Owning chickens can be incredibly rewarding, but is it really worth it from a cost perspective? Will it cost more money to buy eggs at your local supermarket, or will it be cheaper to deal with the upkeep of the chickens in your backyard?
In short, the answer is no. Think about it - if you buy a dozen large eggs from the supermarket, you’ll probably pay around $1-2 each time to buy your eggs.
Naturally, if you’re buying eggs directly from a farmer then there is a chance that buying your eggs will cost a lot more than this, but for the most part it will cost you less money to buy eggs on a weekly basis than it will to raise chickens.
In reality, it’s actually possible to make money from your chickens if you sell the eggs, so they can be financially beneficial to you. With that being said though, chickens can be expensive to raise because you have to think about all of the costs that you will incur from owning your chickens.
For starters, you’re going to need to build a coop for your chickens to live in, which isn’t always cheap. Then you have to buy the chicks, which can vary in price. Oh, and then you’ve got the maintenance costs - how much will it cost to feed the chickens, to give them supplements.
What about the vet bills or the coop repairs? These are all things that you need to think about. Chickens are living creatures - you need to look after them, or you most certainly aren’t going to reap the benefits of owning them.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t raise chickens instead of buying eggs, however! There are a lot of benefits to owning chickens. They’re cute and can be great pets, and you can also sell the eggs if you want to, which can give you a profit.
Unless you have a large amount of chickens you may not get a huge profit, but something is better than nothing. If you want to get a pet anyway, then there’s no real reason not to get chickens so you can enjoy the tasty eggs.
They aren’t nearly as hard to maintain as cats or dogs either, which is always a bonus.
If you want to raise chickens, there are also a few ways that you can cut down your expenses. For instance, if you are good with DIY then you can actually create your own chicken coop.
There are plenty of tutorials online that will show you how to do this. In addition to this, you can also allow your chickens to forage which will save money on chicken feed.
Are Backyard Chickens Worth It?
Before you decide to get chickens, it’s important that you consider the pros and cons of doing so. Chickens are living creatures, so you’re going to need to take care of them, and that can be quite the responsibility!
With that being said, here are a few reasons why you should and should not get backyard chickens.
The most obvious reason to get chickens is for their eggs! Chicken eggs are tasty, especially when they are fresh. You won’t need to pop to the grocery store every time that you need to get eggs either, since you may have a few at home fresh from your own chickens.
It is usually more economical to buy eggs directly from the store, of course, but if you already have chickens then this benefit is one that we thought was worth mentioning.
Not only that, but having chickens is great for the whole family! You can teach your children and loved ones about how to raise animals and how to produce eggs.
Children can enjoy having a pet while also understanding that having a pet comes with a lot of responsibility. Oh, and they’re pretty cute too!
If you’re interested in gardening, keeping chickens comes with yet another benefit. Chicken manure can actually be used as compost! It is fantastic as compost, which is great for your gardening efforts.
So, what are the reasons for not getting backyard chickens? Perhaps the biggest issue is that chickens can be rather expensive.
You need to pay for their housing, water and their food, and this can take a toll on your wallet. In addition to this, you also need to consider vet bills, which cost a lot of money.
In addition to this, chickens can make a lot of noise. You would be surprised to learn how annoying it is to hear your chickens chirping when you’re trying to sleep. They aren’t super loud, but it can still be a little irritating.
Furthermore, chickens poop. Like, a lot. Especially if you have a lot of chickens in your backyard. This can smell quite a bit - you may be pretty shocked by just how much poop one tiny chicken is capable of producing.
Make sure that you’re cleaning up after your chickens on a regular basis, otherwise you will start getting some intense smells in and around your home.
Here’s the sad bit too. You can get attached to your chickens, as much as you would get attached to a cat or dog, or any other pet. It’s very disappointing, then, to know that chickens have such a short lifespan.
They can often only lay eggs for around 2 to 3 years, and they can often live up to 10 years. That’s still not a very long time. Likewise, you won’t get the benefits of their eggs after around 3 years, which is a bummer since you still need to pay for the upkeep of the chickens.
Ultimately though, it’s your choice. It can be very rewarding to get chickens but it’s also challenging in some respects. It’s worth considering the pros and cons before getting your own backyard chickens.