How Much Does a Rooster Cost?
Roosters can be raised for a variety of reasons. The main purpose of raising roosters is to fertilize hens, but people also enjoy raising them for show and for fighting. Roosters are typically not as expensive as hens, but the pure-bred types can be more expensive depending on the breed and the source from which it was obtained. To make sure that you are making a wise purchase, you should take into consideration the reason for your purchase, the basis for the price being charged, as well as the additional costs involved.
How much does it cost?
- According to Burke’s Backyard, good Old English Game birds cost from $50 to $100 for a top quality rooster. Some exhibition birds have cost as much as $800.
- RedFoxFowl.com, a game fowl breeder located in North Central Alabama, breeds Pure Lemon Hatch, Dark Red Hatch, Silver/Regular Greys, Pure Butcher, Claret and Roundhead varieties. The game fowls cost $250-$300 for pullets, while pairs and trios cost $500-$600.
- At Rocky Top Game Farm, a chicken breeder Rocky Top Game Farm in Mississippi, different young and mature stags, pullets and trios cost $300-$1,300. Crossed varieties cost $150-$250.
- Overall, depending on the type of rooster that you want, the costs can be as little as $5o to as much as $1,500. Most people, however, will generally spend $150 to $400.
What is going to be included?
- Depending on the rooster breeder, the purchase may include health documents that prove the overall condition of the bird and related information. There may also be paperwork given regarding the breed quality.
- Some breeders will include a care guide with all their live poultry shipments. The guide contains information on the essentials of caring for the animals, suitable brooding area setup, ideal temperatures, watering needs and procedures, type of feed, and more.
- Shipping costs may be included in the price.
What are the extra costs?
- Keeping a rooster means allotting resources for feeding (which includes regular food, feed additives and protein supplements) and feeding supplies. In addition to the feeding, you will also need to provide housing for the roosters as well as future veterinarian services such as vaccinations.
- Depending on the supplier/breeder, health papers may require additional fees.
- There are rooster breeders that provider buyers the option to get additional services before the orders are shipped. One such service is Marek’s disease vaccination which is administered to the chickens before shipment. Some breeders offer the service for $0.30 per chick plus $2.50 set-up cost for each different breed.
- Breeders may charge extra for additional handling and shipping costs (such as for added insulation, foam lining and a heat pad) to safely deliver a small number of birds. Larger orders do not necessarily require extra shipping requirements as the birds’ communal warmth can keep the box at an adequate temperature.
- Some chicken breeders offer free shipping on certain orders, but may charge up to $100 for others.
Factors that influence the price:
- Age. Buying mature roosters naturally means paying a higher price. A fully-grown, quality Old English game rooster can cost hundreds of dollars, while a chick of the same breed and gender can cost less than $10.
- Breed. Pure breeds can be expensive since they are typically used for exhibition and have high standards for color and shape. In comparison, hybrid roosters cost lower due to bigger production.
- Source. Roosters obtained directly from breeder farms may cost lower than buying them online, especially if the shipping costs are high.
Tips to know:
- Some breeders may require a breed specific minimum order. This is to ensure that they can safely ship the roosters. Minimum order quantities allow these breeders to broadly guarantee live arrival.
- If buying a rooster at a farm, ask the breeder about the rooster breed as well as the health condition of the bird.
- Make sure to ask the breeder if it has memberships in organizations that ensure safety of chickens from different bird diseases.
- Many breeders ship live poultry through United States Postal Service Priority Shipping.
Questions to ask:
- What breeds do you have presently available?
- Do you have a minimum order quantity?
- What is your general pricing strategy?
- How do you ship the live roosters?
- What is the smallest number of roosters you can ship?
- What are the risks in shipping live birds?
- How long does it take for my order to arrive?
- How do you calculate the shipping price?
- Is the cost of shipping included in the price?
- What is your policy on cancellation and refunds?
- What types of payments do you accept?
How can I save money?
- Some online suppliers occasionally hold a sale. Taking advantage of roosters on sale on top of the quantity discounts offered can give you the best possible sale price.
- Buy in bulk. Some breeders offer significant discounts to high volume buyers.
- Find online dealers that offer free shipping.
- Buy the rooster as a chick. Look for a hatchery or a nearby source with an abundance of chicks in the spring.