Re: Chickens and chicken coops
From: Ron Ingram (ingramr88gmail.com)
Date: Wed, 6 May 2020 09:18:08 -0700 (PDT)
Thanks Liz and Dick! I will take this into consideration. The space here is
not big all it seems for raising chicken for meat. In this area there are
also lots of people who morally would not feel right about slaughtering
them.

>From what I am reading from you all so far is that I should keep to just
having a few hens to have fresh eggs.

Even at that, that's still pretty good. Glad you all shared your
experiences with me.

On Wed, May 6, 2020, 9:09 AM Dick Margulis <dick [at] dmargulis.com> wrote:

> On 5/6/2020 11:39 AM, Elizabeth Magill wrote:
> > Chickens for meat would be a huge operation. They are eaten at 8-12 weeks
> > old, you'd need roosters and hens so as to have chicks regularly. We have
> > about 30 chickens and they take up a large space (becuase we treat them
> > lovingly) and 30 chickens to eat would provide everyone in our community
> 1
> > chicken--which is enough food for, I don't know a week? I can't even
> > imagine the size operation you'd need to keep a community of 30 people in
> > chicken for a year.
>
> I've raised chickens for meat. A few comments:
>
> 1. Maintaining a breeding population (roosters and hens to have chicks
> regularly) is probably a bridge too far. Buying day-old chicks from
> hatcheries is far easier and cheaper. You can get 50 every couple of
> weeks if that represents the rate at which your community will consume
> them (or every three weeks or every four weeks . . . whatever).
>
> 2. A team of three or four people can process 50 meat birds in a few
> hours if they have a few pieces of equipment. The only one that costs a
> bit is the plucker, and hand plucking works if you don't want to invest
> in one. Everything else can be put together from things you probably
> have on hand. The first time through, you need one person who knows what
> they're doing and one person who is pretty good with a knife and is
> willing to learn. The rest is completely unskilled, if messy.
>
> 3. State health codes may require that you ship live chickens to a
> licensed slaughterhouse rather than processing them on the farm. If you
> can demonstrate that you only feed your chickens to residents and never
> to guests, you may be able to get around that.
>
> 4. The biggest impediment to raising chickens for meat in a community
> environment is objections from community members, whether those
> objections be moral, economic, or just basic squeamishness (There Will
> Be Blood). Moral: Personal values may be in conflict with community
> values. Economic: As with $5 a dozen eggs, chicken you raise yourself
> will probably be the most expensive chicken you've ever eaten.
> Squeamishness: Maybe you can do the work out of sight of squeamish people.
>
> 5. My sense of the sentiments of people getting ready to move to Rocky
> Corner is that we'll likely have layers and probably won't have meat
> birds, even though people seem okay with having omnivorous neighbors.
> There seems to be little appetite for turning old layers into soup,
> either. Maybe that will change after we've lived there a couple of
> years. Hard to predict.
>
> Dick Margulis
> http://www.rockycorner.org/
>
>
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