In general, chickens sold as livestock are priced according to their weight and the cost of raising them, with an additional mark-up for profit. Market outlooks and the intended use of the chicken also affect the cost.
The price of chickens sold as livestock generally includes the cost of raising the chickens, which in turn includes the total cost of feed to raise each chicken to a saleable age. Poultry farmers may also include the cost of coops, heat lamps for chicks, bedding and other daily expenses in the final price. The price is also determined by the general market. Farmers typically sell chickens for the highest amount they are capable, and market factors such as supply and demand affect the final cost.
The intended use of the chickens is critical. Chickens sold for slaughter may be priced differently than proven egg-layers. The latter can bring in regular income for the owner, so they may be worth more. Additionally, chickens that have not finished growing are worth less than chickens ready to be slaughtered. Certain breeds of chicken are also worth more than others. Rare breeds are generally worth more than common or mixed breeds, and their prices often reflect higher demand.