big guy v. the backyard enthusiast

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by blue90292, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. blue90292

    blue90292 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2007
    Rosharon, TX
    i consider myself a backyard enthusiast, but have over 200 birds and when my meaties come, will have 300. my friend who recently bought an egg business bought the business to supply local restaurants and neighbors with fresh eggs. she doesn't consider herself one of the "big guys" but does have over 1,300 birds now. 900 in layers, 100 meat birds and now 500 more chicks since she'll have to cull the 3 year olds in the 900 flock.

    we definitely don't get rich doing this. i definitely lose money since half of my flock are for showing.

    i've always considered myself a backyard enthusiast and so does my friend. but with our quantity, it's nice to know what the "big guys" are doing so we don't make biosecurity, virus, disease, etc, mistakes which we are prone to have since our flock is not 25.

    are we no longer backyard enthusiasts? those farms that supply organic chicken to the big stores...they're supplying those chickens because they believe chickens can be better but in order to supply "whole foods", etc. you have to grow alot of birds. are they considered "big guys".
  2. Verboten

    Verboten Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2008
    Southern Oregon
    If you consider yourself to be a backyard enthusiast then I would say that you are.

    I do think that there is a different mindset between someone who is doing an activity as a hobby (raising farm animals as pets) and someone who hopes to maybe break even or make a little money doing it. Then another big jump from there to actually making your living from the activity. - I think that this is only human.

    I admire those who have the drive, resources, knowledge, and business ability to maintain a larger flock. I would imagine that very few (or none) of the breeds that we enjoy today would have been possible without them (as well as their future viability). It is annoying when some that have a few chickens seem to think that nobody was looking out for the welfare of an entire species until they themselves discovered the chicken sometime last year and introduced the proper standards of decency.

    As long as people want to share knowledge and engage in respectful disussion it doesn't seen to matter how many chickens you have. Trying to set a number of animals that would turn a person from being responsible into a bogeyman corporate monster is just silly.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2008
  3. Bossroo

    Bossroo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2008
    I saw my grandmother raise, feed, collect eggs and yes, butcher a chicken for Sunday dinner just as her mother did before her. I saw my mother raise, feed, collect eggs and yes, butcher a chicken for Sunday dinner for family and friends. I also did the same. One day a friend of a friend came over to our house just as I was butchering a chicken and she sceamed in uncontrolable anger that how dare I murder a chicken. In days of old it was considered one odd if one didn't butcher one's own chicken. In this day and age, where almost everyone has lost the ability to fend for themselves, scream at the tops of their lungs how cruel someone is to butcher livestock and how cruel they are for not alowing them free range of the land so that they could live free. These same people just don't seem to understand that the human population explosion causes gobeling up of farm land for housing, crowding of predators into less and less former range, more and more free running dogs, and all of them looking for a tasty chicken. Then too with increase of grain prices, fuel and labor causes pressures to consolidate the rearing space of chickens and more economic means of raising and feeding them all at a sale price that is plummeting for their chicken Mc Nugget.
  4. deb1

    deb1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2008
    Quote:Something similar happened to my family. My brother told me that his new wife was very upset with me because we had butchered and eaten some of our roosters. I could understand if she was a vegetarian but she isn't. I don't know where she thinks that the nice, plastic wrapped chicken she buys at the store comes from. A chicken tree, maybe?[​IMG]

    I am glad that someone started a new thread. Thanks to the original poster of this thread.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2008
  5. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    I don't think the conflict is so much how many birds a person has, but more the difference between those who think the only way to raise food is the Walmart way, and those who don't.

    For some reason, small holders are sometimes portrayed as nut jobs who don't understand where food comes from, even though many are dedicated to raising their own food, including meat.

    There are people who don't get it. We've all met them. They aren't the ones raising meat birds in the back yard. Or breeding for a different kind of meat bird.

    There's a place for the mass produced meat, obviously, or the business wouldn't thrive like it does. It's just not for everybody. Not everybody buys Chicken McNuggets, for example. When I buy food, it's mostly ingredients to cook with, (what I can't grow myself) very little pre-cooked or highly processed food.

    People who are trying to preserve rare breeds, in order to keep those genes available, are not usually people who just discovered chickens last year, and thought they were cute. I'm sure there are a few of those, but they're not the majority.

    One thing I can say for sure, is folks are different from each other. We have some things in common, and some things NOT in common. If somebody disagrees with your method, doesn't mean they automatically think you're a monster. It just means they want to do things differently.
  6. deb1

    deb1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2008
    Please understand, I am not against the bigger farmers who are producing chickens for Walmart. Their methods produce inexpensive food for those-like me-without a lot of available funds. I don't see that changing anytime soon.

    My own goals are for my family to become more self sufficient over the next few years. I plan on experimenting, trying a variety of methods to figure out what works best for my family. That doesn't make me crazy or nutty or a liberal hippy, although my family seems to think that I am a bit eccentric.[​IMG]
  7. Ladysonja

    Ladysonja Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2008
    Porter, Texas
    When my DH and I decided to start raising chickens, there were mixed reactions from family and friends. Some comments were encouraging, others were down right nasty.

    My MIL finally told my BIL that we (DH & I) were absolutely nuts for building a coop to raise chickens. "At least I won't have to look at it". She's old and therefor I forgive her for her comment, but it hurts all the same.

    I personally like the idea that I can raise chickens to put food on the table and maybe one day after the girls start laying eggs help out a family that may not be as well off as I am.

    If said person turns their nose up to a dozen eggs layed in a box in my backyard or a fresh chicken raised without chemicals, then shame on them. They just don't get it and never will.

    Although outsiders to the chicken world "Don't Get It", DH & I do.

    As for the size of a flock, Free Ranging vs. Run, deadly dogs (personal or neighbors dog), preditors in general and pissy neighbors, I say "Do what works for you". What works for one does not work for everyone and vice versa.

    I for one will not degrade another BYC member of their choice of how they run their flock nor will I pass judgement on someone who has done everything in their power to do the right thing first. I say this because one day, I may be posting a thread asking for advice on what to do and would like that... Advice - Not judgement or lectures. If I want that I'll talk to my relatives who think I'm nuts to begin with - LOL!

    Sorry for being long winded or possibly getting off topic. This is the most informative web site that I have come across in my internet experience. After reading several topics and reactions, I can say that most of the issues that have come up for me have been answered by experienced flock owners and I'm not so paniced when a problem does come up. I know I can come here to find my answer.
  8. keystonepaul

    keystonepaul Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2008
    When I'm tossing my son around from arm to arm and up in the air he asks what size he is and I tell him, "Your a good sized medium boy" Think that's what I'll think about you folks too, Your a good sized medium chicken enthusiast. I think when your methods start to change drastically due to the size of your flocks then your edging out of the backyard enthusiast catagory. Don't know if yours has but in some sense it must have. Just my opinion and not a negative opinion of the size of your flocks at all. I think it's neat and in terms of being one of the "Big Guys" you probably aren't so give them a good old fashioned backyard run for thier money. Good luck with your endeavors, Keystonepaul
  9. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    Quote:My family is starting to think I'm nuts, too. Why is raising your own food so crazy? It's only been roughly 50-75 years that people haven't raised at least some of their own food.
  10. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    When you see all the food recalls, and the price of food is rising so rapidly, not raising your own, or at least some of it, seems not only crazy but foolish.

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