I won't comment about the whole expenses, but for chickens.
We've raised layers from chicks and from pullets. By the time you raise the chicks to point of lay, the food cost equals the little extra you paid on buying pullets at point of lay. I do raise chicks now that I have lots of mature layers, and my own chickens are the brooders, but it's really easy to make one, as the above poster said.
We spent $800 dollars on a shed kit and converted it for chickens, because we new we'd end up wanting more. Right now we're at 24, with chicks on the way!
And about gardening tools : I spent 35$ on a hand tiller and it is indispensable. I got through all kinds of rock with no noisy machinery. We also save on labour by planting right into the compost once it is soil.
And the biggest continued canning expense is good lids. Your jars will last over and over. Save the ones the neighbours gave you, too.
Really? People around here are getting $3.50 per pound and making a pretty good profit. The chicken I buy at the store (hormone free) is around $3.00 a pound, so I cant see how the expense would be as high to raise them from lay. I dont raise chickens, so I dont really know. It just seems like you could save money and make money after initial costs.