancy coops, they are very utilitarian but they are well built so no, they weren't cheap but they will last. That said, there are many people who are very good at building very good coops for next to nothing by scavenging for free stuff or recycling used materials into their coop project. So while it doesn't have to be expensive, probably no matter how you go about it raising your own eggs and meat is going to cost you more then what you would pay at the grocery store.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2014
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  3. nayeli

    nayeli Chillin' With My Peeps

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    cafarmgirl, I actually love animals which is a big reason I would rather raise my own or buy from a local farmer that I know is organic and treats the animals well. I'm just surprised because raising poultry used to be something people who didn't have a lot of money did to provide for their family.

    p.s. I will be one of the resourceful ones with a coop that didn't cost to much =)
     
  4. newfoundland

    newfoundland Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I suppose like most things in life it can be as cheap as you can get away with or as expensive as you can afford. Many people have adapted old garden sheds or re-purposed various wooden crates, dog kennels, children's play houses etc. Food containers can be as simple as cheap dog bowls, or you can recycle old bowls from your kitchen that are no longer used. Chicken waterers are very cheap to buy if you buy the plastic ones.

    The biggest ongoing expense is of course food. Layers pellets and wheat are not cheap but if you buy both and mix them I find it works out cheaper. Anything you can grow for your chickens is an added bonus, they love the outside leaves of cabbages for example. I think it can be quite cost effective if you stick to essentuals.
     
  5. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    The piece of the puzzle you are missing is that all these people you are referring to that had chickens also had barns for the horses, the dairy cows or goats. ANd that space is also available for the chickens to use too. IMO farmers had one flock = one breed of chickens. THey ran together to free range and gather what food they could find, and the farmer supplemented their feed and made sure they had water available. THose that focues more on chicken production had the land and buildings to raise them ie a woods style coop is one design from 100 years ago in the US.


    With some craftieness you can create suitable housing for less money. Takes time and planning. We build our own coops, but then we already had invested in skill saws and drills and levels, etc. I have acess to a box company that puts scrap wood out for pickup. I have seen pallet houses where someone took the time to pull apart pallets then use the wood to build a medium shed.

    Feeding-- learn how to feed your chickens properly-- good feed results in a healthy bird and good food via meat and eggs. Look around your area for locally available food sources. Do you have a lawn? look at the management practices-- can this be used for feed for the chickens?

    Sometimes people enjoy spending a lot of money on duck pools and high quality sheds for the chickens . . . .but not everyone does. However, the cost of housing will be more than the chicken, and the cost of feeding will be more than the cost of the chicken.

    But what ever the total cost, the quality of the food will be better than the grocery store. If you have a source that has quality chicken for sale, many opt for that instead of raising their own.
    Good luck with what ever you decide.
     
  6. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    My grandmother was one of those people. Chickens lived in the barn, she tossed out some grain to them in the morning and they spent their day foraging around the barnyard and pasture. They also got vegetable scraps etc. from the kitchen. Grain and feed in general was a lot cheaper back then too compared to these days. But of course everything is more expensive these days.

    Post some pic's of your coop and chickens when it's all done! We here on BYC never get tired of seeing other peoples coops and birds!
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
  7. nayeli

    nayeli Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you everyone. Raising poultry and rabbits for me was a way to get organic food for my family, especially when we have our baby that will be even more important. I am also an animal lover so the factory farm lifestyle and cruelty isn't something I agree with.

    I will post pictures when my projects are complete =)

    I'm hoping to find salvaged wood or pallets to keep costs to a minimum!
     
  8. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Sorry I am drawing a blank on the name-- we have used materials donated for reuse in our area for little cost. You might have one in your area.

    Look in the spring for windows put outfor the trash or for free in the spring in your area.

    Good luck-- also bigger is better, look at the woods style for construction ideas. That one so far has my vote.
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    A lot of it depends on where you live, and your neighborhood standards. If I lived in a nicer subdivision, my set up would not go over well with the neighbors! Folks that live in nicer areas need to have nicer set-ups, and those usually cost more money. So, it's just a standard of living kind of thing. I live more of a redneck lifestyle, we use a lot of recycled materials, have building materials left over from other projects, and looks don't matter near as much to me as function. My coop is an old greenhouse, my run is built of rough logs for posts and poles. I use tarps at times for windbreaks or to keep water out. Pretty...no. Functional....yes.

    If you spend time in the Coop Design section, there are threads there where folks have done wonderful things with pallets. They're my favorite building material!
     
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  10. nayeli

    nayeli Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I plan on using pallets and even think I know where I can score some! We aren't in a ritzy area and we are putting up a privacy fence anyway so none of our neighbors will even see the coop or animals!
     

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