Here is the question, is raising chickens worth it? Absolutely yes! Before I got started with keeping chickens there are a set of questions I strived to find their correct answers. The first question that crossed my mind was whether I was making the right investment or not. This is the kind of dilemma that is facing the up-coming chicken keepers. If you are one of them, here is everything you need to know about venturing in poultry keeping.
The idea behind investing in chickens is a positive one. But you need a strategy that will enable you to increase your flock, cut down expenses and maximize your profits. You should also look at the flip side of this business venture. Once you weigh the positive and negative sides of raising chickens, you’ll be in a better position to get started.
400;”>Keeping chickens is more or less the same as raising other livestock. This is because your birds will need to feed, get medical care and demand your commitment. For that reason, you must be willing to sacrifice a little of your time to look after your birds.
Or you can hire someone knowledgeable enough to take care of your flock while you’re running your errands. Nevertheless, you need to keep an eye on your birds rather than trusting someone else to do it for you. Below are reasons why raising chickens is worth it and such a lucrative investment.
Why Should You Keep Chickens?
- To address this question, is raising chickens worth it? There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to keeping chickens. Besides fresh eggs and delicious meat, chickens are good pets and a wonderful source of organic manure. The presence of chickens in your backyard makes your home lively not to mention being a source of income.
- As if that is not enough, these birds can also help you get rid of pests and bugs by feasting on them. Certainly, chickens are such a good investment that you can’t just ignore. To enjoy all these benefits, you need to put some effort into this investment.
What Should You Consider Before Acquiring Chickens?
As an upcoming chicken owner, you don’t just wake up and look for a few chicks to kick-start your project. Instead, you need to sit down and plan accordingly. With proper planning, you will never go wrong and everything else concerning your project will fall in place. So, where do you start?
- To begin with, you must check your local town/city ordinances to know if keeping chickens is allowed. Also, you should find out if there’s a limit to the number of birds you can keep in your neighborhood. Doing so will help you make a wise decision on the number of birds you want to raise. The worst-case scenario is investing your money and time into a project that is allowed in your town.
- After confirming the local town ordinances, the next step should be to assess the space available for your chickens. The space should be enough to accommodate the number of birds you are intending to raise.
- The same space should include a place for roosting, nest boxes, feeders and waterers, and chicken coop. A well-constructed coop should be spacious enough to allow you to walk in and collect eggs or clean it. Most importantly, this housing facility needs to be sturdy to keep away predators and thieves.
- 400;”>Chicken feed and water are the two most important factors to consider. Commercial chicken feed is costly and this is one of the expenses that you will have to incur day-in-day-out. For instance, you may end up spending at least $30 per 50-pound bag to feed your flock. But this price can vary depending on the quality of the chicken feed and your location.
How Many Chickens Should You Keep?
- Before you get into the business of keeping chickens, you need to learn one or two things about these birds. Chickens are one of the most social group of animals you can think of. In this case, you need to keep at least six birds to make them happy. And when your flock is happy you should expect good things in the future. For example, you will always have a supply of fresh eggs not to mention immense income from selling broilers.
- Chickens become more productive during the initial two years of their existence. Thereafter their productivity ( especially of eggs) slows down gradually as they age. So, you will have to think about bringing in younger birds to replace the aging ones.
- The good thing about raising chickens is that they reproduce very fast. This means you will not have a problem when it comes to replacing your old flock with the young ones. You can purchase young chickens from suppliers or you can simply hatch them if you have roosters.
How Much Space Should Your Chickens Have?
The number of chickens you can raise depends on different factors. Key among them is the chicken breed of your choice. One medium-sized bird requires at least 3-square feet space inside their coop and 10 square feet when outdoors. However, the more space you provide your birds the healthier and happier they will become. Overcrowding can make them sick and promote the pecking order.
- With enough space both in the coop and outside, your birds will enjoy spreading their wings and moving around comfortably. They will also have a place to enjoy their habitual dust bath or bask in the sun if they want to.
- Whichever way they will utilize the space around them make sure that they stay safe within the yard. So, the ultimate solution to their safety is fencing because it keeps out predators including your neighbors’ pets. Also, fencing helps in restraining your birds in specific areas of your farm or backyard.
How Much Will it Cost You to Keep Chickens?
- There are many reasons why raising chickens worth it. Raising chickens requires a substantial sum of money. This is because everything regarding this project comes with its own cost. This means if you don’t have enough capital your dream to raise these feathered friends will be shattered prematurely.
- How much money do you need to start keeping chickens? Again this depends on the number of birds you want to raise. The number of chickens acts as a determining factor when designing coops, buying poultry equipment and securing the yard.
- For example, it may cost you $300 to construct and furnish a 20×5-foot chicken run including wood, fencing, and hardware. This amount does not include labor costs. Overall, you may spend up to $700 when setting up your first chicken keeping project. But rest assured that you will recover this amount in a couple of months when the project picks.
Here is an example of a cost analysis of keeping chickens:
- Young or baby chicks will cost $ 1 each.
- A mature egg-laying hen will go for $10.
- The cost of constructing a simple chicken coop including other poultry facilities will amount to $700 ( as mentioned above).
- The cost of acquiring a fancy and well-equipped chicken coop (optional depending on your budget) will be $4000.
- The average monthly cost of your chicken feed should be at least $30.
- The cost of purchasing an uber-chic prefab coop will be $400.
- Organic chicken feed will most likely rise to $40 which is $10 more than other commercial chicken feed.
- The cost of preparing your own organic chicken feed will go as high as $80 a month.
- The total number of eggs produced by two hens: 12 eggs per week or 624 eggs per year.
- The cost of a dozen supermarket eggs is $3.00
- The cost of a dozen free-range and organic eggs is $5.00
- From the analysis above you can easily work out your expenses to compare with the expected income.
Does your time also matter when raising chickens? Yes! Your time will determine the success of your chicken keeping business. You will spend most of your time feeding them, cleaning their coop, collecting eggs, watering them and keeping away predators. This does not mean that taking care of your flock will take much of your time. Maybe half an hour a day will be enough to accomplish your mission.
Does buying eggs from the supermarket cost you less compared to raising layers? It depends on the number of eggs you are buying from the stores in comparison to what you should expect from layers. If you have many layers under your care, it will cost you less to produce more eggs than buying from stores.
Most likely you will earn some profits from your projects once your birds mature and start laying eggs. If you are raising broilers, the situation will remain the same that is, you will make some money in the future. What matters is the breed of chickens you are raising and for what purpose you are keeping them. For some people, this project may not go down well with their expectations due to some shortcomings along the way. But the truth of the matter is that raising chickens is worth it. All you need to do is to give it your best and everything else will work in your favor.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Chicken Board!!