How much does it cost to raise chickens? (2022 Pricing Guide)

If you are considering raising chickens on your farm, you may have several questions, the most important of which is how much it costs to raise the chickens. While prices can fluctuate widely depending on where you live and other factors, including the pandemic, we’ve created a guide that we believe will help you get a basic idea of ​​what you need. Keep reading as we cover adoption, annual expenses, vaccinations, food, and more to help you make the right decision.

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Bringing Chicken Home: One-time Fee

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Before bringing your chickens home for the first time, you need to save some one-time fees to get your chickens what they need to keep them safe. You will need a cage to keep your chickens in to protect them from predators like eagles and foxes. You will also need lighting and a food and water bowl. You can also opt to get an egg incubator if you use your chickens for meat. You will need to have a rooster to fertilize eggs, but an incubator can help you hatch several eggs at once. Many people like to buy chicks, but they will need a lot of attention as they get older until eight weeks when they are ready to start laying eggs. We recommend buying pullets as they are almost ready to lay eggs, and you won’t need to care for them for the first eight weeks or so.

Free

If you are looking for free chickens, you can start by getting an egg incubator and try hatching fertilized eggs. You can often find them on farms selling fresh eggs. If you see a rooster near the coop, you are more likely to buy fertilized eggs by buying a few dozen. You might also be surprised at how many people are willing to give you free chickens, but free chickens are almost always too old to be of little use.

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Adoption

Another great way to get cheap chickens is to adopt them from your local shelter or rescue. You can often buy these birds for as little as $4, making them one of the best ways to grow your flock. Adoption can help save lives, and some agencies will look to others on the network to let you know if a sold-out product is available elsewhere.

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Breeder

A good breeder is very important when you buy your chickens. High quality breeders can provide you with healthier chickens through selective breeding. Selective breeding means that a breeder will not use chickens with a genetic predisposition for a disease. Doing so for hundreds of years has given breeders the knowledge to create healthy dog ​​breeds.

4 Common Breeds and Their Average Cost

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Maybe you can offer prices for chicks and hens here.

Arcona $3-$5
Strappy Buff $4 – $6
Easter Eggs $2 – $3.5o
Silver Phoenix $4 – $6

supply

You will need some supplies to keep your chicks healthy and happy so they will lay the maximum number of eggs. Your chickens will need a cage to live in so they are protected from predators while they sleep. They will also need high quality feed to get the nutrients they need and water or a fountain to keep them hydrated. A soft bed will make the cage more comfortable and will also protect the cage from cold weather. You will also need heating if you live in a colder environment and have a sewage system. You may also need to purchase other items depending on your situation, such as fences, automatic doors, and lights.

List of Equipment and Cost of Chicken Care

Imprison $200 – $700
Feeding $50 – $60/ 40-pound bag
Bedding $25 – $50
Water fountain $25 – $50
Heating $35 – $60
Light $30 – $60
Fence $50 – $70

Annual Expenditure

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$250 – $350 per year

Once you’ve set up your coop and purchased your chickens, it’s not that difficult or expensive to raise multiple birds. You only need to provide feed and fresh water, which will take longer than it costs. You’ll also need to clean the coop and change bedding frequently, but bedding is very cheap, and you can even use recycled materials like newspaper and cardboard to keep costs as low as possible.

Health

$100 – $300 per year

Chickens are fairly healthy animals, and you don’t have to spend a lot of money on health care. One of the most common problems they experience is mites which can drink your chicken’s blood and cause health problems. Your chickens may not lay eggs in these mite-infested nests, so you will need to eradicate them. Most poultry farmers recommend the use of the insecticide permethrin or diatomaceous earth. Your chickens may also catch a cold or other illness that requires occasional treatment.

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Inspection

$0 per year

Your chickens don’t need regular checkups from the vet, but you should often lift and check your birds, looking for signs of disease or insect infestation so you can get the help they need as soon as possible before the problem spreads to other chickens in your flock.

Vaccination

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$100 – $300

It is best to protect your chickens with vaccinations for Marek’s disease, chickenpox, Newcastle bronchitis and more to help your chickens live a long life. Many people wait until there is a plague on their farms, but it can be detrimental to your livestock. It is better to get vaccinated early to protect the birds.

Environmental Care

$50 – $100 per year

Your chicken coop needs very little maintenance every year. You will need to clean and change bedding frequently, as chickens produce a lot of droppings. We recommend soft pine shavings because they retain moisture and create a cleaner environment, but they can cost more than recycled materials like newspaper and cardboard which cost almost nothing. You may need to make some repairs to the cage if it’s a few years old to ensure predators can’t get in, and you may need to replace a light bulb or two if you use lighting.

Bedding $50/year
Cage maintenance $20/year
Lightning $10/year

Total Annual Chicken Raising Cost

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$200 – $400 per year

You can expect to pay between $200 – $400 to keep a small flock of chickens in a coop. The start-up costs can be high because you will need to purchase a cage. Your lack of experience can also cause you to lose birds that you won’t lose later, so you can expect replacement costs to be higher than you expected, but otherwise, you can raise chickens fairly cheaply.

Raising Chickens on a Budget

If you want to raise chickens on a budget, the best thing you can do is avoid special features like automatic coop doors that close and open at the right time each day. Instead, you have to manually open and close the cage every day, which means you have to get up and do it, even in winter. You can also save money by using recycled bedding such as newspaper, cardboard, and even lawn clippings if you have a large yard. These materials are not very absorbent, so you will need to replace them more often than other types, but they are practically free.

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Save Money on Chicken Care

Many owners try to avoid vaccinating their chickens until there is a problem, but a disease like Marek’s can infect your entire flock before you can react and leave you without the birds. It’s a good idea to talk to your local vet to see if there are any vaccinations you can avoid and which ones you should get.

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Conclusion

Raising chickens can be an overwhelming experience for both children and adults. It can also be very profitable once you know what you are doing, and the hens lay eggs consistently. It’s best to avoid taking too many shortcuts. Predators can break into cheap coops and take your chickens. Cheap bedding will force you to spend all your time cleaning the cage, and not vaccinating them can put them at risk for diseases that can kill your entire flock. Using higher quality materials is not much more expensive as it is more durable and saves you time.

We hope you enjoyed reading this guide and finding the answers you need. If we’ve helped you plan your chicken coop, please share this guide on how much it costs to raise chickens on Facebook and Twitter.

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Featured Image Credit: KRIemer, Pixabay