How do you charge for meat birds?


6 Years
Jul 29, 2013
Cleveland OH
Natashal, feed cost + chick cost X2.5 for labor, overhead and profits. So about $25 per bird for me. That's about $4/lb.
Don't underestimate your labor and overhead. You'll be spending months raising these birds to high standards. And your equipment needs HAVE to be factored in. That's got to be worth something or it's not worth doing.

When people complain about the costs of my chickens, I show them the feed costs per lb of chicken (Usually it's $16/50lbs of feed, each bird will eat about 1/2 bag in their lifetime so $8), add the chick cost (About $2.50ea), then estimate how many hours of labor goes into it at minimum wage (about 1/2 hour a day for 10 weeks, so 35 hours across probably 20-25 birds where I like that's about $12-$15). Then point out that's minimum wage with no overhead costs factored in and ask again if they think it's a fair price.

If they think I should be making less than minimum wage for the work I do, I politely send them on their way.

I could probably charge less for my birds if I was doing them on a larger scale as my labor would only increase a bit if I was doing 40 not 20 birds. Feed might be cheaper on that scale too. But I'm not and everyone who buys my things knows that. I don't sell to groceries and my operation is small enough you can visit my home and see the exact bird you're going to eat. As long as this is the scale I'm limited to, those are my prices.


Jul 15, 2019
He was sexed wrong. I was supposed to get 2 Jersey giant pullets. His brother was rehomed because he was a wild child and very human aggressive.

Squatch is like a dog. He follows me everywhere and is always wondering what I'm doing.
Nice, two roosters?? lol. Something to talk about anyway. And hear.


Jul 15, 2019
If they think I should be making less than minimum wage for the work I do, I politely send them on their way.
I know what you mean. My eggs go for $10 a dozen. Or free. If they take the free ones they get all we have, maybe 8 dozen if it's been a week. Next time they buy one dozen for $10. :D

EDIT: OK, we don't sell the eggs. Neighbors and family get them it seems We are the egg-men. I am the wallpaper. pshaw pshaw psh pshaw.


Free Ranging
Nov 12, 2017
Western Ohio
Since you are in Ohio, you are able to butcher and sell from your place up to a certain number without any requirements/restrictions/etc (as I understand it). Other states have different requirements. Always good to know what your requirements are ahead of time.

Cost: as others describe -raw material cost, housing/electric/water/feed.

profit: depends on how much your market will bear. How much are store chicken vs the “all-natural” store chickens sold for? high end grocery around you? What do they sell for?

good luck!


Free Ranging
Premium member
Apr 12, 2015
Montgomery, TX
In my opinion I would never charge that much for a meat bird because you can buy one at the grocery store for cheaper than that, which is also organic and already done. If it was a bird that somebody was going to keep for a long time, I could see spending $40 or more on it, but they are just going to butcher it.

I sell my meat birds for $5-10 a piece depending on their age. All of mine are free range and live the life.

I can buy organic meat birds for about $15 a piece at a local farm. I actually buy their fertile eggs for $10 per dozen and hatch my own meat birds.

Selling chicks or chickens is never good to make a profit. You always put more in than people are willing to pay.
while the profit margins are small regardless.... I think you are missing the point of grocery store organic chicken for farm-raised meat.

labels mean next to nothing. While an organic chicken is raised free of pesticides, in nearly every case of a chicken available at a grocery store, they’re raised in terrible conditions. The stress of that life is not something many want their food to experience.

in addition, truly naturally raised chicken allowed to exercise and roam and be in the sunlight and eat a varied diet is healthier for you.

to the OP there is a USDA list of the going rates of pastured poultry, non organic. Whole chickens across the us average about 6.00/lb. Parts are often more, breasts at least 10.00/lb, and the rest averages out to 7-8.00/lb for bone in pieces.

I would see what farmers in your area are charging and base off of that.

be aware also that you really need to be able to buy feed in bulk to see something worthwhile.

I’m raising slower growing broilers to 12-13 weeks. They are eating 15-20 pounds of feed each and have average finished weights of 4.5 pounds give or take. I feed non gmo, and I take my birds to a USDA processor for a cost of 3.50 a bird or 5.50 cut up. My first few batchesof 15-20 birds my cost per bird was 20.00+ Once I started doing 50 at a time and could buy and store more feed, I’ve reduced to 14.00 a bird in hard costs. The chick, the feed, the shavings, the gas to processing, and the processor fees. This does NOT account for my labor, because I consider it a hobby.

that 6.00 more per bird is huge to the profit side of each bird if you are selling it, and traditional food sources will eat into that. Feed is the largest expense.

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