Is it cheaper to buy chicken at the market or raise it?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by daeichler, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. daeichler

    daeichler In the Brooder

    Jun 28, 2008
    I am going to raise some chickens for meat and asked a friend if they wanted to do it with me. After doing some checking, they said that they have heard it is less expensive to just buy chicken at the supermarket than it is to raise it oneself, when one factors in the costs of feed.

    I'm going to be getting Cornish X cockerels. Has anyone actually done the math to know if it really is more expensive than just going t the supermarket?

    Mind you, even if it is more expensive, I think it is important for us to be able to raise our own food, plus the benefits of the chickens eating ticks, gaining their manure, etc. However, I told my friend I'd put it out to this forum to see if anyone had anything to share regarding the actual cost of raising chickens versus buying them at the supermarket.


  2. olp_63

    olp_63 Songster

    well it is definitely more expensive to raise your own. as you mentioned, with the price of feed and such factored in.
  3. panner123

    panner123 Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    It may be cost more to raise, but once you have eaten fresh chicken, you will never buy abother one from the store.
  4. daeichler

    daeichler In the Brooder

    Jun 28, 2008
    If we factor out the startup costs of building the coop/tractor and if we do our own processing, is it still more? I spend $3.29/pound for free-range chicken, and usually pay $10-$12 for a processed bird at our grocery store. I cannot imagine I'd have that much in a free-range bird I'd be raising myself, if I supplemented the diet even with an organic feed. But then, I've never done this before :)
  5. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Cheaper? Probably not. But BETTER? Definitely so!

    Not only for the clean, healthy meat from well-tended chickens, but for all the other beneficial factors you mentioned. Besides, there are a lot of pastimes and hobbies that cost as much or more that don't have such a delicious return.

    Someone else here must have done the actual math, I too am curious as to the real cost per pound of home-made chicken.
  6. i think the fact that its HUMANE def outweighs the cost factor.
  7. Greyscale Rainbow

    Greyscale Rainbow In the Brooder

    Jul 7, 2008
    Bristol, England
    It will cost you more to raise it, especially if you are comparing it to chicken raised in a broiler shed (boo, hiss).

    However, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that it was raised in as cruelty-free way as possible, and I have heard (I'm a vegetarian) that meat from your own chickens tastes an awful lot better.
  8. lauralou

    lauralou Songster

    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    Whole fryers are on sale at our Food Lion for $0.69 a pound right now. I always buy them on sale, so I spend about $3.00 per bird and stock the freezer with them.

    I haven't raised meat birds (yet), but I can't imagine that it would be possible to do it at that price. However, if you are buying the more expensive free-range chicken, that really changes the equation. Surely it could be done for $12 per bird.

    Will you process the birds yourself, or will you have to pay someone to process them for you?

    I recall reading a post where someone did the math on it. Does anyone remember that post? And can you attach a link to it?

    Otherwise, daeichler, scan through the Meat Birds section. It's there, somewhere. Possibly more than once.
  9. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Economy of scale = cheaper end cost.
    Cant compete with the commercial growers on cost alone.
    The realm of esoteric benefit is where homegrown wins.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2008
  10. lauralou

    lauralou Songster

    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    I searched "cost per bird" and specified "Meat Birds Etc" forum, and came up with a bunch of threads. And a bunch of different opinions on the subject, of course.

    I would post links to some of the more informative threads if only I knew how.... If some kind hearted individual would tell me how to post a link, either here or in a PM, I would appreciate it deeply! [​IMG]

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