Meat Chicken Costs

kmckinnie

Useles Moderator
Staff member
A lot of our birds we eat. They run around free in the yard. We skin ours. They leaner and more natural fed. We hatch our own also. We use a brooder as chick then a dog kennel then the yard.
 
Thread starter #22
Last update on this as far as my numbers unless someone wants to know something specifically. Total birds that reached the final kill date, 17. Average carcass weight was 6 pounds. High birds measured, 7.5 pounds. Low bird was 4.25 pounds. Didn’t separately weigh the leg quarters, breasts, and wings from today because I was trying to get everything in the freezer. If the average weights from each piece yesterday holds for similarly, then we should have yielded a total of about 30.5 pounds breast, 9 pound wings, and 28 pounds chicken quarters.
 
Thread starter #23
Kmac, do y’all have a breed that y’all prefer? Do y’all just kill them when you feel like it or do you have a certain age you shoot for? We’re getting one of those fryer specials where it’s a bunch of random cockerels. Gonna run them in the chicken tractor to keep our grass fertilized and let them forage pretty much full time
 
Some of yall are comparing run of the mill store chicken to @sportsman94 pasture system. Try goin to a whole foods and buy some chicken. Thats a more in line product with raising your own outside.
Sportsman, find you a local feed mill or farm supply store. You will do much better on your feed costs.
 
Thread starter #25
Some of yall are comparing run of the mill store chicken to @sportsman94 pasture system. Try goin to a whole foods and buy some chicken. Thats a more in line product with raising your own outside.
Sportsman, find you a local feed mill or farm supply store. You will do much better on your feed costs.
All my feed came from Mid Ga Farm Services in Montezuma. I didn’t shop around because they are the closest place to me and another local guy who raises chickens said they are good on prices. I may shop around a little more next time though. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the cost. If my math adds up, we got about 70 pounds of chicken for cheaper than we could buy lesser quality chicken in the stores. Additionally, I got free fertilizer out of the deal and will be able to make a bunch of chicken broth from the carcasses. We’ll plan to do another 20-30 chickens in the fall, but I’m going to change some things up. I’m going to try to brood them in the tractor out side instead of in the garage. I’m hoping this will let them get an earlier start foraging so that it won’t be a foreign concept to them when they get put out. I’m planning to get a few turkeys next month to grow out for thanksgiving in addition to our fry pan special cockerels. I’ll run the turkeys through the garden for extra fertilizer and to clean up any weeds or leftover produce
 
All my feed came from Mid Ga Farm Services in Montezuma. I didn’t shop around because they are the closest place to me and another local guy who raises chickens said they are good on prices. I may shop around a little more next time though. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the cost. If my math adds up, we got about 70 pounds of chicken for cheaper than we could buy lesser quality chicken in the stores. Additionally, I got free fertilizer out of the deal and will be able to make a bunch of chicken broth from the carcasses. We’ll plan to do another 20-30 chickens in the fall, but I’m going to change some things up. I’m going to try to brood them in the tractor out side instead of in the garage. I’m hoping this will let them get an earlier start foraging so that it won’t be a foreign concept to them when they get put out. I’m planning to get a few turkeys next month to grow out for thanksgiving in addition to our fry pan special cockerels. I’ll run the turkeys through the garden for extra fertilizer and to clean up any weeds or leftover produce
Good deal. Im with ya for sure. People often overlook all the other products/benifits you get from raising your own food. Fertilizer being a big one. Great job all around!
 

kmckinnie

Useles Moderator
Staff member
Kmac, do y’all have a breed that y’all prefer? Do y’all just kill them when you feel like it or do you have a certain age you shoot for? We’re getting one of those fryer specials where it’s a bunch of random cockerels. Gonna run them in the chicken tractor to keep our grass fertilized and let them forage pretty much full time
We have game chickens. We hatch off for several months like March April may June July. So when they about 5 months old we just catch some and skin out.
No time Schedule. They are a darker sweet meat.
 
All my feed came from Mid Ga Farm Services in Montezuma. I didn’t shop around because they are the closest place to me and another local guy who raises chickens said they are good on prices. I may shop around a little more next time though. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the cost. If my math adds up, we got about 70 pounds of chicken for cheaper than we could buy lesser quality chicken in the stores. Additionally, I got free fertilizer out of the deal and will be able to make a bunch of chicken broth from the carcasses. We’ll plan to do another 20-30 chickens in the fall, but I’m going to change some things up. I’m going to try to brood them in the tractor out side instead of in the garage. I’m hoping this will let them get an earlier start foraging so that it won’t be a foreign concept to them when they get put out. I’m planning to get a few turkeys next month to grow out for thanksgiving in addition to our fry pan special cockerels. I’ll run the turkeys through the garden for extra fertilizer and to clean up any weeds or leftover produce
Have you tried fermenting the feed to save on costs?
 
OP, how do you meter out the feed? I've been doing this for several years. Butchering 30 on Saturday and another 22 in four more weeks.
I'm going through a lot more feed than you. I don't free feed but I don't weigh it out either. I'll know exactly what I've fed out to all 52 after the second batch is butchered, but Im at 490lbs so far.
 
Thread starter #33
OP, how do you meter out the feed? I've been doing this for several years. Butchering 30 on Saturday and another 22 in four more weeks.
I'm going through a lot more feed than you. I don't free feed but I don't weigh it out either. I'll know exactly what I've fed out to all 52 after the second batch is butchered, but Im at 490lbs so far.
I wish I had a good system, but I don’t. I think I had a 10 pound feeder and would make sure it was filled full once in the first half of the day and then at least half full shortly before dark. I let them have free feed 24 hours a day for the first couple weeks. I did have a cover crop planted that I ran them through with the tractor. I’m not sure how much of it they actually ate, but it was crimson clover, wheat, and rye. It was all in various stages of going to seed
 
I see the clover in your pics now. That probably helped a lot. Mine are on coastal Bermuda with a mix of native weeds. Not a whole lot nutritionally but they do forage heavy when I move them (twice a day).
I put the second batch inside of electric netting (+/-1500 sg ft). They run and jump and flap their wings and forage like crazy, but, knock on wood, are more susceptible to predators.

One of the main draws to raising broilers for me, on top of knowing where your food comes from and teaching my daughter's the same, is watching them grow and knowing they're not raised in houses with no room to move. Waddling just far enough to move from feed to water. Then rounded up for that open air truck ride down the freeway....
I'm not a hippie but I think stress-free life and death makes healthier, tastier meat....same goes with the lamb and pork I raise and butcher here at home.

Anyway, thanks for posting. I enjoyed this thread more than most.
 
Thread starter #35
I see the clover in your pics now. That probably helped a lot. Mine are on coastal Bermuda with a mix of native weeds. Not a whole lot nutritionally but they do forage heavy when I move them (twice a day).
I put the second batch inside of electric netting (+/-1500 sg ft). They run and jump and flap their wings and forage like crazy, but, knock on wood, are more susceptible to predators.

One of the main draws to raising broilers for me, on top of knowing where your food comes from and teaching my daughter's the same, is watching them grow and knowing they're not raised in houses with no room to move. Waddling just far enough to move from feed to water. Then rounded up for that open air truck ride down the freeway....
I'm not a hippie but I think stress-free life and death makes healthier, tastier meat....same goes with the lamb and pork I raise and butcher here at home.

Anyway, thanks for posting. I enjoyed this thread more than most.
Would love for you to start one with your raising of pork. That’s what I want to get into next. We’ve butchered a few that we’ve got grown out from other folks, but I’m very curious about your setup and cost that goes into it so I can have an idea of what to expect.

I definitely buy into the stress free, natural living producing a better product.
 
It will be another 6mo. to a year before we raise hogs again. I killed two in February and put up 240lb of pork so I'm good for awhile with just my family of four. They were Mangalitsa(sp) cross, and cost a little extra out the gate, but the flavor really does shine through, they have a sweetness to them that I've never tasted in store bought.
Definitely cost a lot more than store bought but I kept them in a paddock. Next time I will pasture and buy feed by the ton.
 
We killed 25 cornishX plus a few yard roosters today. this is the first time I've done it with help. My wife plus another couple, we made great timing and split birds and cost. Then enjoyed some grilled lamb and sausage. A 2'o'clock beer after the killing was all done was well deserved.
 
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