How much to add to cost?


11 Years
Oct 1, 2008
Yorkshire, Ohio
I recently bought 65 Cornishes. I found a neighbor who is wanting to buy half of them. I gave him a ballpark price of how much I typically have in them. I told him this price included chick and feed only. We never really finalized a selling price. I know other peole on here participate in similiar ventures with their neighbors. I am wondering how much $ do you think I should add to my direct cost to make it fair to both of us. I'm not looking to get rich off this, but I have my time, equipment, and at times, the stress that comes w/ Cornishes to deal with. My neighbor and his family are going to help butcher them when they are ready, but we are doing at my house and using my equipment, water, and electric.

What do you think is a fair amount to add to cost? I have an amount in mind, so it will be interesting to hear what others think. I know this is a judgement call on my part, but want to know what you think.
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Are you feeding them out til they are ready to butcher? Or is he taking the chicks now before alot of feed has gone into them? The first few weeks they really don't eat alot, but those last few its like miniature horses. If you are selling them now as chicks, maybe $2 each. If you are talking feeding them out for him until ready to go, $1/pound live weight is what we get. If you want butchered, sectioned, ready to go birds, most people around here get $1.75-2/pound then. If he argues with that tell him to pay for the feed and then take them to a butcher to pay for the processing. They are alot of work and MESSY! If its anything like at our house, people find out you have some and they all want them. When they find out how much it costs to raise/butcher them compared to store bought chicken, most of them back out.
Whatever you can get.

But seriously, I try to make $1 to $2 per chicken. In my opinion, that's a fair price to the consumer. But even then, I get some people that balk at the price (currently $2.10/lb). I don't sell chickens to them, and both of us seem comfortable with that arrangement.
If someone wants to "save money" by buying chickens from you in bulk, it's just not going to work well for either of you.

To raise 150 cornish crosses to 8 weeks, my labor time is probably around 100 hours, though I've never measured it accurately, so I suppose I'm making somewhere around $2/hr.
While the fact that he is helping butcher helps a little, it still doesn't pay for the feed, bedding, and time taking care of them. Our butcher in Windom charges $1.50 per bird and an extra $0.50 per bird if you want them sectioned. At those prices, its cheaper for us to just haul them in. Otherwise you deal with a huge mess and lots of time on your hands.
If he is helping with all of the birds his & yours then I would let him have them at cost. If he is only helping with his then I would charge a few bucks.
If they help do the whole processing than your making out no matter what you charge. Definately charge cost, for helping I would knock of maybe $0.25 per pound. Based on $2.50 / lb.

So in the end look at it as for a 5 lb bird your charging $11.25 (that's very reasonable) Instead of $12.50.....

Even though he is helping doesn't make them free... I have people help all the time and 90% of them don't take my discounted offer... I have to sometimes throw them an extra chicken when I'm packing their coolers.

Good luck... Remember though.... he is your neigbor... and you may need something from him in the future??
I am considering my cost chicks + feed, so I'm not knocking anything off of that. I usually have less than $5 in a 4-5 lb dressed bird, that's without any processing. I guess it boils down to how much is my time worth, and how much do I add for equipment needed to raise them.

I have definetly been keeping your quote in mind Jeff. He is getting me started in goats and rabbits. He located some cheap hay ($1.25/bail) and split it with me, and is housing one goat for me until Spring (he has over a 100 goats already, so it's not really any more work), so he is giving me some effort back. He found some cheap rabbit feed and picked it up for me.

Maybe I should just do it for chick/feed costs. I will most likely be rewarded down the road. I've known him for a long time and he is a good person. I guess I've got some more thinking about to do.

Thanks for all the responces so far from everybody. You all have made valid points.
Wow. I wish I had a neighbor that good. If he was my neighbor I would just give them to him & cover the cost. I even make sure we had a good diner to eat on processing day. Make it a get together instead of work. Good neighbors are hard to find.

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