Most baby chickens do cost a small amount of money, but try contacting your local poultry association about possible free chicks in your area. Check classified advertising sites, such as Craigslist.org, and bulletin boards at your local feed stores as well.
Some chicks can cost as little as a few dollars each. The price is generally determined by the chick's age and breed. Your location can also play a role. Chicks that have been sexed are also usually more expensive, since you do not have to worry about winding up with too many roosters. The downside of buying young chicks is that you have to wait a longer time for eggs, and they are more fragile so you may lose some of them.
Online hatcheries are a good source of inexpensive chicks, especially if you do not have local feed stores. Some do have a minimum order, but others are able to ship just a few chicks.
The equipment you need to raise baby chickens is the major expense associated with them. Young chicks need a very secure, well-bedded coop. They need heat lamps to keep them warm and special feeders and waterers to keep them healthy. As they grow, you need to transfer them to a larger area. A safe coop that protects them against the weather and predators can cost hundreds of dollars. Feed costs can also add up, especially if you have a big flock or larger or fast-growing breeds that tend to eat more.