One of the most common questions people intent on rearing chickens often ask is how much the project will cost. All the chickens rearing preparations discussed above require an investment of money.
To understand the cost of keeping chickens, let’s start by looking at some of the basic expenses such as housing for your chickens.
Depending on where you live, the total cost of materials you need to build and furnish a chicken coop as well as a 20×5-foot chicken run, including fencing, wood, and hardware, is anywhere from $500 to $1000. If you’ll not be constructing the house by yourself you will need to spend more on skilled labor. Of course, you can buy a pre-built chicken coop and save a lot of hassle.
Expect the total cost of building the coop to be anywhere from $500 to $10,000 or even more depending on the number of chickens you want to keep and the size and quality of your chicken coop and run. Housing costs are variable depending on the price of building materials in your location but the good thing is that these are one-time costs.
You also have the option to renovate an old shed or a corner barn, if you have one, into a chicken coop. This will significantly reduce your housing costs. Alternatively, you can save money by purchasing a pre-built structure especially if you have just a few chickens, to begin with. Keep in mind that there are other additional costs such as coop furnishings, waterers, feed lines, and nest boxes. These items won’t cost you much if you shop smart.
The next significant cost in your chickens project is buying the actual chickens. Fortunately, you won’t necessarily need to break the bank to buy chickens unless you intend to raise those pricey and rare breeds of chickens. An adult hen costs just a few dollars more than chick breeds but it will already be a good egg layer. Fancy chicken breeds kept for ornamental purposes or as pets cost a little bit more depending on the breed. Expect to spend anywhere from $3 to $12 per bird, give or take. You might find a second-hand local deal for less, or pay more for a breeder with papers.