The Real Cost of Raising Meat Chickens

The Real Cost of Raising Meat Chickens

One woman’s “By the Numbers” reality of raising chickens for meat.  (Hint: It wasn’t pretty.)


4 thoughts on “The Real Cost of Raising Meat Chickens

  1. This is pretty inaccurate for most people. Personally I don’t have bears around. I got my chicks for $3 each and raised them on just under 1/2 bag of food each, fermented. No flips, no losses. We did loose one to a hawk as they were in their tractors that we’d made for adult rabbits. $5 of wire fixed that. 5+ lb carcasses. Our cages were ones we already had for the rabbits but would have cost very little to make.
    Our bagged feed is very expensive. From a mill it would be much cheaper but it is $18/bag. So 8+3+2 if you include the local processor. I processed mine on my own. $11 a bird. Nowhere near $40. The milled food would be much cheaper, half the price. So $9 a bird. You just have to have the basic safety structures for livestock in place in the first place. Simple as that. You cant even gt gmo kosher birds for that price let alone unmedicated free range!

    • The majority of the cost this author is including is labor (120 hours at minimum wage) and she shows which other items are start-up costs. Personally, I think it’s important to include labor in cost evaluations even if, like me, you do it mostly for the love of it. Her cost of materials is not far off from yours.

      “My” farmer sells pasture-raised not-officially-organic-because-he-doesn’t-pay-the-fee meat birds at about $15 (although the biggest ones are sometimes $20+). Although he has a nice steady client base, he still has to deal with peoples’ astonishment at the price when they inquire. In truth, through the economies of scale and depreciated assets, he sells birds cheaper than most people could raise them themselves, even though he does have to pay himself and his farm workers.

      And while I don’t have bears this far off the mountain, I do have bobcats, coyotes, hawks, owls, wild dogs, roaming domesticated cats and dogs, racoons, possums, skunks and foxes. Plus ample egg-eating varmits like snakes and rats. If I ever add chickens for eggs, they’ll have to have a veritable Ft. Knox of a coop and run!

  2. We always include labor in our estimates, even though our ladies pay us in eggs and our gents pay us in chicken’n’dumplin’s, but people really do need to look into the expenses involved in chicken farming before they just jump in. We had a bad predator problem, only a month ago and lost nearly a whole generation in a matter of days. We incubate as well as purchase Ideal chicks to integrate into our existing flocks. It is time consuming and their feed is pricey. We don’t cull often and have upwards of 50 or more in various stages of growth. We just enjoy them so much that we try to ignore the cost and time consumption, ha!
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Enjoying something has value too, it’s just not easily quantified. Something doesn’t have to make fiscal sense to make personal and lifestyle sense.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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