How Much Do Chickens Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 10, 2018

Many chicken breeds exist, varying in size and color.

Whether it’s for laying eggs or for the meat, the prices will vary.

Chicken! by Andrew*, on Flickr
Chicken!” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Andrew*

How much do chickens cost?

On average, baby sexed chicks can cost $2 to $5 each, and this price depends on the age (price peaks at around 21 weeks of age), sex (females cost more than males) and also how rare the breed is. You can expect to pay an upward of $18 to $30 for a rare breed. A started pullet — a young hen that has just started to lay eggs —  should cost about $15 to $20 each.  Seeing chickens are social creatures, experts recommend at least two on your farm.

Refer to our table below to see what the most popular types of chickens can cost in your area:

BreedPrice Range
Ancona$3 to $5
Bantam$3.50 to $4.50
Barred Cochin$3 to $6
Barred Plymouth Rock$2.50 to $3.50
Barred Rock$3 to $5
Black Australorp$3 to $5
Black Cochin$3 to $6
Black Jersey$3 to $5
Black Langshan$3 to $6
Black Minorca$3 to $5
Black Sumatra$4 to $6
Black Wyandotte$3 to $6
Blue Cochin$3 to $6
Blue Sumatra$4 to $6
Blue Wyandotte$3 to $5
Buckeye$3 to $6
Buff Brahma$3 to $5
Buff Laced$4 to $6
Buff Orphington$3 to $4
Buff Rock$3 to $5
California Grey$3 to $5
California White$3 to $5
Cinnamon Queen$3 to $4
Cornish Rock$3 to $5
Cuckoo Maran$3 to $6
Dark Brahma$3 to $5
Dark Cornish$3 to $5
Dominique$3 to $5
Easter Egger$2 to $3.50
Egyptian Fayoumis$3 to $5
Golden Campine$3 to $6
Golden Laced Polish$4 to $6
Golden Laced Wyandotte$3 to $6
Golden Lakenvalder$3 to $5
Golden Phoenix$4 to $6
Golden Spangled Hamburg$3 to $5
Jumbo Cornish Cross$3 to $4
Light Brahma$3 to $5
Mottled Houdan$4 to $6
Mottled Java$3 to $6
New Hampshire$3 to $5
Partridge Cochin$3 to $5
Partridge Rock$3 to $6
Production Red$3 to $5
Red Broiler$3 to $5
Red Jungle$4 to $6
Rhode Island Red$3 to $4
Sicilian Buttercup$3.50 to $4.50
Silver Laced Cochin$3 to $6
Silver Laced Wyandotte$2.50 to $3.50
Silver Lakenvelder$4 to $6
Silver Phoenix$4 to $6
Silver Spitzhauben$4 to $5
Speckled Sussex$3 to $5
Sultan$3.50 to $4.50
Turken$3 to $6
Welsummer$3 to $6
White Cochin$3 to $6
White Crested$4 to $6
White Laced$3 to $5
White Leghorn$3 to $5
White Rock$3 to $5
White Sultan$4 to $6
White Yokohoma$4 to $5

According to WeedemandReap.com, chicks from regular hatcheries will be cheaper while organic or heirloom chicks will cost more.  Regular hatcheries, according to the writer, will take six to eight weeks to raise to maturity, while heirloom chicks should expect a 10 to 12-week time frame.

A writer on Money Magazine paid $2.85 each for her chicks via a hatchery catalog.

BackyardChickens.com say you should expect to pay $3 to $5 for a day-old chick or up to $50 for a rare breed.  Older chicks and mature chickens, on the other hand, can cost $20 to $50 for a pullet or $5 to $10 for a rooster.  The writer also notes that if you’re not fussy with your purchase, an older rooster can often be found for free on Craigslist.

What are the extra costs?

As an initial investment, you will need a booder with lights for the chicks and a coop with perches, nest boxes, a waterer, feeder and bedding for the adults.  These startup costs, if you were to need these items, could cost about $600 for everything.  The average coop can contain three to ten chickens, and as a rule of thumb, a chicken needs about 10 square feet.

For the first 10 weeks, according to the Countryside Daily, your chick should be eating a high protein, high-cost chick feed.  A 50-pound bag of feed, on average, should cost close to $20 or about $0.40 per pound.  the average chick will each a pound a week.  For the next 12 weeks after the first 10 weeks, the bird will start to consume closer to 1.5 pounds per week.  In the end, be prepared to spend about $1.50 to $2 per month to feed each chicken.

Litter, such as pine shavings, are recommended for the flooring inside the coop.  A two-cubic-foot bag can last about two months and will cost close to $10 or $5 a month.

In most cities, in order to raise chickens legally, you may need to apply for a permit, which can cost about $50 initially and another $10~ per year after.  This Smart Asset article, for instance, claims that Grand Rapids, Michigan, charges $50 for the first year and $10 after for its residents.

Occasionally, just like a pet, a chicken may need medical attention.  This could include deworming the flock or even buying respiratory medicine for a cold.  A chicken first aid kit can cost less than $10 on average.

If purchasing your chicks online, shipping fees may apply, especially if you don’t meet the minimum spending.

While optional, an incubator can cost about $100.  This incubator allows you to hatch fertilized eggs.

Tips to know:

Before buying a chicken, be sure to check your local municipality zoning laws to ensure you’re in compliance with chicken raising.  Even if they allow backyard chickens, keep in mind most cities will have a noise ordinance which could cause a concern if you were to have a rooster.

Depending on the breed, you should be able to get around six eggs per week over the course of the chicken’s life.

If you’re first starting out the Rhode Island Reds, Speckled Sussex, Barnvelders and Wyandottes are highly recommended, according to TheHappyChickenCoop.com.

The average chicken can live eight to ten years.

Standard chickens weigh four to seven pounds, depending on the breed and sex, whereas Bantam chickens can be smaller, weighing about one to two pounds.

You can purchase chickens either via a local farmer or even online view a hatchery.

How can I save money?

Chicken owners recommend building your own shelter by using scrap lumber to cut down on costs as you don’t need a fancy shelter to raise happy chickens.  If you don’t want to invest the time, Amazon.com has plenty of prebuilt coops for less than $500.

Buying in bulk can often bring the costs “per chick” down.

Chicks will always be cheaper than mature chickens, even if you factor in the costs to raise them.

To save on feed, free range chickens can cut down the costs if you have the room.


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Average Reported Cost: $100

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  1. John Hare (Morgantown,  West Virginia) paid $100 and said:

    $100

    Was it worth it? Yes

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