Wondering what it costs to raise chickens? Here is a rough estimate of what you can expect from monthly to one-time expenses for six chickens.
- Purchasing the Chicks
For typical/common birds, chicks cost about $3 a piece. Barred rocks, Rhode Island reds, and Easter eggers are great options at this price.
- Chicken Coop
Six chickens need a 90 square foot coop which on average cost about $400
You can get one of the cheap 5-quart hanging waterers for $15 but you will have to refill it every day.
A 10-pound hanging plastic feeder costs $30.
All of these items can range so much in price depending on what fits your budget. The items in this breakdown are ones that are the most affordable but don’t lack in functionality. You can spend much more than this if you want automatic feeders and waterers to make your daily chicken chores easier.
Chickens that live in a small yard go through feed quickly. For six chickens you should budget $75 a month for food. If your chickens can free range and forage, your feed bill will be significantly lower. My chickens have a few acres to feed off of and our feed bill for the month is $15. You can lower your feed bill by giving your chickens produce you have they may be starting to turn bad. Chickens love watermelon, tomatoes, grains like bread and chips. If you have bread or tortillas that are stale, give them to your chickens. This cuts back on food waste but helps your chicken feed bill.
I like to use flake pine shavings. A bag costs about $6 and that lasts the month.
With the cost of chicken meat and egg prices on the consistent rise, having your own herd so you don’t have to worry about what the store prices are is such a wonderful asset to have. The upfront cost of chickens can be spendy, but once you get going and you can incubate your own eggs to make more chickens, and grow your own meat and eggs, the benefits begin to overcome the initial cost.
For the monthly expenses, you are looking at around $80 a month for six enclosure chickens.