Originally Posted by mymonkeybug
Life is Good, you seem well knowledged on meat birds so I pose this question to you. If I am paying $12-$14 a bird for a grass fed organic bird at say Whole Foods, will I wind up spending about the same, less, or more by the time all is said and done should I try my hand at raising my own? Maybe I would just be better suited for now sticking with the original plan of layers only.
From my calculations and experience, you will spend more raising them yourself. I currently pay $17 for a 40lb bag of chick starter/grower, thats the non medicated but not organic ration, I dont even want to know what organic would cost(since they have to special order that I bet over $20 for sure). So a broiler will eat 1 bag per bird roughly to get to butcher weight(for us that is about 8 - 10 weeks old - we like them big) sometimes more sometimes less, so I have about $17 worth of feed alone into each bird, then for butcher if I pay about $6 per chicken as well, $8 if they are "oversized".
So in feed and getting them into the freezer I am between $23-$25 per bird now, that isnt even including the electric bill, water(if dont have a well), bedding, supplies and -no matter what you do- nothing will pay for your time you put into them. Also some batches of these birds no matter how careful you feed and exercise them halfway thru you still may loose 1 or 2 to heart attack etc so there is a bird that has eaten its fair share already without you getting an "end-product".
I personally still like to raise them just for the fact I know what they ate(non medicated feed, grass and bugs if they arent too lazy of a bunch) and how calm and happy of a life they had. I wont raise them for the public anymore since folks just do not want to pay enough to make you break even.
They want farm and free ranged raised chickens but not the price tag associated with them.