Cost of Raising Meat Birds ~vs~ Store-bought

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Salt and Light, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. Salt and Light

    Salt and Light Songster

    May 20, 2008
    Osteen, FL
    Has anyone ever calculated the actual cost of raising meat birds vs the cost of buying them.

    I know home-raised is better quality, but I'm just curious the cost-difference between the two.
  2. Steve

    Steve Ye Olde Henhouse Builder

  3. Poler

    Poler In the Brooder

    Jul 1, 2008
    Albuquerque, NM
    I worked at a grocery store in the butcher shop for a long time.

    We always charged $1.29 for a whole bird, and they averaged out to only like 3-4 pounds, sometimes less.

    In my experience, homegrown birds always get bigger and always taste better.

    Steve's Birds, (the 11 that he had processed) came to a total of 92.16 into the 11 birds is 8.38.

    If Steve were to process them himself, saving $2.50 per bird, his total would have only been $64.66. Or $5.88 per bird, much cheaper than store-bought.
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Mine cost about $2.5 a lb each in feed. Add housing and so on it's about $3 a lb.
  5. UncleHoot

    UncleHoot Songster

    May 22, 2007
    St. Johns, Michigan
    I did an "accounting" ( of all of my costs, in order to figure out how much to charge my customers, which are mostly friends and family. If your fixed costs are really low (feeders, shelter, bedding, etc), and you process yourself, you could probably save over $3/bird compared to what I came up with, which might put you in the range of $6/bird to raise to 5lb dressed-weight. That would be close to what you'd pay in the store.

    The only way to truly "save" money, is to convince your friends/neighbors to buy what you over-produce. [​IMG]
  6. Omniskies

    Omniskies Songster

    Mar 7, 2008
    That's not the only way to save money.

    You can pull out the wishbone, dry it and sell it as a lucky charm. ebay: $1

    You can pluck the feathers and sell them to people who want them for crafts. ebay: $2

    You can save the feet and make meals with those. No kidding. Look up the recipes. I'm saving mine back to make a big meal all at once. $0.50

    If you want to be even more macabre, boil the meat off the skull and sell it to reptile owners for their tanks. Make sure you go through the process of sterilizing the skull. Bonus points if you paint some funky design on there. I can get anywhere from $3-5 per skull and am thinking about doing something with the neck bones, as well.

    Right there you can make $6.50+ more per bird than you could have with one from the store.

    If you're willing to do the extra work and sell weird little things you can eat your birds for free, if not be paid to eat your own birds.
    1 person likes this.
  7. joebryant

    joebryant Crowing

    It would take a lot to convince me that ANYBODY actually makes a profit when raising chickens. I don't care if they're selling eggs and/or meat chickens. I got into chickens two months ago, and so far ten chicks have cost me over $2,000, and I'm still spending $$$ on them, their coops, and their run.

    BTW, I wasn't even figuring my time and HARD labor.

    I don't get it. I tell my wife, Anne, often that everyone on this forum seems exceptionally intelligent, but then I think about $$$$$$$$$$ and wonder about all of you.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2008
  8. skeeter

    skeeter Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    Parma Idaho
    Albertsons has whole fryers this week for $.69/lb,thats pretty cheap eaten,
  9. Ang

    Ang Songster

    Jan 2, 2008
    West Central Illinois
    The other things to consider are you get the organs, too. And you can make your own chicken stock. And the feet can be boiled when you make your stock. And the fat can be rendered and used. So there is much more to be considered than just the meat.
  10. HFC

    HFC Chirping

    Oct 29, 2007
    Crosby, TX
    If a hen eats 16lbs of food up until laying you have $5. $2 plus purchase price. $1.25 in feed for each dozen eggs produced. Sell for $3/dozen. You get caught up in feed at about 10 weeks out. Approximately .85/week per hen under good conditions. 50 hens can make you $40/week or about $175 month.

    50 broilers eat $216 in feed in their 8 weeks. I spend $2 because I like MM's. $6.13 per bird. IF I decide to let somebody else process them the cost comes to $9.13. That's less than $2/lb since they average around 5lb. Sell them for $3/lb and you've made around $250.

    That doesn't count labor obviously, but I'm OK with translating labor as profit. Also doesn't consider mortality rates. I've had up to 20% and as little as 0%. An 8'X12' tractor for broilers can be build for under $100 fairly easily. I built two 8'x8' buildings for out of scrap materials for about the same each. Feeders and waterers can be built and bought cheaply as well.

    Money can be made, but you have to be willing to shop for bargains and take it SLOW. Don't expect a profit for 18 to 24 months if you're BUSY. Longer if you're doing it for fun.

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