New to raising meat chickens

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by cassifer, Apr 27, 2017.

  1. cassifer

    cassifer New Egg

    Apr 27, 2017
    Frederick, Maryland
    Hello everyone!

    My name is Cassie, I'm from Frederick, MD and I'm interested in raising meat chickens for profit. Right now I have 11 Cornish Rocks that I am raising for personal consumption. These are the first chickens I've ever had, so I'm definitely still learning and I have a lot of questions! First of all, exactly how much should these chickens be eating? Mine are 5 weeks old and I am on my 4th 50lb bag of feed. I've heard that it can be good to let them forage a bit, but they always seem so hungry. I'm also very curious about the slaughtering and processing procedure, I've found a place in Thurmont called Turkey Hill Farms, but it's about 45 min form where I am. Is that too far? And how exactly does it work, do you just drop them off for a few hours, and come back and pick them up, or what? Also if anyone here has experience raising meat chickens for profit, how many do you need to have and sell to be sustainable, and how do you sell them once they are ready? Should you try to make a deal with a farmer's market or restaurant prior to slaughtering, or is that something I should try to do before I even get the chicks? Thanks!
  2. Whittni

    Whittni Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 26, 2011
    Southern Utah
    Welcome to BYC!! It sounds like you're starting an enterprise. I would totally recommend taking to local butchers and anyone who could purchase the birds. Broilers are gluttonous by nature. If you put food in front them they'll make just keep eating.

    I personally prefer that broilers get to forage because they are chickens too, and simply enjoy doing chicken things. As far as how much to feed them, it varies a lot by age. Some people slaughter as early as 8 weeks.

    Best of luck with your flock!
    1 person likes this.
  3. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    G’Day from down under cassifer [​IMG] Welcome!

    Sorry, I have no experience with meat birds but BYC does have a Meat Bird Forum on which you could post your questions:

    You might want to also pop in and say hello on your local thread: ‘Find your State’s thread.

    I hope you enjoy being a BYC member. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun.
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and welcome to BYC - you have some great advice and links already so I'll just say hello!

    All the best
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
  6. Chicken Girl1

    Chicken Girl1 Queen of the Coop

    Mar 3, 2015
    Hello [​IMG] and Welcome to BYC!
  7. Weehopper

    Weehopper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2015
    Just a thought. If you have found a prosessor, give them a call and ask what the procedure is for having the birds processed. I doubt that a 45 min. Drive will hurt anything. How long before you can pick up the finished product, and what it costs, is what you need to find out. If you plan to sell them, the processing cost needs to be figured into the price of your birds.
    1 person likes this.

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