Raising Chickens on a Tight Budget
One of the reasons I started out on the homesteading journey was because I just knew that I could save money. While that has not always turned out to be true, what I did discover is that homesteading, and raising chickens, in particular, can stretch your ingenuity and creativity. I learned right away, that you don’t need to go out and buy expensive feeds, medicines, and supplements to raise healthy chickens.
How we raise chickens on a tight budget:
- Use simple or re-purposed building supplies: Aluminum sheets, plastic, 2 by 4s, etc.
- We used an old dog igloo instead of building a fancy nesting box.
- Buy buckets for water at Dollar Tree
- Clean out an old shed or part of a shed as a coop
- Construct simple cages out of PVC pipe with chicken wire
- But larger rolls of chicken wire to get more for your money
- Look for price and value in purchasing supplies: the feed store is not always the cheapest source of what you need.
- Use old milk jugs or PVC pipe for DIY feeders.
- Find whatever you can around home, like old ropes and carabiners to hang feeders and waters, or plastic ties to secure items to the walls and posts of your coop. Even duct tape or Gorilla tape is fairly water resistant, which you can buy at Dollar Tree.
- Look for free chicken coop plans online. I found these plans on Anna White’s Homemaking blog, which has some great DIY building projects for women. Grit magazine has some really good, inexpensive ideas. Look for the Backyard Chickens edition for the year, which you can also find on Amazon.
- Use diatomaceous earth for coop bugs or dusting for mites on chickens.
- Make a chicken “bath” from an old tire filled with dirt.
- Keep simple herbs and essential oils handy for emergencies. My favorites are: lavender and tea tree oils, witch hazel, and calendula
- Make your own chicken treats with leftover grease and seeds or give them a plate of lettuce, or our favorite a leftover watermelon rind.