How much does it cost to feed chickens per day??? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I may have a chance to get three or four chickens who have just begun laying. Husband wants to know how much it costs to feed them per day and per week. I have tried to balance it out with him saying he would get one-to-four eggs per day in return but he has money on his mind.

I already have their little house almost ready and a nesting box with places for several chickens.

-- Suzy in 'Bama (, November 02, 2000


I have 13 hens and 1 rooster. We go through 1 50lb bag of layer pellets a month. The price around here is 6.95 per bag. Also, right now I'm getting 2 to 4 eggs a day. But they taste so much better I can't wait for spring. annette

-- annette (, November 02, 2000.

Suzy, as far south as you are, the chickens will be able to do quite a bit of foraging even through the winter. Plus you can feed them scraps from the kitchen, stored vegetables and fruits that are going bad, etc. I'd say a sack of cracked corn would last you most of the month. I don't know what that would cost where you are. You'd need to keep an eye on them and make sure they're getting enough to eat, and increase or decrease the grain accordingly. You can go completely with a commercial pellet or mash, or just give the commercial feed in addition to plain grain.

Do remember that egg production will naturally taper off during the winter season. You can overcome that by using the commercial feeds and putting a light in their coop. Remind your husband that they'll eat a lot of insects and even small rodents. That's worth quite a bit to me. Gerbil

-- Gerbil (, November 02, 2000.

Suzy, the chickens are the only animal on our farm that do pay for their own feed, we have about 35. You could get a few more, and sell the extras, we get a dollar a dozen, but we are in the sticks where everyone has chickens. In the city, like Cleveland, I get 1.50 to 1.75 a dozen, when I send extras home with Mom to sell there. Be sure to feed them lots of fresh greens and you will save a bundle on your feed, mine eat a 5 gallon bucket full every day. Use a timer to provide 14 hours of "daylight" and you will not get much drop off of egg production. Hope you get your chickens! Annie in SE OH.

-- Annie Miller (, November 02, 2000.

I have 13 hens. I feed them kitchen scraps, scratch (combination wheat berries and cracked corn) and some layer crumbles. I spend anywhere from 6 to 7 dollars a month on feed. I am still getting 6 to 8 eggs a day although that will slow down as the days get shorter and it gets colder. I sell more than enough at $2 a dozen to pay for the feed. Have lots to give away and more than we can eat. Even the dog gets some now and then!

-- bwilliams (, November 02, 2000.

Suzy, You didn't say what kind of chickens you were talking about. I have banties. They eat practly nothing. The eggs are small but so much better than anything you could find in a store. Mine eat maybe 50 pounds of corn chops per month. ($5.00 ) I have about 25-26? If you can let them run around the yard during the day they will be healthier and happier.And it cost a lot less to feed them that way. Also almost any food scraps from the house.Ours clean up the dog food too. You will love them. They are so much fun to watch. Good luck with the chickens and the husband.

-- Bonnie (, November 02, 2000.

bwilliams, how do you get folks to pay so much for the eggs, some folks complain about the dollar I charge, I guess because we're pretty much in an area that has cheap prices on most everthing else! Wow, wish I could get 2.00 a dozen! Annie in SE OH.

-- Annie Miller (, November 02, 2000.

Not sure how much it costs to feed my chickens because I have several types of poultry, but if yours have just started laying because they were born in the spring, they will lay all winter and probably through the summer before moulting next fall. Hopefully by spring your husband will be convinced, and you can get a few more "spring chicks" that will lay through next winter.

-- Teresa in TN (, November 03, 2000.

Annie, my husband sells them in the "big" city where he works where people do not have access to farm fresh eggs. Also they know I don't use any antibiotics or hormones on my chickens and that they are not "factory farm" chickens. The grocery stores here charge $4 a dozen for organic eggs so that is really a good buy and they know it. If I tried to sell them around here where I live, I'd probably be doing good to get $1 a dozen!

-- bwilliams (, November 03, 2000.

A lot of city people are not aware of the colored eggs, I've wondered what kind of profit you could get if you had the pretty colors & sold them as organic eggs in health stores. But then maybe there are gov. regulations just as there are with milk & meat???

-- Lenore (, November 03, 2000.

I have had as many as 50 chickens, when the feed bill was up to $6-8 a week. I gave away eggs then to friends, clients and neighbors.

I now have only 8 hens in a portable coop I move to new grass every day. They get Purina Layena Pellets, grit, and scratch. They also get scraps from the kitchen and garden. Much cheaper and cost effective for me. One bag of pellets lasts me a good month or so. I get 5-7 eggs a day now. I believe fresh clean water and high quality pellets help me keep them healthy. I also give them herbs (comfrey, mullein, parsley, echinacea, etc.) fresh from the garden even now. I am in WV.

I will never have chickens in a fixed pen again, since I find that the ones in the movable coop are much more productive and healthier. I have never had a serious outbreak of anything, though. I do not use wormers (other than pumpkin seeds) or antibiotics.

Good luck.

-- Anne (, November 03, 2000.

Suzy, With the concentration of egg farms here in North Alabama, you will find that the cost of raising your own and buying from the area stores or local egg farms such as Ceder Creek to be about the same ( 65 to 85 cents a dozen). Of course if you want to do it, just tell your husband the costs are practically the same and the eggs are homegrown fun.

-- Jay Blair (, November 04, 2000.

Hi Suzy, I would say get the chickens by all means. I knew I liked chickens but never knew how much I would enjoy raising the little ones. We were given 6 hens also, and a few Easter rejects, plus some fancy ones my granddaughters in town raised for a while, so we have a real mixture. They are free range chickens with a great coop set up they can come and go at will. Someone mentioned water and that is very important, as much as 1/2 cup per chicken per day. If they are to be penned, provide gravel, oyster shell and a small amount now and then of salt. Do not over do the salt thing. Everyone needs a hobby and what better one could there be? Good luck. Maureen

-- Maureen Stevenson (, November 05, 2000.

Chickens cost just a few cents each day. Provide food water shelter and light in the winter. No shelter...try stacked hay or straw with a lid (to keep them in) place it in your garden. then everyday feed your chicks normal food plus kitchen scraps bed with leaves or wood shavings keep adding beding to keep them clean and dry. now in the spring you have chickens , eggs, maybe chicks, and a compost pile ready for and in the garden.

-- GregSanderson (, November 05, 2000.

Our girls (26 hens) go thru 100lbs. ($10.22) every 3 weeks. They get to 'clean' up the garden, get scraps etc., which helps alot. We sell the eggs for $1 a doz., also helps pay the feed bill. Those who buy from us know we do not use chemicals, they free range & are housed at night. Hope you do get them soon.

-- Phyllis (, November 05, 2000.

I have a few hens and sell the extra eggs for $1.25 to friends, $1.50 to locals and $2.00 if I have to drag them into the city. I have a long waiting list this time of year.

My eggs are from naturally raised, free range hens - no cages, no hormones or antibiotics. My hens are naturally healthy because they get fresh air, sunshine, green grass and, except for table scraps, a vegetarian diet - no animal byproducts. The eggs are brown with deep orange yolks that stand up tall and thick whites that whip up higher than any egg from the supermarket.

If this sounds like an advertisement, it is. You see, people who are looking to buy eggs don't have chickens, so your competition is the grocery store. If folks are looking for farm-fresh eggs, they probably already know that grocery-store eggs are lame and polluted. If they don't, a sign outlining the above qualities of your eggs will enlighten them. If they won't pay for a superior quality egg, then sell your extra hens and just produce enough eggs to supply those who truly appreciate them. Either way, if you take quality into consideration, you're financially way ahead with your own chickens.

Just my $2.00. ;)

-- Laura Jesnen (, November 06, 2000.

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