One of the most commonly asked questions we get is how much does it cost to raise and care for backyard chickens.
In this post we have broken it down in to stuff you need to buy to setup your urban backyard chicken farm and stuff you need or should budget for to care for your chickens
Backyard chicken stuff you need to buy at the start
Chickens – $3 to $30 depending on age, breed etc.
Chicken coop – $150 if you make your own up to $2000 for upmarket versions. Average around $500.
Incubator – $50-100 if you want the thrill of hatching your own eggs.
Brooder – if you want to raise chicks $50 to $100.
Feeders and waterers – $8 to $40.
Backyard chicken stuff you need to care for your chickens
-A chick will eat roughly 9-10 lbs of feed in it’s first 10 weeks.
-A mature, standard size chicken will eat approximately 5 lbs of feed per month, if allowed to free range, and an active laying hen, if confined to the coop, will need around 6 lbs of feed per month.
Backyard chicken food options
50lb bag of chick starter crumble $8-$18
Grower and “all flock” feed for older chickens will cost around $17.00 per 50 lbs bag layer pellets between $15.00 and $30.00 per 50 lbs bag, depending again on brand and whether you buy organic/regular.
Scratch grains cost around $10.00 per 50 lbs bag, between depending on availability and quality.
Wood shavings cost around $6.00 (.276 cubic meter loose and .092 cubic meters compressed).
Straw will cost you between $3.00 and $12.00 per bale, depending on availability, quality and size of order.
Sawdust pellets will cost around $4.00 per 40 lbs bag.
Other backyard chicken stuff
In addition to feed and bedding materials, add roughly $10.00 per month for miscellaneous extras, such as medicine, pest control, egg boxes etc.
Lets look at an example.
Jenny, her partner and their two your children have researched the idea of getting some backyard chickens by reading and decided to join the growing community of urban farmers by getting their own backyard chickens. Jenny wants the chickens for eggs and for a family of four will need at least three good laying hens. Jenny decides that she wants the children to enjoy the thrill of watching the eggs hatch and finds a local supplier. These cost her $10.
She purchases an incubator for $30, an Brinsea Ecoglow brooder for $80, an chicken coop for $400, and a feeder and waterers or $12. They have a good secure fenced yard so she doesn’t need to worry about fencing.
Once she has the incubator and brooder she gets her eggs delivered and puts them in the incubator.
While they are waiting excitedly for them to hatch she gets some food delivered by purchasing a bag of chick crumbles for $8, some bedding by purchasing some pine shavings for $6.
Now they are all set to go and welcome the new chicks into the world.
Jenny has spent a total of $546 and has enough supplies for the first few months in addition to some very excited kids (including the grown up variety) which is priceless.
Check out the following infographic on some of the other benefits.