are meat birds cost effective?

Rustywreck

Songster
11 Years
Sep 5, 2008
190
9
121
Solon Springs, Wisconsin
This year I raised 20 meat birds and though I didn't keep records it seems as though it cost more to raise them than it would have to purchase whole chickens at the grocery store.

I am curious if anyone else has found this to be true as well, and if there are some ways to make raising them more cost effective?

I know there are other reasons for raising your own food, but it would be nice if I were saving a little money too.

Again, I didn't keep records but it seemed like I was going through two bags of feed each week at $15/ bag. The feed was shared with turkeys and hens for a while making it harder to be sure of the cost.

Thanks in advance for the replies!
(i do plan on raising them next year, even if it isn't cost effective)
 

moodusnewchick

Songster
11 Years
Feb 15, 2008
891
1
151
CT
i dont believe you can compete with mass production of chickens, so it is going to cost more. as you mention, there are other benefits. some help i've used: free ranging, food scraps including prep food, asking for others' scraps.
 

dacjohns

People Cracker Upper
11 Years
May 1, 2008
5,154
10
251
Wherever work sends me.
There have been quite a few discussions on this topic.

What it pretty much boils down to is what you are comparing for cost effectiveness. If you are comparing to mass produced birds then raising your own isn't cost effective. If you are comparing to the quality meat and the quality of life then raising your own is well worth it.
 

Peruvian

Songster
11 Years
Apr 15, 2008
294
5
154
Vermont
I just finished processing 24 Cornish Xs. I went through 8 - 50lb bags of feed at $16 and one 25lb bag at $8.50. Feed costs were therefore $136.50. The birds came in around 4-6 lbs each. The chicks cost $1.55 each x 25 (I lost one early on) for another $38.75. Total cost (without ammortized equipment, electricity, etc) was $175.25. I'm estimating 115lbs of chicken. That comes out to $1.52 per pound. That doesn't include my time/labor either. Considering that 'pastured' chicken sells around $4-4.50/lb around here I am very happy with my expenses (especially compared to past birds I raised on organic feed that was almost 2x as expensive!!)

My plucker and chicken tractor costs are being spread over at least 5 batches in 2.5 years time. It's likely that both will last longer and have a selling value in the end and will be very inexpensive in the long run.
 
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PurpleChicken

Tolerated.....Mostly
12 Years
Apr 6, 2007
11,744
34
321
Iceland
In my experience, raising our own meatbirds costs more, a lot more. It can be done
cheaper by ranging them more but we do it more for the experience of it and the
quality of the meat. Plus I refuse to support factory farming whenever possible.

The difference between a store bought and a self raised is like comparing
hamburger to a nice filet.
 
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Redfeathers

Songster
12 Years
Oct 11, 2007
2,071
34
191
Gervais OR
I raised 20 Cornish X and the cost of each averaged around $10.00 a bird. That was for initial cost of buying the birds, feed and processing them. So they were definatley more then the store bought birds, but they taste 1000 times better then a what you can buy in a grocery store. So to us, it was worth it.
 

wyliefarms

Songster
11 Years
Aug 19, 2008
1,865
5
161
Fowlerville,MI
Ditto to what everyone said. Another thing is I get 2-3 meals out of one chicken. So this is cost effective for us. I don't have to worry about feeding my children meat with hormones either.

We were in Frankenmuth this weekend so I had one of the famous chicken dinners, first time. Everything was good. The chicken ok. I am so spoiled with are farm fresh chickens that the meat didn't compare to mine.

I am putting a chicken in the crock pot for dinner:)

Sarah
 

ODS-n-ENS FARM

Songster
11 Years
Sep 16, 2008
608
0
131
NH
I was wondering this lately. My last bag of broiler crumble cost$18.09. I have to agree the quality of meat is so much better than stoore quality and I know my chickens had a good life.
 

silkiechicken

Staff PhD
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
13 Years
Jan 25, 2007
21,494
964
393
Everett WA/Corvallis OR
Quote:All meat has hormones as all living things have hormones. However, it is illegal to use added hormones in feed for the production of poultry in the US.
 

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