How much do chickens cost in the U.K?

By Amy Nash on 15 June 2021

One of the most common questions I get asked is how much do chickens cost to keep. My answer is ‘how long is a piece of string’…

You can generally keep chickens on whatever budget you have available. Things like coops can be made out of unused sheds, therefore costing very little initial outlay in money but may require a little of your time in order to adapt it to its new purpose, or can be ordered in from one of the top chicken coop manufacturers and cost upwards of £700. There are many options in between and each has pros and cons on the other, it’s mainly a personal preference.

A chicken will be happy if it has fresh water, food, somewhere safe to sleep and lay its eggs and space to exercise. She really isn’t interested if the door of her coop has the latest automatic opening mechanism or if it’s easier for you to clean out than other coops.

Apart from a comfortable coop chickens also need:

  • Fresh water (free)
  • Drinker (£4)
  • Feeder (£5)
  • Layered pellets (£14/20kg)
  • Chicken corn (£12/20kg)
  • Grit (£3/kg)
  • Sawdust (£10/20kg)
  • And Straw (£5/3kg).

It is difficult to say how often you need to purchase these as it is dependent on so many factors. The amount of food you will need depends on how many chickens you are keeping and whether they are getting other supplements like corn and grass. A typical chicken will eat 120g of layered pellets per day. The same can be said for the sawdust and straw.

Overall the end cost for setting up is:

  • ~£53 for necessary food and bedding
  • 3 hens at “point of lay” will set you back anything from £15 to £50+ unless you can source them for free.
  • A coop (Ff you can’t build one yourself) ~£300
  • Final costs: ~£400

When you offset these costs against the price you will save on eggs and the enjoyment you will get out of keeping chickens, then for me it’s a no brainer.

When we kept our 4 backyard chickens we would get enough eggs to supply ourselves and sell to our friends for £1/6 eggs. The money we made from this offset the cost of the chickens upkeep, so they cost us very little going forwards.

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