5 Cheapest Chickens to Keep as Pets

Young brown Rhode Island Red hen walking on green grass
© Nadanka/iStock via Getty Images

Written by Niccoy Walker

Published: December 26, 2023

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Are you looking for an affordable, low-maintenance pet that offers fresh eggs in return for your time and care? If you have extra space on your property, try out some chickens! These quirky birds are fun, clever, and have unique personalities. There is nothing like having a chicken run to greet you. These affectionate creatures are also beneficial because they eat table scraps, provide fertilizer, and act as pest control. 

If you’re ready to become a chicken owner but want to start with some affordable options, check out these five cheapest chickens to keep as pets!

Rhode Island Red

Rhode Island Red on grass fields

Rhode Island red chickens can be territorial but are excellent egg-layers.


Are you looking for a classic brown egg layer? Look no further! Rhode Island red chickens are among the most famous and best-selling breeds due to their affordability and prolific egg-laying. These deep mahogany red chickens are heavy, hardy, and excellent for small-flock owners. Rhode Island reds have varying personalities. You may find that one is docile and friendly, while another is pushy yet inquisitive. The price of these chickens depends on the gender, quantity, and age. Buying chicks is generally more affordable, and many sellers have minimum quantities. Typically, the more you buy, the cheaper they are individually. Males range between $2.61 and $3.78 per chick, while females are $4.06 to $5.71.  

Plymouth Rock

Plymouth Rock chickens are good with children and like to follow their owners around.


The Plymouth Rock chicken is a favorite among homesteaders for its dependability and sweet, docile personality. As one of the oldest breeds in America, the Plymouth Rock chicken is an excellent option for first-time owners looking for respectable egg layers with mellow temperaments. This breed gets along well with others and enjoys following their owners and seeing their actions. Along with affordable chick prices, Plymouth Rocks are easy to care for and practically raise themselves! These famous black and white barred chickens range in price like other breeds. The price of one male chick starts at around $2.77 and can go as high as $3.78, while females range between $4.19 and $5.71.  


Free Range Blue Australorp Chicken Foraging in Autumn Leaves.

Australorp chickens are gentle and docile, often becoming attached to their owners.

©Ashley Thomas Photography/Shutterstock.com

The Australorp is a popular backyard chicken breed perfect for beginners looking for a cheap option! Australorps are excellent egg layers and make great pets due to their friendly nature and ease of care. They have a heavy build and beautiful glossy black feathers. Australorp chickens have impressive egg production, ensuring you get fresh eggs daily! This breed is docile, easy to handle, and gets along well with humans and other pets. They are also hardy, quiet breeds that handle cold weather and don’t make much noise. This low-maintenance pet is an excellent choice for first-time chicken owners. Australorps are some of the cheapest chickens to keep as pets. Males range between $2.06 and $3.12 per chick, while females range between $3.84 and $4.80. 


Silkie chicken roaming in the yard

Silkie chickens are small, weighing only four pounds.


The tiny, fluffy silkie chicken makes an excellent pet because of its sweet, affectionate personality and mothering skills. They are easy to handle and stay relatively calm, making them the perfect addition to households with children. They enjoy the attention and often become lap chickens! While this breed can produce eggs, they often go broody, so don’t expect consistent numbers. Silkies are very affordable pets that provide companionship. They are especially great for those interested in breeding ornamental chickens. Males range in price from $1.50 to $4.25, depending on the quantity. Female chicks are slightly more expensive, from $4.25 to $6.00. 

Buff Orpington

Buff Orpington Chicken

These birds are easy to care for and perfect for beginner chicken owners.

©Tyler T. Photography/Shutterstock.com

Buff Orpingtons have been among the most popular farm birds since the late 1800s. These hardy birds are excellent winter layers and make great mothers, producing more precious buff chicks. This delightful breed is perfect for beginners and those with young children. They are easy to care for, cold, hardy, prolific layers, and possess friendly and quiet personalities. They are easy to tame and quickly become affectionate with their favorite humans; some can even become lap chickens! Thankfully, they are also quite affordable. Male chicks range in price from $2.77 to $3.78, and females are $4.19 to $5.71.  

Summary of the Cheapest Chickens to Keep as Pets

Cheapest Chickens to Keep as PetsAverage Price Per Chick
Rhode Island RedMales: $2.61 to $3.78; Females: $4.06 to $5.71
Plymouth RockMales: $2.77 to $3.78; Females: $4.19 to $5.71
AustralorpeMales: $2.06 to $3.12; Females: $3.84 to $4.80
SilkieMales: $1.50 to $4.25; Females: $4.25 to $6
Buff OrpingtonMales: $2.77 to $3.78; Females: $4.19 to $5.71

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About the Author

Niccoy is a professional writer for A-Z Animals, and her primary focus is on birds, travel, and interesting facts of all kinds. Niccoy has been writing and researching about travel, nature, wildlife, and business for several years and holds a business degree from Metropolitan State University in Denver. A resident of Florida, Niccoy enjoys hiking, cooking, reading, and spending time at the beach.

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