When I ran the true costs of producing my own chicks in my own backyard, ie. cost of breeding stock, their feed and maintenance for a year costs, power, fuel ,etc.. I found that it was actually CHEAPER to buy my meat chicks. So what if it doesn't come from my backyard. I get a better quality chick and I can get consistant uniform results with better returns on my investment in a very short period of my time. I buy a chick, I raise it, I put it in the freezer and I am done until next year. I can then take off 5-6 months without any more chores or worries of predators, desease and inclement weather for the breeding stock and then spend that extra time with my grandkids eather on my ranch for their summer vacation or at their homes. I can put a horse from the pasture and into the stall that was occupied by the meat chickens for the grandkids to enjoy. I can teach them our values and keep them off the streets and out of trouble. What can be better than that?
You are in an extreme environment. You live in the desert. There are a lot of predators. There is no forage. You use round-up and kill all the plant life except a few things that are not plants used by chickens as food. You have to keep your birds confined. Your feed costs are higher than in many other areas. From what you have said, evidently you've had disease problems. To you, it makes sense to either buy store bought or raise the short-crop time meat birds. You don't care about organic issues, or many other factors that are some people, including me, do care about.
I can't speak for everybody else, but I can tell you my situation.
I live in a very green place. There is a lot of forage, tons of vegetation, and with very rare exceptions, I don't use pesticides or herbicides. The exceptions are ivermectin once a year during molt to prevent rampant mite infestation, also heartworm prevention for my dogs, and neem, a natural herb used for the prevention and treatment of a variety of problems, and for pest control. It's safe for birds and mammals, in fact you can drink neem leaf tea, with many benefits and no ill effects at all. (That is, if you can stand the taste, I prefer to use it in capsule form.) My birds free range, I seldom lose one to a predator. I almost never have a disease problem.
I keep layers year round. I have an incubator, and if I choose, I can hatch fertile eggs from my hens anytime, but usually only do so during warm weather. It costs very little to run my incubator for 21 days. I forget exactly how much, but we figured it up not long ago, the cost was minuscule. I also have a great many hens who are good brooders. they incubate the eggs for free, and raise the chicks for me.
My feed costs are low compared to many other locations. I feed them for 14 weeks, or even 20 weeks. During that time, they eat a great many bugs and weed seeds. The feed consumed by my dual purps before butchering is similar to the amount your C X's would eat, they just don't eat it as fast. Then the excess roos go into the freezer, I may keep pullets for laying hens, or sell my extras.
You've often stated that time is money, but if one isn't selling the meat commercially, and nobody is paying for your time anyway, that doesn't apply. I'm not getting paid whether I raise Cornish X or dual purpose.
So I prefer to raise strong, healthy birds, that are capable of reproducing, and I prefer to eat chicken that has been raised free-range, on my own farm, with no herbicide or pesticide exposure. They're safe, they're healthy, they taste good, they are sustainable, and they are my choice.
You prefer something else. That is your choice. I wish you happiness with your choice.
Yup, we have extreames in temperatures. It has been 17* in the winter to 117* in the summer in the last couple of years. Nope , not the desert, only the high desert... the dry land of coyotes and tumbleweeds and dry heat and little rainfall. The last time I checked, a goodly portion of the lands West of the Mississippi and the Pacific Ocean is similar to mine. I wish I had the pleasures of green grass year round. But alas, I digress. Yup, oodles of coyotes, coydogs, bobcats, cougars, racoons, skunks, hawks, eagles, ravens, crows, dumped dogs etc. Yup and nope, we do have lots of native grasses ( 6 to 12 inches tall) in our pastures from Dec, through May, then dead and dormant brown grass residue the rest of the year. Just enough grass in the winter to feed my 33 head of horses for half of the year. Yup, I use Roundup to kill all grass and weeds on the 2 acres around the house due to the fact that the wells in our area produce on average 4 galons of water a minute. The little water that we have, we tend to use for household use, water for the horses and chickens, then drip irrigate my 72 redwood trees and a few dozen junipers, I also drip irrigate my almost ORGANIC garden. Yup, I find it prudent to raise my chickens in confinement due to the oodles of predators( see above). Yup, all of my feed costs are very high due to the long distance transportation costs.First to the feed store/ feed mill , then to my ranch. I buy about100 tons of alfalfa hay annually for the horses. Nope , I don't have desease problems, I have the advantage to have a father , who was a Veterinarian [ he also thaught Freshman Anatomy at a Veterinary school], and I worked at the same Veterinary school , Pathology Department whith Vet. PhDs. , Vet PhD candidates, Senior Vet. students. as well as private laboratory. We also ahve 7 very bury large animal Vets in our area. My Equine Vet comes to my ranch ( well eequiped equine reproduction facility) on a busy schedual. I hope that at least a wee bit of that knowledge rubbed off on me. Also my birds are fairly isolated, and have a short but healthy lifespan due to invites to freezercamp. The housing is then vacated for 5-6 months. So they have very little chance of getting any desease or parasites unlike what they may pick up if allowed to roam willy nilly. They are very healthy, thrifty, vigorous and happy and after they are invited for dinner are very tastey and tender. Yup, at least for me, it does make a huge sense to raise a short crop of meat chicken. Yup, I do care about environmental issues. My property was originally an open range land and was never farmed, so no chemicals or fertilizers were ever used on it. I recycle, have my own nearly organic garden... we only have about an inch or two of topsoil then 6 inches of hardpan. So, to have a garden, I use at least 6 inches of my own horses' manure and mix in the chicken manure annually in my garden. I mulch around all of my trees, shrubs and pastures with tons of horse manure. 100 tons of alfalfa+ 50 tons of grain + pasture grass have to go somewhere. You see I learned from my then 4 year old grandson while he and I were on poop poop detail. We clean out the poop poop from the stalls, take it out to the pastures and spread it out,( he gets to ride in the wheelbarrow) then it fecomes fertilizer, which makes the grass grow, so that the horses can eat the grass, then the horse makes more poop poop, then we take it out to the pastures and it becomes more fertilizer to make more grass. He learned about the Nitrogen cycle on his own. From the mouths of babes comes wisdom! I drip irrigate everything to conserve water. The pastures are watered by the big sprinkler in the sky. I also care to leave moral and ethical values to my kids and grandkids as well as a safe environment. Oh, by the way... in addition to enjoying my own homegrown Bar-B-Qe'd chicken marketing horses, and breeding and AI services, I market certified ORGANIC, certified KOSHER and certified HALAL products. I hope that everyone could enjoy chickens running around green grass chasing bugs. Makes me envious. Enjoy !!!