Does raising chickens save you money at the grocery store? Sure it does! I haven’t bought eggs at the store in more than a year. But I buy a bag of feed every two weeks, all year long. So which is more cost-effective? Keep reading and I’ll let you know how it works out for us.
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Does Raising Chickens Save Money?
The short answer is, no. Raising your own chickens does not save money. To my understanding, talking with friends who have raised other animals for food, raising your own animals for food is not cost-effective. It can balance out in the long run, but you are going to buy out for feed of whatever animal you chose to raise.
How much does raising chickens cost?
There are a lot of factors to consider.
- Where you buy your birds and how old they are – chicks vs pullets
- what you feed them -organic is going to cost more
- where you live – feed cost more in different areas
- type of chickens you raise – meat birds are butchered sooner than heritage or dual purpose breeds
- it depends on if you are raising birds for eggs or meat
We have only raised our birds for eggs (roosters either are rehomed or butchered).
Is raising chickens for meat cost-effective?
I have not yet done this. However, it can be costly to raise chickens for meat, just like when raising them for eggs. One thing to take into account is how you will be handling butchering.
If you have to take them somewhere to be butchered that is something you need to take into account. It can cost around $4 a bird to be butchered, bagged, and ready for the freezer.
If you plan to do it yourself, you need to educate yourself on the process. You need to think about the cost of the equipment required or how you can work with what you have. You can hand pluck vs buying a plucker.
Are raising chickens profitable?
Can I make money raising chickens? You sure can make some money if you are going to hatch out and sell healthy, day-old chicks. Will you break even? Probably not, or at least not at first. However, you might make enough money off the sale of chicks, or even eggs, to cover the price of feed.
Is raising chickens for eggs cost-effective?
We would need to buy about 5 dozen eggs in two week period to break even on our feed cost. That is without buying organic feed as some choose to buy.
You do also have the option of selling your eggs farm to road (at the end of your driveway for example) to help offset the cost of feed. Depending on how many laying hens you have, you may find yourself with too many eggs to eat. Selling them is a great way to offset the cost of feed, and provide a service in your community.
There really is no simple answer for how much it cost to raise chickens. But I don’t think there are too many homesteaders or hobby farmers that raise chickens with a big profit in mind. I’d just take breaking even. I do not save money raising chickens, they are beautiful pets that poop out food. But…
The one thing you will have with raising your own chickens whether for meat or eggs is food security.