How Much Does a Whole Chicken Cost?

Last Updated on May 6, 2023
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

You know that feeling when you find the perfect piece of meat, one that is tender and juicy? That’s why you should always go for a whole chicken.

Local farms, butchers, and grocery stores are your best bet when it comes to finding the right chicken. They’ll seal up any meat with an expiration date so that you know what’s good for consumption. But you can buy whole chickens from wholesale clubs or even online stores.

This type of meat is the perfect choice for soups, potlucks, crockpot dishes, and even parties.

The most common way of cooking a whole chicken is by baking it in the oven stuffed with stuffing or with just some light spices.

How Much Does a Whole Chicken Cost?

The average cost of an organic whole chicken is anywhere between $4.50 and $7 per pound, while for a whole non-organic chicken you will have to pay anywhere between $2.75 and $3.50 per pound. Bought as a whole, the average chicken will cost $14 to $28, depending on the type of chicken, the weight, the place you buy it from, and whether there are any promotions and discounts at that time.

There are more types of chicken available on the market such as Cornish game hens, broilers, or roosters. A broiler chicken weighs around two to five pounds and is almost seven weeks old, while a game hen weighs less than two pounds and is younger. The largest one is the rooster as it can weigh more than five pounds and is older than 12 weeks.

For instance, you can purchase an organic whole chicken from Meijer for almost $17, a rooster chicken for around $12, and a young whole chicken for almost $7.

Also, Wegmans sells whole chickens without any added hormones or antibiotics for almost $3 per pound.

You can purchase two organic rooster chickens from Costco for around $3.50 per pound.

The price of a fresh whole chicken was around $2.49 per pound in 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In the table below you will find the average costs of different types of whole chickens.

Type of Whole Chicken Average Price (each)
Organic Whole Chicken $16
Non-organic Rooster Chicken $10
Non-organic Young Whole Chicken $7

Types of chickens

  • The most common type of chicken is a free-range, which means they are allowed to roam and peck freely, but part of the time they are kept in a cage.
  • Capons are large male chickens that can weigh up to 15 pounds.
  • You might also like our articles about the cost of already-cooked fried chicken at Albertsons or Walmart.
  • Cage-free chickens are free and live within a certain area. They can lay eggs in nests rather than being confined to a cage, just like how they would behave if living outside all day on their own.
  • Pastured chickens are not penned up in a small area but instead have access to fresh, grassy feed. This means that the meat from these birds has more flavor and is tender due to the bird’s exercise and complex diet.
  • Organic chicken is the most expensive because they have been raised and fed with natural food. This means that no hormones or antibiotics are given to these birds, which leads to healthier meat as well.
  • A natural chicken does not have to be organic, but it will most likely mean its meat has no artificial flavors or preservatives.

What are the extra costs?

When buying in bulk, a butcher fee might be applied if you hire a professional butcher to process the chicken. This includes cuts like wings, legs or thighs.

Important things to consider

Whole Chicken CookedNutritionists recommend that we carefully analyze commercially purchased chicken. It is important that the meat is purchased from authorized producers and that it complies with all relevant quality measures and regulations.

All you have to do is lightly press the chicken in the casserole with one finger. If the product is fresh, the meat should return to its original shape. If this does not happen, it means that the chicken has been on the supermarket shelf for some time and you should find another option for the food you will put on the table.

It is recommended by the USDA to plastic wrap or double-wrap with foil the chicken before freezing. It can last for a year in a freezer if stored properly.

Buying a whole chicken, instead of individual parts, is often more economical. If you don’t want to cook all the chicken in one dish, you have to cut it into individual pieces before cooking such as 2 halves of the chest, 2 upper thighs, 2 hammers, and 2 wings, plus a piece of the back.

Yellow chicken is not necessarily fatty, because the pigment often reflects the predominant color of the food eaten. The menu of a chicken is not diversified, so the shades are similar.

In addition, there are breeds of chickens with atypical flesh, such as Brahma, which may have blue but lean flesh (although there are myths that say this meat is fattier).

How can I save money?

Go shopping at the local wholesale clubs such as Costco or Sam’s Club as there you can find a wide range of products at affordable prices.

In case you want to purchase an organic chicken check out the local farmer markets to see if there are any special offers.

Meat is almost always on sale at local grocery stores, so make sure you check if there are any special sales.

Most of the stores will reduce the price if the chicken is getting close to its expiration date. You can take advantage of this situation by freezing the chicken for later use.

It will always be cheaper to buy chicken as a whole instead of purchasing it in pieces.

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