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Possible beat 34 cents per pound (store prices on quarters) at home? Brainstorming here... - Page 3

post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by 777funk View Post

I have some ideas but am looking for others on making meat birds make sense from an economìcs standpoint. With .34/lb chicken quarters and .99/lb whole chickens this is tough to justify I realize. Anyways, here are my speculations on how this would be possible:
1. If big food can do it, there's got to be a cheaper source (somewhere) for chicks as well as feed. Maybe somehow small groups can team up and bulk buy from the places the BIG chicken farms are ordering from or perhaps even from chicken farms directly.
2. Raise feed somehow. I've heard of magot farms... maybe worm farms, raising grains.
3. Raise/keep a self sustaining flock. Not quite possible with the most efficient bird (Cornish X).

That's all I can come up with. Any other ideas? Are my ideas way off? There's gotta be a way... has anyone materialized these or other ideas that make raising meat affordable?

I know this thread has kind of wandered off into where to get $0.80 chicks, but I think it's worth going back to the main point and driving something home. You don't raise chickens at home to complete with factory farms. They've got you beat on scale. They just do. However, you've got them beat on quality...and that's without even trying.

 

Try even a tiny bit to feed your chickens better or give them a more natural, healthy environment, and you'll be ahead by a mile in the quality of the meat you produce.

 

Then the real question is what do you value? Do you value cheap meat that may (or may not) be of questionable quality that is likely teaming with deadly bacteria?

 

Or, do you value expensive meat that you know is more healthy and natural?

 

Decide what's important to you and go for that, but don't try to match cost with a giant that is churning out more in a year than you'll do in a lifetime. Just saying.


Edited by brucewayne - 3/3/16 at 4:12pm
post #22 of 26

I don't think that is lost on anyone @brucewayne, but I think people do expect to be able to have their cake and eat it too since we have a few advantages the industry doesn't when producing for ourselves, and that is in we usually throw our time away when accounting and don't have the regulatory/distribution costs for self-production.

 

With these advantages, it's reasonable to ask if we can meet their pricing while simultaneously eating better meat. I say the answer is yes, with a few asterisks.

 

The OP's numbers were a little lower than I've seen anytime lately, which was discussed. My local grocery store runs about $1.29/lb for whole chickens and that's what I compare to. If raising just for my freezer, I can get pretty close to that if I throw my time away, defer capital depreciation, and do my own processing. Selling birds profitably at that is another matter....

 

It's important to note, that while some folks may want better meat, it isn't possible/worthwhile for them to absorb a cost increase to do so. If we want to "spread the gospel" so to speak, of better food, we need to approach it like a business selling a product. Doing that successfully requires not being dismissive of costs simply because our product is a premium one.


Edited by Hiltonizer - 3/3/16 at 6:02pm
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiltonizer View Post

Doing that successfully requires not being dismissive of costs simply because our product is a premium one.

I disagree. Strongly.

 

And whole concept of not valuing one's time as a cost in unreasonable to me. We have relatively short lives, and we only get one go at this life. Not valuing your time as the most precious thing you have is an issue. I'd trade money and lots of it for premium products and more time.

 

Money is a renewable resource. Time is not.

 

And now here's a smiley face to lighten the mood. :D

post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucewayne View Post
 

I disagree. Strongly.

 

And whole concept of not valuing one's time as a cost in unreasonable to me. We have relatively short lives, and we only get one go at this life. Not valuing your time as the most precious thing you have is an issue. I'd trade money and lots of it for premium products and more time.

 

Money is a renewable resource. Time is not.

 

And now here's a smiley face to lighten the mood. :D

 

Are you saying we should be dismissive of costs? That's fine if you do, but that isn't reality for most people.

 

I agree with your principal that time is our most precious commodity, but not everyone values it the same way. For some, the act of farming is therapeutic or recreation, and they can consider it cost neutral. Time doesn't necessarily have a monetary equivalent, which is why many throw it away when doing financial accounting.

 

We have a mutual dislike for the industrial system, but to claim superiority and ignoring it's advantages is hubris, and pride cometh before the fall.

post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucewayne View Post

I disagree. Strongly.

And whole concept of not valuing one's time as a cost in unreasonable to me. We have relatively short lives, and we only get one go at this life. Not valuing your time as the most precious thing you have is an issue. I'd trade money and lots of it for premium products and more time.

Money is a renewable resource. Time is not.

And now here's a smiley face to lighten the mood. big_smile.png

Interesting.....

However time is just that, how do you value something that has no monetary value?

I'm a full time farmer, all the profits from my birds are mine. I do not count time as cost because I'm not giving my time to anybody, that's what jobs are for and why people are paid by the hour. I'm working for my family only, no one else. What this means is I don't get up everyday and have to be anywhere else but here, no commuting, no coworkers or inter office politics and most importantly I'm only accountable to myself.

The only way your time is worth actually money is if someone is paying you for it. So unless what your doing is keeping you from doing something that you would be getting paid to do there's no monetary value that can be placed on it.

How valuable is being home everyday with my children, being able to take them to dr appts without having to ask anybody, maybe go fishing Tuesday at 10am just because, how bout being financially secure without relying on anybody or anything but myself.

Contrary to popular belief farming is a great way to make a living if done correctly. Most importantly it offers me time to do other things in life that are so mush more important than punching a clock every day for 35 years.
Edited by slingshotandLAR - 3/4/16 at 5:55am
post #26 of 26
Back to the original poster. If you are raising chickens for yourself and family, the best way to save money is to process them yourself. If you are raising them to sell for profit, your main costs once you have coops in place is feed and processing. Every state has different rules that apply to poultry processing. There are two federal laws that apply to poultry processing one allows a producer to butcher up to 1,000 birds for resale, second a producer can process up to 20,000 birds for resale. Check this link for information for your state Poultry Processing Regulations and Exemptions and includes a link for state by state regulations. Most states allow what is called "farmer to friend sales." These sales must be made on farm and cannot be sold at farmers' markets. grocery stores, or advertised, etc. they also allow home processing by the farmer.

The cheapest way in the long run to raise a lot of pastured broilers is to and want to do it full-time is to set up your own processing plant, but you have to process a lot of chickens for it to pay for itself. The next best thing is to create a co-op with other producers. You can purchase your feed and chicks together and even have your own processing plant. Everybody raises the chickens the same way using the same chick source feed and processing plant. You could even process chickens for other folks as long as they join the co-op (not the raising or selling part just for processing).

For those in the midwest a hatchery to try is Central Hatchery in Madison, NE. They sell broiler chick straight run for $0.95 each plus postage for 100 or more chicks. Less than 100, then you pay a $5.00 small order charge. You will have to call soon to place your order as they book up fast.

The thing to remember is the chicken sells itself. Once someone eats pastured chicken, they want more of it and are willing to pay more.

It's pretty simple...having chickens is work, but lots of fun.

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It's pretty simple...having chickens is work, but lots of fun.

Reply
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