Are you considering adding baby chicks to your farm or backyard coop? If so, you’re likely wondering about the cost of these adorable little birds! After all, it’s an important factor in deciding if this is a viable endeavor for you.
In today’s post, we’ll dive deep into the world of baby chick costs—so that by the end, you’ll have all the information and resources needed to make an informed decision. Ready to get started? Let’s go!
How Much Do Different Breeds Of Baby Chicks Cost?
Different breeds of baby chicks can cost anywhere from a few dollars to several hundred dollars (if you want specific costs, the least expensive of the common breeds will likely be around $2/chick, while the more expensive will be in the $30 range).
The main factors influencing cost are their rarity and how much demand there is for the breed.
For instance, chicks of fancy breeds such as Silkies or Frizzles might cost more than other common breeds like Rhode Island Reds or Barred Rocks.
It is essential to research the availability and costs of different breeds before committing to one.
Where Can You Buy Baby Chicks?
Feed stores tend to have lower-cost birds with fewer specialty options, while hatcheries are likely to have more diverse selections, including rare breeds that cost more money.
Online vendors typically provide greater variety regarding affordability and breed selection. However, it’s always better to buy in person if you can, as mentioned below.
What Is The Best Way To Purchase Baby Chicks?
When purchasing baby chicks, it is best to go with a hatchery or online vendor that offers a guarantee for the quality and health of the birds.
Additionally, buyers should be sure to purchase chicks in person if possible so they can carefully inspect each bird for signs of disease or defect before making a purchase (+ it’s more fun!).
Related: California Chicken Hatcheries
Diseases To Watch For When Buying Baby Chicks
Before purchasing, it’s important to look out for certain diseases that are common in chicks.
- Coccidiosis is an intestinal disease caused by parasites. It can lead to diarrhea and dehydration.
- Marek’s Disease is another serious illness that affects chicks and leads to lesions on the chicks’ feathers, paralysis of the legs, or even death.
Vaccines exist for both of these diseases, so before purchasing chicks, be sure to inquire at your local feed store or farm supply shop as to what kinds of preventative protocols they have in place. That way, you will know your chicks are off to a healthy start!
How Many Chicks Should I Start With?
When beginning a chicken flock, it is generally recommended to start with at least three chickens so they can form bonds with each other and not become lonely over time.
That being said, some owners opt for more significant numbers (6-12) to increase the chances of healthier offspring since chickens tend to produce better eggs when raised in groups rather than individually.
Is It Expensive To Own Chickens?
The cost of owning chickens ultimately depends on how many birds you plan on keeping and what breed(s) you choose to raise.
Basic expenses, such as feed, bedding material, housing supplies, etc., will remain relatively consistent regardless of your flock size.
However, additional costs may arise if you purchase show-quality birds or hire an avian vet for regular checkups/treatments throughout their lifespans.
Most owners say the cost and effort are well worth the reward.
It’s clear that there are a lot of factors to consider when purchasing baby chicks, from the price and type of chick to how many you should buy. However, with some research, you can find the perfect breed for your backyard chicken flock at a price that fits your budget.
As a side note, it may be tempting to rush into buying a backyard flock since it is exciting to start such a wonderful new endeavor. However, thinking it over and carefully will pay dividends down the road. Good luck!
Photo by Daniel Tuttle on Unsplash.