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pross/cons of chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bluemini, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. bluemini

    bluemini Chirping

    Sep 7, 2011
    Sorry if this isn't the right place. I have had chicks a few years back. I was going today to pick up 6 from TSC,I have brooders,runs and kennels for when they get older. But now im having doubts about getting any.

    Is it expensive to feed them? How often will I have to buy feed? And do the pros outweigh the cons? I don't mind cleaning up after them or any of that,just worried about the cost

  2. brokenhobble

    brokenhobble Chirping

    Jan 25, 2014
    its not a bad cost an they are enjoyable, I say without a doubt the pros out weigh the cons, they will be more expensive if they are locked up verse free range, also we feed a lot of our food scraps to our chickens which they really enjoy, we got 2 buckets in the kitchen under the sink, one is meat scraps for the dogs and the other are chickens scraps that get fed to them everyday, sounds like you got a good set up so go for it! you change your mind you can always sell them or give them away or if they are adults you could put em in the stew pot. idk where your located but where I buy feed I can get a 50lb bag of scratch for $7.00, and whole wheat for $6.00, that's a pretty good price and that's what my chickens mostly eat mixing in some layer pellets occasionally, when you get the point of buying oyster shells buy the 50lb bag it will last about a year depending on how many chickens you have. hope this has been helpful
    3 people like this.
  3. bluemini

    bluemini Chirping

    Sep 7, 2011
    a 20 pound bag of starter/grower for the chicks is $8 here but im not sure how long that will last with 6 chicks,I would also be feeding them plenty of scraps as they grow. I think the main cost will be raising the chicks
  4. ClovisMan

    ClovisMan Songster

    Jan 29, 2014
    New Braunfels, TX
    I have 18 chickens and it costs me about 35 bucks a month to feed them right now because they are cooped up in a brooder. Add another 12 bucks for all the pine shavings I am having to replace to keep the brooder clean and I'm down about 50 bucks a month. With only 6 chickens, your costs should be half of that or less.

    Once they become self-sufficient and go into the actual coop, my costs should drop a little.

    Pros...chickens are entertaining, they provide meat and/or eggs depending on which type you choose to raise, they eat bugs like nobodies business, chicken poop makes excellent composting fertilizer

    Cons....Chicken poop (its digusting especially when it smears on your clothes), cost to feed them at first, have to make sure they always have clean water, food, etc.
  5. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Songster

    Sep 4, 2013
    Lower Alabama
    It costs me a bit over $1 per day to feed 40 chickens, but 15 are useless roosters in a pen awaiting the hatchet and free range is kinda sparse this time of year. When everything turns green & the bugs come out and I kill off the roosters it should cost me .50c per day.
    The biggest expense is building the pen/coop unless you can scrounge up used/scrap material and do it on the cheap or free.
    I can't think of any cons. Chickens are the easiest, cheapest, lowest maintiance farm animal I've ever raised.
    1 person likes this.
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    A 50# bag of grower crumble will last me about 2.5 months for my 5 girls, fed out as fermented feed. I also give them a bit of scratch, and sprout some seeds for them (BOSS, lentils, wheat and barley). this is in the winter when they don't have access to bugs and fresh greens. Their summer feed needs are much less. Don't expect that their eggs will be cheaper than store bought eggs. But, what they will give you is a much more nutritious egg with better flavor and much less cholesterol. Look up some of the studies done on egg nutrition. That alone should convince a lot of people to keep a back yard flock. Then, take a look at current large scale poultry raising practices. That SHOULD convince a lot more people to keep a back yard flock. Now, add the value of insect control, weed control, free tilling for your garden, free fertilizer, and a never ending source of entertainment... and I honestly can't understand how anyone other than the apartment dweller can get by without a small back yard flock.
    2 people like this.
  7. Another idea is to sell their eggs, but what your family will consume, to offset the cost of feed and bedding. Most " Farm Fresh Eggs" go for about $3.00 a dozen and getting family and friends to save their egg cartons, will help with the cost of that also. We have quite a few locals selling eggs here for $3.00 a dozen, so I just priced mine at $2,50.

    If I sell 6 dozen a week, from my 14 pullets, I still have 2 dozen a week left. More than I need, so I can even give a neighbor or family a dozen. That covers my feed, gas for car, and bedding and a little extra in the cookie jar for a few other things.

    The biggest con I for me, is the added expense of feed, in the winter, as I live in a far northern climate and this year, winter hit early and was very cold. The birds ate way more than they would've in a normal winter.

    Another way to offset costs is to save the egg shells instead of buying oyster shells...I just crush them up and add them, UNDER, some wetted layer pellets, and no egg eating here, as they gobble it up so fast, they have no idea they just ate the shells [​IMG]

    I have found that 14 pullets, almost hens now, is just the right amount of birds to become a self sustaining flock.

    I have a poop board, and clean it every morning, I use pine shavings and some straw, and no smell, to speak of. Takes all of 2 minutes to scrape off with a putty knife and sump in the compost pile. MOST of their poop is on the poop board...very little in the bedding. I also add some scratch, especially in the winter and that keeps the bedding so well turned, any poop in it, is very quickly dried up.
    1 person likes this.

  8. Dwells

    Dwells Chirping

    Apr 18, 2013
    If you were starting from square one meaning needing to get a brooder, coop, water / feeders etc then the cost could be intimidating in the beginning. Once you have housing established the overall daily cost of keeping chickens is small. I have four and will be adding another two in a couple months. It cost me around 35 dollars every two months. That includes feed and bedding. For bedding I use pine shavings and straw. As far as eggs we consume a small portion. Since I get a little over a dozen a week from the three that are laying we give away some to friends. I haven't and more than likely would not sell the eggs. I live in an urban area and don't need the city rolling in an accusing me of running a business.
    There are other benefits. My kids clean the coops and feed the girls. They enjoy watching them and it is teaching them lessons that seem to have disappeared in today's society. It is also a great stress reliever for me. I would say it is cheap to maintain a small flock so go for it.
    1 person likes this.
  9. cluckcluckgirl

    cluckcluckgirl Queen of the Coop

    Jun 16, 2012
    Tending to my chickens
    Chickens are actually cheaper to care for than most dogs. A cheap 50lb bag of chicken food where I'm at is about $14, compared to a cheap 20lb bag of dog food for about $10. The chickens do eat a lot at first, but it will even out as they mature. I have a hungry flock of 16 big girls, and 1 50lb bag will last them approximately 2 weeks. One thing you also have to consider is that the hens will lay eggs, so it will save you money on buying eggs from the store.

    Overall, I don't regret getting chickens. Yes, they poop and the poop doesn't smell like roses, but with their personalities, fresh eggs, pest control, and great memories, I can deal with the poop.[​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  10. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    If you keep a modest amount of chickens, no they are not. If you had chickens before, why did you get out of them? I think so long as people don't go in with the mentality of "free eggs" all should be okay, that is probably the biggest misconception, raising chickens for eggs is not free it's really more about controlling your food source.

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