Friday, July 7, 2017

Broiler Chickens

We had 40 broiler chickens arrive at the end of March here at the little farm. After 9 weeks,  we had 36 that made it to the slaughter date.  Our max dressed chicken was 9lbs and the smallest 6lbs 14oz. I calculated the cost per lb of chicken to be $1.39/lb. I figure I can lower it to around $1.09/lb when I get another round of broilers in the fall. I am also not going to get any more than 20 broilers, processing 36 broilers took around 8 hours.
Day old chicks in the brooder

4 week old chicks, time to get outside

8 week old broilers

8 week old broilers

We tried a couple of things while raising them this time.
  • Invested into electric poultry netting
  • Brooder nipple waters while raising them as chicks
  • Bulk poultry feed from Leland Mills
I will speak, in more detail, about each of these below 

Electric Poultry Netting
After the dog attack,one day before slaughter date, last year that wiped out 80% of my broilers we were determined to defend our investment. We purchased a Premier 1 PoultryNet Plus 12/48/3 electric poultry netting. I deployed it 5 weeks with a solar powered energizer when they were big enough to not fit thru the netting. I was extremely happy with the setup and it kept away all predators. All in all I would highly recommend it.
Electric netting deployed around the broiler coop

Brooder Nipple Waterers
I ordered a four of these small brooder nipple waterers. They worked out great.  If you have ever hated  cleaning out the wood chips, poop, and feathers from those small mason jar waterers every 6 hours you would love these waters. I highly recommend them. In fact, I plan on expanding nipple waterers to the whole flock soon.

Bulk Poultry Feed
We are luckly enough to have a great feed mill around 20 miles away, Leland Mill.  If you provide your own container, we put ours in 35 gallon galvanized cans, you can get 100lbs of 24% crude protein broiler mash feed for $20.35. Each can carried up to 200lbs of feed. This is about the max weight that I can move around the farm by myself without the tractor.  We got a total of 850lbs of feed for broilers from here.  It really helped lower the cost of  raising the broilers.  I highly Leland Mill for bulk feed.
Full 35 gallon cans

All in all, it was a good experience. We learned a lot and have a bunch of delicious fresh farm raised chicken. I can't eat the factory farm raised chicken anymore, it has no taste.

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