Wednesday, October 31, 2012

From 50 to 12

I started out with 50 fluffy cute little Freedom Ranger chicks 14 weeks ago. I am down to just 12 now. I just got done butchering 10 more. today. So far of the 38 I have done, none have weighed over 4 pounds. They are just under 4 pounds and up to a little over 2 1/2 pounds. Not big birds at all. And they are 14 weeks old today.

I think they just had too much room to roam in and run off the fat. I have spent way too much money on these guys too. With starter-grower and grower-finisher at $17.00 a 50 pound bag, and they went through 17 bags since I've had them, these are really expensive birds. I don't think I can do this again. I'll have to see if I will break even. Probably not. But they are all sold!

It'll be quiet around here without them all. I do still have my non egg layers. I say non egg layers because I might get 2 eggs a day from 17 less than a year old hens. I am lucky to be getting 2 a day right now, I guess. I am just not very happy with chickens these days. It's so much cheaper to buy eggs from someone else than feed these guys. And I could sell them for $10 each and make a little money that way. But them what would I do with all the sheep and goat poop? The chickens are good at scratching it up and mulching too. So I will probably keep the layers awhile more.

Happy Halloween, y'all!


Kristin said...

I'm so sorry for your trouble. If you decide to do more meaty birds in the future, I'd look around for a better price on feed. I have been feeding my Cornish X non-medicated game bird starter. It's 24% protein and runs me about $14.50 a bag these days. It was $12.50 when I started, but no, there's no inflation....

I should probably raise what I charge per pound to cover it. What are you charging? I'm at $3.50/lb.

As for the layers, have they just not all started laying yet? I'm only getting about 8 eggs/day from my 30 birds because they are all molting.

Butchering is a lot of work. I can't believe you do it by yourself! Do you have a plucker?

Kris said...

Kristin, I have always bought non medicated feed for the meat birds. I think this must be an average weight for the FR. I saw on FB yesterday a farm not too far from here who takes theirs way up to Bowling Green KN. to a USDA chicken processing plant, that theirs are an average of around 4 pounds too. They use tractors though and I think theirs are a lot younger. I charge between $3.000-$3.50 a pound.

And yes, I do it all myself. I did those 10 birds yesterday in less than 2 hours. My husband did help on a few birds with our little homemade plucker that takes 2 people to use. But I can do it faster myself by hand in just about a minute. I use my grill to keep my big canner of water hot enough. I love this method. I also use a killing cone and cut the throat.

My hens are around 8 months old. I have 4 red Star and 1 Americana and 12 Barred Rocks. I am getting about 2 eggs a day from 2 of the RS hens. And they are not molting. They all still have all their feathers and look good. They're just lazy!