Does growing meaties save $

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by sonjab314, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. sonjab314

    sonjab314 Constant State of Confusion

    May 15, 2010
    I am interested in getting some meaties. My only thing is if I get 10 meaties at $21.80 from Cackle (no shipping. I live in the same town) and then add the cost of feed for 6-8 weeks, would that be cheaper than going to the store and buying 10 birds that are already processed? Any ideas are greatly appreciated.

  2. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Songster

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    From my experience, NO.

    I raised and processed myself 47 birds last year...I carefully kept track of costs of everything and my birds ran me around $.11 per oz. But that was including packaging costs too. My birds ran alot more costwise than if I would've just ran to the store, BUT I know how these birds were treated, what they ate, etc. To me, it is worth the extra cost. I will continue to raise my own meaties. Also, when my girls go broody, all the roos that hatch out end up as soup or just canned chicken--that way I can enjoy baby chicks and keep my meaties for roasters or for frying. [​IMG]
  3. Hillbilly Hen

    Hillbilly Hen Crowing

    Apr 11, 2009
    Newaygo Michigan
    Not in my experience either. But you cannot beat the taste.
  4. jasonm11

    jasonm11 Songster

    Nov 18, 2010
    tioga tx
    Probably not gonna save any money if you go out and give them treats and such as I do. I do feel it is worth the effort knowing what you are eating and the life you give them for their time. If you kept tehm on pasture and gave them leftovers which are free then you can minimize feed and do okay. But where is the fun in that?

  5. CDennis

    CDennis Songster

    Apr 1, 2009
    The simple answer is no. There is no way you can compete with store priced chickens, or those roasters in the deli for 3.99 a chicken cooked. If what you are buying at the store is 18-20 buck organic free range birds then I guess that's another story. As for me, I don't raise meat birds to save money, its more about healthy delicious responsibly raised chicken I grew myself. Now if you grew a flock of birds, sold half and kept the other half then yes you could make some cash on the meaties but just to raise yourself, no money savings in my opinion.
  6. Me & My Peeps

    Me & My Peeps Songster

    Apr 26, 2010
    Western MA
    Quote:Unless you go on a commercial scale, there is negligible savings. Even raising hens for eggs, there is no cost savings. Its done to be sure of the quality of life for the bird, monitor that there are no growth hormones of chemicals in the meat, knowing the history from "cradle to grave" and the pleasure (in my opinion) of raising them.

    If your looking to make money, then invest in a grower thats selling out or get a contract for a processor. Even then, it's a decent pay but your not going to retire off of it.
  7. terri9630

    terri9630 Songster

    Mar 22, 2009
    New Mexico
    Quote:Will Cackle let you get just 10? Most have a minimum order of 25. I've found that Welp is the cheapest. $1.58 per chick no shipping added.

  8. ShadyHoller

    ShadyHoller Chirping

    Sep 12, 2010
    Willamette Valley
    Another cost to consider is the capital investment (the durable goods such as cost of coop, feeders, brooder, heat lamp, etc.) The math isn't as simple as cost of chicks plus cost of feed, compared to cost of grocery store birds. By the time you figure in incidental costs, like accessories necessary for butchering, or the question of weather your own time has a dollar value, the accounting is going to come down heavily in favor of buying meat at the store. Like everyone before me has already said, there needs to be some non-economic reason for raising your own: either they taste better, or they are humanely raised, or you know they weren't fed chemical nonsense, or you just simply enjoy the whole process. For me, those are good enough reasons to overcome the price difference.

    One final observation: I agree with everything Me & My Peeps said, except for the part about hormones.

    Me & My Peeps :

    Its done to be sure of the quality of life for the bird, monitor that there are no growth hormones of chemicals in the meat, knowing the history from "cradle to grave" and the pleasure (in my opinion) of raising them.

    Growth hormones haven't been legal in poultry for decades. It's a violation of USDA labeling laws to claim your birds or eggs have no added hormones, unless you also provide the disclaimer that hormones can't be used in poultry. I point this out because a lot of people get all excited about hormones in poultry, but it's a myth.

    Now, antibiotics, on the other hand, are a different story, and are used widely and routinely in commercial chicken production...​
  9. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Crowing

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    Quote:Ditto here as well. Can't get fresh meat taste in a grocery store.

  10. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    $3.54 per bird in a shrink bag. Raised 47, sold 10 for $8 each. Selling the 10 was where I reduced my cost.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by