Our first home grown meat is finished! So excited that I took the plunge and just went for it. It really wasn't hard, but did take time. It cost more than I thought (isn't that always the case) as they went through about 2 more bags of food than I had figured. And the butchering wasn't easy, but it also wasn't hard and it did go fast. Next time I'll have sharper tools and a better set up and it should go even better! I butchered 4 of the biggest roosters at 8 weeks and 1 day and the other 11 we did at 4 days.
So the breakdown...
Ordered 15 chicks, was sent 16, lost one at 3 days...in the end the remaining 15 made it to the freezer! Chicks cost $25.
Went through 7 fifty pound bags of food at about $16 each after tax. So total was $137 in chicks and food. I did spend money to build the tractor, buys some dishes, some apple cider vinegar, etc, but most of these are reusable items, so only counting in the cost of this batch in figuring $/pound.
We ended up with 14 birds for roasting (or whatever) and one in pieces. He had a broken wing that was starting to get infected. To be safe I just took both wings off and kept his legs and breast meat. Total meat weight was 77 pounds, would have been 2-3 pounds higher had he been left whole. Birds finished right around 5 pounds each with a few roosters going up to 6 and just over. I also kept the 30 feet for making stock, the livers for making dog food (maybe 2 pounds worth?) and the 7 pounds of odds and ends (heart, gizzard and necks) for adding to stock. Amazing how much comes off those birds that were little puff balls 8 weeks ago.
So total meat was 77 pounds and cost was $137 making our breakdown $1.77/lb. If we include everything else it comes down significantly, but just comparing to roasters in the store that is where we land. Of course, our birds have no solution added so that is the real weight and we know how they were raised and that they had a good life. Many good days and a few bad moments hopefully means some great tasting chicken!
What an adventure!