Figuring the cost of raising birds for meat


In the Brooder
6 Years
Nov 10, 2013
I have been trying to figure the actual price per pound of raising meat birds. If it costs almost as much as I would spend at the local farmers market, I might as well buy at the market and save myself the time!
We already had layers and I built a chicken pen out of materials already around the house, so the cost of materials was minimal (a new heat bulb and an extra spill-proof feeder). Mostly just the initial chick purchase and feed. Here is what I have found.
At six weeks of age, we butchered three chickens that were each around 3 lb. and cost us $6.50 to raise, which is around $2.17 a pound.
For every week that we let the remaining birds grow and fatten, the cost will increase by $1 per bird due to their feed cost.

How does that compare to what you found?

I journaled my experience online because I wanted to be able to make improvements and avoid problems on our second flock in the fall.
A higher protein feed and warmer temps may help in producing a bigger bird in that time frame and lower your cost/lb. Also, since you've already have the equipment, that cost will not need to be factored into the bird cost for the next batch. Maybe set a goal to reach. Like I want a 4lb bird at 8 weeks and only cost X amount/lb. I think having a goal to reach instead of just raising birds for meat would make for an enjoyable process. But only you can decide whether it's worth it over the Farmers Market.

It appears to me that you enjoy raising the birds, so that has to count for something. Experience for the Children is priceless.

Nice write up!
Something else to consider. You KNOW how the birds were treated when you raise them and you know what they ate (most of the time). If someone else does it, you are relying only on their word. This ties into something we should all seriously consider, especially now; Know your farmer if you don't grow it yourself.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom