Saturday, November 12, 2011

Filed Under - 'Don't Do it Again'

Just got back from the E-town flea market where I dropped off a truckload of chickens. (Yes, they were in cages. LOL)

Spent an hour chasing them down this morning. Thank God I had sense enough to lock them into the barn 2 days ago when they congregated on their own. Otherwise I'd STILL be out there with the chicken hook and a net.

This was my first experiment with raising chickens for meat. Out of 3 dozen birds there were only 11 left. What a waste of effort and money! Not going to do this again, unless I end up having to raise our own food. (Hope it doesn't come to that!) If that happens I've got a hatchet, I won't starve.

What am I going to get out of this? 3 dressed birds. So it wasn't a total loss - these birds just cost me $20 each. (rolling eyes)

Over the summer they've crapped all over the barn. Everything needs swept and raked. I hope they didn't have lice...well all chickens have lice, it's just a matter of how many lice.

This week I'm going to sell the drakes to my friend at the Chinese restaurant. That will bring the duck population down to 3, a drake and 2 hen ducks.

The chicken population has been halved - all that's left are the hens. The red hens are going next, which should leave me with 6 Dominques, (2 roosters & 4 hens), 2 Barred Rock hens and 2 Brahma hens.

I might sell the Dominques and get a few more Brahmas. They are a larger, meatier bird that should dress out better than the skinnier Barred Rocks.

There isn't any money in eggs, unless I get like $4 a dozen. At $3 a dozen I'm paying for feed. Meat birds are throwing good money after bad (as they say.) Ducks are my money makers...one hen can hatch 3 batches of 12 to 25 ducklings a year. With 6 duck hens I can make $200 a year in profit. Should I raise them, I get about $7 a drake, and $5 for 2 ducklings.

The dumbest thing I ever did was switch from Moscovie ducks to chickens.

Live and learn.

2 comments:

Jean Davis said...

Sounds like ducks are the clear choice here. Well, now you know. :)

Ms Kitty said...

Now the flock of roosters is gone, my feed bill should be cut in half. The barn is quieter. 11 of the darn critters NEVER shut up.

I should have my cages back by Friday. This means I can sell the 3 drakes who are the next largest feeders.

Sometime next month, I should be able to sample the birds. I'm not expecting much - these aren't your double-breasted meat birds.

Organic, free range, chemical free they should make incredible soup, though.

PS - did you know that the meat chicken has been bred to the point they can't mate like normal birds?

Neither can turkeys.

I had hopes of raising turkey poults. Dogs got them first...dammit.