The Cost of Feeding Chickens

I already wrote this post for rabbits, but I needed to also analyse my chicken operation.

These are my Rhode Island Reds!

These are my Rhode Island Reds!

Capital Investments

2 Feeders – 2 x $5.99 = $11.98

2 waterers – 2 x $4.50 = $9.00

Rubbermaid tote – 9.99

Heat lamp bulb – 2 x $3.50 = $7.00

Heat lamp socket – 2 x $14.50 = $29

Total = $66.97


Chicks – $0.50 x 23 = $11.50

Sawdust (got a HUGE BAG and used less than 1/4 of it) – $5.95

Chicken Feed (50 lb bag, $20.oo, chicks have gone through 12 lbs so far) – $0.40 x 12 = $4.80

Total = $22.25

Grand total = $89.22

Total Weight = 7.8 lbs

Cost per Pound = $11.48

That is a lot! But now that the capital expenses are out of the way, the next batch can be raised for a month for $2.85. This is still not very cost efficient. However, I chose a bird (RIR) that wasn’t bred for meat. Next time, I will get a Cornish Rock Cross or broiler, and they will have gotten to near butcher size already. This is too much for a dog, but perfect for a cat.

To get the chicks up to cat eating weight, it is only 1 week, in which the 18 chicks ate less than 2 lbs grain total. This means that to get cat food, it costs $9.80 for 18 days worth of cat food. This is a little over $0.50 a day, which is much cheaper than anything that I can find commercially.


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