Are you thinking of raising chickens at your farm? Adding an animal or bird to your farm makes you pay a little extra than what you already have been spending. It’s okay to ask yourself how much money I need each month to take good care of them? In this piece of writing, we would be specifically discussing how much do you need to have in order to raise 100 chickens at your farm?
Costs associated with raising 100 chickens
Let’s look at the other costs associated with raising 100 chickens.
How much do you have to pay to get one chicken?
On average, a baby chick usually costs around $3 to $5. Four to sixteen weeks old chicks can be bought between $10 to 25$, and purchasing a fully mature hen costs up to 100 dollars.(source)
It’s impossible to give you an exact figure about the actual cost as it varies from state to state, and the gender of the chicken determines the price (Female chickens are more expensive than males). If you are looking for cost-effective options, I recommend going for Rohde island red, speckled Sussex, and Barnvelders as their purchase and upkeep cost is much lower than most famous chicken breeds.
Where to buy it?
You can easily buy hens from your neighbours or nearby hatcheries, and sometimes buying them online is more convenient. But If you purchase it online, be aware the shipping costs will be involved also.
Coop is the first thing you need on your farm to keep the chickens safe from the climatic effects and predators. The brand new and high-quality cage will be up to $800to $1000. You can make your coop at home with scrap, and by buying some raw material from the market, it may cost you less than $500.
Once the coop is made or bought, then the next thing you need to have is chicken accessories. It includes a feeder, drinker, bin, and bedding. Let’s have a look at how much these accessories cost.
One feeder is not enough then How many feeders do you need for 100 chickens? Well, the answer depends on the hen’s size and her breed. But on the safe side, you need about 20 feeders for 100 chickens. One 7 pound container plastic feeder costs up to 12$ ($240 for 20 feeders).
For raising 100 chickens, you will need 20 drinkers. A 5 quarts plastic drinker costs you $5.99 ($120 for 20 drinkers)
Bin is used for storing food for chickens. Most people use a metal bin, but the choice is yours what type of container you want to keep your chicken’s food in. The metal bin can be bought online for 20$, and the extra big 20 gallons plastic bin is usually up to $7.
Bedding plays a vital role in determining the health of your chickens. There are different kinds of bedding available, that is, straw or wood shaving, etc. Straw bedding is a cheaper form of other bedding.
A small square bale cost of straw is $3.50. If you want to go for an inexpensive way, then you can gather dried leaves and grass in fall for this purpose. Wood shaving is most commonly used and is readily available from wood stores. It’s hard to determine the price of wood shaving bedding as it varies according to markets. But it’s the next best cheaper option than straws.
Chickens are omnivores, which means they can eat food from plants and animals’ origin. So on average, a 50-pound feed bag will cost you around $16. At least fifteen to eighteen 50 pounds bags would be needed to meet the food requirements of 100 chicken, so you need to save accordingly. Chickens also love garden and kitchen scraps. If they are frequently fed kitchen scraps, it will reduce the total annual feeding cost significantly. You can use treats like grapes, apples or beans for the chicken.
Electricity, water, and other such costs
You can consider electricity, water, and your valuable time as another fixed cost. Your electricity cost will be minimum in summer and fall, but it rises in winter. Electricity cost mainly depends on whether you put an extra bulb to encourage egg-laying and hatching. Water is more used in summer than seasons. Electricity and water cost depends on the rate your state is charging. In addition, you need the heater in winter and a fan for coop in summer(Resource)
The total annual cost of keeping a 100 chickens
The total annual cost is the sum of all the costs mentioned above, for 100 chickens would be under or above $6900 and the profit you would be earning from them would be up to $1500. So, the actual cost you are about to bear for a year would be $5400.
The bottom line
As per a rough idea, the total annual cost of one hundred chickens would cost around $6900, and the amount you would get as a reward for keeping these chickens would be $1500.
Once you have all the necessities for your hens, you will not need to repurchase them, so the next year’s upkeep cost would be different from the first year. If you can make coop, feeder, and drinkers yourself, you can save a significant amount of money. Birds are omnivores, so you can use both store-bought and homemade food for them to save a few bucks.
Rohde Island Red, Speckled Sussex, and Barnvelders are inexpensive options, they can be bought at cheaper deals, and their upkeep cost is noticeably lower than most chicken breeds. The cost is in your hands if you are wise enough to find cheaper alternatives then the costs would remain lower than the profit.
Lastly, I need to mention that I’m not an expert, but I have kept several hundred hens on my farm. The figures mentioned in this article are based on my knowledge and experience. They can or can not be accurate for the state you are living in. To get a more precise idea, I suggest you go to an experienced person in your state. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that raising 100 chickens won’t cost you as much as the big animals and birds do.