How expensive are chickens to raise?
October 21, 2009 11:22 AM Subscribe
What can I expect (mostly financially) from raising hens as pets?
posted by middleclasstool to Pets & Animals (66 answers total) 127 users marked this as a favorite
A Facebook friend has me really excited about the idea of raising a couple of hens in my backyard. I like the idea of fresh eggs and pest control, and I figure the kids will get a kick out of them.
On the plus side, they seem like pretty low-maintenance animals, and my city's laws are strict but doable (inexpensive permit required, must have your coop no less than 75 feet from neighbor dwellings, inspection required by the city, no roosters). My only concern now is cost -- how much on average does it cost to feed and care for an average hen? We're doing fairly well but are saving very aggressively and live pretty close to the bone, and of course I don't want to totally screw up our budget. Any other non-financial gotchas I should be aware of would also be appreciated.
Also, what varieties do you recommend? I'd like good eggs, but just as important is an even temperament, with bonus points for looking awesome. We're in central Arkansas, if that matters.