We respect your privacy. As a backyard chicken farmer, there are a few options for raising meat chickens. In our first three years on our farm we have learned to provide our family with a years worth of chicken for next to nothing. In those few weeks of raising meat chickens, we purchased two 50-lb bags of feed, at $16 per bag. They only take about 8 weeks to grow to butcher weight. Chickens in Your Backyard, Newly Revised and Updated, The Complete Idiot's Guide To Raising Chickens, Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens, 4th Edition, Backyard Chickens for Beginners: Cluck You : Guide To Finding and Raising Chickens for Egg Meat and Show. Here are a number of ways that we raise healthy big birds for less. You'll need to factor in any equipment costs such as the construction of a coop. There are several varieties of chicken breeds. In order to make a profit from your meat birds, you'll need to follow all these tips and most importantly keep good records of profit and loss for a proper understanding of your profit margin. You'll also need to prevent early problems like pasting up and monitor for illnesses such as coccidiosis. Labor for raising chickens, building the chicken tractor, putting up fence, repairing the tractor, and slaughtering 2 batches of birds, all at the $7.78 Colorado minimum wage – $933.60 Leah in her castle with her meal fit for a Queen. Your market will determine this; are you selling to people who know the difference and care? And if we’d used organic feed, we would have organic chicken at $2.10/lb. Who are your local buyers? Lesson #4: Raising Meat Chickens Is All About Priorities. It sounds easy, but organizing your chicken broiler business takes some work. Birds raised on pasture may take longer to reach market weight, ultimately costing you more money. Dual purpose breeds are great, I shared with you the perks above, but if your goal is to truly make a profit then you’ll need to raise the commercial Cobb 500 breed. This is going to feed into the next two steps, where you will determine your market and write a business plan. Thank you for your support. Also, order your chicks at least months ahead of time. Don’t buy more than a months worth at a time because the protien component will break down and the less protein means the smaller the final bird. Raising Chickens For Meat Raise, Process, and Enjoy Pastured Poultry You can grow all the chicken you need for a year or add a profitable pastured poultry enterprise to your farm. This is a big job that we’ve done annually on the farm and has provided us with a years worth of free roasting chickens. Doing this saves about 20 cents less a bird than buying from the feed store.Do your research before ordering. Research the laws that apply to you, because knowing where you'll get the chickens processed and how much that will cost will affect your business plan. Salatin raises 10,000 birds on 20 acres during a six-month season and nets $25,000. February 25, 2020 by Diana Leave a Comment. It takes about 8-12 weeks to raise a meat chicken to maturity, while it takes about 6 months to raise a laying chicken to maturity (when they start laying eggs). Some are great layers and some are solely raised for meat. How many have you raised? How will you raise your chickens? You should begin by investigating your state and local laws around poultry sales. Buy day old chicks from a wholesaler for far less per chick than the feed stores. Also, you'll need to pay for all the feed they will require until they reach market size. How to Care for Laying Hens on the Small Farm, Types of Commercial Chicken or Poultry Feed, How to Raise and Keep Broody Hens for Eggs, How to Slaughter and Process Turkeys on a Small Farm, Beginner's Guide to Choosing Chicken Breeds for Your Small Farm Flock, The 10 Best Small Farming and Homesteading Books, Where to Buy Baby Chickens and Other Poultry Online, How to Make Your Own Chicken or Poultry Feed, Chicken Breeds for the Small Farm or Backyard Flock, You Can Design and Build Your Own Portable Chicken Coop. Depending on the laws, your markets, and your comfort level, you may decide to slaughter and process the chickens on the farm. There are also mobile slaughterhouses in some areas. Be smart about when you choose to raise your birds, in the damp and cold of fall or early spring and the heat of the summer is a risky time. We raise laying hens year-round, and once a year we raise a batch of meat chickens, specifically designed to provide us with chicken meat for the year. It’s easier to charge customers for fresh meat birds that haven’t been sitting in a freezer -costing us hydro- for weeks or sometimes months. You want it to be easy to maintain a constant temperture even with your heat lamp. In the first and final week of life for the birds before processing is usually when you lose the most birds. You get some chicks, raise them to slaughtering size, process them or get them processed, and sell them, right? Grab our FREE planner and let’s get to it! Chickens are raised as egg layers, or as meat birds. Found this post helpful? Read about the advantages and disadvantages here if you are choosing which chickens to raise. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. These days a lot of people are raising chickens for economic benefits since these are harsh economic times. As a backyard chicken farmer, there are a few options for raising meat chickens. Many states require that meat chickens be processed in a USDA-approved facility in order to legally be sold to the public. I’ve learned you can buy a months worth of feed for cheaper. Raising broilers is one of the quickest ways to create am income from chickens.