Are Backyard Chickens Worth It? (Explained)

Raising backyard chickens can be a rewarding and educational experience, but is it worth the investment? In this in-depth analysis, we’ll explore the various factors that determine whether backyard chickens are worth it, taking into account costs, benefits, and potential challenges.

We’ll also discuss related topics such as how much it costs to fully landscape a backyard and how to make your backyard more private. Let’s dive deep into the world of backyard chickens and help you decide if this fascinating hobby is the right fit for you.

CHICKEN MATH: Are Backyard Chickens Worth It?
Raising backyard chickens can be a rewarding experience with many benefits.
Backyard chicken eggs are safe to eat and often healthier than store-bought eggs.
Chickens can be good for the environment and help reduce your carbon footprint.
It’s important to be aware of potential dangers associated with backyard chickens.
Whether or not raising backyard chickens is a good idea depends on your lifestyle, budget, and goals.

How Do I Start Raising Chickens?

If you’re thinking of raising backyard chickens, the first step is to locate a hatchery. You can find them all over the internet.

But your best bet is to go through a reputable seller who’s been around for a while so that they can provide good customer service and advice when it comes time for your chicks to arrive. 

Some popular sources include Murray McMurray Hatchery, Crawford’s Poultry Supply Co., and My Pet Chicken (which also sells supplies). 

Once you’ve placed your order and paid for shipping costs, sit back and wait for those little fluffballs to show up at the door.

If you’re considering raising backyard chickens, it’s important to know that backyard chicken eggs are safe to eat. Our guide explains how you can ensure the safety of your eggs and reap the benefits of fresh, delicious eggs from your own backyard flock.

Benefits of Raising Backyard Chickens

Fresh, delicious eggsBackyard chicken eggs are often fresher and more flavorful than store-bought eggs.
Sustainable lifestyleRaising backyard chickens can promote a more eco-friendly way of life by reducing your carbon footprint and supporting local agriculture.
Educational experienceRaising chickens can teach kids and adults alike about the life cycle of animals, responsibility, and self-sufficiency.
Pest controlChickens can help control pests in your garden and yard, reducing the need for harmful chemicals.
Fertilizer productionChicken manure is a nutrient-rich fertilizer that can help improve soil quality and plant growth.

What About City Ordinances And HOA Rules?

In addition to zoning laws, you’ll also want to check with your city and county governments. Many municipalities require permits for chickens, which can cost several hundred dollars. 

To avoid getting hit with fines, it’s a good idea to call the planning office of your local government before buying your birds. 

You can also find out whether there are any ordinances in place regarding backyard chickens by searching online (just type in “backyard chickens” plus the name of your city).

If you own a home within an HOA community, it’s best to check their rules before buying chickens. 

HOAs often have restrictions regarding what kind of animals homeowners can keep on their property typically only dogs and cats are allowed but they may be more lenient than cities when it comes to backyard hens!

Do I Need A Rooster?

You do not need a rooster to get eggs. Chickens lay eggs whether they are fertile or not, and many hens will lay unfertilized eggs that they won’t even sit on. 

The only reason you would need a rooster is if you want to hatch baby chicks from your eggs (and eat them), or if you want to breed chickens and sell their offspring at the local farmers’ market.

If you’re just looking for some fresh farm-to-table egg meals in your backyard without all of the extra work involved with raising baby chicks, then no you don’t need a rooster!

Did you know that backyard chicken eggs are healthier than store-bought? Our guide breaks down the nutritional benefits of backyard eggs and provides tips for maximizing their health benefits in your diet.

How Many Chickens Should I Get?

How many chickens to get depends on your needs.

If you want eggs, you will need 2-3 hens. If you want meat, you will need 1 rooster and at least 4 hens (the more the merrier). Smaller breeds like bantams are recommended if you’re just starting because they tend to be less flighty than large fowl birds.

How Much Is It Going To Cost Me To Raise Chickens?

There are many different costs associated with keeping hens. The first thing you need to consider is the cost of housing and equipment. Hens require a place to live, food and water, bedding for their nests, feeders for feeding them, and waterers for giving them water. 

Other items can be necessary depending on your situation such as predator protection for your chickens, a coop (the house they occupy), nest boxes (where your chickens lay eggs), and heat lamps (to keep their eggs from freezing in winter) and more!

In addition to the above supplies, there are veterinary costs that may come up if any of your chicks or hens become ill or injured while they’re under your care. 

Some people would advise against getting pet insurance coverage but it’s up to you whether or not this is something worth considering based on your financial situation at any given time throughout the year when raising chickens starts becoming expensive!

Potential Drawbacks of Raising Backyard Chickens

NoiseRoosters can be loud and disruptive, and even hens can be noisy at times.
SmellChicken coops can produce odors that some neighbors may find unpleasant.
Upfront costsRaising chickens can require a significant investment in equipment, feed, and housing.
Time commitmentChickens require daily care and attention, including feeding, cleaning, and monitoring for health issues.
Zoning restrictionsDepending on where you live, there may be zoning laws or homeowners’ association rules that prohibit or limit chicken-keeping.

What Will My Chickens eat?

Chickens are omnivorous, so they will eat both meat and plants. Some people think chickens only eat worms and bugs, but that’s not true! 

They also eat grass, weeds, fruit, and vegetables. Just like you can’t survive on a diet of only candy bars, your chickens need both protein and calcium in their diets to be healthy.

They’ll get most of the protein they need by eating insects like caterpillars or grubs (the larvae of beetles). 

They’ll also get fiber from eating the leaves and stems of plants that are safe for humans to eat (like leafy greens), which helps them digest all that food better. Chickens don’t have teeth—like cows do so they can’t chew up leaves too much before swallowing them whole!

Looking for ways to make your lifestyle more sustainable? Consider raising backyard chickens! Backyard chickens are good for the environment, and our guide explains how they can help reduce your carbon footprint and promote a more eco-friendly way of life.

Where Do I Get My Chickens From?

There are plenty of places you can pick up chicks, and many of them have a variety of different breeds to choose from. If you live in an area with several feed stores, they will likely sell chickens. If not, your best bet is probably going to be buying them online or at a farmers market.

Chickens are shipped as either straight run (no sexing) or sexed (male and female). You may want to start with a straight run because it’s cheaper per bird but then decide whether you want more males than females once they arrive at your doorstep. 

Sexed birds cost around twice as much per chick so if you don’t mind waiting until they get older before determining the sex, this option might suit your needs better.

How Much Space Do I Need For My Chickens?

The amount of space you will need for your chickens depends on the breed, but at least 2 square feet per bird is recommended. 

You should also make sure that you have room for them to move around and scratch, a roosting area at night, and some shade from the sun during the day as well.

What Is The Best Time Of Year To Add Chickens To Your Backyard Flock?

The best time to add chickens is when they are available. The seasons for backyard chickens are not the same as those for other backyard creatures, so don’t make any assumptions. 

Chickens have a life cycle that follows their natural environment and food sources, which means they can be anywhere from very affordable in the spring and summer to very expensive in the winter.

While there are many benefits to raising backyard chickens, it’s important to be aware of potential risks as well. Our guide explains why backyard chickens can be dangerous and provides tips for keeping yourself and your flock safe

With The Right Preparations, Raising Chickens Can Be An Easy And Rewarding Experience

Before you jump into raising backyard chickens, it is important to do your research and make sure that this will be a good fit for your family. Consider the following:

Research local ordinances regarding backyard chickens, including whether or not they are allowed in your area at all. 

There may be regulations on how many chickens you can raise based on the size of your yard (and sometimes even based on which side of the street you live on).

Figure out how much time and energy you want to commit to caring for these animals. 

Some people prefer very low-maintenance pets and only need to check in with their chickens once per day; others might want something more interactive than just keeping them fed and watered every few days; there is no wrong way!

Think about what kind of food source would work best for your situation do some research into where different types of feed come from so that any concerns over sustainability or animal welfare issues are addressed before getting started.

If you’re still on the fence about raising backyard chickens, our guide on whether backyard chickens are a good idea can help you make an informed decision. We cover everything from the costs and benefits of chicken-keeping to the potential drawbacks and challenges, so you can decide whether raising chickens is the right choice for you.


So there you have it! Raising backyard chickens is a rewarding experience that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It’s a great way to get some fresh eggs, but it’s also just fun. 

If you already have chickens or are thinking about getting some, then we hope this article helped clear up any questions you may have had about whether or not these birds are right for your family.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources that can provide more information about backyard farming and gardening:

11 Animals That Can Be Raised in the Backyard: This article provides a list of animals that can be raised in the backyard, including chickens, ducks, rabbits, and goats, among others. It also provides some tips on how to care for them.

How Much Is a Backyard Greenhouse? Find Out!: This article discusses the cost of building a backyard greenhouse, as well as the different types of greenhouses and their features.

How Do You Make a Small Backyard Private? Easy Guide!: This article provides some tips on how to make a small backyard more private, including using plants, fences, and screens.

How to Start a Vegetable Garden: A Beginner’s Guide: This beginner’s guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to start a vegetable garden, including selecting a location, preparing the soil, planting, and maintaining the garden.

The Benefits of Composting: This resource from the EPA explains the benefits of composting, including reducing waste, improving soil health, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The Many Benefits of Backyard Chickens: This article discusses the benefits of raising backyard chickens, including providing fresh eggs, controlling pests, and improving soil health.

Why You Should Not Get Chickens: This article presents a different perspective on raising backyard chickens and discusses some of the potential downsides, including the costs, time commitment, and risks associated with raising chickens.


Q: Are backyard chickens worth it?

A: It depends on your goals and priorities. Backyard chickens can provide fresh eggs, help control pests, and provide fertilizer for your garden, but they also require time, effort, and money to care for properly.

Q: What animals can be raised in the backyard?

A: There are several animals that can be raised in the backyard, including chickens, ducks, rabbits, goats, and bees. However, it’s important to research the requirements for each animal and ensure that they are legal to keep in your area.

Q: How much does it cost to build a backyard greenhouse?

A: The cost of building a backyard greenhouse can vary depending on the size, materials, and features you choose. Some DIY kits can cost as little as a few hundred dollars, while larger, more advanced models can cost several thousand dollars