cost of raising chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by questions543, Mar 22, 2012.

  1. questions543

    questions543 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2012
    Hello I am thinking of getting chicks.. do you guys know the average cost for all the materials to start and the average cost to raise them?
  2. TheNewMrsEvans

    TheNewMrsEvans Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 15, 2008
    Big Sur, CA
    Not sure with start up cost, but I sell my birds for the cost of the chickie, plus a dollar a week raised. So it winds up about $20 per pullet to 16 wks. I like to use a Rubbermaid tub with the lid modified with hardware cloth when they are little peeps, so about $15 per tub. Then they. Red heat lamps, $12 fixture at home depot, with a red bulb, $4-8 depending on wattage. Bedding is pretty cheap, $8 per compressed package, and starter feed $10 for 25#. I keep them on that for 8 wks, then switch to turkey grower which is nonmedicated. So there u go! Hope that gives u an idea...
  3. suzeqf

    suzeqf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2011
    I guess that would depend on how many you get and what type of coop you are going to build and if you are going to sell chicks or eggs or just do it as a hobby, I can get a 50lb bag of non medicated chick feed for $16 and a 50lb bag of layer mash and hen scratch for $10 each and shavings are around $6.00, then you have feeders and waterers and heat lamps and bulbs which i think i got for about $4 each for the feeder/water(baby size) and the actual lamps are about $10 and the bulbs were around $3. then you will have to cost if your chicks so if I had to guess how much I spent for start up I would prob say $100 and I spend $100 a month on 45-50 chicks and full grown birds and hopefully aroudn september i'll be able to start selling eggs and my hope is just to re-coop my feed cost.
  4. Othylocke

    Othylocke Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 18, 2010
    Dothan, AL
    This is what I consider start up cost.

    Brooder came free because I used an old plastic dog kennel that was capable of being unhooked to a top and bottom.

    Chicks, Feed, Heat Lamp, Red Bulb, Bedding, Hangable Gallon Waterer. Hangable Gallon Feeder, and I bought a smaller feeder cost me about 80 dollars.

    The chicken coop can be considered start up costs considering I personally believe it is easier to build the coop first.

    Costs depend on the size, design and how much material you already have on hand or can get for free. I plan on having a 10'x5' tractor that will probably cost me somewhere upwards of 500 dollars if I am lucky enough. The main thing to remember is that lumber itself will never be your main expense. All together I will have somewhere around 50 dollars in actual wood. The 4 wheels will be 130 or so dollars. See how design can affect costs?
  5. questions543

    questions543 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2012
    thanks alot, that helps alot, where would you find the 50 lb bag of layer mash for $10? I could only find one for $25
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  6. Othylocke

    Othylocke Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 18, 2010
    Dothan, AL
    Tractor Supply has 50lb bags for around 14 bucks. That is the cheapest thing I've found.
  7. felidaet

    felidaet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2008
    Vancouver, Wa.
    A coop can get expensive quickly. I spent much more than I planned to. And then the cost of the run can add up quick too. I spent over $1000 on my coop and run. And this was being very careful to buy much of the building materials at discount building supply places. I could have easily spent twice that if I had bought all of the supplies at one time at a regular lumber yard or home improvement store.

    For my second coop I converted my kids no longer used playhouse. I did not need to build a run for the second one because the two coops share the same run. I probably still spent $200 or so on that conversion. A few weeks ago I expanded my run. I added an 8' x 16' section. I believe I spent around $250 on it. You can do a run cheaper but I live in the rainy Pacific Northwest and I decided to build a roof over it to help keep it dry in the winter. It does help. See the picture in my avitar.

    I have heard of many other spending $1000 or more on the coop and run.

    However that the coop and run is a onetime startup cost. I can comfortably house around 40 Large Fowl birds. I currently have 27 birds but that is about to change. I will be thinning out about 7 older birds and then adding about 20 chicks.
  8. Dingo

    Dingo Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have seen posts of repurposed materials used to make coops. Making the coop nearly free. The most common I think is the pallet coop.

    I'll be making a large poultry building estimated around $80.
    A bag of flock raiser is $17, shavings is $5, I used 60W bulbs, so $1 for four bulbs. $8 for the light fixture, $12 for the feeder and fountain. You can use just about anything for a brooder I made mine for ~$12. My initial 7 chicken chicks cost me 3 bachelor quail roos. The other 8 cost me $10.
  9. gapeach717

    gapeach717 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2012
    North, ga
    i talked my husband INTO chickens bc of the "money we would save on eggs, and that if we had enough surplus I could also sell eggs to the local sheriffs office" (i have connections, lol) last night i told him that clearly this went from profit to another expensive pet experience, lol, but i love them! although i am still saving a lot of money using recycled materials. :)
  10. OldGuy43

    OldGuy43 Chillin' With My Peeps

    So to summarize what everyone else has said; It can pretty much be as expensive or cheap as you want to make it. Admittedly, we started with adolescent birds instead of chicks and they started laying after 2-3 weeks, but we've made the start-up costs back and now the cluckers are giving us eggs, paying for their own food and leaving a little cash in the egg fund box as well. Yes, you can show a profit with a small flock if you pick a good laying breed.

    Before you ask we have 12 Red Sex Links and we've had them not quite a year. The nice things about them, they are good layers and the initial cost was 1/2 the price of the other breeds, at least around here. Food we get from a local mill and it costs us under $11.00/50#.

    Part of the cost/benefit ratio relates to the climate where you live. If you're in a mild climate (like we are) you will need a lot less than in colder climes, so where are you? One side note; having truly fresh eggs will ruin you for "going out for breakfast". The eggs will just not taste "right." Yet another cost saving benefit. [​IMG]

    If you think of them as livestock instead of "another expensive pet experience" you can show a profit. It will be a lot harder (but not impossible) to show a profit if you think of them as "pets."

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