Start-Up Costs for Chickens

I’ve had questions about what are the typical start-up costs for chickens? I’m not sure there is a typical per see and a lot depends on your geographic area, but this is what we spent on ours.

VERT coop-waterbin USE

Looking at the coop and chicken run area from the vegetable garden side. The galvanized tub is for garden water containment and spot watering. We fill 5-gallon buckets from the rain and then transfer the water to the horse trough. Not much is wasted here at the Small House Homestead!

When we first got chickens about 12 years ago, we did it on the cheap. I think all that we bought was a couple of pieces of plywood and a galvanized feeder and water at the flea market for something like $7.00 each. Our vegetable garden was already fenced in; however it was fencing the size of cattle panels, not smaller holed chicken wire. As a result of being newbie’s we lost our chickens to predators.

Winterized USE

This is our sturdy and safe coop built from mostly recycled materials.

This time around, we wanted to do it safely and permanently.

Metal gate alone

We felt blessed to be gifted with this study and permanent gate from a garden that was being dismantled.

My goal for the coop was to use as much repurposed materials as we could to keep our costs as low as possible. While we still had to buy some pieces and parts we did pretty well I think using found, gifted or repurposed materials. We live in a very agricultural county (Allegan County is the number one agricultural count in the state of Michigan) so our Craig’s list search only provided some hexagon chicken wire to cover the run.

Sassy Gene coop USE 11-2-14

Introducing our Lab Sassy to the new chickens.

As you can see in a previous blog post the coop, run and dusting bath, sand and two gates cost as around $250.00 total for hardware and materials. We also bought a medium size galvanized heater, watered and feeder as well as plastic watered so I could put apple cider vinegar out for the chickens. I don’t put cider vinegar in the metal ones as the acid in them will turn them black.

babies up ad down best USE

The medium size galvanized feeder and water from Tractor Supply. the waterer has the heating element in it. The baby’s feeder sits to the left of the picture. You can see the babies hanging out on the sand litter and on the roost!

Clover and galvanized feeder USE

One of the vintage chicken waterers we picked up a decade ago at the flea market.

The momma hen and her five chickens were free and if you add in two 50 lb. bags of organic feed, the babies feeding equipment our total cost for the whole shebang is very close to $300.00. A bit pricy yes, but I felt if done right it would only have to be done once. If you happen to have a lot of materials and the hardware on hand I am sure you can do it for less.

Clover snowball in sun USE

Clover the momma Cochin and one of her Cochin babies, Snowball.

And besides when my husband bought his purebred dog he paid more than $500.00 for her upfront before accessories, food, shots and vet bills!! It’s my turn now.

Small House Homesteader and Chicken Keeper, Donna

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