I FINALLY got chickens added to the Farm! I have been wanting chickens for a while now, even though I'm actually terrified of them. We had some not-so-friendly chickens when I was growing up.... But the idea of farm fresh eggs is too good to pass up. Plus, I've seen all of these adorable coops floating around Pinterest with pretty Barred Rocks, so I got chicken fever. Better than baby fever, at this point anyway.
The problem with farming, even on the tiny scale that we are doing it, is that farming is expensive. Animals and even gardening requires a lot of equipment. I had looked online and saw several posts about WHAT chicks need, but very few that talked about HOW MUCH that costs. The Dave Ramsey fans need to know! Everything needs to be budgeted and saved up for when you are trying to live debt free, so I thought that I would share with you how much it cost for us to buy our first set of chicks, so you could plan accordingly when you buy your own chicks.
Things to note:
- The starter crumbles were organic and non-medicated. I hadn't cared about the organic part so much as the non-medicated, but that was the one feed option at our local farm supply store at the time of buying the chicks that was non-medicated. I just don't see the point in medicating "in case." I don't take antibiotics in case I were to get sick. But I understand this is a personal preference and semi-controversial. Also, realize that 5lb only lasted us about a week. We have since been to a larger farm supply store and bought a 50lb bag of non-medicated feed.
- We only ended up needing one of the brooder lamps, but it's nice to know that if something were to happen, we have an extra.
- Two bags of pine shavings was MORE THAN ENOUGH. I would only buy one if I had it to do over again.
- You may need to buy something to keep your chicks in. We had an old plastic water trough that we (meaning my husband) cleaned out and we put them in that. I found one that looks similar to what we have on Rural King's website for about $75.
We are still working on getting the coop built. The plan is to house the chickens near the beehive. Since we will let them out to free range most of the day, the chickens are supposed to help eat up some of the pests that would normally try to get into the hive, at least that's what my research has told me. I will do a coop tour when we get it complete as well.
Next year we (meaning I) hope to add meat chickens to the farm as well, but my husband is wise and thought it would be best to take on one new thing at a time. I'm lucky to have someone to reel me in at times, even if I don't like it at the moment. In the meantime, if you're local, let me know if you need to buy eggs. With fourteen chicks, we are going to have more than we can go through! LOL!