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Friday, March 4, 2011

50,75, 100?

I stare at the paper in front of me. It is an order form for Cornish cross broiler chicks, the annual 4H project that our children have been involved with for years so that we have chicken to eat all year long. The chicks are $0.85 each. This is a bargain. Last year we raised both Cornish cross and Freedom Ranger broilers (See Cornish Cross versus Freedom Rangers). We have decided to stick with Cornish cross this year.

We have to order in multiples of 25. So how many do we order – 50, 75, 100? We have two pasture pens that will hold up to 50 each. We want to eat chicken most weeks. We must consider the usual death loss. How about our freezer space? We always give a few away. We particularly want to send a few home with our son and daughter-in-law when they bring our granddaughter to Maryland to visit us from Virginia (They may come more often).

It all comes down to this. If we order 75, we can fit them into the back of the pickup when we take them to be processed. If we order 100, we need to hook up the horse trailer to take them. It is nice to have a criterion that clinches the decision.

So I fill in the blank on the form with 75 and write out a check for $63.75. This is exciting because spring is officially on the way. The spring chicks are ordered and will be here in two weeks!

~Uncle Dale


David said...

Uncle Dale, that's a lot of chics. I can still remember when the chics came home from the feed store in the cardboard boxes with the holes in them. Do they still come that way? Ours lasted about six weeks then Mom processed them herself. My job was to clean the coop in the middle of hot July after the chickens were gone. It's an experience that I'll not forget. The smell of the burning pin feathers as she singed them off the plucked chickens was another smell I'd rather not smell again. It was definitely worth all the work and enduring all the yucky smells when it came time to eat Mom's fried chicken.

Have a great chicken raising day.

simplychele said...

Our family also participates in 4h poultry project. Having three teens and taking inthe same considerations you did, we ordered 100. After a week, we lost 4,but the others are thriving well.
We do process ours here at the farm- and fill up the freezer nicely; often sharing our birds with family nearby.
Good luck on you project. Feel free to drop by our blog..www.simplyscaife.blogspot.com where we often share our poultry experiences.


Wow! That's some project. Good luck.

Kanda said...

Sometimes I think I trying to raise a half dozen chickens for their eggs. Maybe next year. I have a household full, and my life fills to full to take that one on. I think the number is perfect for you though Dale. I concour.

-Sydney- said...

Love your final decision point :)

Heather said...

What does it cost to have a single chicken processed? Thanks!

Dale Johnson said...


This year it cost us @2.10 per chicken. I have heard of prices from $1.50 to $2.50.