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Assuming that the original investment of housing is paid for (or free ranged). What is the average cost of raising chicken per LB?

Things to consider:

  • Original cost of chicks
  • Feed
  • Assume you butcher them yourself
  • Anything else I may be over looking
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    Is this directly relating to sustainable living? How? – Highly Irregular Apr 2 '16 at 9:01
  • Do you wish to raise chickens exclusively for the meat? or also for the eggs? a friend of mine raises chickens for the eggs and uses them for meat once they reach a certain age. Get the best of both worlds? Or you wish to just go for the meat, which means you'll butcher them at a much younger age. – Migz Apr 2 '16 at 9:26
  • Yes, raising chickens for meat creates a sustainable food source - after the initial investment and if done properly. – Some Free Mason Apr 2 '16 at 11:40
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    The major cost is the ethical damage that comes from murdering animals. You can't avoid that. The environmental cost of feeding them also varies hugely depending on what they eat - you could feed them wagyu beef flown from Japan, for example, or you could let them scrounge loose grain on your organic wheat farm, as two more or less extreme ends of that spectrum. – Ⴖuі Apr 2 '16 at 20:53
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    @SomeFreeMason on the farm we bought very little feed, most of the financial cost was drugs for treating sick chickens. Things like worm tablets, sprays for mites and so on add up when the birds eat 90% scraps and whatever else they can scrounge. Bought feed was mostly treats, we'd buy a "seed and nut" loose chicken treat mix as well as growing sunflowers. Chickens love stuff like pumpkin seeds as well, but you often have to chop them because chickens are not big enough to crack them themselves. With a household of five we ate 3-4 birds a year and got more eggs than we could eat. – Móż Apr 8 '16 at 3:51
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In commercial chicken operations, it's down to the question of conversion rates of feed, and it varies by breed, and that translates directly to small farm operations (though the rates go down as management gets less rigid). Here's a brief article that gives you an idea of the scope. Rotate their pasture and farm bugs in the fallow areas if you can.

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