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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Broilers 101

This season Dale documented his experience raising and "harvesting" what started out as 50 broilers.  Broilers are meat chickens as opposed to chickens you keep for eggs.  If you missed it or wanted to see the videos back to back you can follow his journey here:

We are so grateful that Dale shared this with us.  What an informative and really quite interesting series!


Dale Johnson said...

We get a lot of statisfaction from this project. It is nice to go down to our freezer and pull out a chicken for dinner that we produced ourselves. We think that the chicken is leaner and tastes better since it was finished on pasture where the broilers eat some green plants as apposed to store chickens that are raised primarily on corn and soybean meal. The chickens are a great compliment to our garden vegetables. Backyard farming is a wonderful hobby!

Using this pasture system, I estimate that a person could grow 40-50 briolers on 5,400 square feet of pasture or less. That is about 128 sq ft a day (64 sq ft pen x 2 moves a day) multiplied by 42 days. Maybe even less space if you have good moisture so the grass grows fast and you can go across it twice. If you grow 25 broilers you can cut the space requirement in half. You do need a buffer between you and the neighbors because brolier litter smells a bit. The biggest problem is finding someone to slaughter the broilers if you don't want to do it yourself. When we get our broilers slaughtered we usually take some old layers that aren't producing many eggs and have them killed for stewing hens but there isn't much meat on them.


Laura said...

I echo the sentiment that this was wonderfully informative! I think I personally lean more toward having layers eventually than broilers... seems like less work. But it's all a dream right now... I'm an apartment dweller looking to buy a place with a big backyard. Have any of you guys worked with goats? I'd be interested in having a pygmy or two that I could use for milk... any thoughts? (You can email them to me at larkgems@gmail.com).

Amy @ Homestead Revival said...

Dale, a video is worth a thousand words! But your tips were excellent as well. I'm looking forward to getting started. I'm thinking some Freedom Rangers. Tomorrow I'll have a post on my blog about selecting meat chickens and I'm directing my readers to your videos where you're currently raising the Cornish Cross and Freedom Rangers.

Amy @ Homestead Revival said...

One more question... cost isn't my number one concern (knowing what's in my meat is!), but do you have an idea what this cost you per pound of meat? And did you use organic feed?