Year of the chicken - Part 2: The cost of raising chickens | Business
The big question for many potential urban farmers is, how much is this poultry adventure going to set me back?
Your friendly neighborhood chicken expert, Ron Welker has that answer. Welker manages the Aslin-Finch in the Spokane Valley. He says that in the long run chicks will cost less than a dog.“You’re going to spend the same on housing the chicks as you would a dog. Your overall expense for the chicks is going to be less,” said Welker. “If you want to get a good coop that’s going to hold 2, 3 or 4 birds, you’re going to spend on a good one, probably right around $400-$500. That’s going to be your number one expense.”
There are several resources out there if you would like to build your own coop. The creative urban farmer might convert an old camper top into a hen house or build a pint-sized Victorian mansion for their girls. Once you have a coop, the residual costs are reasonable compared to other pets.
One of the biggest expenses Mojo, the dog, racks up is at the vet’s office getting vaccinated.
Assistant manager at the Big R on Trent Avenue, Cody Tylock says that chickens don’t require a trip to see the vet because there are no other vaccines to give them. The chicks come pre-vaccinated right out of the hatcheries. Tylock grew up raising chickens on a hobby farm and continues the tradition by raising a couple hundred birds a year.
Both Big R and Aslin-Finch sell feed, feeders, heat lamps and anything else you will need to get started. The cost of those incidentals ranges from about $50 to $60. The chicks usually cost less than $5 each.
So you’ve looked into the ordinances and have the green light. The price is right and you’re ready to be converted into an urban farmer.
Next Week: Check back with KXLY as we walk you through how to raise those chicks, what the local experts advise and what your little pullets will look like in just a few short weeks.
Previous Coverage: Year of the chicken - Part 1: Know the laws [March 14th, 2012]