Cost of Chickens? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I have found out a few folks who have chickens in my general area, though I haven't directly contacted them yet. I'm looking to get a few birds (laying hens only) as I've noted in previous related posts. How much should I expect to pay for an adult bird, assuming of course I can find anyone who wants to part with one? I'd rather not start with chicks mainly because of the minimum amount requirement (30 I believe) from some of the mail order hatcheries. As I'm in suburbia and will be for at least a year or so I wouldn't dare attempt to have more than say a half dozen birds. Thanks for any and all input!

-- Bob Johnson (, February 11, 2001


A lot of variables here, such as breed and age. I would think $8- $12 for a large, young laying hen would be fair. Don't overlook raising extra for your freezer or Sunday chicken stew eventually.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, February 11, 2001.

If you must start with chicks check your local feed stores often you can buy as many of few as you would like . Do you have a Quality Farm and Country , country general , quality farm and fleet ,county post or a fisco store near by ? They will sell smaller amounts of chicks

-- Patty {NY State} (, February 11, 2001.

In the above post all companies named are the same company with the possible exception of fico.

In my area $1.59 per bird, day old, female. Breed and type not specified. No minimum or maximum.

-- Ed Copp (OH) (, February 11, 2001.

Last chickens I bought I paid $5 for 12 hens. They are on their 2nd year and the lady I got them from had too many chickens and these were pecked and pathetic looking. After a month of recovering they are beautiful chickens. I'm getting 5-7 eggs a day out of 11 hens (one froze to death)and I expect to get more once the days get a bit longer. When I have bought adult birds I have never paid over $5 a piece for them. To me if you pay over this the birds will never be able to produce enough eggs to pay for themselves. I've seen some chickens priced as high as $25-30! I guess someone would pay that...I wouldn't.

-- Amanda in Mo (, February 11, 2001.

Yes the stores are all owned by the same parent company but go under other names .

-- Patty {NY State} (, February 11, 2001.

I've seen your pictures on the picture page and noticed that you're a gardener (cute greenhouse!), so maybe you can do some trading for some chicks or young birds. Do you have a couple extra tomato plants or pepper plants you've started that you can give to your chicken- raising-neighbors when you go meet them? I'll bet if you brought them some and asked about their chickens, remarking that you're in the market for some, the conversation could get around to swapping. If you can't find a willing swap partner, you'll atleast come away with a few tips.

Here's another thought: I'd say, buying a half dozen hens as adults will be more costly than ordering 25 chicks from a hatchery. If you can't find a feed store where you can buy just a few, I'd go ahead and order those chicks and give the extras to the people in your area who are raising chickens. What better way to get to know them?! I'd love it if a previously-unknown-to-me neighbor came over bearing gifts and the only thing he wanted in return was to pick my brain about my chickens and let me show them off! ;-)

-- Wingnut (, February 11, 2001.

Since I really love to raise chicks and like the idea of knowing how my little egg layers are raised, I would go with Wingnut's idea. Or, like Ken said, get the minimum number of straight run and put the extras in the freezer. Then you know where your egg layers and your freezer chicken came from.

-- diane (, February 11, 2001.

Bob: I think Privett Hatchery will sell you any amount, no minimum order. Its listed in rogo's list of hatcheries.

-- john leake (, February 11, 2001.

Hi Bob! I am getting ready to order a straight run assortment of 50 day olds. I can get them delivered to my post office for about $26.00. Though that is a lot of chickens for us, I plan on trading, freezing or selling about thirty of them, when they are 3-4 months old. That way, the twenty I keep and the cost to feed them will be paid for. Raising them is not that difficult and it is the cheapest way to have poultry. Sincerely, Ernest

-- Ernest In The Missouri Ozarks (, February 11, 2001.

Hi Bob I have a couple of ideas. Some feed stores and pet supply places in my area have day old and a bit older chicks for indivdual purchase. Also maybe you could add your chicks in with a neighbor or friends order to avoid the min. I would just ask around. When i was first starting out the feed mill put my order with some other to let me avoid buying 30 at one time. I had a very small place and fussy neighbor's.

-- Shau Marie (, February 11, 2001.

Most hatcheries ask that you order 25 chicks so the chicks will bunch together to keep warm in transit, but there are several hatcheries that don't have a minimum of chicks to order. If you only want a few, I would suggest you wait until the weather is warmer to lessen the chance of deaths. My feed store will order as many ~ or few ~ as a customer wants, but I've never bought birds there.

I remember seeing one hatchery that sells adult birds, but the cost of mailing adults could cost more than what you paid for the birds! Check with the post office.

-- ~Rogo (, February 12, 2001.

I'm fixin' to order some turkey poults shortly. Have made an arrangement with a local guy who raises his own poultry to raise them for me until they are feathered out nicely. He will only charge me for the feed and a bit extra for his time. I may also buy some juvenile hens from him.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, February 12, 2001.

I wouldn't pay over 5.00 for an adult hen either. We can buy 1/2 grown hens for 3.00 at the swap meet, or from people who raise them. Chicks are from 1.00 to 1.50 usually. At least 2.00 when they are big enough to not be under the heat lamp. I know young adult hens cost more than 5.00 to raise up, but that's just what the prices are around here. People try to sell them for 7 to 8 dollars, but most won't pay that much. I can sell hens all day long for 5.00, but wouldn't sell any at 7.00. If someone buys like 10 or 20 then I will give them a bit of a break. Same on chicks.

-- Cindy in Ky (, February 12, 2001.

Hi Bob.. I just bought 2 year old layers for $5 each and these are nice large laying hens. I intend on raising chicks from these for the freezer. About around Easter the feed stores will have chicks and they usually go for about 75-99 cents each, and I may just buy a few and raise them in an old playpen.

-- Lynn(MO) (, February 12, 2001.

We bought 1/2 grown (I think 5 month old) package deal for $10 from a neighbor lady. It was 2 hens and a rooster.

-- Maylene (, February 12, 2001.

Be careful of putting grown chickens together that don't know each other. They will fight and you could have a dead one or two. When I bring in a strange bird I have to put it in a cage in the coop with the others for a couple of days to eye ball each other. Even with that they will have a go around to establish the new pecking order but usually no one will get hurt. If you buy mature birds I would suggest buying them all from the same person so that they already know each other.

-- cindy palmer (, February 13, 2001.

Bob, you can't necessarily go by the prices of adult birds that some of these folks are paying. Geography changes the price. It also matters whether it's something larger like the Rhode Island Red, or small like the Cochin and Silkie. Feed stores have adults, but they're usually roosters! Wouldn't hurt to check, tho :-)

-- ~Rogo (, February 13, 2001.

Bob Ilike the pictures you posted, the advantages of a warm climate.We have a small chicken farm (smaller scale because of Canadian Marketing Boards)but every time we ship chickens (eevery 10 weeks)there are usually 50 - 80 runts (8 wks old) left over. These birds are perfectly fine but were kept from getting as much feed as the other birds (due to pecking order). We always give them to neighbours, who then raise them up as long as they want. We also have to clean out our feed pans after each flock and give away about 150 lb. of feed as well. Anyway if you have any chicken farms nearby, you might want to ask them for leftovers.

-- Harald in Ontario (, February 13, 2001.

I bought my chickens from the feed store. I bought 2 barred rock, 2 black astrolorp and 3 arracanas. I wasn't sure which breed would do well here, they all have. I paid from 1.50 to 1.75 each for the chicks. Goodluck on your chicken adventure, I love mine, they layed right through the winter.

-- Tina (, February 13, 2001.

I get my chicks from the feed store. They maintain a list of other people who do not want a full run. When the number of chicks wanted completes a full run, they order them.

They also seem to have several week old chicks available to purchase because some people don't pick up their orders. You can get a nice mix of breeds this way.

I don't care for buying older hens for any price. Why is the person getting rid of them? Because they are culls. Are they egg eaters? Do they have lice or disease? Are they too old to be laying reliably? Start with chicks from a reputable dealer.

-- Laura (, February 15, 2001.

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