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.