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How Much Does It Cost to Start a Poultry Farm?

Last Updated: 21.03.23


If you are planning on starting a poultry farm, you must know how much money it will cost. Since even cheaper equipment such as waterers could increase the cost by a lot, you should make sure to check out chicken waterer reviews before making a large acquisition.


Select your sector

First of all, you have to choose what kind of poultry farming you want to do. There are 2 main categories for you to consider: broilers and layers. Broilers are chickens raised for meat and layers are raised for eggs. Also, there is the additional business of incubating eggs and raising chicks. Each choice implies different costs as broilers and layers require a different type of poultry food.


Legal expenses

Don’t forget to include money in the budget for licenses and permits such as business license, fire department permit, sign permit, etc. Also, there will be expenses for accounting services (Payroll software, P.O.S. machines, and software, etc.). These should cost about $16,000.



Choose your farm’s location

In order to start your poultry farm, you will need a good plot of land. Farm lands are not as expensive as lands in residential areas so you should consider setting your farm outside of the city.

Moving away too far from the city to get the cheapest price might be a mistake. It is of great importance that your business has all the necessary facilities. Furthermore, being far from the town will increase transport costs. Because of a longer distance, suppliers will charge you more and you will have to pay higher salaries.


Getting the first chicks

As a beginner in this business, you will have to buy your first chicks from other poultry farms. The number of chicks you should acquire depends on the size of your farm and the current capacity of the poultry housing. Of course, you will be able to expand these in the future. 

Buying day-old chicks should be quite cheap as you can get 24 for almost 2$. If you are making a big purchase, you might get a discount. However, be really careful when handling day-old chicks since they have a high risk of dying.


Chicken coops

Chicken coops are a great choice if you are planning on developing a backyard farm. A chicken coop costs around $500. Add a few mature chickens and you will have fresh eggs immediately.


Building a fence

If you are going to raise your chickens outdoors, you need to build a fence. It will keep the chickens from escaping the farm and protect them from predators such as foxes, dogs, or badgers. Although it may seem expensive, you will pay for the fence only once. Chicken wire is sold online for about $2 a meter. By raising the birds outside, you will be able to sell them at a higher price.



Poultry equipment

The equipment should suit the poultry farm’s necessities. If the farm is raising layer chickens, you will need more hatchery equipment. If you are going for meat production, it would help your business to have equipment for processing the meat.


Layer poultry

If you have decided to raise chickens for eggs, there is some information that you should be aware of. The chickens will start to lay eggs at the age of 12 weeks. In general, farmers keep the hens for 12 months, after which they sell them to slaughterhouses.

Farmers control environmental conditions to increase production. For example, a hen will lay more eggs during the warmer seasons. So you should expect a higher bill for heating. Also, more lighting has the same effect. These are just two examples of how choosing the type of poultry will influence your expenses.

An automatic laying machine for 12 chickens costs around $400. There is a cheaper version for $120-150.

Another available option is to breed chicks for sale. According to prices found online, a hatchery machine costs from $300 to $600 depending on capacity. Diesel and electric are the most popular choices among experienced farmers.


Broiler poultry

In case the broiler poultry is raised indoors, a ventilation system is required. The price of this is influenced by the size of the house. For example, a house 300 feet long and 55 feet wide is enough for 20,000 birds. A cooling and ventilation system costs about $10-25 per square meter.


Infrared bulbs and gas heaters

These are used to keep the chicks warm. Red light is better than white light because it allows the chicks to sleep. It also helps prevent chickens from pecking one another. Depending on the manufacturer, infrared bulbs cost from $2 to $20.

Another solution to keep the birds warm is to use gas heaters. Despite being more expensive than infra-red bulbs, they can keep warm a bigger area of the chickens’ house.



The number of feeders used should be appropriate to the number of chickens. Having a small number of feeders will cause health problems as some of the hens might not eat enough. If you are using too many feeders, the quantity of waste will increase and the feeding cost will go up. 

Plastic and metal feeders are the most common and the price for this equipment is from $3 to $10 depending on capacity and quality. It is recommended to have some spare feeders as they might break or become too dirty in time. If you want to maximize the capacity of your farm, choose hanging feeders instead of linear feeders. This way, the number of chickens eating at the same time is higher by 30%.


Poultry feed

This is the most expensive item on the shopping list. Depending on the chickens’ age, you will have to buy a different poultry feed. In the first part of the hen’s growth, the costs will be very high. A feed with a high percentage of protein is required and this is the most expensive of them. 

A pound of high-protein poultry feed costs around $0.3. When the birds get to 12 weeks, feeding them will get a bit cheaper. A pound of poultry feed used for this period costs around 0.25$ per bag.

If you are raising chickens for eggs, you should buy shell grit to add to their diet. A chicken that lays eggs needs around 4 grams of calcium per day. Half of this quantity will go into the egg so the shell will be resistant and normally shaped. A bag of 50 pounds costs around $7 but most of the producers will offer a discount if you but a large quantity. 

Shell grit is not recommended for broiler poultry or young chicks because it will damage their liver and kidneys. Having an inappropriate diet will increase the veterinarian’s bills. 

Keep in mind that prices could be different according to producer and country of origin. You can lower the feeding price by producing your own poultry feed. Even if it costs a lot of money at the beginning, the expenses will be reduced in the long run.



It is essential to have a source of water in the chicken’s cage. Clean and fresh water is indispensable for chickens’ health so a water pot should be cleaned easily. There are various types of waterers. 

They could be made of plastic or diverse metals. Depending on the farm size, you can supply the water by simply filling water pots or having a pipeline system connected to all waterers from the cage. A waterer might cost you from $0.5 to $9 for those made of good quality stainless steel.


Medical treatment

Your hens must receive medical attention to have a healthy growth and a high-level production. You should have a money reserve for medical emergencies such as disease outbreaks. This kind of crisis can be avoided if you have your hens vaccinated at the right time. Depending on the treatment plan, you might spend around $550 for 200 birds. 


Take care of marketing

You will need a large number of clients to keep your business going. Flyers are a good method if you want to get your business to be known locally. For 2,000 flyers you will have to pay around 3,800$.

Also, creating a website would be useful. Most of the potential clients and business partners will look online for poultry products. A website containing relevant information about your business should cost you around 800$, depending on your preferences.



Leave a comment


Panayiotis Ptochopoulos

March 22, 2020 at 10:57 am

I need to make a plan in order to start my own farm on an industrial scale.. i need to know the economies of scale (start up costs vs number of chickens to produce)


March 23, 2020 at 2:08 pm

Hi there. To make this plan, you’ll need the costs/prices associated with poultry farming in your geographic area.

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