Well folks, butchering time for the meat birds of Clucky Dickens Farm arrived. At almost nine weeks old, we found a day that all six of us were available to get those meatballs in the freezer.
I had been keeping track of how fast the birds grew in Meat Bird Experiment posts #1 and #2. The unfortunate thing is that I forgot to take a picture of the birds at their biggest, right before we butchered them.
I do have a current picture of them, though. ;)
Okay, so everyone is wondering how much did it all cost and was it worth it? Here's the figures:
25 Cornish Cross Chicks - they actually sent us 28, as it is habit to send extra "just in case"...
Food for almost nine weeks (50 lbs of starter and 650 pounds of meat bird food)...
Total cost for chickens...
From the chickens, we got about 206 pounds of meat. We ended up butchering 25 - one of the original 28 they sent died as a chick and two died just before butchering day. The birds we did butcher averaged about 8 pounds each. Our Clucky Dickens Math (219.33 divided by 206) tells us that it cost about $1.06 a pound to raise our own meat birds.
Financial advantage? I have no clue what chicken costs in the store, so I can't compare it that way yet.
Are they tasty? Oh, goodness yes. :)
Was it worth it? I'm still deciding. They were worlds easier to butcher than our dual purpose birds have ever been in every aspect imaginable. And one Cornish Rock makes a tasty meal for our family of four adults and two kids. BUT they are disturbing birds. They stare at you and you can hear them asking for food. If they could salivate, they'd be drooling constantly waiting for you to come in and feed them. They reek of desperation...and poop. They eat ALOT. They drink ALOT of water. And they poop way more than ALOT. We cleaned their coop every other day.
So was it worth it?
Hmm. What do you think?