Thinking about starting your own backyard flock?
The good news is that it's not expensive to buy baby chicks, and it doesn't cost a lot to raise them either.
It's certainly not a lot of money for all the fun you’ll have, and of course, the eggs your chickens will produce.
So, how much do baby chicks cost? Here's a look using one of the largest online hatcheries:
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How Much Do Baby Chicks Cost?
As I'm sure you'll understand, the price of baby chicks can vary a lot depending on the breed, where you're buying from, and some other variables.
To give you a ballpark figure, the average cost of baby chicks and some other poultry are:
- Baby chicks - ~$2-$5/ea
- Hatching eggs - ~$3-$7/ea
- Grown chickens - ~$50-$100/ea
As I said, prices can vary. Some rare heritage breeds of chicken can cost hundreds, even thousands.
Where to Buy Baby Chicks and Actual Prices
You may find a local hatchery near you where you can pick up some chicks, but most people buy from online hatcheries.
Online hatcheries have the lowest prices, and they can typically ship out baby chicks, hatching eggs, or grown chickens pretty quickly - plus they have a much wider range to choose from.
How Many Baby Chicks Should I Start With?
Now that you know how much baby chicks cost, you might be wondering how many you should start with.
The answer to this question really depends on what your goals are for your flock.
Are you looking to produce eggs? Meat? Or just have some backyard chickens for fun?
If you're looking to produce eggs, then a good starting point is to get three hens.
Something to be aware of is that chickens lay eggs whether you have a rooster or not, so you don't need a rooster unless you want baby chicks.
If you're looking to raise chickens for meat, then you'll obviously need more than three.
The amount will depend on how much meat you want to produce and how often you want to harvest.
A good starting point is six chickens, but again, it all depends on your goals.
An important thing to keep in mind is that chickens are social animals, it's a case of the more the merrier.
At the least, you should have three chickens. This is enough for them to keep each other company and they'll be better for it.
Is It Expensive to Own Chickens?
The short answer is no, it's not expensive to own chickens.
Of course, there are some costs associated with raising chickens such as feed and housing.
But these costs are relatively low and certainly won't break the bank.
Plus, when you take into account the eggs your chickens end up providing, whether you sell them or eat them, you might end up making a profit!
To give you an idea of how much it costs to raise chickens, here's a quick breakdown of the main expenses:
- Chick feed - $20-$30/50lbs
- Chicken coop - $100-$200
- Chicken wire - $50-$100
These are just some of the main costs associated with raising chickens. As you can see, it’s not expensive.
Of course, there are other costs such as chicken vaccines and medicines, but these are optional and not always necessary.
So, you could be looking at baby chicks costing around $10-$15 for a flock of five, and around $200 to set up a secure chicken coop.
As you can see, it's not expensive to own chickens and they make great pets!
Now you know how much baby chicks cost, where to buy them, and what to expect when owning chickens.
So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start your own flock today!
I might be biased, but I think that raising chickens is one of the most rewarding experiences that doesn't come with a huge price tag.
Image credits - Photo by Osman Kahraman on Unsplash