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Does anyone know about how much it costs to raise a chicken for meat?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Mtnmomma3, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. Mtnmomma3

    Mtnmomma3 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 10, 2013
    Today, I went to a butcher that sells meat from local farmers, pastured meat, organic, etc. A single chicken was $25. it was a good size chicken, but wow! Could I raise my own less expensively? We have three beautiful laying hens that are pets so we'd be interested in expanding our flock to raise meat birds if we can do it less expensively than that butcher.
     
  2. pipemum

    pipemum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 8, 2013
    I'm not an expert, but I've done one small batch of meat birds, and am raising another. I think my total costs for the 1st birds were about $8-9 per bird (14 meaties total). This next batch will seem to be more expensive because I bought a Brinsea Ecoglow heater. That brings it to $13 per bird (for another 14)...but obviously that can be used to brood more than one set of chicks! That includes organic feeds costs as well. Not too bad.

    The biggest cost to me was time..the meaties added another 30 minutes of routine to my already packed out day. Doesn't sound like much, but in the morning rush to get out the door it makes a difference.
     
  3. Mtnmomma3

    Mtnmomma3 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 10, 2013
    That is very interesting. Thank you [​IMG]

    Why do the meaties add time to your day? Our free range layers are soooo easy. We open the door in the morning and close it at night. Of course, there is the risk of finding a pile of feathers in the yard where there once is a chicken. Hawks and raccoon are fearless!
     
  4. pipemum

    pipemum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just the added time of giving fresh food and water every day. I feed them fermented food, so I feed them twice a day. And they drink a ton of water (plus I live in the desert) so I had to fill up their waterer every day. Really, it's not much work AT ALL, but when I'm already pressed for time as it is, filling up the water and feeder feels like a ton of work, hahaha. I let both my meaties and layers "free range", but we'd need many, many acres for them to be able to forage enough to feed themselves. And now it's limited free range since I've had a severe predator loss (pack of coyotes) and do not want to lose birds like that again.

    eta: an automatic waterer might be in store later this year. That would save a whole 5 minutes a day, lol!!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  5. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You could raise them cheaper yourself - especially if you let them free range (saves on shavings). Keep in mind how you'll process them as that can add expense if you don't do them yourself.

    Meaties are more involved than free range layers, but we usually raise 50+ at a time. They will eat, drink, and poop more than a layer will, which results in more work and hassle. Although, it's well worth it if you ask me.
     

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