Does raising DP for meat equal out?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by NYRIR, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. NYRIR

    NYRIR Songster

    May 13, 2010
    I'm going to be raising meat birds soon and at first I was going to do the CX's but decided I couldn't ethically do that because it just seems unnatural.My question is, Am I going to at least break even raising DP's versus buying it at the store?I will probably do it even if I don't(just for the health factor and the slaughterhouse factor).I see a lot of threads here that say one way is more efficient than the other,but what about raising DP's versus buying? I don't care about time spent caring for them...that's what I do for wondering if anyone has an idea about that.Around here meat is getting ridiculously expensive....even chicken.Yesterday at the grocery store the 4 packs of chicken were around 14.00! That was WITH the skin and bone!
  2. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

    Jan 27, 2009
    I do know that it is very difficult to raise meat at the same cost as the store. When you consider that you are producing organically cage free chicken, so cost would have to reflect that standard and quality of meat. The slower the chicken grows then longer you will be feeding it, and the more feed that the bird will eat.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    The large chicken operation likely maintains its own grain supply. That is, they likely grow soybeans and corn on large acreage. They bring that grain into their own large scale growing operation at half the cost compared to you having to buy grower feed. Thus, they can quite likely grow out each meat bird for sum you cannot begin to touch.

    Secondly, their initial cost per chick will be absurdly low compared to what you would pay for a grower chick.

    If you thought $14 for 4 birds was high, frankly, you'll likely have $20 or more in 4 birds, with feed costs as high as they are.
    If you want to raise some White Rocks cockerels or some Red Rangers, do it because it will be satisfying, not because it will be cheaper.
  4. Bossroo

    Bossroo Songster

    Jun 15, 2008
    NOPE !!! You will be digging yourself into a deeper financial hole without even realising it. [​IMG] As in golf... the pros make tons of money, while the average Joe golfer enjoys the ride while playing. But at the end of the day he may not enjoy the score or the bill [​IMG] thus the lounge bar or a six-pack.
  5. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    as was already said, if you are going to look at it dollar wise probably not. Health, fun and conscience wise you will be way ahead of the game.
    HOWEVER that said YOU could be the ONE to really get into this and figure out how to make it work $ wise too. Many of us here are experimenting away with whole grains, bugs, pasturing, enzyme supplements, caponizing, etc . . . if you are having fun with your chickens already, and you are obviously a thinking person, why not take it one step further! [​IMG]
  6. NYRIR

    NYRIR Songster

    May 13, 2010
    Ok first,it's 14.00 for 4 PIECES of chicken....and I would be hatching out my own eggs which would be crosses of all sorts of DP (dual purpose).Does that help? I do tend to spoil my birds though and probably would spend too much on seeds etc.Also,I don't have enough property to grow much of my own feed...*sigh* manicured nails for this chick!Guess I'll just be happy we are not supporting the mean chicken people!
    As for trying to become a bit's a small start...who knows where it will go from there.
  7. terri9630

    terri9630 Songster

    Mar 22, 2009
    New Mexico
    Quote:That is nuts! We raise the cornish cross. It works out cheaper per pound for us than the store bought birds, but we started raising them for my daughters health. She is allergic to preservatives and the "solution" the birds are injected/packaged with hurt her stomach. Same with most hams and sandwich meats.
  8. JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom

    JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom Songster

    Jun 17, 2009
    West Central WI
    Barnyard crosses could present any kind of feed-to-meat ratio. If you have no light weight breeds like Leghorns or Polish, then at least you are starting with heavier set birds.

    With mixed-DP cockerals, I think you will find nice sized dark meat quarters at 16-20 weeks of age. Breast meat will not be the size you are used to as CornX are bred to make white meat and do it in 6 weeks or slightly more.

    To reduce the feed it takes to cover those extra weeks, you could look into alternate supplies of grub, like making a deal with a local restaurant for table scrps or a grocer for produce cast-offs. You may be in a position to glean a neighbor's field after harvest (picking up corn cobs, or apples that the grower cannot use from the ground, etc.) We grow certain items in our garden mainly for the chickens (always more squash/pumpkins than we can eat). Pasturing the birds always helps if you can do it.

    Unless you really strike the motherlode, you may still have more money in the feed than the meat is worth, even at your stated prices.
    Only you will be able to figure out what will work for you.

    There is one poster in the forums who simply goes on Craig's list and asks if any one has roosters they do not want. Many people have to order straight run chicks to get the hens in breeds they want, so they end up with roosters they cannot bear to butcher and eat. For the cost of pickup and time processing, this poster gets many chicken meals.

    Just a note on industrial chicken production, around here the corporation provides birds, feed and bedding, and picks them up on the 35th day. The "Grower"/Farmer provides the building, utilities, labor and must dispose of the waste. Typically the waste is spread on fields and used to grow corn, soybeans and other crops. These crops are sold for cash, sometimes to the chicken corporation, but often not. These grower/farmers are my friends and neighbors. They are not "Mean Chicken People" and do the best they can by the birds. I think we should all know that they make so little per bird on these contracts with Chicken Corporations that their kids are often on subsidized lunches at school. The system is not working well for anyone but the corporate shareholders, but frankly in our current economic set up, they are the only ones who matter.

    So I do encourage you to vote with your dollar, buying properly raised chicken or raising your own. Just be aware that this might involve some more dollars than you are used to.
  9. AlbionWood

    AlbionWood Songster

    May 24, 2010
    Albion, California
    Even CX cannot be raised at home for less than you pay in the grocery store; that's the harsh reality of modern agribusiness economics. Those giant CAFOs don't exist just to be evil; they are the lowest-cost way to convert feed to meat. You can't beat them on price.

    DP birds don't compete with CX economically, not even close. Hatching out your own eggs doesn't save anything on feed, which is where most of the costs are. (And you can't be self-sufficient, because you have to buy feed.) You can find some other threads on here that compare the cost per pound for CX, FR, and DP birds. Some people are keeping good records and providing us with really valuable information.

    I don't understand the ethical dilemma with raising your own CX. Buying it at the store is far less ethical, because you're likely getting birds that were raised in confinement. You can raise your own CX birds just as ethically as any other breed.

    Economics and ethics are almost always in conflict. Only you can decide which is more important. DP birds are going to be the most expensive chicken meat you've ever eaten, but there are other rewards...
  10. NYRIR

    NYRIR Songster

    May 13, 2010
    Quote:I see your point.The dilemma is...I don't agree with birds bred that way so as they can't live a normal life if given the chance without a lot of careful attention.I know a lot of people do (and no offense to them)but for me it seems totally unnatural.I don't like buying them in the store either...which is why I am trying to find a way NOT to.It's unfortunate the way things are and until I really got into chickens recently,I was a naive shopper as well.(But I always knew chicken came from once live birds [​IMG] )
    As for self sufficient...yes,I know I can't possibly given what I have....but small ways are better than NO ways IMO.

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