Costs Of Raising Backyard Chickens - How Much Is It To Raise Chickens?

Nifty-Chicken

Administrator
Staff member
13 Years
Dec 26, 2006
38,064
14,706
822
California - SF East Bay
My Coop
My Coop

crimson h farm

Hatching
5 Years
Feb 11, 2014
2
0
6
the start up cost for us was absolutely free. we used scrap materials from my husbands job to build the coop and brooder. our feed store will give you 5 free chicks if you buy a bag of starter. we made homemade feeders and waterers and now for the feed.... we have 10 laying hens at all times and I g through a 50lb bag every 2 months. they do have a large yard to scratch around in and they ge a bunch of unwanted vegetables from our garden. now I now this will make some people mad but we also give ours a bunch of leftover food we wont eat. I know some people say it is not right to feed chickens this way that is how you would feed a hog. but before we did this we were going through a bag of feed every 3 weeks and getting on average 6 eggs a day from 10 hens and now going through a bag every 2 months and getting 9-10 eggs a day from them. if you do alittle research you could have cost cost in your flock besides your time
 

Rochelle1031

In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 3, 2013
11
0
24
Michigan
I raised a batch of 25 Cornish Cross roosters in the fall of 2013. Adding the variable costs of day old chicks, feed, pine shavings, heat bulbs, electricity, and grit totaled $14.07 per bird. We processed the birds ourselves beginning in week 6 and finished in week 8. Average weight per bird was around 6 pounds. So average cost per pound was $2.35.

The fixed costs of water nipples, feeder, killing cone and plucker, and light fixture which can all be reused this year totaled $6.22 per bird.
 

chikntender

Hatching
5 Years
Feb 20, 2014
6
0
7
We were very fortunate to have coops, barns and fenced-in areas all built when we moved in 3 1/2 years ago.There was also a lot of fencing lying around to make the necessary repairs, so our only initial expense was $2.99 plus tax each for 6 chicks. We kept them in a box in the mud room until they started to feather out, then in a bigger box until we could put them into one of the coops in the chicken yard..

Of course there was the feed at $14.93 per 5-lb bag.

Since, once they started laying, we began selling their eggs at $2.50 a carton. This pretty much covers their feed, straw, wood chips and snacks. And our customers return the cartons, which we see no harm in reusing, since we make sure they are nice and clean.

We are a bit better than breaking even and there is, of course, no substitute fro fresh eggs.

Walking up to the barns several times a day, cleaning them out every few months, and just general maintenance are all kind of nuisance chores, but the chickens make it enjoyable. Two or three of them will scrunch down to be picked up and petted, and all of hem come unning the minute they see us, be it afoot, in the car or on my ride-on mower.

All in all, it's a pleasant experience and we get, essentially, free eggs.
 

bubby123

Hatching
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
3
0
6
In the summer months are hens about 30 of them live mostly of grass weeds and bugs. Some times the feed goos bad in the feeder so we only keep a little in there. My wife calls them are little composters because I put all the table and yard wast in there run then take what they don't eat and put it in the compost pile. I started do this the week they found my compost pile every morning they would go to it and make a mess so now I just take it to them. Giving them compost saves money and speeds up the composting but you'll need to clear the coop more often.

For bedding we use grass and shredded paper. The paper comes from the mail I just put the bills junk mail and flyer through the shredder and use it to pack the nests. The day befor cleaning the coop I mow the lawn and blow the grass all one way when it's easy to pick up and put in the coop. If you burn and do up your own wood the sawdust is good for the nest aswell.

The trick to these money saving tricks is to time it so it's things you have to do anyway. I try to run my little farm ( more of a homestead really ) so I make less work for myself not more. When you get a system down its surprising how much you can get done in a small lot of time.

Shopping around is key there 4 feed stores around me and all the prices are different so I stop in to all them to check for sales.
 
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bubby123

Hatching
8 Years
Jun 28, 2011
3
0
6
Selling eggs for eating is good but if you have some breeds people are looking for there's a lot more money in hatching eggs. Most of are hens lay blue of green eggs and 2 of the 3 Roos have the blue gene aswell so we sell eating eggs for 2.50 and hatching eggs for $5 or we hatch off chicks and sell them for $5 each. Last year we had a really good year and are egg/ chick money payed for both are chicken feed and the feed for are pig.

People being people they will always want to buy the eggs for 2.50 and hatch them so we always keep the eggs cold until we get a order for hatching eggs witch are also handled with care.
 
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Alspal

In the Brooder
8 Years
Nov 10, 2011
14
2
23
For a flock of eighteen chickens I buy one fifty pound bag of laying mash, one fifty pound bag of scratch and one fifty pound bag of whole oats. Cost $40 Can. The oats are fermented and sprouted for a few days prior to feedng. The birds love them. They also recieve all the table scraps and have a free range of 1500 square feet. Medicines and bedding cost $60 per year. Total cost about
$550. I hatch most of my birds and sell 50 per year @ $10 each for a return of $500. As my hatchlings are straight run, I have 50% cockerels. These are taken to the processers for $3.50 each approx 20 per year that is $70 plus $25 fuel for car. I harvest approx 3 doz eggs/week that are given to family and friends. Total yearly outlay after returns is about $100Can. For this I have all the freshh eggs I need and beautful meat as well as an enjoyable and rewarding hobby.
 

CurtandDenise

In the Brooder
5 Years
Feb 28, 2014
11
1
24
Ok, I will admit we went all out with getting chickens. I wanted them to be as easy as possible and have a coop and run where we could go away for a couple weeks and they would be fine.
We purchased a coop on line for about $400. It had one damaged part and I complained and they sent an entire second coop. Between the two I was able to make a coup and run about 13’x5’ for the 3 girls.
I didn’t want to get up and close or open a coop door, so I got a “pullet-shut” auto coop door. Expensive, but it has worked flawlessly. I love it, about $250. I know my pets are safe.
I made an auto water feeder out of a “gatoraid” type water holder with a toilet valve inside which is always connected to a low pressure water source, and nipple type waterers; fresh water all the time and I never have to touch it.
I also bought a 15#-20# feeder (I forget exactly how much), the type they have to step on to open for pest control at night. Works great. I think I paid about $45 on line for that.
The initial purchase for the chicks was $4.75 each and $80 for a kit with a cage, light, feeder and waterer, bag of starter, bag of wood shavings and a “how to” book. Basically everything we needed for the first 8-10 weeks.
So, I think my first egg cost me just short of a grand, but luckily they are getting cheaper. These chickens are pets first, and they all come running and jump in my and my wife’s lap. They have been so much fun.
The on-going feed and shavings/bedding cost is maybe $5 to 10 a month, and that is with me buying them nothing but the best feed and scratch, and we clean out the coop and run every couple weeks.
 

chickietutu

Chirping
10 Years
Apr 29, 2009
5
5
63
Aloha from Hawaii. We currently have four hens, one is 5 years old and still gives us eggs three times a week and the others are eight months and have been laying large brown eggs since the end of January. I already had a waterer, it attaches to a hose and I think it was $15, and my husband and grand daughter built me a coop from scavenged materials; 2 x 6 x 8, no front wall but it has a roof. The chickens are free range but stay pretty close to home. A 25 pound sack of feed lasts the month but we do get "chicken bags" when we eat out. The chickens are great at finishing our leftovers. I also cook up rice with raisins and vegetables for them. Our monthly feed cost is less than $30. The new chicks cost us $3 each but we bought six, raised them to eight weeks and then sold three of them for $6 each. Currently we are averaging 24 eggs per week, eating one dozen and selling one dozen for $6. We are not getting rich but we do have wonderful eggs at very little cost.
 

almendro

Hatching
5 Years
Mar 17, 2014
1
0
6
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