The Cost of Chicken Math


Our $4 Bantam Chickens

Back in July, I explained how chicken math works. We went to town for chicken wire and came home with four baby bantam chickens from the end of season chick sale. These cuties cost us all of $4.

Or so we thought.

The trouble started when we attempted to introduce the banties into the coop with The Colonel and The Girls. I read extensively on the issue of introducing new chickens into an existing flock and tried to learn from the experiences of others.

Many folks advised slinking into the coop in the dead of night and slipping the new chickens onto the roost with the hopes that in the morning they would all wake up one big happy family. I’m not sure that plan gives the chickens much credit. And, I wasn’t really up for the “slinking in the middle of the night” part.

Another strategy suggested that you personally introduce the chickens into the coop and hang out with them for a while to make sure everyone played nicely. This approach sounded reasonable to me.

We cleared out the coop and let the banties learn the lay of the land in there before letting them into the run with the rest of the chickens.

bantam hens

Introducing the bantam hens to the flock.

The Colonel was mildly curious about these little feathered invaders while the hens did everything in their power to let the banties know that they were not welcome. The banties were chased, pecked, chased, bullied, chased, and driven into hiding. It was chaos.

Watching this was more than Hannah nor I could handle. After the better part of two hours I conceded and snatched up my banty chickens and left.

I relayed the tale to Paul who said, “Sounds like we need another chicken coop.”

Enter the Banty B and B – a coop designed on a small scale for the bantam chickens.

So, here’s how chicken math works:

    • 4 impulse-buy discounted bantam chicks:  $1 each for a total of $4
    • 2 – ½” sheets of CDX plywood:  $50
    • 8 – 2x3x8 KD studs: $15.60
    • 20 pieces of 1x3x8 strapping: $25
    • 3 hinge sets: $8.85
    • 1 barrel bolt: $2.50
    • 1 hook and eye set: $.99
    • 1 roll of 48” tall chicken wire: $35.59
    • Safety glass for the window: scrounged from the garage
    • Wood glue and miscellaneous fasteners that couldn’t be located in the garage: $ 6.39
    • Paint: left over from the last chicken coop
    • Three days of physical labor: tossed in for good measure

What is the real cost of our $4 bantam chickens?


Those little banties had better start earning their keep by laying some mini eggs!

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