WARNING MATH:) Cost Of Raising Cornish Cross and Dual Purpose Layers.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by homesteadapps, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. homesteadapps

    homesteadapps Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2010

    I thought it might be useful to show the math we use to determine how much we actually spend and save. The calculations have been simplified for the example but it will give you a general idea of how to figure the costs for your own situation. Both the examples are based on 50 chickens.


    Dual purpose chickens, raised the old-fashioned way can produce meat at a price equal to and many times less than store bought chicken.
    The example below is based on eggs hatched and brooded by the chicken. For your calculation you may want to raise the cost to get to laying age a little higher -- maybe $7.00.

    To make things easier I am just estimating each layer costs about $4.00 to get to laying age raised from egg.
    After this the costs are associated with the adult chicken (week 16 to week 120). The values below should work well for White Rock, Barred Rock, Rhode Island Reds, Buckeyes, etc... None of these calculations involve time. These calculation are for the actual cost of producing the eggs and meat -- nothing else. There are other items involved with selling the eggs such as an egg carton, which is not based on a per chicken cost but as a cost of selling the eggs.

    ENTER YOUR OWN NUMBERS -- Added 1/22/2010 9:39AM
    If your layers only produce 500 in two years then substitute that number. If feed and straw is higher then change the number. All the variables should be substituted with your own numbers to get an effective calculation for your own area or project. This was added because of the questions we were getting on prices in our area. We already know it is profitable for us. We want to show the calculation plainly so that others can plan ahead and make an informed decision for themselves. The calculation shows the DIRECT COSTS associated with raising the bird.

    We know that the FIXED COSTS; costs of building and feeding and watering dispensers are not included because the fixed costs are there regardless of whether a chicken is in the building or not and should be written off over years, not on a per bird basis.


    $ 4.00 Cost to get to laying age -- feed/etc *You can buy layers that are grown for $7.00
    (This is also the cost of roosters that are culled at this age)
    $30.00 FEED 5 ounces of feed per day at $0.00875 per ounce (.14 per lb) X 700 days (2 years)
    $ 1.60 Straw for bedding -- this number is estimated (40 bales * $2.00 /50 chickens) (2years)
    $35.60 Direct costs of 1 dual purpose (White Rock & Comet) layer for 2 years

    $80.00 INCOME of 600 eggs over 2 years @ 1.60 per dozen (store price for cheap non organic eggs)
    (This value is used even if you don't sell eggs, because you would have to buy them)


    To raise a dual purpose layer I am $44.40 ahead for 2 years which means if I butchered these hens myself then the cost of the meat is free.



    If you buy Cornish X on sale for 50 cents when the sales happen or in a quantity; large enough to get a good price they can be affordable. The last couple of times we raised the +Cornish chickens we didn't lose any. We allow them outdoor access and they do forage a little.


    $ 23.00 50 chickens purchased @ $0.46
    $140.00 Estimate 20 lbs of feed X $0.14 per lb X 50 chickens
    $ 20.00 Straw for bedding
    $183.00 Total Direct Costs

    6.5 lbs each dressed weight X 50 = 325 lbs meat

    $183.00 / 325 lbs = $0.56 per lb (Cheaper than the store)

    You should be able to use the above examples to compare costs in your area.

    The above feed examples are feed mill ground feed which can be purchased in our area for about $7.00 for 50 lbs.

    Feed Concentrates:

    I hope this helps and if you have time please visit our site.



    EDIT @ 1/21/2011 11:03 Eastern Time:
    The prices above are real for our area. Prices are different all over the country but there are ways to save. Feed mills offer better prices than box stores. Buying hay and straw from a farmer is less expensive than buying it from a store, etc. The point of the calculations is to insert your own numbers using the example of our numbers and to compare it to what you would pay per pound for a chicken at the store to decide for yourself if the project you are planning is feasible. I've already answered questions about the pricing and the chickens that lay the way ours do. Once again, the calculations do not include feed bowls, buildings, but only direct costs to raise the bird which are feed, bedding, and the cost of the chick and or brooding it.

    What would be nice to see is what others are are paying using the calculations above for feed, & chicks.


    SteveH offered the following two links for cornish X:
    25 here at 90 cents plus shipping : http://www.schlechthatchery.com/chickens.htm
    If you find friends to go in an order for 100 , 70 cents plus shipping here : http://www.centralhatchery.com/pricelist.html

    @ 5/21/2011 18:14 Eastern Time:
    Link about feed usage from chick to adult: http://animalscience.ucdavis.edu/avian/feedingchickens.pdf

    @ 7/30/2011 05:43 Eastern Time:
    Link about protein concentrates: http://www.kentfeeds.com/products/poultry/other/poultry-Other.php

    EDIT @ 5/16/2012 22:26 Eastern Time
    Updated formatting for examples on new BYC site
    Last edited: May 16, 2012
  2. terri9630

    terri9630 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2009
    New Mexico
    That is the way I worked my numbers. Prices are higher here all around but it still works out a bit cheaper for us.
  3. Salt and Light

    Salt and Light Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2008
    Osteen, FL
    IF i got chicks for 50 cents and feed for 14 cents, my final price would also be a lot less. But, I paid 2.50 per chick and my feed (from a mill) is 22 cents a pound. At my prices, there is no way it's cheaper to raise my own....
  4. Paul Ewing

    Paul Ewing Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 24, 2010
    Boyd, TX
    I agree, all the prices seem to be from 10 years ago. Most are close to double those figures. It is true that the income side is also up close to the same amount if not more. I would question expecting to get 300 eggs a year from a DP hen though. That is looking at six eggs a week non stop for two years with no moult or winter slow down.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011
  5. homesteadapps

    homesteadapps Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2010
    Quote:Your's still works out to $1.12 per pound using the above formulas which is still a low price for chicken but the $2.50 per bird puts and immediate reduction in the amount you are going to save.

    A lot of the box stores that sell chicks are supposed to replace week old stock and and in the spring you can get some really good deals this way. We live near a hatchery so there is no need to ship and that saves too.

    I like the dual purpose birds because they are sustainable right on my own property. The hen lays the eggs, raises the chicks and all they want from me is some food, water and shelter. What wonderful creatures!
  6. TimG

    TimG Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 23, 2008
    The small scale, backyard farmer does not enjoy the bulk discounts that are considered in your calculations. Around here, even hay costs more than your estimate.

    Very few chickens lay 600 eggs in 700 days, we may all like to think we get nearly an egg a day form each hen, but we don't, especially during a molt and over the winter (even with artificial lighting).

    Your dressed weight of 6.5 pounds works out to over 9 pound chickens (using dressed weight as 70% of live weight). Those are big birds.

    6.5 pounds dressed weight x 50 birds equals 325 pounds of dressed birds, not 325 pounds of meat.

    You have figured in zero processing cost. Even if you do it yourself there will be some supplies needed, like bags for the processed birds.

    The backyard farmer has capital costs to consider. We don't all have fenced pens for our meat birds, extra sets of feeders and waterers.
  7. TimG

    TimG Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 23, 2008
    Quote:They aren't laying eggs while sitting on eggs and raising chicks.
  8. homesteadapps

    homesteadapps Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2010
    Quote:The price for the Cornish X is from March 2010. The feed is the current price we are paying right now.

    Even a bag of feed at TSC only works out to .25 per pound. I just bought 250 pounds a week ago and it was only 13.5 cents per pound. Price must be very high elsewhere.

    We keep very good records and he first year we arrange timers and keep them fed well to keep them laying through the winter. By doing it this way you get a 20 month period of non stop laying. Not every chicken is going to lay 600 in the 2 year period but ours do average out around the 580 to 600 mark -- some a few more and some a few less. I rounded the 600 for simplified math.
  9. homesteadapps

    homesteadapps Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2010
    Quote:As pointed out in the original post -- The cost included only those costs directly associated with raising the chickens for layers not the breeders & roosters. The numbers given are actual numbers from our layer sheets we keep in the barn. Of course water buckets, building, etc all have costs too -- usually consider fixed costs. If you are only planning on raising them once then the cost should be added, if not spread it over a few years.

    6.5 pounds dressed weight x 50 birds equals 325 pounds of dressed birds, not 325 pounds of meat. --Come on! You know what I meant. How many of us cook the chick then weigh the bones after we eat it? [​IMG] By the way the Cornish X were called Jumbo X they average around 8.5 pounds. 23 hours 7 days a week feeding.

    We might get a little more weight because we count the feet, gizzard, heart, neck & liver (dog treats). Waste not, want not.

    For our layers we cross the Red with the White Rock = Comets = 300+

    Thanks for the comments
  10. Jared77

    Jared77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2010
    Howell, MI
    Alright Im game. What breed of chicken are you using? Who's laying that well AND is broody? Please let me know because there are number of people who'd want birds that perform that well.

    Not every chicken is going to lay 600 in the 2 year period but ours do average out around the 580 to 600 mark -- some a few more and some a few less. I rounded the 600 for simplified math.

    How many eggs do you get in a day? How many hens do you have?​

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