Is It Worth It? The Cost Of Having Urban Chickens

Is It Worth It? The Cost Of Having Urban Chickens

Sarah Rae Smith
Aug 31, 2011

The idea behind having urban chickens is a good one. Knowing where your food comes from is never a bad thing. That said, there are acceptable options found in most grocery stores these days. Do you know what the monthly upkeep cost is on a chicken coop? Do you think you're saving money?

The financial blog Mint Life offers a cost analysis of raising chickens. Although many love the idea of raising chickens, Mint stands to reason that buying eggs from the store is still more cost effective. Here are a few of the numbers they crunched behind this style of farming:

  • Baby chicks: $1 each.
  • Full-grown, egg-laying hens: $10 each.
  • Cost of building a basic chicken coop and purchasing a simple waterer and feeder: $100-$250
  • Cost of buying an uber-chic pre-fab coop: $400
  • Cost of buying a fancy schmancy coop that might land you a spot in a national home and garden magazine: $4,000
  • Cost of chicken feed: $25.00
  • Cost of organic chicken feed so you can brag about your homegrown organic eggs: $40
  • Cost of making your own chicken feed from all local organic produce so you can brag about your homegrown organic eggs and copious amounts of time on your hands: $80
  • Egg production from two hens: 1 doz/week, or 624/year appx.
  • Cost of one dozen supermarket eggs: $3.00
  • Cost of one dozen "organic and free-range" eggs: $5.00

You can read more about their findings over at Mint Life, but in the mean time we're curious: which side of the fence are you on? Are you a backyard farmer or would you rather skip the hassle (and a chicken sitter when you go out of town) and stick to supermarkets? Or are you throwing cost to the wind because of the values and lessons raising chickens teaches? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

(Image: Toronto Chickens | Blogto | Re-Nest)

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