Capon Economics?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Howard E, Oct 3, 2016.

  1. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Has anyone ever kept detailed records or knows of a modern era study on the economics of raising capons?

    At the very least it would seem to revolve around:

    Value of Meat Bird - Less Cost of Feed = Profit

    Lots of other costs but if these birds can't recoup feed costs, all else is moot.

    Secondary avenue to explore is if there would be a modern era market for young capon birds as once existed?

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    This gets to the point of assuming a person wanted to raise and feed capons for personal use or perhaps some niche market, but didn't have the knowledge, ability or resources to caponize the birds themselves, would there be a market for these birds?

    Would you buy started capon birds if you could?
     
  2. Maeschak

    Maeschak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hope you get some info- I would be interested as well!
     
  3. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Curious to see others comments but I think the Cornish X has so perfectly struck the fast growing/feed conversion curve that economically capons are rendered useless.

    It seems they've found a place among backyard hobby keeper who want to hatch and grow their own sustainable meat birds, but beyond that I'm not sure the numbers work out.
     
  4. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Agreed on the Cornish X as far as growth and feed conversion are concerned. But even with that, I can't make the math work even for the Cornish X if I grow them myself.

    Was in the store yesterday and noticed that a 5# dressed broiler was selling for $1 a pound or $5 per bird in the package. BTW, that weight includes the dirt cheap brine they put in there to boost the weight and to make the bird moist.

    A commercial hatchery near me is selling Cornish X chicks for $2 each. So to balance the scales, I'd have to find a way to put put about 7# (live weight vs. dressed weight) of gain on a bird for under $3 in feed cost, and that does not factor in anything for housing or processing costs. So why do it at all? Probably for the better overall quality of the bird you raise yourself. Better....or at least different......perceived quality so you pay more for it? Payment in the form of additional feed costs, labor, etc. No different that when we raise our own eggs vs. buying those in the store. My guess is the comparison for eggs holds as well. Last time I looked, white eggs from commercial laying houses were selling for around $1 / dozen. Brown eggs for $2.50. Cage free brown eggs for $3.50 and so called "free range" eggs for $4.50. If they were not able to sell them for that, they would not have them for that. So somebody must think they are worth it.

    So an extension of that is the capon vs. the Cornish X. I can buy male chicks for 39 cents vs. $2.00 for the Cornish X chicks. Growth rates will be slower and feed conversion lower, but you start out with a $1.50 per bird advantage, plus they are a whole lot more hardy, so potential for death loss won't be as great. But what it really gets down to is if the capon is going to be any better on the table than a Cornish X.

    I did not see a capon in the store, but plan to check on other stores to see if they are available and at what price. I was a but stunned to find them available on Amazon for a whopping $69 per bird! Not stunned to find them, or the price, but stunned that ANYONE would pay that for one. I would not.
     
  5. tmarsh83

    tmarsh83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Depends on what you're replacing by doing your own. If is whole birds, tougher math for sure.

    Breasts sell for more like $2-3 per pound.

    Canned as much as $4.

    It's like buying freezer beef. Sure you may pay $3 for your ground, but that's also all you pay for sirloin, delmonico, t bones, etc.
     
  6. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    True, but I think you might be missing my point.

    Considering what they are charging for capons from commercial sources, they may cost 4X plus what is charged for a commercial broiler. From some sources it's as much as 9X. This is not unlike the difference between a $3 Oak Leaf Cabernet from Walmart or Two Buck Chuck from Trader Joes vs. most other bottles in the $12 to $20 price point, or a bottle of Silver Oak at $70. For some, the difference in cost is worth it. Not to most, but for some it is.

    If the perceived value is there for a capon, that may change everything. All the growth rates, etc. go out the window if the capon is perceived to be that much better. No longer an apples to apples comparison. It may well be you can afford to feed a pen of capons and make it work. Really won't know until someone works the numbers and ultimately, I'd have to see them both side by side on the table to do a taste test to see if it was worth it to me.
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  8. Howard E

    Howard E Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I warned you, I'll do it!

    So checked a different store today and yes they did have frozen capons. Meat guy said they sell very few, but do keep a couple around for nut cases like me.

    Price as $3.99 a pound and the processed bird weighed 9+ pounds. So for about $38 I get to try one. So that will be step 1......the taste test.
     

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