How many meaties do i get to make it wroth the trouble

philintheblank

In the Brooder
8 Years
Feb 27, 2011
47
1
32
Edmonton
I keep hens right now for the eggs, and i make a few bucks selling eggs to co-workers and friends but its more of a fun hobby that keeps me away from the tv.
but i have been thinking about raising some meaties but this would be more for saving some cash and getting some hopefully really nice chicken in the freezer.
so how many meaties do i get to make it wroth the trouble of feeding them butchering and tending them.... i was thinking around 25 chicks to start with. I do a lot of duck and goose
hunting in the fall so i am not new to dressing and prepareing multiple birds in a single day (our camp record is 30 geese and 16 ducks), and have the knowhow and skills to butcher
so i am not worried about that aspect but am wondering about some of the hidden costs that any project seems to have

any advice would be great

thanks
 

bigoakhunter

Songster
10 Years
Jul 29, 2009
553
6
131
Michigan
I have done anywhere from 25 to 60 before. 25 is the amount IMO that you need to make it worthwhile and alot of hatcheries that is the minium order. Years that I did 50 or 60 meat birds, I sold 20 to 30 of them to neighbors.
Good luck!
 

Clay Valley Farmer

Songster
9 Years
Sep 7, 2010
739
20
121
Once they get about 4 weeks, anything that I see that starts to act week I sample. They just don't seem to have the bounce back that other chickens do when they have problems.
 

KatyTheChickenLady

Bird of A Different Feather
11 Years
Dec 20, 2008
5,146
24
251
Boise, Idaho
Jeff is right 25 seems to be the worthwhile point, however I keep recommending to people to start with 10 for the first batch. They are VERY different from anything you have raised before. Their housing/feed/care needs are much more set in stone and if your not set up just right you can have a disaster on your hands really fast.
 

homestead tim

In the Brooder
8 Years
Apr 28, 2011
50
2
33
Quote:Man that is the truth! I'm on my first batch of 50 and now that they are 4 weeks old, i cant believe how different they are from our "Ladies" I keep them separate, dont even let them see each other.....Those Meaties are eating machines! I did 50 for the first time. next time I will do 2 crops of 25 each.
 
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bigredfeather

Songster
11 Years
Oct 1, 2008
2,194
44
211
Yorkshire, Ohio
If you can get 10 of them without having to pay an arm and a leg per chick (like at TSC), Katy is right. If you are ordering from a hatchery, I also agree 25 is a great number to start with. If those go well and you decide to do them again, but more the next time, I would suggest increasing your quantity by 25 each time. Small steps will save yourself from getting in over your head.

Also, don't be under the automatic impression that you are going to raise these cheaper than what you can buy them on sale for at the grocery store. Depending on your feed prices, they may be more expensive to raise. It just depends. I can raise them for cheaper, but I am fortunate in my area to have some of the lowest feed prices in the country it seems after hearing what others pay. Even if they are more to raise, you're not comparing like products. These birds will be the best chicken you have ever eaten.

Goodluck!
 
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chickenjoe

In the Brooder
10 Years
Apr 22, 2009
93
2
41
Quote:For grocery stores they use chicken as a loss leader alot of time. They sell as a profit loss to draw you in to buy other product in the store.
 

Farmer_Dan

Songster
9 Years
Apr 9, 2010
399
2
121
Seattle
Quote:Unless you're like me and can't figure out how to cook them worth a darn. It's so hard to compare to fried chicken..... Maybe I just need to get a big ole deep frier.
 

triplepurpose

Songster
11 Years
Oct 13, 2008
1,009
250
239
You could also buy straight run chicks next time you want to get more laying hens. Just order twice as many, but straight run, and just raise them together. the price is usually very reasonable when you buy them this way. Then the males are your "meaties" and the females are your new layers. You don't have to deal with all the weird quirks and problems of meaties, and you presumably wouldn't have to build any new infrastructure. This is what people used to do, before cornish x, and a lot of people still do. You're not going to get as much meat, pound for pound or as quickly as with meaties, but the trade off is that meaties are only designed for quantity and speed of growth, at the expense of quality and taste anyway.

Don't know if this is worth considering in your case, but I just thought I'd suggest the possibility...
 

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