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Meat Chicken Stats Are In

June 26, 2011

But since it is my day to post at Simple-Green-Frugal Co-op you’ll have to pop over there to see just how much it cost to fill my freezer.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. June 26, 2011 3:54 pm

    Holy cow – seems like a few days ago they were chicks!

  2. June 27, 2011 5:11 pm

    Good for you, but being a city girl it would be hard for me to have meat animals. – Margy

  3. greenhorn permalink
    June 28, 2011 10:50 am

    who do you order your birds from these days?

  4. greenhorn permalink
    June 28, 2011 3:15 pm

    I realized I have more questions! On last year’s meat bird post you included processing cost of 117$ I know you process these at a friends farm, so is that the cost of bags and such? Do you use the feet or sell them? Lastly, If you could not pasture graze these, would you recommend the 5 feet per bird housing? I want to raise 30 in my small yard with no room to move the coop much…

    • June 28, 2011 3:32 pm

      Greenhorn, I was just going to email you – getting behind. I got my chicks from Dunlap Hatchery in Idaho and I think at this time of year they are done hatching, but get chicks from Iowa, which is not a problem IMO.
      http://www.dunlaphatchery.net/

      When I go to my friends house in Vancouver, he is processing about 300+ birds of his own and has lots of kids there to help because his customers are coming in the early afternoon, so I pay the kids because we have to get done and get all the equipment cleaned up for customer time. This year I went to a “neighbors” house about 7 miles away and am trading work with them. So no costs except bags and that is nominal.

      I think I would give them less than the five feet and deep bed them and physically pick up the pen and move it. You would have to enlist some helpers. Otherwise the pen would be too big to move and if you’re not able to move them, they need the bedding frequently to avoid any sores from the manure. Probably a mixture of shavings and straw, because the straw caps so bad. After the pen was moved you could gather up the bedding for composting or just plant the pen directly over a garden spot. Chicken Lasagna, cardboard or newspapers first and then just add chickens!

  5. Anne Taliaferro permalink
    June 30, 2011 10:05 am

    Hi Nita. I’ve seen in previous posts that you brood your chicks in a hoop house. How do you protect them from rats, snakes & other unsavory critters?

    • July 1, 2011 5:05 am

      Hi Anne, I haven’t had any problems with an varmints with the chicks. Seeing a snake larger than a garter snake is pretty rare here. And we don’t have much of a problem with rats because of our cats, I believe. The floor is dirt so their is no place for rats to hide inside under flooring etc, so maybe that helps deter them. Larger unsavory critters could I guess claw through the wire and plastic, but don’t. Bobcats used to try to get into the greenhouse at larger chickens in winter, but haven’t bothered chicks during the growing season.

  6. mica permalink
    June 30, 2011 12:51 pm

    I just read of someone who is getting started making poultry bags to freeze your home butchered chickens- they also have a cool plucking machine- not sure if I can put the link here for the things.. thought of you when I saw it.
    its www dot PoultryShrinkBags dot blogspot dot com
    http://poultryshrinkbags.blogspot.com/

    • July 1, 2011 7:35 am

      Mica, thanks for the link, I am sure many people will like these too!

      He talks a lot about freezer burn, but I haven’t found freezer burn to be much of a problem with my manual defrost freezers.

  7. cass permalink
    September 16, 2011 1:08 am

    Followed your post over at “Simple, Green, Frugal…” and it surprised me how many chickens you kept in your tractor.

    We are doing a backyard garden complete with chook tractor. 10 beds @ 3 square metre each. The chook tractor will spend 2.5 weeks on each bed.

    Hubby is keen to raise meat chooks rather than layers (as we already have another pen for our layers). Trying to get some advise on how many chooks would be a good number to keep in such a small tractor…Any advice?

    • September 16, 2011 12:46 pm

      Cass, I move mine each day so they get fresh grass, so I am not sure if 2.5 weeks would work out unless you planned on deep bedding the area to keep them clean and for future garden bed fertilizer. It would work but would be somewhat of a pain to move. Industry recommendations for hybrid meat birds is 1.5 feet of space per bird. I like a little more space than that so 50 birds would probably be OK, that would be maximum of course, any less would do too.

      A meat bird won’t scratch like a layer but boy do they sure rejuvenate the ground!

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