Let's Talk Numbers?


11 Years
Sep 26, 2008
NW Ohio
I am just curious as to how many meat birds individuals raise? How many does it take to fill your freezer? What is your schedule for raising them (as in how often do you get new birds, how many, do you have different enclosures for different ages, etc)? Is it even doable on less then 1/2 acre? Other then the obvious health/humane reasons to raise your own, is it cost effective?

Last edited:
Normally I order 30 in the spring, butcher at 8 weeks and order 30 again. Rinse, repeat.

The first batch usually get split with my parents and the second batch I keep for over winter. I sell one or two on occasion and once in a while I have a party at the body shop and I cook a few up for friends.

I raise them in my stock tank (cattle water tank) till they look uncomfortable and then they go outside to a 15' x 15' pen for finishing. They are poop machines so to keep them from sitting in front of the food all day I move the feeder around the pen and take it away from them after 12 hours each day.

If I sell them, I sell per pound at the same price as the local store (not Walmart or Cub foods type super stores).
I raise 25 at a time in a 10 x 10 totally enclosed wire pen inside a barn due to tons of predators. I butcher them every 6-8 weeks and get 25 replacements in at that time frame. However, now my wife can buy friers at the local grocery stores for $0.79 cents a pound for the very same Cornish x, which is way CHEEPER than the feed costs alone.
Yes. I am having the same thoughts. A friend of mine raises them by the thousands in a very nice, humane system (not quite free range but they do get good conditions). He sells the processed birds for the same price as the stores, so why do I want to go through the headache? They are cool birds in there own right but it just doesn't dollar out when you figure your time.
Keep in mind I am in Canada, so you'll have adjust the dollar values accordingly...

We haven't done meaties yet, but our first order is coming on Aprl-24, so here is what I have learned from research:

Price per chick (unsexed): $1.05
Price per 55lb bag of feed: $13.99
Weight to feed conversion ratio ~ 1:2
Our estimated weight (average) at finish: ~6lb/brird, that's in 8-10 weeks.
'Waste' per bird: ~25% of live weight, so 6lb bird will dress out to around 4.5lbs
Tax on feed: 13%

The total with that info comes out to about ~$4.49 per bird, so rougly $1.00/lb meat.

You can buy chicken (whole) at about $2.79/lb in the store, legs at $.99/lb on special. BUT, they are farm grown, antibiotic fed animals.

I also have dogs, so the lungs, livers, gizzards, neck, skin, feet & hearts as well as all carcasses left after portioning will go into dog-food that I make. That will allow me to recoup at least 10-15% of the refuse.

All in all, I hope this will be worthwhile experiment for us. It definitely won't be work free

Thank you all for the replies. It may be something we investigate later. But I am thinking, by the looks of it, it may not be for us yet. I really don't think we have the space and I know I would be the only one doing the work. I am going to start in on DH though after we get our layers going. Thanks for the immediate insight. I will be back, I hope
I'm raising 50 this spring in a 10x10 tractor that I'm currently building. You'd be surprised as to how little room they really need to thrive. I did 25 in a 10x6 tractor, and there was plenty of room for more.
We do 2 groups a year, 1 in early spring, the other in late summer. Each group consist of approximately 25 - 30 birds. We raise them in a tractor I built (see our BYC page). We still have a few chickens left in the freeze from last fall. Both of our kids are in college, so there is less mouths to feed, accept for "care" packages. This year we did well in trading chickens for pork, geese and fishing rights to a nice semi private lake
I only did 25 last year. I'm doing 50 right now and then 50 more later on in the year. I know that I can buy it from the store cheaper, but I know what went it to mine, how they were kept and how they were processed. I also think it is important for my kids to know where their food came from and the fact that they are to respect animals and the relationship we have with them. Plus they taste WAY better.
I raised batches of 25, twice. I kept them in a portable electric poutlry netting-type fence. i have noticed that where the chickens wer last year--the grass is actually green, compared to the brown of the rest of the yard. that chicken poo is a GREAT fertilizer!!

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom