[sg_popup id=”2″ event=”onload”][/sg_popup]What Does It Really Cost To Raise Chickens
This morning, during my daily check of Pinterest, I came across a Pin that was explaining the expected cost of backyard chickens. I checked this out because I frequently find tips that I use on a regular basis with my own flock. However, I was extremely disappointed at the lack of/dated information and sometimes bold lies!
They had the expenses for starting your flock. Brooder requirements, the chicks themselves, feed, and coop costs. These seemed pretty on point. Then they gave the estimated amount of eggs vs. cost of eggs purchased at the store. This was a bit laughable.
Depending on your breed, the time of year, if you light your coop etc. you may get 4-7 eggs per bird per week. They had the cost of store bought eggs at $1.25 a dozen! I don’t remember the last time I found eggs (even the standard caged white eggs) for $1.25. Currently I’m finding them for $2.75-$3.00.
After laughing at this a bit, I moved on to the next section of this post. Annual expenses. I was completely floored. The cost of feed seemed about right, again depending on whether your flock free ranges during the months without snow, which mine do, my flock of 15 go through a 50 lb. bag of feed every 3 weeks for $15 a bag. Then we had the bedding… $10 for straw annually!
Wow! Are these urban chicken farmers growing straw in their backyards! Or are the poor birds only having their bedding changed once a year with no new bedding added to the soiled bedding?
Another shocking expense missing was… everything else! Yes chickens are fairly easy to maintain but they do have their needs. So what about injuries that need to be taken care of, or calcium if your eggs aren’t coming out with the hard shells that these urbanites are looking for, or maybe some scratch to help them through the winter, or cleaning supplies for that coop that will surely need a scrub down after a year with no new bedding?
Thankfully my husband and I are able to sell some of our extras which helps to cover a few expenses but by no means does this mean that we are coming out with extra spending money. As soon as I saw this post I could hear my dads voice in my head with one of his many lectures (all extremely useful btw) on the reality of finances and expenses.
Point being, I couldn’t imagine not having our chickens. They will give you plenty of entertainment, delicious eggs and (if you do it the way we do) amazing Sunday dinners.
However, they are not cheap or profitable with a small flock, nor are they as easy as putting a coop in the back yard and collecting your breakfast every morning.
Looking to raise dual purpose chickens like us? Grab a copy of Dual Purpose Chickens: Raise ‘Em Like Your Grandma Did for tips from brooder box to butchering!