How Much Do Hens Cost? From Pennies To Poultry

Picture yourself waking up to the gentle clucking of hens, as the morning sun bathes your cozy farmhouse in golden light. The thought of fresh eggs for breakfast lures you outside, where you are greeted by your feathery companions eagerly awaiting their morning feed. This, my friend, could be your everyday idyll, if you have the heart for a life shared with hens.

But hold your horses – or should we say hens – because stepping into the world of poultry-keeping is not just a matter of whimsy; it’s a venture that demands attention to both your heartstrings and purse strings.

So, you’ve set your heart on having your own flock of hens. Now, let’s chat about the money matters. It’s a common grumble among fellow poultry enthusiasts that finding a good-quality hen without breaking the bank is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Yes, they can be pricey, and the spending doesn’t end once you bring them home.

We have pecked around for information on the costs associated with purchasing and rearing hens, and trust us, we have gathered some eggs-traordinary insights. What’s more, we’re not just stopping at the bare-boned facts; we are sharing nuggets of wisdom accumulated over the years in the hopes that you will wing it with confidence.

Let’s talk numbers. When purchasing hens, the average price range you’re looking at is between $6 and $10 for each hen. But remember, your avian friends are not just egg-laying machines; they are a commitment.

Delving further into the costs, let’s say you are not just looking for egg layers, but also want to dabble in breeding and raising your flock from the ground up. The total cost for a starting flock, including a rooster, could be around $150. However, if your heart is set on raising chicks, prices generally range from $1 to $5 per chick. Pro tip: Purchasing in batches of 10 or more could win you some brownie points in the form of discounts!

How Much Do Chickens Eat?

It’s important to find out what type of feed the hens eat and whether or not they are free-range.

Chickens should eat a complete feed that will meet all their dietary requirements. This is important from the moment the chicks hatch from the egg to when they are killed for their meat.

The ingredients of poultry feed normally include maize, barley, wheat, soya bean meal, or an animal protein meal such as fish meal, meat and bone meal, or chicken meat and bone meal.

Your hens will need to be fed an abundant source of protein, which can cost up to $120 per year. If you have a large flock, you’ll need to make sure everyone has access to food and water, which can cost up to $500 or more.

If you have a large number of chickens, you may need to fertilize your lawn.

How much to build a chicken coop?

How much to build a chicken coop

You’ll need to make sure your hens are safe from predators.

There are many different schools of thought when it comes to how something should be done in the coop – for example with the use of roosts, scratching boxes, or nesting boxes. Everybody has their own ideas on how to handle these things, but in the end, it all boils down to what works for you and your hens.

If you build your own coop, you’ll need to make sure it is predator-proof. The materials may cost up to $200 or more.

If you don’t want to build your own coop, consider purchasing a prebuilt coop for between $100 and $1,000.

If you plan to sell or give away your chickens in the future, build a coop that’s easy to dismantle and transport with minimal wear and tear.

Large chicken houses can also be expensive to build with proper insulation and ventilation.

Keeping chickens in your backyard also means they’ll need to be contained. Coops can cost $100 or more, and fencing can cost up to $300 or more.

How much to make a bedding­ for hens?

Hemp Bedding for Chickens is ALL the Rage, BUT…

How much to make a bedding­ for hens?

You’ll need a secure place to store your hens, which can cost up to $300 or more.

A brooder, coop, feeder, waterer, and decorations can cost up to $200 or more, depending on the size of your flock.

You can use pine shavings for your flooring in the coop. There are lots of different kinds of bedding that you can use – straw, hay, pine shavings, and others. We found that pine shavings work best for us and we like that it is soft to walk on. Depending on how much the chickens scratch, you may find that other type of bed.

Straw is the most common and easiest to get started with. A bale of straw is about $5 or maybe up to $14  in Oregon. You can, however, use other carbon sources as bedding if you have access to them. Wood chips make an excellent deep litter in the coop and are frequently available for free from tree trimmers, wood Workshops… Leaves can also be used as bedding, but you’ll need a way to keep them dry all year.

If you could even make your own free chicken bedding if you have a lot of yard trimmings and a chipper.

How much is the total cost of keeping a hen?

How much is the total cost of keeping a hen

The total cost of keeping hens is about  $300 – $400  a year. That is $2-$3 per bird per day or $0.75-$1.25 per dozen eggs. Add in another $100 per bird to replace hens that die, and the cost of keeping chickens starts to look pretty good.

It may be the total cost of keeping hens is minimal; however, there are some costs involved when you raise hens.

Be sure to get your hens vaccinated, especially for diseases like Marek’s disease and fowl pox.

If problems arise, like disease or predators, you’ll have to treat your chickens with medication that may cost extra.

Disinfecting your coop and equipment to prevent diseases can cost up to $30 or more.

How much is the total cost of keeping a hen?


How Much Do Hens Cost

How to make more eggs from your hens?

If you want your hens to lay more eggs, then provide them with calcium supplements and oyster shells!

With your hens, you should also make a place in the coop and put roosts right in there. You should clean the floor of the coop every day, so it doesn’t have a chance to build up a lot of dirt and/or dust.

One way to get more eggs from your chickens is by providing them with an egg box – this should be about 1-2 feet high and placed in the coop so that it has enough space for nesting.

Which price of laying hens?

Egg-laying chickens are not inexpensive. Baby chicks can range from $3 to $5, and egg-laying hens can range from $20 to $50. If you want a more expensive breed of chicken, both chicks and hens will cost more

Is it cost-effective to raise hens for eggs?

As a general rule, it is not very cost-effective to raise chickens for eggs. It would be much cheaper and more cost-effective to purchase eggs at the store. A chicken’s egg production peaks between 24 and 36 months of age, and after that they produce few eggs, and their health declines. However, if you are considering raising chickens for eggs, you need more consideration before investing your time and money.

In addition to exploring the cost of hens, our article titled “How Much Do Hens Cost? From Pennies to Poultry” delves into the topic of electric fence chargers and provides a comprehensive review of the top 7 best options for cattle.


Hens are relatively inexpensive to buy and maintain, making them a great investment for any aspiring backyard farmer who wants fresh eggs. If you’re looking for an affordable way to start to raise your hens, let discuss it with us. We will help you with some tips and tricks for your raising demands.