Meyer Fry Pan Bargain

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by KCMasterpiece, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. KCMasterpiece

    KCMasterpiece New Egg

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    I wanted to try the Meyer Fry Pan bargain, so I ordered 60 chicks and got my brooders ready to go.

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    This is the GQF and an old Brower Brooder with home made grow out cages. The GQF brooder held 40 chicks for about 3 1/2 weeks. It started getting a little too crazy in there at that time. The Brower brooder only had 20 and conditions were also tight at 3 1/2 weeks.

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    Chicks in the GQF brooder at 1 week.

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    I love the external troughs. It gives the chicks lots of room inside. Make sure you give the chicks some water in a pan inside the brooder until you see them drinking from the troughs or they may not find it for a couple days and you will have to deal with pasting!

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    I would put a chunk of clover with soil in there for them to eat every day. They would go crazy for it.

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    I had a lot of fines with the Bob White starter, so I mixed the powder with warm water, and the chicks loved it! They would eat more of this than regular feed, so I would let the trough empty by lunch time and make them a batch. By 4pm or so, the trough would be empty and I would put in the regular granules that I sifted from the fines. I continued this with the grower until I started my corn/soy mix even though there were few fines in the penpal meatmaker feed.

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    The Brower brooder. Not as nice as the GQF, but it gets the job done. Notice the wire restrictor that keeps the chicks from getting out and standing/dust bathing in the trough. Home made pvc pipe troughs because I didn't have the brower troughs.

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    The Chicks at about 4 weeks moved into the large cages.

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    They didn't stay in the cages long before I moved them outside. About 6 weeks.

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    I planned on keeping them penned in until they start roosting in the coop. That way
    I know they will go back in at night.

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    7 weeks. Looks like the breeds were Buff Orpington, Barred Rock,and Black Australorp.
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    The coop is on skids and I would move it every week and set up the fence.
    A scare crow because I saw a hawk eyeballing them and I had to go away for a day.

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    About 8 weeks.

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    They started roosting at about 10 weeks so I eventually opened up this snow fence enclosure. They actually don't go very far from here.

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    The results at 12 weeks. I butchered 21 of them. I will do the next 20 at 14 weeks, and the final 20 at 16 weeks. I used a Starpluck feather plucker from CConly.com to pluck the chickens. It was on sale for $398 and works as well as much more expensive units. Having the plucker made things VERY easy compared to doing it by hand. I did the 21 chickens myself in about 3 hours AND it wasn't tiring and disgusting. The average weight of the chickens was 2.5lbs.

    This chicken was incredibly good!!!!!!

    I let the meat age in the fridge for a few days and then made fried chicken. Wow! Was it good. The legs and thighs were smaller and tougher than cornish x, but the flavor was so nice, and I loved the extra chew to it. It wasn't so tough it was crunchy, just a little extra texture to it. It was totally worth taking care of these birds all summer.

    How much did it cost to raise these birds? First of all, this is much better chicken than what is in the store. They also had a much better life, if that means anything to you. They got to do pretty much what ever they wanted after they were 6 weeks old. I did raise them on wire until then, but It is just so clean I won't use anything else.




    I wish I could give you a total store bought feed bill, but I had a bunch of corn that I raised last year, and I have a motorized grinder, so I made them feed for some of the hungriest phases of life, and It only cost me the $17 for soybean meal. I added some sugar and used cooking oil to it for extra calories. Hey, sugar and fat works to fatten Americans! I gave them this as a supplement. I probably made about 200+ lbs for them. Corn and Soybean meal probably isn't enough if your chickens don't have access to clover and other graze. If you raise these yourself, it's going to take about another 4 bags of feed to get to 12 weeks.

    60 birds + shipping $44.00

    Feed as of 12 weeks:

    50 lbs Bob White Chick starter $13
    150lbs Penpal Meatmaker @ $13 per 50 $39 ($2 coupon)
    300lbs Penpal Meatmaker @ $15 per 50 $90 (Regular Price)
    50 lbs Soybean Meal $17
    16lbs Sugar $6 ($1.44 per 4 lbs)

    Total Feed: $165

    If you assume all the birds were 2.5lbs at 12 weeks, then the meat is $1.39 per lb.

    feed 165+shipping 44 divided by 60 birds = 3.49 per bird
    3.49 per bird divided by 2.5 lbs = 1.39 per pound.

    I think the math is right, and I am happy with this price. Will I put a price on my labor? No. I am a hillbilly and a stay at home dad. What else did I have to do with my time? :)

    It will take more feed to get them farther, probably 70lbs a week. So, if they haven't gained enough at 14 weeks to justify more feed price, I will just butcher all of them then.
    I hope this can answer the 'Is the Meyer Frypan Bargain Any good?' Question.

    The answer is: "Yes! Finger Lickin' Good!!"
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  2. LindaB220

    LindaB220 Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] Such a great post!!! Detailed and lots of good pictures. One thing that is easy to do is to ferment your feed. Save a lot of money, makes the birds a lot healthier and allows their bodies to absorb more nutrients from the food. I'll put a link on for you to check out.

    http://tikktok.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/fermented-feed-faq/


    Outstanding!!! [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Pinkaboo

    Pinkaboo Chillin' With My Peeps

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  4. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to BYC. I'm with Linda, "great post". This shows that you can get homegrown meat for a comparable price from store bought. My numbers aren't coming out quite as nice as yours, but I have to reach much above $2 a lb and I feel that this cost is worth knowing where my meat come from. I usually get a smaller batch around 30. If I had the time/space I would ferment my feed for sure, as is with free range they are still happy and healthy. [​IMG]

    Have you looked into caponizing, there is a lot of great info here on BYC? Here is the one I subscribe to https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/675898/graphic-pics-of-my-day-learning-to-caponize
     
  5. LindaB220

    LindaB220 Overrun With Chickens

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    x2 I love that thread. [​IMG]
     
  6. KCMasterpiece

    KCMasterpiece New Egg

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    Apr 29, 2014
    Thanks for the positive feedback. I am going to try fermenting my feed, BUT I have noticed in the past that chickens don't particularly like sour feed. I will see what happens.

    As far as caponizing goes, It seems like crossing the line a little bit to me. I just don't feel right about rooting around in their body cavity without anesthetic. I guess I am a little softhearted...
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Double Kindness

    Double Kindness Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! Excellent post and picts x 4 :)
     
  8. KCMasterpiece

    KCMasterpiece New Egg

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    Well, a lot of stuff came up, so I didn't butcher the rest of these guys until they were
    15 1/2 weeks old. I just finished today. It's tough when it takes so long to raise them, because you see them everyday for so long and get attached. They had to go, though!

    They were on average about 4lbs each. There were about 5 that were probably only 3lbs, and 5 that were 4.5lbs. I didn't pour the commercial feed to them. They got 1 more bag of Penpals Meatmaker, corn and soybean meal mix that I heated and blended up for them, and I also got hundreds of lbs of bread that at the thrift store for $12.50. I just tossed it to them, or mixed it in their warm mash. They didn't like it as much as the corn/soy mix. They just love the ground corn/soy mix! It is sure going to be quiet around here now. I'll post how the meat turned out on these guys soon.
     
  9. LakeMomNY

    LakeMomNY Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thinking about ordering a batch in the spring...can't wait to hear how the bigger ones turned out!
     
  10. LindaB220

    LindaB220 Overrun With Chickens

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    You know, I've been thinking about this and I can buy 50 CX's at Schlecht Hatchery for $76 shipped. More meat, less time, 6-8 weeks My fermenting the feed you can save on the feed bill. I think you might want to check this out. Since you have the plucker and all. Wish I had one. [​IMG]
     

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