Before we moved to the ever-swank East Porch, we processed our meat chickens. Some of you may be wondering why we didn’t just go to the local grocery store and buy chicken. It certainly would have been easier.
Given the atrocities in the broiler industry, we’ve decided to opt out. But, raising and butchering your own chickens is not for the faint of heart. First you care for them for several months then you have to kill them. And pluck the feathers, gut them, and package them all fairly quickly. This, our first time, was not an all day affair, but we were certainly drained after.
Cost wise, we had assumed the chickens would be cheaper at the grocery store, but we really didn’t know exactly how much more raising our own chickens would cost. Turns out it wasn’t too bad. Here’s how the cost worked out.
- Total weight of cleaned chicken: 63lb (10 ranging from 5.5 to 7.25 each)
- Total cost over the 8.5 weeks of feed and the cost of the chicks: $80 (this includes one tarp and one feeder. The other equipment we already had. Neither water nor labor is factored into cost.)
- Cost per pound approximately $1.26 per pound
Not the cheapest chicken ever, and when you figure in labor it probably adds another $2-3 per pound to the final cost of the chicken (assuming minimum wage). So ultimately about $3-5 per pound for humanely raised and butchered chicken that lived its life as a chicken should, scratching the ground for bugs under mostly blue skies.
And the taste? We roasted one tonight. It tasted like chicken flavored butter. In other words AWESOME! And the texture was amazing!!
So, in short, totally worth it! We will absolutely do it again, and with more chickens next time!