The Surprising Cost Of Raising Chickens for Eggs
By Tom Seest
At BackyardChickenNews, we help people who want to raise backyard chickens by collating information and news blended with our own personal experiences.
If you’re thinking of raising chickens for eggs, you’ll first need to figure out how much it’ll cost. There are a variety of different factors you should consider, including the breeds of chickens that lay eggs and the cost of feed. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the different factors involved in keeping a flock of chickens.
Table Of Contents
Besides the initial cost of a chicken coop, raising chickens for eggs can also involve maintaining sanitary conditions for your flock. An average size hen consumes about 3/4 cup of chicken feed per day. Free-range flocks will consume less feed. Keeping sanitary conditions is a key factor in keeping chickens healthy and happy.
A flock of four hens can cost about $346 per year. This cost does not include the cost of a hen house and the time required to grow the chickens to a marketable size. In year two, the cost of keeping four hens drops to $210 and $208 per year. After two years, the price of raising a flock of chickens is comparable to the cost of buying chickens at the grocery store.
Feeding your chickens requires a regular budget of $15 per month. Free-range chickens may require less feed, but organic and medicated feeds are expensive. Chickens also require a regular supply of water, grit, and bedding. A chicken’s diet should consist primarily of layer feed.
A backyard flock of chickens can produce between five and ten dozen eggs a week. A moderate-laying breed can lay as many as 12 eggs per week. However, a commercial hen may be induced to lay more eggs. Egg-laying rates decline as the hens molt or when the days are shorter during winter.
Chickens are social animals and need companionship to produce eggs. Having another chicken nearby is important for their survival and will ensure your flock’s health. You may also have to keep an eye on your chickens for fear that they will be snatched by neighborhood cats. Furthermore, chickens are prone to random illnesses. Moreover, baby chicks cost approximately $3 to $5 each and will need constant attention. They will also take time to produce edible eggs.
If you have the time and resources, raising chickens for eggs can be an enjoyable project. However, it may not be for everyone. Aside from providing food, chickens can also bring money if you decide to sell your eggs. And the eggs are more nutritious and tastier than those purchased at the grocery store.
Feed costs when raising chickens for eggs can vary depending on the breed. A good guideline is a quarter pound per bird per day. If you are looking to save money on the cost of raising chickens, choose a breed that forages for its food and requires minimal care.
Aside from food, you’ll need to purchase supplies for the chickens. Purchasing feed, water bowls, grit, bedding, lighting, and other supplies will add to the recurring costs. It’s also important to make sure that you buy quality supplies to avoid costly vet bills. The best supplies will help your chickens stay happy and lay better-tasting eggs.
Commercial chicken feed consists mainly of grains, additives, and protein sources. It’s often sold in pellet form, which minimizes mess and spoilage. A fifty-pound bag can cost between $10 and $35. If you’re feeding several chickens each day, the cost may be significantly less.
The cost of feeding chickens varies depending on the breed you choose and its life stage. Chick starter feed is the most expensive, while layer and broiler feeds cost less. Basic chicken feed costs between 10 and 15 cents per day. Organic feed, on the other hand, can cost up to $50 per bird.
Feed costs when raising chickens for eggs can be a significant part of the cost of raising your own flock. But there are other advantages to raising chickens. Aside from saving money, keeping a flock of chickens will improve your food quality. The eggs you produce will be far superior to those found in a grocery store.
For a small investment, heritage breed hens can lay eggs for up to 20 weeks. However, hybrid hens stop laying after their second year. If you want a healthy flock, you should choose a breed that produces eggs in a larger amount. Then, you can sell your surplus eggs or use them in stews.
Feed costs when raising chickens for eggs can be extremely affordable if you choose to sell the eggs. If you’re concerned about the environment, you can even sell your chicken’s waste as compost, saving you money on fertilizer and compost. If you don’t need eggs, you can sell the eggs and use the meat for other purposes.
There are a number of breeds of chickens that are great egg layers. The Red Sex Link and the Plymouth Rock are both excellent breeds for backyard egg production. The Red Sex Link is a popular hybrid breed and is known for laying hundreds of eggs per year. The Plymouth Rock is another hardy breed that is good for egg production and a good forager. The dark-colored Australorp is another good egg layer. It is also very cold-hardy and has excellent foraging ability.
Leghorn chickens are another breed of chickens that produce large white eggs. This breed is a popular choice and comes in a variety of colors. However, white Leghorn hens lay the largest eggs. These chickens are considered excellent egg layers and can produce 300 to 350 eggs a year.
Rhode Island Red chickens are another good choice. These chickens can produce over 150 eggs per year and are great pets for kids. They are best kept in a confined environment but are also very good free-range poultry. They are very easy to care for and are quite cold-hardy.
Ancona chickens are a popular breed in the UK. These chickens are not very aggressive and tend to lay around two hundred eggs per year. Because they are very cooperative and don’t mind small areas, they’re a good choice for backyard chickens. Unlike the Ancona, these birds don’t see very well, but they make excellent pets and backyard chickens.
Another breed that is good for egg-laying is the Plymouth Rock chicken. These chickens are small to medium in size. They have a brown shell and can lay more than 200 eggs per year. They are also easy to raise and are gentle. The Plymouth Rock also has a good temperament and can lay up to four eggs a week.
Red Sex-Link chickens are an excellent egg producer. Red Sex-Links lay up to 300 eggs per year. These chickens aren’t native to North America but are imported from Asia. They are known for their striking appearance.
Keeping chickens as pets is a fun and low-cost hobby. They not only provide a source of fresh eggs, but they can also provide food and entertainment. While chickens are expensive to purchase, the expenses associated with raising and caring for them are relatively inexpensive once you buy all of the supplies you need. Chickens can also provide a great deal of entertainment to your children, making them an excellent choice for a family with children.
The primary costs associated with keeping chickens as pets are food and bedding, but you may also want to consider veterinary costs as well. On average, it costs about $15 to $30 a month to care for a single chicken, which can cost anywhere from $10 to $30. While chickens can be low-maintenance pets, they do require special housing and are vulnerable to predators.
Chickens are social flock animals. They get along well with humans and enjoy petting. While chickens are typically non-aggressive, they can scratch and peck if threatened. Therefore, you must ensure that you provide proper care for your flock at all times. A designated caretaker must be available at all times to monitor the chickens while you are away.
One of the major costs of raising chickens as pets is the special permit that is needed. Chickens need adequate exercise. They should have sufficient space to roam but should not be crowded. You may want to invest in chicken toys to keep them entertained and moving. Although this may cost you more money upfront, it will be worth it in the long run.
Aside from feed and water, chickens need a safe place to stay during the night. You will also need a coop for them to protect them from predators. They can also dig under fences and walls, which means you should build a fence around the coop to keep them safe. Also, it’s essential to protect your flock from neighborhood dogs and free-roaming cats.
Feeding your chickens can add up quickly – one pound of chicken feed per day costs around $0.15 per pound. You can also supplement their diet by feeding them table scraps. The cost of raising chickens as pets is not that high compared to other types of pets.
Be sure to read our other related stories at BackyardChickenNews to learn more about raising chickens in your backyard.