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?