are meat birds cost effective?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Rustywreck, Oct 12, 2008.

  1. Rustywreck

    Rustywreck Songster

    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)
  2. moodusnewchick

    moodusnewchick Songster

    Feb 15, 2008
    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.
  3. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    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.
  4. Peruvian

    Peruvian Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    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.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2008
  5. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    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.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2008
  6. Redfeathers

    Redfeathers Songster

    Oct 11, 2007
    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.
  7. wyliefarms

    wyliefarms Songster

    Aug 19, 2008
    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:)


    ODS-n-ENS FARM Songster

    Sep 16, 2008
    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.
  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    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. [​IMG]
  10. willheveland

    willheveland Songster

    Jan 29, 2008
    southern tier,NY
    Another big factor is what you pay for feed.I buy from a local mill who makes their own and sells a grower mash for $7.95 for 50#.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: