The Chicken Budget

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When I decided to raise backyard chickens for eggs, I knew that I needed to establish a start-up budget.  Like any project, without a budget expenses can spiral out of control.  My family is deeply in debt and I did not want this project to add to that.

One of the reasons I wanted chickens was because I’ve been paying $3 for a dozen eggs at local roadside stands.  With six mouths to feed, we go through at least a dozen eggs per week, sometimes two dozen.  I’m always looking for ways to trim our food budget, so raising chickens for eggs seemed like a great way to reduce our food budget.

Other bonuses, they make great pets (hopefully, keeping my kids wishes of a dog at bay for a little longer) and I can sell any extra eggs to further help our household budget.  A win-win-win situation!

Back to The Chicken Budget

I set aside $650 from our tax refund.

So far I’ve spent the following (the amounts below include all taxes and shipping costs):

$45.23 for this brooder

$7.50 for 4 oz of quick chick

$16.50 for this book

$7.50 for chick starter from my local feed store

$2.25 for 1 lb of chick grit

$15.00 for pine shavings from my local feed store

$1.25 for a rope to hang the heat lamp

$40.00 for four baby chicks from a local breeder

$7.41 for hardware cloth to cover brooder

$299.97 for a coop

Total spent so far:  $442.61

Budget remaining:  $207.39

What do I need the remaining money for?  Well as I mentioned here I need to make some improvements to the coop I purchased.  I want to add some additional locks to keep predators out and I need hardware cloth under to coop to keep predators from digging their way in.

I also want to build a larger coop so that I can expand the flock next year.  As I’m researching coop building, I’m quickly learning that the amount of hardware cloth I will need is going to eat up most (if not all) of my remaining budget.  I’m looking for creative ways to save money on it.

In hindsight, should I have done anything different?  YES!  I should have trusted other bloggers that said I could make a brooder out of a cardboard box.  If I had listened to them I wouldn’t have purchased the brooder kit, and would have saved about $20 by only purchasing the heat lamp, waterer and feeder.  (I could have saved even more if I used common household items to make my own waterer and feeder.)

What was your Chicken Budget?

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