Times has certainly changes from when I was a young boy as now days we see lots of people who are only raising chickens for meat. In my experience, my parents and grandparents raised them for the eggs and meat. Eggs were the first consideration and then the meat. We ate fresh eggs and meat most of my youth and it was delicious! Our chickens pecked in the yard and got lots of corn. My family raised a big garden with lots of field corn for the livestock! Corn fed livestock is always the best!
Raising Chickens for Meat can cost different amounts of cash! Some mature faster than others and some eat a lot more than others. Some will give you eggs for your effort and some are just not good layers at all and the only benefit is the meat you get. Before you take on the task of raising chickens for meat you need to look around and ask about which breeds make the best meat and cost the least to raise.
Choosing a bird for a good meat chicken or for dual purposes depends on the climate you live in. Some are cold hardy and some are better fitted for hotter climates. Do a little research and let us know what you think in the comment section below!
Coming to terms with killing your own animals for meat is a big step to take and you are not alone in this! If you plan on raising Chickens for Meat you really need to kill and proccess your own meat. For most of us we are not only raising them for the eggs and meat but for the savings over purchasing them from the grocery and knowing what has gone into feeding them. When we kill our own we also know how they have been fed and treated.
Once you raise them and it is time to get the benefit of the meat from your labor we feel they deserve a quick and painless death as possible. If you kill your own you can assure this is done. One thing I recommend, if you are planning on raising chickens for meat, don’t name them and talk to them like pets! This makes it much harder to perform this task. Remember, they are your food source, not your pet in this case.
Our fathers, grandfathers, great grandfathers, etc have raised them for generations and when the hens quit laying they quit becoming a productive part of the live stock. They were killed and processed for meat. I have eaten many a big hen who had quit laying in my time. Granny would boil or stew them and they were the best tasting meat ever!
Most hens quit laying between 2 – 4 years and then they are just barnyard critters that cost you to feed. Chickens are wonderful creatures and have their own personalities and they can make wonderful pets. If you can not kill or have your hens killed for your meat, don’t buy one if you don’t intend on keeping it for 10-20 years. Some can live that long. Just like dogs and cats, if you make her a pet, plan on keeping her! She will bring you a lot of joy!
These are some articles I read as I pondered this topic. They have some very good insight into Raising Chickens for Meat.
Harmonious Homestead: Creepy Meats – On Raising Cornish Cross Meat Chickens
Mother Earth News: Raising Chickens for Meat: Do-It-Yourself Pastured Poultry
Back Yard Chickens: Killing, Plucking, Eviscerating, & Cutting Up Your Chicken – Graphic!
Back Yard Chickens: How to Process a Chicken at Home~ Graphic!
A good Meat Chicken from California Hatchery (affiliate link): White Broiler Chicken!
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White Broiler Chicken Photo provided by: U.S. Department of Agriculture
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