Just as you cannot determine how much you will spend in raising a little baby, you cannot also determine how much to raise a chicken. As an experienced chicken farmer I can only give you estimates. However, I will advise you to be open to other unforeseen expenses that will arise.
You need about $1500-$2700 to raise a chicken. Don’t be scared, this amount includes the birds’ feed, housing, high-quality coop, medicine, pest control, and water. Let’s break this down a bit.
Raising a chicken depends on the number of birds and the breed you want to raise, but ranges between $15 – $30 per month. (If you decide to use local materials for their cage it will cost $150-$200), (a more fancy one will be about $1000-$2000), (for good feeds budget at least $150 per month).
I have decided to share my secrets about raising a chicken in this article. Everything you need to know about raising chickens from start to finish is embedded in this article.
One thing you really have to consider before starting out to raise chicken is your priority. You need to ask yourself why do I want to raise chickens, is it for meats, for sales or for eggs? Answering this question effectively will help you choose the right breed to raise. This is one mistake I learned the hard way and I see lots of chicken lovers repeating the same thing. You can spend all your wages on a broiler or rooster expecting it to lay eggs for you, but no no no! That’s the wrong choice of breed. Most times, it is the breeds that determine the cost you need for raising the chicken.
Another very important fact to consider in raising a chicken is the equipment you need. Many poultry farmers ignore making research on the necessary equipment they need to raise their birds, so they just go ahead using anything they see as equipment; the funny part of these is that they expect to get healthy and fat chickens at the end of the whole thing. Listen dear, I made that mistake as well but, I have learnt that if you must excel as a poultry farmer, you must provide your birds the right equipment they need, its never a waste you can always use it over and over again. Here are some of these amazing equipment and their uses.
Necessary Equipment You Need to Raise a Chicken
Every farmer has a tool to help make his work effective. The mistake most people make is that they think raising chickens is just getting a good chicken and feeding them well but there are tools for raising chickens. As a chicken farmer, you need to know these pieces of equipment, their cost, and of course, their various uses.
For me poultry housing is not just an essential equipment it is also a vital necessity. Where you keep your birds matters a lot. Of course a poultry house is an equipment used to provide shelter your birds and also keep them safe from their predators. You cant afford to keep them in just any kind of house if you want them safe. There are many materials you can use to produce a good house for your birds. The material you decide to use is what determines the price for the cage. If you choose a local house it will cost about —— to —- amount but a fancy one should cost about —. No matter the one you finally choose, just know that it must have good ventilation and have good light as well.
Some Helpful Details about a Poultry House Include:
- The house must have an open-air for good ventilation.
- The house must always be clean and dry. Never allow the house wet, their hygiene is very vital if they must live.
- The liter of the house should be 3-inch depth at least.
- You can use wood powder, or sand as liter.
- You can mix half kg of lime with the liter.
- The liter of the house must be changed after every week.
You can get your eggs hatched before time using this incubator. The incubator is used to hatch eggs using unnatural methods, so when you have so many eggs and you need them hatched faster just get this incubator. There are different sizes with different capacities. With $30000 in a local store, you can get a good hatching incubator of 128 eggs capacity but in a foreign store, you can get a good one of the same capacity for $32000. You can also get one with a 60-egg capacity for $12,000.
You can make your choice there are several other higher capacity, decide and get it.
There several types of feeders you can use to feed your chickens. Circular feeders are also known as hanging feeders. They are all used for feeding birds. You will like it because it can be attached with feed grills to prevent wastage, its beautiful attractive colors which help to attract your birds and Its capacity can carry 5 to 7 kg of feed in its cone at a time, it can last 4-7 days depending on the age of your chicks. It costs about $5 – $7 in a local store but from a foreign store $9-$10, the choice is yours.
Shell Grit Box
Shell grit box, is a very good tool you will need it to provide shell grit for your birds especially your layers, to severe as supplement for calcium for egg shell production, laying eggs need a lot of this. Your layers surely need this, so if you want more eggs, get a shell grit box.
Cages and Coops
This poultry equipment is different from poultry housing; it is used for keeping poultry birds. it is suitable for small scale poultry farming, so if you want to start small you can start with this. Its very affordable and available.
This feeder is very good for you; I bet youll like it. The feed is placed in the automatic feeder to help supply feeds to the entire length of the poultry house. So instead of stressing yourself to distribute feeds to all your birds, the automatic feeder saves you that stress. The machine has a chain like devices which enables it to move the feed from the feed bins to the other end.
The feeder can be adjusted to any height depending on the height and location of your birds cage and even the age of the birds. It is operated with electricity, so all you have to do is, place the feeds in the feeder, operate it to do what you want and then gentle supervise the movement. I love this machine, I advise you get this especially if you are dealing in large scale poultry farming.
If you feel the automatic feeder is way too big and expensive for you, especially if you are just starting, you can get the linear feeder. It does the same job of supplying feeds for your birds, but you will have to manually carry the linear feeder to all the locations of the birds and also remove them when your chickens are done, you can get more than one considering how many they are.
Remember I said earlier, one of the things you must consider before starting is how many birds you want to start with. The number of the birds determines the equipment suitable for you. Linear feeders are available and affordable in different sizes.
Your birds need enough air to survive, you must try to make your farm very conducive for your birds, they dont need to be in a stuffy environment so asides from the natural air they receive its still not enough.
Therefore they will need a ventilation fan. This ventilation fan helps to provide maximum ventilation for your poultry farm. The fan is adjustable; you can reduce the temperature of the farm especially when the weather is hot using this ventilation fan.
Every poultry farmer needs this equipment, oh yes you do! Especially if your reason for starting this business is for eggs. If you are you are dealing with only roosters, I dont think you will have need for this equipment. Asides that you need a Laying nest to help the birds for laying of eggs. One advantage this equipment has is that, it increases the egg productivity of the poultry birds.
Another amazing importance of this nest is that, it helps you know when the egg is ready to hatch. It might interest you to know that an under- weight egg can never hatch, so the nest weighs the weight of the egg to check if it is ready It sound impossible right? But I assure you it is so true.
This is equipments used in weighing the weight of the eggs. It helps the poultry farmer know the eggs that are fertile enough for hatchery because it is assumed that an underweight egg does not have what it take to form a chick.
2 Diseases You’ll Encounter in Raising Chickens
Just like every other animals there are certain common diseases you might encounter in raising them, chickens are no exception. Knowing these common diseases will help you in the business of raising chickens.
Open your heart, dont get scared these diseases are common and have preventions and diseases.
This disease is one of the most common but very serious diseases. It affects the chicks at a very tender age, (7 days or less). If they are not prevented earlier it can even kill your chicks. The symptom for this disease is weak, poorly looking, failure to thrive, pale skin and comb, Decreased appetite and weight loss.
It is better to avoid your chicks contacting this disease, because when one chick contacts the disease, it becomes difficult to control your coop. This disease is highly contagious. Anyways there are some preventive tips that can help
- Cleanliness, the environment for your chicken must be kept clean. When your chicken house is filled with chicken poop, feathers and so many other unwanted dirt, get ready because your chicks are about to be infected. Remember it affects the chicks first and the symptoms usually dont manifest until 6-8weeks. So you must make sure you maintain consistent cleanliness for your chicks before they join the coop, in other not to affect others coops.
- Provide a warm environment for them, an environment of 70-90°F is okay for them; dont keep them in a hot environment please if you must avoid this disease.
- Feed your chicks medicated starter for the first few weeks, this helps to boost their immune system to fight against disease and also keep them healthy and strong. This medicated feed starter is better treated with amprolium to help prevent coccidiosis. If these symptoms start to occur or persist, its important to increases the dosage of the medicated feed if you arent using it already.
- isolate the affected birds from the healthy ones, you can know from the symptoms I already stated above. This is very important because the disease is contagious, if the healty ones contact it, then it becomes big trouble because you might likely loos half of your coop. At this I will advice you to involve a veterinarian as you will likely need antibiotics. Trust me if you can follow the recommendations outlined above, the chance of your chicks surviving coccidiosis is very high.
This is an infection on the foot. It might look minor but its very serious, in fact if not prevented it might need surgery to save your chicken. This process is quiet expensive, painful for your chicken and most of the time, they dont even live long after the surgery i.e if they survive at all. However it can be treated. Below are some helpful practical steps.
- Soak their foot for 10 minutes or more and soften the bumble until it pops out, then give it a warm foot bath with Epsom salts is the bath of choice. This can be time consuming so you have to be patient.
- Once their foot is soft you need to remove the bumble; this will leave a large hole. After that, bring it out and wrap in a towel, the soaking process might be painful so, you have to pet her well. I advice, when treating you can treat the both of them.
- The next step is to place her on her side so you can clearly see the bumble. This part is not funny at all so even your petting might not work but you can place a second towel very loosely over her head, this helps a lot to calm her down.
- If it is a small and fairly recent, you may be lucky enough to have it pop out for you easily. With the tweezers or your fingernail, try to lift the edges of the bumble up. If they lift easily squeeze the bumble between your fingers working up from the bottom of the lesion to the skin surface.
- Fill the hole with plain Neosporin and wrap securely with Vet wrap. It should not be so tight as to restrict circulation, so check after 5 minutes to make sure the foot is still warm. Secure in place with tape.
4 Awesome Benefits of Raising Chicken
It will interest you to know that, raising chicken provides a lot of wonderful benefits, in the cause of raising your coops, it’s very important for you to know the things you will gain From your hard work, it will encourage you to do more. There are so many amazing benefits you can get from raising chicken; let’s look at some of them.
Of course, we can’t talk about the benefits of raising chicken, without talking about eggs, except you are raising roosters alone. It’s so fullfiling when you walk up to your farm in the morning and get eggs layed by a chicken you raised, for breakfast, trust me it will give you an awesome satisfaction and encouragement.
Eggs are very nutritious and protenious, they can be sold and as well eaten. Their shells are also used to produce scouring powder. So aside from enjoying the eggs, you can also sell them to get money. It reduces expenses for you, so when you want to bake cakes, pancakes, sandwich and so many other things you need eggs for, instead of stressing yourself and going to get from the market, you can just go to your farm and pick as many eggs as you desire.
Also being assured that the eggs you are eating is properly raised and healthy, gives you an usual confidence and happiness as you eat them, but when you are not sure of the source you will be skeptical about it.
Your chickens produce good compost for your plants, every farmer knows the importance and value of good compost for their plants. This is a very important benefit of raising chickens. Just so you know, you can sell chicken compost to Farmers, many farmers even prefer the compost of chickens to that of other animals, so if you raise chickens and also have a farm, you are off great advantage. If you do not have a farm, you are still of great advantage, because you can sell it and make profits.
Tilling the ground
Chickens make farming easier and faster, they perfectly mix the top layer of soil with mulch. They scratch and dig constantly. They are very good at tilling the ground naturally, so you can make use of this their natural habit of tilling the ground in your farming. Planting is made easy if you chickens in your farm, the more they are in number the easier your farm work becomes.
Do you Know chickens make awesome pets? You might not believe me but trust me they do. Chickens are very passionate and friendly pets, you will love it when you keep them. They easy you off a lot of stress and they can be funny as well. If you can be devoted to your chickens through caring for them and feeding them especially in the morning, they will get to love you. Chickens can develop an affection for their caretakers. , rushing them in greeting in the morning feedings, hopping up into your lap for pets or cuddles, and walking around with you gently garden.
The benefits of keeping chickens are endless, and far outweigh just having fresh eggs for breakfast every day. They can contribute to the health of your garden, the health of your soil and lawn, and even your own mental health. They make excellent pets, wonderful little animals full of love and affection. They even make perfect and nearly free pest control – just need the cost of the hen herself.