Costs of Raising Meat Chickens : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

If I had done my record keeping properly, I wouldn't have to write this e-mail. But since I didn't, here's the question. Does anyone have an idea of how much it costs in feed to raise meat chickens (Cornish X Rocks... the kind that get to be 5 or so # dressed weight after 8 weeks)? Feed costs are different all over, so perhaps you know how many pounds of feed each chicken consumes in 8 weeks. Any thing you can contribute would be helpful. We have a buyer for next year and I want to set my price properly. If anyone can tell me what they charge it would be interesting, too. Thanks for the help.

-- Jane in Wisconsin (, January 12, 2002


Hello Jane,

From egg to freezer it cost me $3.00 per chicken. Of course, I do not buy chicks. I just hatch the eggs that my present hens lay.



-- (, January 12, 2002.

If you are giving them access to pasture, the price in my neck of the woods is $2 PER POUND. If you also feed organic feed, the price goes to $2.50 per pound (that is where we will start) and UP! That means a chicken dinner would cost your customer in the $10-15 range. BTW we will be selling our turkeys for $2.50 per pound as well. Amy

-- Amy Richards (, January 12, 2002.

We have kept records and it is an average of 15 lbs. of feed per bird for 8 weeks. Hope this helps.

-- M & M (, January 12, 2002.

That's a mite steep, folks.

I'm in Ernest's financial realm. Round here folks won't pay more than $1.50/lb for meat chicken. And mine's "organic".

-- HarleyinFL (, January 12, 2002.

We purchase our chicks from Hoovers Hatchery, feed them Purina Meatbuilder for 6-8 weeks, and end up with 6lb average birds (freezer weight) for a cost of $3.70 per bird. We sell for $1.50/lb ($9 a bird) with no problem in our area. Our chicks also have a grass yard to range for bugs, grass, etc. We butcher by hand (am looking for cheap plucker though)so a lot of sweat equity go into those birds. There are fine tasting though!

-- JoAnn in SD (, January 12, 2002.

We raise broilers in chicken tractors either annually or every other year. We buy the Cornish X rock chicks, the last ones we bought in 2000 were 59 cents each (the guy operates a poultry slaughterhouse and doesn't make much money on the chick sale, but does when you bring them back eight weeks later.) He was charging $2 a bird to slaughter. That has since gone up. Grain costs vary widely depending on your area of the country. Where we live in Maine, an hour from the Canadian border, most of our grain comes from Quebec. In 2000 we figured that it cost us about 89 cents a pound -- bird, grain, and slaughtering (we didn't have time or the sanitary facilities to slaughter lots of birds and when you are selling them you don't want to take a chance with sanitation.) We sold 111 one year, in addition to what we raised for ourselves. I figured out exactly how much I "made" in "wages" per hour and it came out to about $3 an hour. You're not going to get rich doing that. However, if you raise them for yourself you do get the best tasting, most tender, flavorful, succulent broilers you have ever slapped your taste buds on. In 2000 we raised about 40 broilers and seven turkeys. We filled two freezers. Needless to say, we didn't raise any last year. But this year we will again have our moveable chicken tractors on the march across the pasture.

-- Joe (, January 14, 2002.

Sorry, forgot to say in previous answer, but when we raised broilers for sale we were charging $2.10 a pound. The rate around here in Central Maine is $1.85 to $2.15 a pound for pasture raised broilers. We felt like the product was easily worth it, but it can be a tough sell since we're not in an affluent area.

-- Joe (, January 14, 2002.

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