Cost per bird

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by JohnG, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. JohnG

    JohnG In the Brooder

    Apr 4, 2008
    Hello, I am a newbie here I have 29 layers at home that are almost 5 wks old. These are our first chickens. And I am already thinking about raising some meat birds. I have read on here not to raise them as a source of cheap meat. And that is not why I would, I want to start raising more of our on food. But, how much does it cost to raise say 25 boilers for 8 wks. Just a ball park price. Thanks, John
  2. BirdBrain

    BirdBrain Prefers Frozen Tail Feathers

    May 7, 2007
    If you feed them a high protein feed (like game bird, broiler feed or turkey feed--all acceptable) and keep them 6 weeks you can expect them to cost around $5.75-5.90 if you raise them on shavings (no free ranging). Because we fed high protein feed and opted for changing bedding often (not out running off their weight) we butchered some 6 week male broilers yesterday that dressed out at 5 pounds or more. We did not want them any bigger than they were because we didn't want the meat to get stringy and we didn't want to push it as far as them kicking up their heals before we were ready to put them in the freezer. We figured we had a feed conversion ratio of about 2:1, so for every 2 pounds of feed they eat, they gained 1 pound.
  3. mmajw

    mmajw Songster

    Jan 31, 2008
    My broilers stay with us for 8 weeks and at the end of that they weigh between 8-9 pounds. I feed Grower Cal Pellets (that is what my feed store suggested). Ballpark feed was $9.00/bag and that lasted me 6 days max. I did feed them well as I did want them plump. I had 30 at the time. In June this year I will be getting 50 and again only keeping them for 8 weeks max. I think I had more $$ in them then most as my husband said that they ate extremely well. I have raised broilers for 4 years now and I can definately say that you can taste the difference between home grown and store bought, as you can with eggs. It is the best chicken you will ever have. I have yet to hear a complaint from anyone that has taken one home to cook or that hasn't eaten at our home. Hope this helps and good luck if you decide to get broilers. [​IMG]
  4. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    It of course will depend on how large you grow them. Going that last pound from 8-9 can mean a lot of food. Miss your processing date by a week and it will cost you dearly!

    Here is my breakdown from last year. I have yet to calculate this year's price based upon the huge spike in feed prices. I process when my largest bird in the pen is 10 lbs. That gives me the largest dressed birds around 6.5 lbs and of course down to about 3.5 lbs.

    Bird $1.60 EA (be sure to include shipping)
    Food $9.60 EA
    Slaughter $7 EA (don't forget to include mileage)
    Shelter $1.20 EA
    Portable Electric $1.50 EA
    Fountains $0.20 EA
    Range Feeders $0.65 EA
    Lamps $0.12 EA
    Bulbs $0.35 EA
    Insurance ??? (depends on your total farm revenue for the year, really)

    Total: $22 per bird

    All fixed costs are amoratized over the first two years assuming I process and sell 50 birds per year. Last year, I did 75 and this year I'll probably 150. So, I was able to bring some of the overhead down by doing fewer birds.

    Of course, everything in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) costs double what it does anywhere else. Dending where you are, you may be able to feed for 20% less than that and process for possible 1/3 what I have to pay.

    I sold last year at $3.50 per pound with the average bird size around 6 lbs. So, the first two years is establishing customers and paying for your coops, electric netting, etc. Of course, you can take a few birds for yourself,t hen essentially your customers are paying you to eat your own delicious chicken. That's nice!

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