When planning to enter the world of raising a flock, it’s normal to ask how much do chickens cost. The answer might be changing but having an estimate is good too. This way,
buyers can have an idea of what they should expect when they start buying and raising their chickens.
Things to Know Before Buying Chickens
The thought of buying and raising chicken could be very exciting, especially when you have anticipated it for the longest time. There are things that you need to keep in mind when starting the journey. To have the best experience in raising chickens, you need to have a plan rather than diving headfirst.
Your first purchase can either be an adult chicken or chicks. There is an apparent difference between the two. An adult chicken will, of course, cost more than chicks. On the other hand, chicks may be cheaper, but you won’t be able to tell apart the hens and the roosters.
Another thing about chicks is that you still need to raise them until they become an adult. And so, the process can be more challenging as you may have to face their phases as they grow up and risk them falling ill and dying. However, with the proper care and attention, do not worry, as your chicks will be fine.
Budget – First of all, you need to determine how much you would want to spend on your chicken purchase. How much is the allotted budget?
Breed – Next up is your priority breed. Before purchasing, it’s almost a non-negotiable that you have your dream breeds of chickens and those you want to accompany you in your first steps as a flock owner.
Price – After knowing the breed that you want to purchase, of course, the next thing to do is check its price. Does it fit your budget? If it does, then you are on your way to purchase yours. If it exceeds your budget, it’s still up to you whether you are willing to add up or go for your second choice that fits your budget.
Maths and probabilities – When you opt to purchase chicks, you won’t know whether they are a hen or a rooster. Thus, you may want to consider calculating whether you are up for the uncertainty of it. Maths also includes adding up the prices and estimating the cost of taking care of these chickens.
Chicken Price Range
The price of chickens can vary depending on a lot of aspects. Their age, size, sex, breed, and many more things can influence how they are priced. One of the significant factors is the breed. There are many breeds available in any poultry house or farm, wherever the location may be.
However, the breeds available may be limited as supplies in stores and farms depend on the public’s demand. So, when a buyer has a chicken breed in mind, it would be helpful to check the poultry farms nearby if they sell them. If not, you should calculate the amount to be spent if you need your chickens delivered or picked up in a different and farther location.
The type of chicken is most usually the first price of the chicken. Chicks are cheaper and range from about $1-$5. However, chicks are more delicate. So you need to exert extra effort and buy the necessary equipment to make sure they grow well and survive their childhood.
There are things you need when you purchase chicks like a brooder, heat lamp, and small dishes. This means there’s an additional necessary purchase to ensure their growth.
If you think you are not up for taking chicks, perhaps you would like to consider buying pullets. Pullets are young birds that are neither old chickens nor chicks. Most probably, they are chickens that are most likely to lay eggs soon.
Most often, the price range for these birds is $15-$25. They cost more, but then this is because you can skip the chick to pullet process. This way, you don’t have to wait for the chicks to grow to the age where they can lay eggs.
These are estimated as just the average and standard prices for shared and popular chicken breeds for flock owners. There are still a lot of considerations, including chicken breeds, that can determine a bird’s price.
For beginners, it’s always helpful to research the types of chickens you are recommended to raise. Gaining experience first before purchasing more expensive breeds is an advantageous move.
Chicken Breeds: Cheap or Pricey?
One of the significant factors when it comes to chicken pricing is the chicken’s breed. Chicken owners usually have their favorite breeds to raise. They can also have a collection of chicken breeds. Thus, the total money spent on chickens really depends on the owner’s preference and goals.
Here are some of the most purchased breeds and a rough estimate of their prices.
Australorps price can depend on their gender. The total cost can be $2.72 – $4.13 per 1-5 chickens. Australorps are also good layers, and many flock owners who raise chickens for eggs love them.
2. Rhode Island Red
This famous bird is also the official bird of Rhode Island. It costs about $2.62-$4.08 per 1 up to 5 chickens.
3. Buff Orpingtons
This breed is one of the recommended breeds to raise, especially for beginners. They cost about $2.61-$4.06 for every purchase of 5-14 chicks or chickens.
Leghorns are quite the celebrity in the chicken world. They are popular, and a considerable part of the population knows them. They cost $2.50-$4 per one to five chickens.
If you are opting for Sussex eggs, they cost about $10. Chicks and pullets are also priced differently, wherein chicks can cost $25 each while pullets at $50 each. This is on the list of the most expensive chicken breeds available in the market.
6. Ayam Cemani
This chicken breed is one of the most expensive breeds out there. This breed is even labeled as the Lamborghini of the chicken world because of its price. Another factor adding up to its price is the breed’s rarity. This chicken is prestigious. An Ayam Cemani chick can cost up to $50 each. A breeding pair costs even more than that. An Ayam Cemani breeding pair costs up to $5000 per pair!
While these chickens have an estimated price, it’s always relative. It means that factors like location, store, farm maintenance, equipment, etcetera can alter the costs of these chickens.
Preparing Things Before Bringing Your Chickens Home
When you plan on purchasing chickens, it’s always better to have all the necessary things prepared. This way, you would not have problems once you bring your chickens home. By then, things will all be in place, and the only thing that’s missing is the chickens. This also saves owners from the hassle of cramming the chicken space.
- Food – One of the basic things you need to prepare when raising chickens is the budget for their food. Chickens need to consume the right food with the right amount of nutrients to survive and be healthy. Thus, there should be food ready when you purchase your chickens. Feed is often available in bulk, so it would be helpful to buy in bulk. This also saves money spent on deliveries. Chicken feed will more or less cost about $30 per month. On the other hand, if you prefer non-GMO feed, it can range up to $150 per month.
- Feeder – You need a space where you can place their food. This would usually cost about $15. The more organized, the better. This way, both your flocks and you are not confused about where to get and put food. [27 DIY Chicken Feeder Ideas – You Can DIY This Weekend]
- Waterer – Water is essential. Chickens are easily dehydrated, and so they need a water supply almost at all times. A 5-gallon bucket hack usually costs $6. [10 Best Chicken Waterers]
- Bedding – Beddings are also necessary for chickens. They need to feel comfortable too. Beddings are pretty cheap as you can make your own.
- Brooder – This can also be personally built. You may spend money on some materials, but it’s relatively easy and cheap. [22 Free Chicken Brooder Plans You Can DIY Today]
These are just some of the things you need to prepare. It’s always safe to anticipate for more. It would be helpful to have a rough estimate of your possible spendings. This way, you are prepared and very much ready to go.
It also pays to have a trusted poultry farm where you can ensure transparency and honesty when it comes to your planned purchase. This is especially true if it’s your first time. Recommendations from flock owners will be a good start.
There is no fixed price to answer the question, “How much do chickens cost?” A number of factors can influence pricing. However, it’s good to have an estimate for the buyer to get their budget ready. The price range for these chickens may surprise you as it can be from $2 up to $5000!
Joseph Hudson has been raising chickens for over 15 years. In 2018, he completed the Agriculture & Natural Resources program at Mt. San Antonio College. He currently raises over 1400 chickens on his 7.5-hectare farm. He keeps sharing his experience on raising healthy and happy chickens on Chicken Scratch.