Costs So Far

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Oregon Blues, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Wow, that feed is expensive.

    I just added it up, feed, plus a couple of bales of shavings for the brooder. $180 so far and I've got 20 5 week old ducks, 10 4 week old ducks, and 6 2 week old baby geese.

    That's not counting the original cost of the birds, feeders, waterers, swimming pond, fencing, coop, electricity for the brooders, heat lamps......

    Roughly $5 per bird in feed to date and they are a long ways from big enough to butcher. OK, these are ducks and a dressed duck in the market would cost you a packet of cash. So I will end up with cheaper meat than buying. But I sure wouldn't want to be spending this much to raise chickens that I could get on sale in the market for 79 cents a pound.

    Or maybe I would because the home raised is much better meat. But, folks, you aren't going to save any money by raising your own birds.

    In case anyone wonders, my birds are as close to free range as local predators will allow. They are loose all day in a large orchard, nibbling on anything they find that appeals to them. I've got things planted in the veggie garden for them, but the garden is slow getting started this year, so no help there.
  2. chickenology

    chickenology Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 3, 2010
    It is depressing when you add it all up, isn't it. Are you going to be processing the ducks yourself? I have a friend that took her two ducks to the processor we use, and I believe they charged her $10/duck for processing because they had to be hand plucked. They process chickens for $2.50/bird. I just raised 15 cornish cross (lost one at 4 weeks), and added up that it was costing me nearly $11/bird (to include processing but not electricity or equipment). Funny thing is, I scheduled their processing appointment, bought them their last 2 bags of feed, and stray dogs broke into the tractor and killed them all 1 week before processing. Those were some pretty expensive dog toys... [​IMG] You are right though about at least having a better sale value with ducks. I hate to see the chicken roasters at the grocery for $5-6.
  3. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Yes, I'll do my own processing. I'll maybe pluck 3-4 of them for roast duck and the rest will be skinned because of the time factor.

    My son is going to build me a whizbang plucker, but time to do it has to be found somehow. I don't expect to have it by the time these birds are the right age. I'd love to have them all plucked, but I am sure not going to hand pluck 20 ducks.

    Yikes. $10 to clean a duck? I'm glad I know how to do my own processing. Even $2.50 is a substantial expense to add to the cost of one chicken.

    How awful to lose all your chickens just as they were at the point to be butchered. The monetary loss is bad enough, but all the time that you put into it!
  4. mcf3kids

    mcf3kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2011
    I agree that the prices are not going to be what you can get a bird on sale for at the local big market but I think like many others raising the food we eat and knowing that it was well cared for will make it more delicious and tasty and def. healthier than the mass marketed cheaper chicken I could get. The lessons I am teaching my children is something that you cannot put a price tag on as well. I am not tallying up our costs just in case it is too depressing [​IMG] and def. something DH doesn't need to see [​IMG] Good luck with your ducks, would love to see pics of them. [​IMG]
  5. RoosterGeek

    RoosterGeek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 31, 2010
    Lebanon, TN
    Shoot, goose go for 7-8 bucks a pound at my local supermarket. I can't imagine what they would go for at a farmer's market in an upscale section of town.

    Oregon, are you feeding your ducks and geese just plain old broiler starter (21% broiler starter) with free ranging? That's what I fed my Pekins and they seemed to grow alright.
  6. bwmichaud

    bwmichaud Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2010
    The reason I started raising ducks for meat is because of the high cost to buy them at the grocery store. It just seemed like more bang for my buck than with the chickens. I can regularly get whole chickens in the grocery store for 79 to 99 cents a pound. The best price I have seen for a whole duck is $3.49 a pound. I haven't bought chicken in over a year. My cornish rocks cost me about $1.35 a pound to raise which is lower than the regular grocery store price of $1.49 a pound but not lower than the sale price. I have a small batch of Freedom Rangers now that should cost me less since the chicks were free. I would like say that my ducklings are free but maintaining the breeders is actually quite expensive since you have to winter them over and they are not productive during the winter.
  7. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    I buy what I can get for feed. They are started on game bird starter, then dropped down to 16% protein from a local mill. They call it layer, but it doesn't have added calcium. It's ground whole grain and added minerals in a small pellet. It's about $12 a bag, cheaper than commercial feed.

    Then they get to wander around and eat whatever they can find during the day. They are growing so fast, you can see them grow.

    The adult geese eat very little commercial feed. The goslings scoop up a bunch of grain and they are growing really fast.

    I have to watch the protein level because there are some show birds in the group and I have to watch their wing development. I would stay with a higher protein and quicker growth if all the birds were table-bound.

    I mix a small handful of dry cat food into their grain so they can have some animal protein. They also get a small handful of lentils, because I've got them and nobody else wants to eat them.

    It isn't a straight comparison between home raised and store bought chicken, because the store bought chickens are pumped full of water, so some of that weight you are paying for isn't chicken.

    I can't even buy duck or goose at the local markets, so I can't do a price comparison. I just figure that duck is about 4X the price of chicken and the goose is the same price per pound as a prime rib roast.

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