There are many reasons why you’d want to bring a rooster into the mix.
Some keepers have roosters to fertilize eggs from laying hens and guard the flock, while others use roosters for fighting or exhibitions.
The cost of a rooster ranges depending on breed, age, and supplier but is relatively low compared to other farm animals and even laying hens.
If you want to add a rooster to your flock, the expense is important to consider before purchasing a bird.
The average cost of a rooster ranges from $5-$1500, depending on the age and breed of the rooster. Most people spend between $20-$100 on their rooster. Other expenses besides the initial cost of the birds range from $10-$20 a month, which includes feed, bedding, and other items for the coop.
For most people, the cost of purchasing a rooster and monthly expenses are fairly low.
If you’d like to know about average pricing and expense data for roosters, we have all the information you’ll need to make an educated decision on whether to add a rooster to your flock.
How Much Does A Rooster Cost?
There are many factors to consider when coming up with a budget for the cost of a rooster.
If you’ve ever caught yourself wondering about how much a rooster costs, we have all the information you’re looking for.
Fortunately, roosters are very inexpensive to maintain, and many chicken keepers find roosters to be less expensive than laying hens.
After the initial cost of the rooster, you’ll want to factor in regular expenses.
Luckily, these are fairly limited and inexpensive.
The main ongoing costs include:
- Coop Maintenance
- Occasional Vet Bills
The cost of your rooster will largely depend on the role you want the rooster to play.
The initial cost will be very low if you are primarily looking for a rooster to fertilize eggs, guard the flock, and ensure chickens’ safety in your yard.
Chicks sell for as low as $5, and some farmers get rid of unwanted roosters for free.
If you’re looking for an abundance of chicks, you may want to get some verification from the seller regarding the rooster’s health and age to ensure it is mature and capable of fertilizing eggs.
Some local farmers may even have unwanted roosters.
This often happens when people purchase unsexed chicks and only want egg-laying hens.
Often these people will sell their roosters for next to nothing.
We recommend seeking out this situation if you are not particular about breed or bloodline.
If you are interested in showing your rooster in exhibitions, you’ll need to do your research and fight a reputable breeder.
Exhibition roosters are the most expensive rooster to purchase, with extremely rare show breeds reaching upwards of $1500.
We recommend extensive research on specific breeds if you are new to showing roosters.
Once you’ve calculated the initial cost of your rooster, you’ll need to consider the other expenses needed to keep your bird happy, healthy, and safe.
If you don’t already have a chicken coop, this is another expense.
Often the cost of the coop is usually higher than what you pay for the bird itself.
A quality chicken coop ensures the safety of chickens and roosters alike from predators, extreme temperatures, and storms.
We recommend budgeting about $600 towards getting a well-built coop.
Overall, purchasing a rooster and ongoing costs like feed and bedding are relatively low compared to other pets.
Some farm animals tend to be very expensive when getting them high-quality food, shelter, and veterinary care.
Luckily, this is not something you’ll have to worry about with your rooster.
Monthly Expenses For Roosters
It is good to know the cost of the actual bird when it comes to calculating expenses, but there is another factor to consider, and it is the monthly expenses.
Luckily, roosters are very inexpensive when it comes to regular purchases you’ll need to make to keep them healthy and happy.
They require high-quality feed, a protective coop, clean bedding, and occasional vet visits.
We’ll go over some of the regular monthly expenses to expect when you add a rooster to your flock.
Luckily, most of these costs are already part of maintaining backyard chickens.
Remember, roosters live 5-8 years, so keep this section in mind.
Learn more about rooster lifespan facts in our article here.
|Type Of Expense||Frequency||Cost|
|Feed||A 25 lb bag will feed a rooster for about 3 months.||~$30|
|Bedding||Once a month||~$20|
|Repairs And Maintenance||Depends on what breaks and needs repair.||~$5-$10 per month|
|Veterinary Bills||Very rarely. Roosters do not need check ups but it is important to factor into when considering adding a rooster to your backyard flock.||~$100 per visit|
Roosters consume roughly 1.5-2 pounds of feed a week.
On average, local feed and seed or farm stores charge about $0.30-$0.50 per pound of chicken feed.
This works out to roughly $0.45-$1.00 per week to feed your rooster.
Since feed is generally low-cost, we recommend spending the extra few dollars a month to supply your backyard chickens with the healthiest food possible.
Another ongoing cost for both your egg-laying chickens and roosters is bedding.
Maintaining a clean coop helps to prohibit bacterial growth, mold, and unhealthy conditions.
Keeping your coop clean helps cut down on vet bills for worms, infections, and harmful diseases.
On average, most chicken keepers spend around $20 a month replacing bedding and keeping things clean and sanitary.
Further reading: Can you use hay for chicken bedding?
Unless you purchase a high-end, purebred breed of chicken, your biggest expense will be the chicken coop.
You don’t need to worry about this expense if you already have backyard chickens.
If you’re starting from scratch with your flock, you’ll want to allocate about $600 for a high-quality chicken coop.
Don’t cheap out on the coop.
You want one capable of protecting both your egg-laying hens and roosters from the elements and predators.
Here are some things you’ll need to consider when purchasing a chicken coop:
Insulation to protect your flock from cold and hot weather.
Ventilation is another important factor to consider in a coop.
High temperatures have adverse effects on both chickens and eggs.
Eggs in high temperatures become unsafe to eat and are more susceptible to diseases like salmonella and e. Coli.
Heating is important if you live in a climate with extremely cold temperatures.
You don’t want your flock to freeze.
Consider a heater like this to add to your coop during the colder months.
Protection from predators is another important part of the coop and the run.
Bury chicken wire to keep predators from burrowing underneath and into the coop.
If you live in a place with aerial predators like hawks, you’ll need to have a covering over your coop to protect your flock.
Ample space is another important factor to consider for both your chicken coop and run.
Chickens need, on average, about 10′ square feet per bird.
Cramped chickens tend to experience more stress.
Stress in chickens leads to low egg production and illness.
If you’ve ever sat and watched your chickens, you’ve undoubtedly noticed their incessant and inquisitive pecking.
Sometimes this leads to damages to different parts of the coop.
Chickens and roosters tend to mess with empty water bottles and feeders, so make sure they stay full, or you may have to replace them.
Luckily, water bottles cost about $5-$10 and are relatively inexpensive.
Other maintenance includes replacing torn chicken wire and other coop repairs.
Usually, these are rare expenses but still something to consider when budgeting for a rooster.
Why Are Some Roosters So Expensive?
When you first see the price range of $5-$1500 for a rooster, you may wonder what in the world could make a bird so expensive.
The answer depends on several factors but comes down to getting what you pay for.
Purebred roosters and specific breeds will cost more.
Like any other farm animal or pet, purebreds come with a heavy price tag.
The breed is especially important to fighting or showing their birds in exhibitions.
If you are looking for a rooster to fertilize eggs or guard the flock, the breed may not be as important.
Baby chicks tend to cost significantly less than matured roosters.
Raising the roosters from a very young age is beneficial, but it will take some time before your rooster reaches maturity.
Until this time, they are unable to fertilize eggs.
Mature roosters tend to have the highest costs.
They are ready to start fertilizing eggs and get straight to work.
Older roosters past maturity tend to be lower cost as they are a bit past their prime for their backyard duties.
Some people raise roosters for fighting.
Certain breeds are known for being better fits for cockfighting.
Purchasing a good breed for fighting usually costs between $50-$100 from most suppliers.
Here are some of the reputable breeds for cockfighting:
- Old English Game
- American Game
Note: Many parts of the world, including the entire United States, have made cockfighting or rooster fighting illegal.
|Breed Of Rooster||Average Cost|
|Old English Game||$50-$100|
Roosters bred for show or exhibition are the most expensive birds on the market.
The average exhibition breed goes up to around $800.
For especially rare breeds, the cost goes as high as $1500, although this is not commonly encountered when buying a rooster.
Some of the best breeds for showing include:
Source Of The Rooster
Another factor influencing the cost of a rooster is the source.
Buying online tends to be more expensive when you factor in shipping costs.
High-end breeders also tend to hike up the price as well.
Purchasing from local farmers or classifieds tends to be the least expensive option.
Many people will pay top dollar for a rooster known to come from a reputable bloodline.
This is especially true for exhibition and fighting cocks.
If a rooster shares a bloodline with a high-performing cock in either fighting or exhibition, it will carry a hefty price tag with it.
More experienced rooster keepers are more willing to spend large amounts of money on these birds.
Since genetics play a huge role in looks and build, people tend to be more confident buying a rooster with a reputable bloodline.
Where Do I Buy A Rooster?
Are you sold on adding a rooster to your backyard chickens?
There are many avenues to go when it comes to purchasing a rooster.
If you are looking for a purebred or specific breed, we recommend a breeder.
If you are looking for an inexpensive bird, we recommend online, classifieds, and local farmers.
If you seek a purebred or specific breed, we recommend finding a breeder in your area.
You will pay a bit more for a purebred rooster, but breeders are your best bet if you are interested in a fighting or exhibition bird.
Breeders are a great route for those looking for high-quality birds.
Most reputable breeders will answer questions about potential health problems, genetics, and care.
Online And Classifieds
Classified online and in newspapers are great sources for finding a rooster to buy.
This is especially true if you live in a rural area.
There are also many online websites selling and shipping both roosters and hens.
Make sure to check the fine print because many websites have minimum orders for shipping.
Online sellers also have roosters on sale periodically, so you may get a great deal if your timing is right.
Experienced chicken keepers know to maintain a proper rooster and laying hens ratio.
Having too little or too many roosters in your backyard flock leads to some problems like stress and fighting among the birds.
For this reason, many local farmers will sell roosters at little to no cost just to keep their flock happy.
Sometimes people buy unsexed chicks at a low price and get rid of any roosters once the sex becomes apparent.
This is especially true for those looking to only raise hens for egg-laying.
Having a rooster around laying hens will increase the number of fertilized eggs and unexpected chicks.
Consider contacting local farmers to see if they have any extra roosters they want to get rid of.
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