But I have heard the feed is quite expensive and they are a lot of work. so I will have to research that.
Welcome to the site, Great intros! I thought I would chime in on the chickens- they’re pretty cheap to keep. Initially you will have to create some sort of shelter for them and they’ll need to be locked in it for about a week after you get them to give them a chance to get settled in, but after that you can let them roam around and they’ll go back inside to lay their eggs. If they’re out roaming, they’re foraging on their own and eating bugs, etc.
You can give them minced garlic or add a bit of vinegar to their drinking water to periodically worm them naturally.
We give ours various vegetable and fruit scraps and on occasion I check in with the vegetable stand in town to see if they have old/passing veggies for my girls. The veggie stand has a high turnover but also has quite a few veggies that go by the wayside, wilted a little early, etc. These are great to chop and feed to your hens. Many grocery stores will do this as well if you chat up the manager in the produce section (although some states have laws against this).
We have 20 or so hens now, so we get more than a dozen eggs a day.
You can sell the extra eggs that your family doesnt need to cover the expense of any extra food, or if you just maintain 3-4 birds, you’ll have plenty of fresh eggs at very little expense.