Managing your chicken money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Moonlight Piano

8 Years
Mar 24, 2011
Southeastern US. / Georgia.
I, like most of us here, spend a good portion of my time tending to the chickens. It is fun don't get me wrong, but it is always more fun to make a little money as well.
I wanted to put this topic up so some of the more experienced chicken aficionados could share some of their trade secrets on how to manage, or even make some money with this very rewarding hobby.
. I am not really experienced, but I suppose I could start us out. I breed Partridge Rocks, Blue Wyandotte’s, and BB Red Phoenix for show. However this presents a problem, I raise a bunch of chicks, and chicks eat ALOT
. So what I have found is good is to limit yourself to a couple breeds for improvement and have a pen or two full of layers. These layers will hopefully
lay enough eggs to put you in the black with your feed expenses. Anything else you can make outside of that is profit.
I would love to hear from my BYC friends on this one. How do you make ends meet with these birds? Is it profitable to have them, and does it actually make it more economical for you to keep chickens? Let’s see what we can come up with.

p.s. I don't know if this is in the right spot so if it isn't I apologize in advance.


Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Nov 27, 2008
Glen St Mary, Florida
If you include the initial start up costs...coops, chicken wire, feeders/waterers, feed'll be a long time before you're in the "black." Then there's the expansion projects and more chickens....a very long time before you're in the "black." Then there's the wormers, dusting powders and other nitnoid things you'll need to purchase............


8 Years
Jun 21, 2011
Waldo County, Maine
The money I put into The Pullet Palace in my new locale may never be recovered. That aside . . .

I'm small scale and don't break even in cash flow. My ladies don't produce enough eggs for me to hang a shingle out. And my nature is to pass our surplus along to family and to folks who I know can use and will appreciate having them. If I get too far ahead, I'll drop a couple dozen off at the local food pantry. Dollars and cents, the layers, if I sold every egg, would just about break even.

The meat birds (if you raise them, don't forget to add back their value on your table into your income from them) are similar. Two or three batches of 15 during the fair weather each year (to avoid the costs running power to their coop). Even processing myself, I haven't been able to break the $1.75/lb mark, higher than what I can buy commercial birds in the supermarket.

I'm not made of money, but at my scale, I can justify the modest economic shortfall with the range of personal satisfaction I find in tending them, and the incomparably better quality of the eggs in my skillet and the meat from my broilers/roasters.

That could sound romantic. But the better half has come to it on her own. She had her doubts. In fact, thought I was a little nuts going back into chickens. It's gotten to be a race in the morning to see who gets out to get the eggs. She's taken to frying hers up in a smaller skillet since she found fresh eggs don't run all over the bottom of the pan. Best for me was the day she allowed as how the home-grown meat birds didn't have that odd aftertaste the Tyson and Perdue birds have. That, to me, is worth the modest difference in cost.

To make money at it, even to cover your costs, will likely be a matter of economy of scale.

Others may make out better. That's my experience.

Moonlight Piano

8 Years
Mar 24, 2011
Southeastern US. / Georgia.
I know
, but I didn't have to do all of that because I was able to find people in my area that had been doing a while that gave me many tips on how to 'pinch the penny'. Their tips worked for me, and (as always) I am just trying to get some other ideas to work off of. And also trying to help with people that are trying to become more self-sufficient. Thank you for your impute and I look forward to more comments on this subject.


Crazy for Colors
10 Years
Oct 19, 2009
Forks, WA
What helps/ed me is -

My coops were free, came with the property. If I need more, I build them from free or cheap wood/materials.

I free range my poultry, so fencing, feed, and cleaning is much cheaper and easier.

I try and grow as much food for them as I can, cuts back on cost and improves health.

I only hatch out when I need something and when I know I'm gonna sell what I don't want in due/fast time.

I often resort to broody hens instead of incubation - Cuts back on feed bill, electric bill, and improves chick health but is indeed a risky thing.

I raise breeds/colors that aren't what everyone else has, so even if I need to get rid of some extras around here, there's always interest.

I limit my layer/pet hens to, if I can, none or just a couple. That way I have more hens paying off their feed bill, less hens just offering eggs for eating.

I don't raise my meat birds or layers separate from each other; - I mainly raise dual purpose breeds/mutts with good size and growth rate, so I don't have so many chickens to focus on. All my three needs (eggs, meat, money) come from the same general flock.


Nothing In Moderation
12 Years
May 14, 2009
(SW MO) Nevada, Missouri
My Coop
My Coop
The only way I manage my chicken money is............
I manage to spend all my money on chickens.

To me, my chickens are a hobby.............. an expensive hobby. I will NEVER be able to be out of the red.


9 Years
Sep 27, 2010
I just forget about the start up costs...silly to think I can recoup all that $.

That aside, I make enough with egg sales, to buy more feed..and MAYBE a bale of shavings...

But oh what fun a hobby it is! Not a money maker, unless you have a large set up with MANY hens....

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