How much does it cost to raise backyard chickens? So your kids (or spouse) talked you into chickens. Now, one of the first
questions that came up was probably: "How much is this going to cost?" The good news is chickens are really not
that expensive to keep and there are lots of ways to cut costs and save money. This article will give you an idea of how much
you can expect to fork out for the chickens and their basic needs, as well as some ongoing costs. Let's say your starting
small, with only 3 hens. The approximate costs would be: Chickens: $3.00 to $30.00 per chicken depending on breed and age.
Coop: $50.00 (secondhand/recycled) to $600.00 (new) Feed approximately $15.00 per month. Miscellaneous $10.00 per month. **Please
note: that all prices listed here are estimates only and can vary greatly from state to state, between cities and towns etc.
So shop around for the best prices before buying, especially with ongoing expenses such as feed. All prices listed are US$.
BUYING CHICKENS **Tip: Starting with small chicks instead of buying mature chickens can save you quite a bit of money, though
the downside is you will have to wait 5-6 months for eggs. I once calculated that if I bought day-old chicks instead of POL
hens from a breeder, I would've spent half the money I paid for those pullets! If you decide to raise your own chicks you
can expect to pay $3.00 and $5.00 per chick (day-old) for popular breeds and for rare breeds you can expect to pay up to $50.00
or more per chick. Older chicks and mature chickens' prices vary greatly between breeds, age of the chickens etc. Expect to
pay $20.00 and $50.00 for a pullet and $5.00 to $15.00 per rooster. **Tip: Unwanted roosters are often offered "free
to good homes", so if you're not fussy about the breed/quality and want to get a rooster for your flock, keep an eye
out for Free Re-Homing adverts. HOUSING YOUR FLOCK If you decide to raise chicks you will need a brooder for them. A basic
pre-made brooder will cost you between $75.00 and $100.00. Most chicken owners build their own or improvise brooders out of
a large range of items. Old rubber maid tubs, crates, packing cases etc will serve you well for a small number of chicks.
(Make sure you allow enough space - ideally at least 1 sq foot per chick - for the little guys as they will need to stay in
there for around 6 weeks, unless the weather is really mild and you can move them to the coop sooner.) You can also build
your brooder out of recycled materials.
As a chicken farmer noobie much thought and research has went into finding out what breeds of chickens will be best suited
for the intended purpose and the area that I live in. This guide was intended for people that don't know much about chicken
breeds and will help them narrow down what options there are to fill their needs. When it comes to chickens there are many
options that are available, and some are rather important to keep in mind when selecting a breed because this could mean the
difference between a happy health flock and a stressed, non productive, and illness stricken flock. There are several things
to consider when choosing a breed for your backyard farm and they include the following: Climatic Hardiness Rooster Vs. Hen
Egg Production Meat Production Foraging Capability Predator Awareness Handling Ability and Flightiness Broodiness Ornamentablity
Climatic Hardiness This is probably the most important factor to consider when determining what breed of chicken is right
for you. Climatic hardiness is the simple question of can this bird survive the temperature of my area without being placed
under more than usual stresses. For instance, if you lived in Alaska and you know that temperatures get down into the -20's
or -30's you wouldn't want to buy a Naked Neck breed . Another example, is if you lived in Southern Texas and the temperatures
get well above 100 degrees you wouldn't want to buy a Brahman that has feathered legs. These options are often an issue for
owners that live in areas with extreme temperature swings but some areas are lucky enough that there mild temperatures allow
for a more diverse flock. There are several adaptations that chickens have developed in order to cope with various temperatures
swings. Some examples include comb and wattle type, body size, feather color, and leg feathers. These options are important
because they could determine whether your flock thrives or dies. Rooster Vs. Hen The sex of a bird is usually not a question
to most owners as they hands down prefer hens over roosters. There are a couple reasons for this as roosters don't lay eggs
well (Joke- Non at all!), they are also noisy, and love to fight amongst themselves for competition to see who can rule over
the females. The hens however are very functional by themselves as they don't need their counterpart in order to lay eggs,
become surrogate mothers for chicks , and may be used as meat birds after they become older. Roosters do have some uses and
don't always have to be a burden to flock owners. For instance, there would be no chickens if it weren't for them as they
are needed to produce viable fertilized eggs. They are also great protectors of their hens in a flock and will lay their life
down as a protector. They are also loved in poultry shows as a result of their brilliant colors and essence of proudness.
It is best to limit the number of roosters that are designated to each flock as they have a tendency to fight over hens. Lets
face it, some chickens are just better egg layers than others and this is a major factor to consider when choosing a breed.
For me an abundance of eggs is one of the most important reasons to have a backyard flock. However, if you do not choose the
correct breed you could be out of luck when it comes to having a multitude of eggs. Over the centuries there have been many
breeds of chickens that have been genetically selected and bred for there ability to produce eggs almost on a daily basis,
and others not so much, as they are intended for other purposes. There is much debate as to which breed is the best layers
and everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Two of my favorites are the Rhode Island Red and the Austrolorpe .
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