Free chicken?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by SandraMort, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. SandraMort

    SandraMort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2008
    ny
  2. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

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    Michigan
    I'm thinking you had best have NO neighbors!!!! LMAO
     
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Doubt it will be free and for the cost in time and processing and pred protection, for the amount of meat, may be cheaper to buy it from the store.

    The number on an acre will depend on what you have on it. They need more than grass (can't really digest it, just roughage) so you may end up feeding them a lot more than you think. As many cull roo's are from layer breeds, it may take you 3-4 months to get a 3 lb bird which is mostly bone.

    You're welcome to try though as a healthy bird for the table is worth the time, money, and effort to me, especially if you aren't into breast meat.
     
  4. SandraMort

    SandraMort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2008
    ny
    Quote:Yeah. I don't include my time in the equation. Here's my thought process... I've got a big barn (ok, I haven't measured it, but the right side has three box shaped stalls and the left is open, so it's got to be 30-50 feet long and almost as wide. It's on eight acres of property. So, if I can get a couple of dozen birds and only invest a relatively small amount of money on feed and oyster shells, they can pick up the rest in bugs (this is tick country!), plants and gravel. I'm planning to do my first meat run without predator-proofing at ALL, since I don't know the area or which areas will cause problems. It's a big experiment, kwim?

    So if I get, oh, three dozen roos, and a dozen to two dozen survive, and say six weeks down the line we butcher... not much invested, lots gained... right?

    The number on an acre will depend on what you have on it. They need more than grass (can't really digest it, just roughage) so you may end up feeding them a lot more than you think.

    Interesting. Somewhere today I was reading that they get 30% of their calories from grass when free ranging.

    As many cull roo's are from layer breeds, it may take you 3-4 months to get a 3 lb bird which is mostly bone.

    You're welcome to try though as a healthy bird for the table is worth the time, money, and effort to me, especially if you aren't into breast meat.

    Nope, I'm content with cheap dark.​
     
  5. SandraMort

    SandraMort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2008
    ny
    OH. And I left out the part about how I've never processed before so the first batch is one big unknown. I'd rather get freebie birds and try than to get the really nice color range birds shipped to me and feel like Ive innvested a ton of cash.
     
  6. kinnip

    kinnip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    The nice folks I used to buy chicken meat from raised theirs with only one dog doing rounds twice a day as predator protection. They've stopped raising birds until they can find a better way. In one week they went from 200 to less than 20 birds.
     
  7. SandraMort

    SandraMort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2008
    ny
    See, I'm ok with that. If I bought 3 dollar per bird heirloom birds and 90 percent got killed, I'd be verrrrrrry upset. Free cockerels? I've learned a very important lesson without losing money.

    Quote:
     
  8. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Leesville, SC
    I read through that article years ago. Nice to see it again... good old TMEN.

    Aint much free, including puppies and chickens.

    Plan to exert both effort and financial resources whatever you do, and you will be miles ahead.
    Good thing you keep asking questions, Sandra. You're very wise.

    At this rate, it wont be long until that rose color is rubbed clean off your glasses and you'll be seeing clearly. Good job! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008
  9. blue90292

    blue90292 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2007
    Rosharon, TX
    oh david, you're too funny.

    sandra, if you have predators, and those birds aren't in a predator proof barn, you won't have any birds left in less than 3 days.

    and you're right. i don't quite understand the article. they make it sound very fairy tailish...the chickens can only get 30% of what they need from free ranging. i can't imagine that they were that plump (especially being roos) from being raised only free range.

    i don't know if you ever read hillcountrymom (i think that was her name) and her dilemma with her freedom rangers. free ranging them makes them work harder for their food which make them burn more calories and if you're not supplementing them with feed, i think it would take them a while to get to a good weight. it doesn't say in the article how old the chickens were when they were finally processed, just that it was october. and if they were crowing, i'm figuring at least 4 months old.

    my other thought is, even if you have all that acreage, it takes a chicken quite a while before they'll roam much farther than 100-200 feet from their coop. maybe they will if they are only left to free range, BUT, if you don't supplement them with feed, why would they feel the need to come back to the coop. does that make sense? they come back to the coop to roost, yes, but they can roost on a tree or anywhere else. they normally come back to the coop to roost, because you entice them with feed. my birds would rather roost outside. i still have some that do and i have to go collect the 10 strays and put them in the coop so they don't get eaten in the night by a racoon or something. can you imagine trying to collect 75? and if they don't go and really range, the 75 will be looking for feed in the same small square footage and after a while, no grass.

    and how long did they keep them in that refrigerator box? and they put dirt and stuff in there and they didn't get coccidia? and that box stayed clean? i really think it's a fairy tail.

    BUT....

    i'm sure it can be done. my friend who had an egg business free ranged all his 900 hens on his 10 acres and they layed well. of course, he fed them layer feed, a ton every 10 days, i think he said, but they free ranged and did well. he had the wire netting and two great pyraneese. you could tell what part the acreage he had them in since the grass would be very sparce in areas. when the grass would grow back, he would put cows on that area. it worked well.

    and you're right, they were doomed to die anyway. it would be neat to see how true to the mother earth project you get. if you do try this, let us know. i'd certainly be interested to see if it can be done.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2008
  10. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Quote:That was TMEN back then. They have mellowed.
     

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