Is Raising Chickens Cheaper Than Buying Eggs?



Eggs are a marvelous source of protein and nutrition for people around the world. Raising chickens in the backyard appeals to many who want to know where their food comes from and take pride in self-sufficiency.

But does it make financial sense? The answer is a qualified yes, but the cost of keeping chickens can skyrocket depending how it’s done — and it matters what kind of eggs you would otherwise buy.

Choosing Chickens

The price of the birds should be less than $4 each at a feed store, Cook says, although fancier breeds can cost up to $20 per hen. Plan to buy a minimum of four chicks — chickens are social animals and need to huddle for warmth early on. 

Raising Chicks

Experts generally recommend buying chicks and raising them to maturity rather than buying adult chickens. In the four to five weeks from hatching to the coop, chicks need a deep container with smooth walls, bedding, a heat lamp, and nutrient-rich food that’s more expensive than chicken feed.

Keeping Adult Chickens

The local farm store might sell elaborate chicken coops that cost hundreds of dollars, but a simple coop can be made from salvaged materials. 

Feeding Fowl

Letting chickens forage for their food may be economical, and naturally groom the landscape  as the flock roams free, but their diet dictates the quality of the eggs. 

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