how to get started

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by my3boys_mom92, May 4, 2009.

  1. my3boys_mom92

    my3boys_mom92 New Egg

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    May 4, 2009
    My husband and I have been interested in raising animals for some time, and thought chickens might be a great way to start. My question is, for two people who have never raised farm animals such a these, what kind of start-up costs can we expect, and how do we determine how many chickens to have? We have about 3/4 of an acre in the backyard that are open, so I hope space isn't an issue, but we are hoping to do this on a budget
     
  2. Skitz

    Skitz Skitz15k

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  3. in2chickens

    in2chickens Out Of The Brooder

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    If you think outside of the box, and stay out of the cool stuff in the feed store. You can keep your cost to just about the price of the chick, feed, and other misc necessities. Think recycle and reuse and you will be able to make just about any thing you will need for them. I have! I have one hen for about one year, and I only have had to buy 2 small bags of feed in 10 months at about 12-15 per bag. I have used the same principle with the new chicks, I have only spent money on the chicks, chick feed, and shavings. I have heard that you could use shredded paper if you really wanted to keep you cost down.

    I'm sure with any good pet, the joy of the animal out weights the cost of the up keep. Just think the chickens will produce eggs that you can eat, for free. [​IMG]
     
  4. hobbyfarmer

    hobbyfarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, they will cost twice as much as you expect....you will end up with three times as many chickens as you set out to buy.....and eventually 4 times the space won't be enough to keep up with your new chicken habit.

    No, I'm only kidding! I think chickens are a fun and economical project with wonderful benefits like eggs and fun. I find watching the chickens to be very relaxing and the money spent is not going to break the bank.

    Good Luck. [​IMG]
     
  5. needmorechickens!

    needmorechickens! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2008
    West TN
    You should be able to start with chickens, a large plastic box from Walmart, a chick waterer, some medicated chick starter (food) and a small dish or chick feeder. If your chickens are babies, you will need a heat lamp to keep them warm.
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    ~Rebecca
     
  6. gpamela3499

    gpamela3499 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2009
    Near San Fran Ca
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    From california
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    Add back in the pest control hours of entertainment craft feathers garbage / compost / fertilizer and the education value.
     
  7. k2chickens

    k2chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    New Castle, Indiana
    [​IMG] I just started raising chicks about a month and a half ago so I didn't know what to expect cost wise so I started out with 5 chicks and the essentials such as bedding, heat lamp, infrared light, feed, brooder, water dispenser and food dispenser. With all that and the chicks we spent about $70 and those supplies have lasted since the beginning and will continue to last till then have the chicks are moved into a coop and require different feed for when they are older. They are really inexpensive animals it just depends on what you are wanting to spend on them because some people go all out and really spend ALOT on chickens! But you can raise chickens on a budget very easily! I would suggest doing research on the different types of breeds because some birds require less maintenance and can pretty much fend for them selves food wise when they are older! You will also want to choose a breed who will do well in your climate area cause if you live in a colder area you will want chickens who do well in the winter so that you will not need to run electricity to your coop causing more expenses! As for the amount of chickens you want you will need to decide how much room you have and make sure you only get the amount of chickens for the amount of room. I might be wrong but I believe its 2-3 square feet per full grown chicken is the minimum. Hope this helps and good luck with your new journey it will be one you love [​IMG]
     
  8. NewHopePoultry

    NewHopePoultry Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] from Missouri
     
  9. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    If you are just looking for eggs, you should get 2 or 3 a day from 3 or 4 hens. Check Henderson's chart for breeds that lay well. I would not plan on fewer than 3; one might die, and they do not do well without at least one other around. If you are thinking of meat, you need to do some serious research here in the meat birds section; that is a whole other ball game....

    Even if you only want eggs, you will need a coop and run that gives a minimum of 4 sq ft per chicken in the coop, assuming you decide to use the back yard as the run, which then brings up a host of predator considerations. If the run is to be the back yard, you might consider starting with a few more hens than this, because it is likely some will be taken by predators. (Not disapproving of this; I have some truly free range hens, and some younger ones in a yard.)

    A coop can be built for next to nothing if you have some materials at hand or can scrounge them. Or you can spend a few hundred and buy the materials and build a coop. Spend some time in the coops section here. Many good ideas for building a coop for nothing or next to nothing. But do have the housing well planned if not already built before you get chickens. Too many get baby chicks, then try to figure out what to do with them. You should be able to house babies in the coop at this time of year with some planning and maybe a little heat from a light bulb, depending where you live. If you get adult birds, this is not a problem anywhere, if you research and plan ahead.

    It would help for future questions if you would include your general location in your ID info. Some breeds do better in cold or warm climates, for example. Not suggesting a street address! Just state or country, or northern or southern if California, etc.

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    Please browse sections like FAQ, coop design, and how to raise baby chicks here. This is an awesome site, probably better than any chicken raising book you can buy. And feel free to ask questions if "search" doesn't do it for you. We are glad to help!
     
  10. patyrdz

    patyrdz The Madd Hatcher

    Feb 26, 2009
    Southern Pines, NC
    [​IMG] from North Carolina! [​IMG]
     

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