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Old 02-09-2018, 10:00 PM   #1
hully1029
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Default Meat chickens?

Anyone raise their own meat chickens? What's the difficulty, costs, etc?
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Old 02-09-2018, 10:03 PM   #2
pilar
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https://morningchores.com/meat-chickens/

Difficulty is catching enough fish to feed them as a treat

Last edited by pilar; 02-09-2018 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 02-09-2018, 10:08 PM   #3
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Cornish cross (CornishX) will be your best bet. Keep the feeders full and have clean water available. Also keep the distance between feed and water short. The less they move the more weight they put on. Process them at 12 weeks for 5+ pound dresssed birds. They are not what you'd call cost effective but they are for sure better meat than you'll buy at the store. Raise them in bulk. Buy 25-50 as you'll probably lose a few. The hardest part is the processing as it'll take a full day if you do them all at once. Good part about it is after that day of processing you'll have chicken in the freezer for a year.


Richard.
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Old 02-09-2018, 10:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkers88 View Post
Cornish cross (CornishX) will be your best bet. Keep the feeders full and have clean water available. Also keep the distance between feed and water short. The less they move the more weight they put on. Process them at 12 weeks for 5+ pound dresssed birds. They are not what you'd call cost effective but they are for sure better meat than you'll buy at the store. Raise them in bulk. Buy 25-50 as you'll probably lose a few. The hardest part is the processing as it'll take a full day if you do them all at once. Good part about it is after that day of processing you'll have chicken in the freezer for a year.


Richard.



This^^^^ is great advice
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Old 02-09-2018, 10:52 PM   #5
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Cornishx is what I have . At 18 days they are a little over 2 lbs. should be close to 5 at 6 weeks .
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Old 02-09-2018, 10:55 PM   #6
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Could yall share your butchering/processing techniques
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Old 02-09-2018, 11:16 PM   #7
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You probably can find you some good meat chickens already been fed out with all the stock shows that are finished up for pretty cheap if your looking for some right now
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Old 02-09-2018, 11:28 PM   #8
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I've raised Broiler chickens, which are eating chickens, and bought from tractor supply. Done it several years, and they eat EVERYTHING! So any scrap or bone or meat that you think may be tainted....they eat it up, and then you get to put them in your belly, and they are much much tastier than a bird from the costco. Unfortunately the de-feathering takes time unless you want to buy some neat tools off ebay or amazon. I haven't yet, but after last year, I plan to invest.
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Old 02-09-2018, 11:34 PM   #9
hully1029
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I appreciate the advice! We have a small storage shed I think were going to convert. I'm tired of paying 10 bucks for a 3lb bag of frozen breasts.
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Old 02-10-2018, 09:07 AM   #10
Etxnoodler
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Originally Posted by Junkers88 View Post
Cornish cross (CornishX) will be your best bet. Keep the feeders full and have clean water available. Also keep the distance between feed and water short. The less they move the more weight they put on. Process them at 12 weeks for 5+ pound dresssed birds. They are not what you'd call cost effective but they are for sure better meat than you'll buy at the store. Raise them in bulk. Buy 25-50 as you'll probably lose a few. The hardest part is the processing as it'll take a full day if you do them all at once. Good part about it is after that day of processing you'll have chicken in the freezer for a year.


Richard.
This^. Wonít be cheaper than buying at store but you will know what they are eating can move them around so they arenít sitting in their own crap ext. you can conver an old washer or dryer to pluck them faster. Get them when you can butcher them in the fall.
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Old 02-10-2018, 09:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chew View Post
Could yall share your butchering/processing techniques
Cut their head off
Skin or pluck
Gut
Chop in pieces
Salt n pepper
Buttermilk n flour
Fry
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Old 02-10-2018, 09:26 AM   #12
cva34
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What we used to do around Fair time when kids are raising Chicken for Fair..We put out word that we would Process on 1/2...We filled our freezer every year..Free and turned down lots..and like said above 50 is a (hard days work)
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Old 02-10-2018, 09:41 AM   #13
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Could yall share your butchering/processing techniques
http://thedeliberateagrarian.blogspo...never.html?m=1

This works for us if plucking. Which is all I will do if Iím raising them for meat. Skining wastes the best part! Old hen or rooster just gets skinned.
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Old 02-10-2018, 09:48 AM   #14
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Could yall share your butchering/processing techniques
My preference is the grocery store. lol I remember messing with them growing up. In the winter time the flock would dwindle down and the old rooster was in the boiling pot in the worst of winters. I never thought about it at the time but smaller flock = harder times. Hopefully those days never come back and our kids and grandkids never have to experience it.
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:06 AM   #15
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Could yall share your butchering/processing techniques
Instead of the plucking machine you can skin them, similar to a squirrel or rabbit.

https://youtu.be/Fb_gqQCXwJQ
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:28 AM   #16
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I just watched the video pretty cool
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:30 AM   #17
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We have raised broilers for 10 years for stock show. Putting between 50-100 in the freezer every year. For a large batch you will want a plucker. We have on some years done the gutless method.


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Old 02-10-2018, 10:43 AM   #18
Chubb
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Originally Posted by hully1029 View Post
Anyone raise their own meat chickens? What's the difficulty, costs, etc?

I raised broiler for stockshows as a kid. Last year I raised a set using a pasture based method. The cost per bird was around $15.

John Suscovich on you tube has a really good video on his costs to raise meat chickens.

https://youtu.be/HNl3tdI1wdg

It's not all that difficult, just a daily task. The guy above has several good week by week videos on raising broilers.
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Old 02-10-2018, 10:58 AM   #19
RiverRat1
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You guys that have done this multiple years in a row do you buy each year or hatch eggs?
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Old 02-10-2018, 11:01 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Could yall share your butchering/processing techniques
Yessir. You drive them to the little vietnamese man on Lillja Rd and pay him $3/bird. Worth every penny.
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Old 02-10-2018, 11:04 AM   #21
Snowflake Killa
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You raise your own birds Curt
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Old 02-10-2018, 11:07 AM   #22
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You raise your own birds Curt
Not anymore. My kids raised a bunch for 4H. We'd raise 50 to show 6. We always had our culls processed and we ate a lot of chicken.
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Old 02-10-2018, 11:07 AM   #23
Chubb
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You guys that have done this multiple years in a row do you buy each year or hatch eggs?
http://www.idealpoultry.com/item.html

Click broilers, then Cornish rock cross.
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Old 02-10-2018, 11:08 AM   #24
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Yessir. You drive them to the little vietnamese man on Lillja Rd and pay him $3/bird. Worth every penny.
I've arrested a lot if people on lillja over the years. Let me run an address check first.
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Old 02-10-2018, 11:11 AM   #25
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I thought about doing it out here
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Old 02-10-2018, 11:28 AM   #26
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We put up around 50 a year. I hang them buy their feet and pull skin feathers and all off on 98% of them pluck a few for my wife to roast. Pull the insides keep the gizzards, livers for my Dad. I go ahead and cut them up at that time. I use a big pair of poultry shears to cut the breast off. Sharp knife on the wings and drum stick. I package the wings and and drum sticks in bulk. Breast and thighs 2 to a pack. My daughter timed me and I got to were I can skin, gut, and break down a bird in under 2 minuets.
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Old 02-10-2018, 12:01 PM   #27
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Donít all chickens have meat on them??


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Old 02-10-2018, 12:33 PM   #28
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One of my favorite threads. Great info in the thread and excellent links.
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Old 02-10-2018, 12:42 PM   #29
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CornishX. They will eat a lot, get fat and barely be able to move. These are the best because they will be sooner faster than any other breed. The size these get in 3 months is more than some other chickens will get In a year. We have a bunch of different breeds running around so I kill on average 1-2 younger roosters a week. I never raised Cornish beacause you want those cooped up.
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Old 02-10-2018, 12:49 PM   #30
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Ditto on CornishX. Been raising my own for years.

Another thing we do is once they are feathered we put them on clover moving them daily.A trick I learned from Joel Salatin. Fertilizes the pasture and gives the birds diversified diet.

You can see method on youtube.
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Old 02-10-2018, 12:58 PM   #31
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As far as how we process. I knock off the heads and then dunk them into a turkey fryer filled with water that's (if I recall) 148-154 degrees. I hold them by the feet, dunk them twice an wipe the feathers off. Open up the cavity, pull out the stuff, keep the gizzard/liver/heart and then into a vacuum bag they go. Others I'll skin and quarter. The skinning is much much easier but nothing beats the skin on fried chicken.

Richard.
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Old 02-10-2018, 01:05 PM   #32
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That vid shows a slick setup
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Old 02-10-2018, 02:12 PM   #33
elgato
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Check out Murray McMurray hatchery.
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Old 02-10-2018, 02:37 PM   #34
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Check out Murray McMurray hatchery.
I have used these folks multiple times over the years keeping ducks in the ponds. I finally got tired of feeding the varmints and gave up replenishing their winter diets.
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:11 PM   #35
hully1029
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Bumping this to the top. Started this thread over a year ago and learned a lot. Decided to give it a small go. Went off to tractor supply and grabbed 12 Cornish and for some reason came home with 2 ducks as well.. got a coop outside and they'll be in there in the next week or so..

still trying to decide if im going to spend the 400 on the chicken plucker, do it by hand, or take them to the local butcher..
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:26 PM   #36
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Bumping this to the top. Started this thread over a year ago and learned a lot. Decided to give it a small go. Went off to tractor supply and grabbed 12 Cornish and for some reason came home with 2 ducks as well.. got a coop outside and they'll be in there in the next week or so..

still trying to decide if im going to spend the 400 on the chicken plucker, do it by hand, or take them to the local butcher..
Your aren't in South Texas are you? I've got a good plucker you could try out. Once you use one, you won't want to go without.

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Old 03-13-2019, 06:36 PM   #37
hully1029
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Your aren't in South Texas are you? I've got a good plucker you could try out. Once you use one, you won't want to go without.

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I appreciate the offer, but unfortunately, i'm a long way from south texas. Thanks again tho!
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:54 PM   #38
elgato
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Just bought 50 from Murray McMurray that are going thru the brooder.Once feathered out they will move to the pasture to be moved daily in the broiler tractor. Fresh organic chickens for the year. Better than anything ever at the grocery or the best restaurant.
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:24 PM   #39
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Bush's Chicken is cheap and easy as far as I'm concerned. My dad use to raise 80 thousands birds at a time and not interested in raising them when someone else can do it for me.
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:44 PM   #40
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Bush's Chicken is cheap and easy as far as I'm concerned. My dad use to raise 80 thousands birds at a time and not interested in raising them when someone else can do it for me.
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:48 PM   #41
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Go to your local park and get you about 30 Muscovy duck eggs and hatch them in an incubator. They get over 10 pounds and are very tasty. I have like 20 right now that I hatched last year. Taste like a Canada goose to me.
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:49 PM   #42
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I also have quail. Chickens make to much noise...lol
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Old 03-14-2019, 05:56 AM   #43
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Best deal I've found was buying 15 broilers from an ag student. 5 bucks each butchered and vacuum sealed

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Old 03-14-2019, 06:59 AM   #44
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we're raising broilers for our local show next week. 1st timers. almost done!
started with 50 to show 6.

trying to decide on plucking or skinning for processing day. really leaning on skinning. but as an alternative to the plucker cement mixer, i saw these on amazon
https://www.amazon.com/Plucker-Chick...%2C144&sr=8-15
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:56 AM   #45
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Great thread! And now I'm hungry.
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:09 AM   #46
Grizz83
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Could yall share some pics of the coups/pens that yall keep the cornishx birds in?
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:37 AM   #47
hully1029
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grizz83 View Post
Could yall share some pics of the coups/pens that yall keep the cornishx birds in?
Will do in a bit. We have a makeshift brooder inside the house using our 2nd bathroom tub.. I know, my wife's awesome

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Old 03-14-2019, 11:42 AM   #48
Dirtymike
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canoe1 View Post
Your aren't in South Texas are you? I've got a good plucker you could try out. Once you use one, you won't want to go without.

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I will take you up on that sometime. Will return it with some fresh chicken.
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:37 PM   #49
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We do 3,000 to 5,000 a year all on pasture. We don't do cornish x as they don't survive the altitude here (7200 ft) well. We raise Freedom Rangers and have great success with them. They take about 10-14 days longer than the cornish, but we don't lose near as many and average a 4 pound carcass.

I would suggest either rationing their feed for the first 3 weeks and only feeding 12 hours on and 12 hours off or moving their feeders around so that you don't get birds that park it in front of the feeder and then can't get up and have a heart attack.

As for processing, if you don't have the equipment, a turkey fryer makes a great scalder. Add 2 - 3 drops off dawn dish soap to your water. It helps get the feathers off of them.
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Old 03-14-2019, 04:33 PM   #50
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I will take you up on that sometime. Will return it with some fresh chicken.
Say when.

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