Meat birds. Is it worth the effort? And what do I do next?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Pollokeeper, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. Pollokeeper

    Pollokeeper In the Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2010
    I am living in Panama. I am trying to raise chickens as an economical and delicious way to eat.

    I have 28 birds of different ages. About 10 are ready for the soup pot now. I processed 4 about 10 days ago. I am ready to process more very soon.

    Unfortunately I have not kept accurate records for the cost of keeping these birds but it appears that it costs about 2 dollars a lb or so for the meat. Obviously I need to keep records. 25 lbs of feed is 6.20 cents and it only last for about 4 or 5 days.

    Young chicken meat in the grocery store costs about 1.10 per lb. Older birds cost from 1.30 to 1.40 per lb. I was very disappointed to find that my birds did not taste much different than the older birds bought in the grocery store. I was surprised at how good the grocery store baking hens tasted to me. I was searching hard to find a difference and did not find many.

    Chicken is an important part of my diet so raising them seemed like the right thing to be involved in. But, now that I am doing it I find that I cannot raise them anywhere near as cheap as I can buy them from the super.

    Tom morrow I am going to the city to look at small freezers. I want to have a small freezer in the house so I have space for the birds and also I can barter with the fish vendors for larger quantities of freezer meat.

    What to do-what to do?

    Thanx for your thoughts.
     
  2. Nemo

    Nemo Songster

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    Jul 22, 2008
    N'rn Wisconsin
    > ...my birds did not taste much different than the older birds bought in the grocery store.
    What breed do you have, and what are you comparing it to? I'm guessing since your birds are all different ages that they are not the standard Cornish x Rocks that most people get as meat birds. Most breeds are called "dual-purpose" because the hens were kept for eggs and the males were eaten. But, since they are not specifically breed to produce meat, they are usually more dark meat, and can be a bit tougher depending on how they lived.

    > ...I cannot raise them anywhere near as cheap as I can buy them from the super.
    No, you usually can't. Stores buy in volume, so they can get better prices. The more cheap/free greens you are able to feed your birds, the more you can lower your cost. We feed all the weeds we pull out of the garden to the chooks. And ours love dandelions, so I'll pick a big bucket full ever couple days and toss it in the run. I opened a third run that was full of knee-high weeds a couple weeks ago, and egg production sky-rocketed as they mowed their way through the weeds.
     
  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    I have free ranged my CX and not fed free choice and I still can't see where I will come out on top with the costs.....but I will have a healthy, no chemicals added stock of meat in jars and the freezer. I guess its all about how much one is willing to pay for healthier foods.

    From now on, I think I will just incubate my own fertilized eggs and grow out any extra roos for freezer filling. Slower growth and less meat on the breast to be sure, but not the high metabolism, stench and increased feeding necessary that cut profits on this type of project.

    I think a person could order straight run White Rock roos and get some real big, meaty birds that won't require all that extra feed, will forage well, will not smell so bad and squirt all the feed onto the ground in such quantities. Butchered at 3-4 mo. these birds will still put a lot of meat on the table and it will still be tender and tasty.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2010
  4. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    Quote:I wondered about that, too.
     
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    My White Rock hens are huge and heavy birds...I can't imagine how big the roo would be of the same breed.
     
  6. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    Where do you get your White Rocks?
     
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    I bought mine from MyPetChicken.com a couple, three of years ago....turns out they are very hardy, good layers, good broodies and real heavy gals. I'd never raised them before and have been quite pleased with them. They are calm, good foragers, good mothers and easy to keep...not real hogs for food. They don't seem to moult as badly as the rest of my flock either...stay nice and pretty all year.

    I think they are one of the genetic bases for the CX breed but not sure.
     
  8. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    I thought White Rocks were hard to find. I haven't really looked, but someone told me they were hard to find (unless I am thinking of something else). I think I would like to get some.

    Oh wait, maybe it was a white Cornish that is hard to find????
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2010
  9. Bearsfan

    Bearsfan Songster

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    Oct 21, 2009
    Hannibal, MO
    I got my White Rocks from F&F and they get them from Cackel. http://www.cacklehatchery.com/wrock.html

    The WR are at least a head taller than my other birds and already at 11 weeks are filling out in the breast. (Compared to the others anyway) I'm not planning on eating mine but was thinking about getting 100 roos from Cackel for .49 a piece and using them for meat. I have to wait till next year though, my friend who has the land for raising them on has to get it ready.

    Here's a pic at 10 weeks. Of course, they haven't been on 20% or more feed either so they could be progressing faster than they are. These will be layers.


    [​IMG]

    ETA: Photo
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2010
  10. roverjohn

    roverjohn Chirping

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    Apr 7, 2010
    KCMO
    Who's Tom Morrow?
     

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