Chickens cost per year?
I was wondering how much money do chickens cost per year. For food hay and vet checks. My family doesn't know how much money it will take for this stuff.
Also, include the cost of a chicken coop, waterer and a fence because we are planing to have free range chickens during the day.
I am going to answer your question from the most economical way of starting out with chickens.
First, lets get the vet issue out of the way. If you will practice good sanitary methods keeping everything clean(chicken coop, waterers, feeders and chicken pen), you will for the most part never visit a vet.
Most people who raise chickens are checking on them at least once a day, and are aware of any changes in their behavior. If you find that you have a chicken that is sick, it will need to be separated from the flock and properly disposed of.
This may sound cruel but when a disease hits your flock it will usually wipe out all of your chickens. I am not trying to discourage you, if you keep things sanitary 95% of the time you will be fine.
The amount of feed your chickens will eat will depend on the breed(s) you choose. Also, I noticed you said you would be free ranging during the day.
I to free range my birds, I have 12 birds(several different breeds) and they go through a 50 pound bag of feed every 4 to 5 weeks. I purchase my feed from tractor supply and it runs about $11.00 per bag.
I think you mentioned in your last question that you wanted to
purchase one hen and a rooster.
Keep in mind if you are not going to raise fertile eggs for hatching you do not need a rooster for your hen to lay eggs. In your coop you should provide at least 4 to 5 square feet per chicken.
Since, You are only interested in a couple of birds I would suggest you build a chicken tractor. Check out the one we have featured on this web site. I spent $175.00 for all the material and built it over the weekend.
There are cheaper ways to get started, especially if you can find salvage lumber. Even though you are wanting only 2 birds now, build something a little larger, because you will probably want to add more birds later. Bedding:
Using pine shavings or hay for 2 to 4 chickens will be very minimal. Maybe costing you 3 to 4 dollars a month.
Water and feeder:
I just purchased a 3 gallon waterer for $7.50 and a 10lb. feeder for $15.00 dollars at tractor supply. Again if this is out of your budget you can make your own.
By using a chicken tractor you have your chicken run and coop right together.
I have seen people plan out every thing they need to start their own flock and patiently acquire these things over time for free. I think you need to look at what resources you have and figure it out.
Once you get your initial expenses paid for, the cost of raising chickens is very reasonable. Besides, they are one of the only pets that give back. Don't forget about all those fresh eggs.
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