Raising chickens for raw fed dogs


6 Years
Sep 8, 2013
Hi. We are in the process of purchasing a home on 8 acres. The current owner is leaving behind a rooster and hen (I have no idea what variety.) I am looking into the idea of raising chickens as a food source for our dogs and am in the process of trying to learn more about what would be involved. (Great site by the way!)

Chicken here (I'm in New Zealand) sells for about $6-$8/pound in the grocery store so it is not an inexpensive meat. (I'm originally from the States so I'm missing being able to get cheap chicken for my dogs!!)

At any rate, what I'm trying to calculate is the following... if I want to be able to process (butcher) 4 chickens each week (hoping they are 3-4 pounds each), how many hens/roosters do I need to start with/maintain on an ongoing basis? The math is eluding me! lol

I'm trying to determine if needing that many chickens will mean I've got to be running bigger operation than I'd feel comfortably running.

Thank you for the advice!
I remember another discussion on this subject some time ago. You might do a search and see if some of your questions are answered there. Part of the answer to your questions really depends on what type of chicken you are raising. Some are great egg layers but will not go broody so you would need an incubator or a broody hen in order to hatch the eggs. Other breeds may not be good mothers. Some of the best egg layers don't provide very much meat and are slower to grow to adult size while others may be poorer egg producers but put on lots of meat fast. All these will figure into your calculations.

I think that if I were in your position I'd probably start with something like a Brahma, (although I don't know what your climate is like) which are described as follows "
Brahmas are gentle giants with feathered legs and feet and profuse, fluffy feathering. Originally from India, these birds were bred for meat production, though the hens lay relatively decently and are great setters and mothers. This fancy breed of chicken makes a great pet for its quiet and tame nature, tolerance to the cold, huggability and sheer chic-ness!

I'd probably start somewhat small, and work the bugs out of your system and get used to chicken keeping before you become the owner of a huge flock.

I recommend purchasing adequate freezer space, because you don't want to try to raise chickens in tiny batches for weekly butchering. While you might be able to figure out a way to have a bunch of adult chickens running around that can be butchered on a "as needed" basis,I think it will be more likely that if you be doing it in larger batchers, say 12 tor 120 that will last you through a month or so before the next batch is ready to be processed.

After my first year of meat chickens, where I raised 35 Freedom Rangers at the same time I decided to try three small batches (10, 15 and 15) and found that the actual work of raising three small batches felt like almost 3 times the amount of work as raising one large one.

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