Chicken project

Thread starter #21

Spotlite

Senior Member
The reason I asked that question was because I’ve tried eating some that were culls I guess , left in a friends chicken house after they caught them and they weren’t that good , all we done was kill and scald and cut in half and straight on the grill
Try that salt water brine next time. It’s definitely a difference. Although I haven’t had tough ones even at on ice for 24 hours.
 
I just did 70 a couple weeks ago. Only my second batch but from talking to folks and doing a little bit of research it seems like letting them chill at least 24 hours after processing helps the rigor get out of them and makes them better to eat. I had about $5.70/pc in the last batch I did if you don't figure your time. Don't figure your time lol.

It's worth it though, we got a freezer full of quartered up chicken, tenders, and wings that'll last us through the summer at least. I moved them around the yard everyday in a 10x12' "tractor" and the fertilizer for the yard is a real benefit too!
 
Thread starter #24

Spotlite

Senior Member
I just did 70 a couple weeks ago. Only my second batch but from talking to folks and doing a little bit of research it seems like letting them chill at least 24 hours after processing helps the rigor get out of them and makes them better to eat. I had about $5.70/pc in the last batch I did if you don't figure your time. Don't figure your time lol.

It's worth it though, we got a freezer full of quartered up chicken, tenders, and wings that'll last us through the summer at least. I moved them around the yard everyday in a 10x12' "tractor" and the fertilizer for the yard is a real benefit too!
I’m starting these on a tractor when they come out of the brooder.

My egg layers have a winter housing.
My cousin used to manage a fried chicken joint and I got the ratio from him - 1 cup salt per gallon of ice water for 12 hours. 3/4 cup per gallon for 24 hours. 1/2 cup per gallon for 48 hours. Made a huge difference in what I used to do by just letting them sit on ice until the next day.
 
I’m starting these on a tractor when they come out of the brooder.

My egg layers have a winter housing.
My cousin used to manage a fried chicken joint and I got the ratio from him - 1 cup salt per gallon of ice water for 12 hours. 3/4 cup per gallon for 24 hours. 1/2 cup per gallon for 48 hours. Made a huge difference in what I used to do by just letting them sit on ice until the next day.
Awesome I will give that a try on my next batch!
 

ssramage

Senior Member
Looks good. I ran 25 earlier this Spring in my chicken tractor at the house. I had the same plucker that you have. I will say that processing day was a bear! I did it totally solo and it took me about 10 hours to do all of the birds. I think next time I'll break them down like you did. All of mine were frozen whole.

I've got "replacement" laying hens in my tractor right now. They'll be "swapped" with my old hens in the next month or so. When that happens, I may get some more cornish.

I kept pretty detailed cost records for my birds. In total I started with 25 birds and ended with 23 (lost 1 to a hawk that got in the tractor and 1 to a heart attack). All in, it cost me $9.21/bird to raise them. I bought them at 2 weeks old and it took 6 weeks to raise them out. 320lbs of feed total. I figured each bird to be about 4-5# dressed, so my cost per lb is in the $2/lb range for pasture raised, organic birds. Feed is the biggest killer. I got mine from TSC, but would have been more cost efficient to find a feed mill and purchase in bulk I think.
 

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Thread starter #28

Spotlite

Senior Member
Looks good. I ran 25 earlier this Spring in my chicken tractor at the house. I had the same plucker that you have. I will say that processing day was a bear! I did it totally solo and it took me about 10 hours to do all of the birds. I think next time I'll break them down like you did. All of mine were frozen whole.

I've got "replacement" laying hens in my tractor right now. They'll be "swapped" with my old hens in the next month or so. When that happens, I may get some more cornish.

I kept pretty detailed cost records for my birds. In total I started with 25 birds and ended with 23 (lost 1 to a hawk that got in the tractor and 1 to a heart attack). All in, it cost me $9.21/bird to raise them. I bought them at 2 weeks old and it took 6 weeks to raise them out. 320lbs of feed total. I figured each bird to be about 4-5# dressed, so my cost per lb is in the $2/lb range for pasture raised, organic birds. Feed is the biggest killer. I got mine from TSC, but would have been more cost efficient to find a feed mill and purchase in bulk I think.
Yes, a coop will cut your feed bill half. Mine are in a chicken tractor plus eating tanks scraps, feed bill on this run will less than $60. And, agreed in chicken killing day, it’s a job for sure!!
 
Thread starter #31

Spotlite

Senior Member
Another round ready to go to the freezer. In the chicken tractor with some Plymouth Rocks and Rhode Island Reds a few Buffs and Leghorns - this round of meat birds are some tanks. Cobb 500 and they seem to look about 2 pound heavier than the Cornish Cross.


C6A723E4-DBC7-4442-BB6E-BBE974689E57.jpeg
 

Throwback

? LIBERTAW!!! ?
Well you sorry joker you didn’t tell me you had a scald and pluck setup 👀🤔
 
Thread starter #34

Spotlite

Senior Member
Well you sorry joker you didn’t tell me you had a scald and pluck setup 👀🤔
Oh yeah. Momma ain’t raised no fool. I just finished off a cooler full over the weekend. @Throwback if you need it holler at me. Got two more rounds and calling quits till Spring. I’ve filled up my freezer, filled up Moms, my Son and Daughters freezer. Trading some bird meat with my Son in law’s parents on the next round for some garden junk. C906F3DD-8023-4E22-B43B-65BAB10BAF26.jpeg A19100F9-1DA5-4870-B5FB-793755DCEA62.jpeg
 
Thread starter #36

Spotlite

Senior Member
Done for the season. 160 chickens in the freezer. Picked up 9 on sale for 20 cents each because they were two weeks old, 8 of them made it to kill size and were laid to rest in a salt water brine this morning.


A21FC516-4B37-4921-956E-B10E805CCFC3.jpeg
 
Thread starter #38

Spotlite

Senior Member
You got it going on! I ordered my first batch of meat chickens (10). Any advice?
1. Don’t buy feed from tractor supply, expensive.

2. Water - when they get to you don’t put any medicine in the first water. Most likely you won’t need medicine. Don’t give them cool water on the first water, it”ll chill their body temperature too fast before they warm back up under the heat lamp - use room temperature, almost warm water. Dip their beaks in water one at a time.

3. Feed 24 hours per day for first week. After that feed 12 hours on 12 hours off. If they eat too much it’ll tear their crop. And they’ll literally lay there and eat. Use at least 20% starter the first 3 to 4 weeks. After that use at least 16% or you can continue the 20%.

4. In this heat make sure they’re shaded good and have some breeze. They don’t handle heat very well, they’re growing at a faster rate.

5. Be ready to kill them around 8 to 10 weeks old.

6. They grow wide, when they’re around 5 weeks old watch for those that end up on their back, some can’t get their feet back under them.

7. They don’t require much room, but they poop twice as much. Keep them moving in a chicken tractor or keep the pen raked out regularly. The ammonia from excess urine causes respiratory issues. These chickens are growing faster than their skeleton and organ systems develop.

Outside of that they’re no different than raising egg layers.
 

ssramage

Senior Member
1. Don’t buy feed from tractor supply, expensive.

2. Water - when they get to you don’t put any medicine in the first water. Most likely you won’t need medicine. Don’t give them cool water on the first water, it”ll chill their body temperature too fast before they warm back up under the heat lamp - use room temperature, almost warm water. Dip their beaks in water one at a time.

3. Feed 24 hours per day for first week. After that feed 12 hours on 12 hours off. If they eat too much it’ll tear their crop. And they’ll literally lay there and eat. Use at least 20% starter the first 3 to 4 weeks. After that use at least 16% or you can continue the 20%.

4. In this heat make sure they’re shaded good and have some breeze. They don’t handle heat very well, they’re growing at a faster rate.

5. Be ready to kill them around 8 to 10 weeks old.

6. They grow wide, when they’re around 5 weeks old watch for those that end up on their back, some can’t get their feet back under them.

7. They don’t require much room, but they poop twice as much. Keep them moving in a chicken tractor or keep the pen raked out regularly. The ammonia from excess urine causes respiratory issues. These chickens are growing faster than their skeleton and organ systems develop.

Outside of that they’re no different than raising egg layers.
Before I do another batch, I need to figure out the feed. I bought from TSC last time and it was expensive!
 
Thread starter #40

Spotlite

Senior Member
Before I do another batch, I need to figure out the feed. I bought from TSC last time and it was expensive!
Search for a co op or the local feed stores. Tractor supply is for rich folk.

You can cut feed down some with table scraps too.
 
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