One of the reasons we raise chickens is because we like pastured chicken & eggs. We get a lot of food out of one chicken. And we don’t like chickens raised in confinement. Not that the chicken meat itself tastes a whole lot different, but healthy flesh makes for healthyness. Sick tissues make for sickness.
A book I’m reading now had a cool phrase ‘Humans are really good at cause and effect for things that are immediate. Touching a red hot coal makes for a painful burn. We figure that our pretty quick. But put time or complexity into the equation and humans are bad at it.’ Their case in point was pooping near the well; eventually someone’s gonna get sick. What caused it? We’ll figure it out, but it’s not immediate like poking a hot coal. Along those same lines we can imagine the fundamental flaws with fracking our water tables, burning fossil fuels, eating McDonald’s everyday…
Have you noticed our tangential ways? Weren’t we talking about chicken math? One of the things we don’t like about raising chickens is the amount of feed we have to buy. Our cows eat our grass, year round.
Another reason is we don’t like selling chicken at $5/lb.
We all know we can buy a hot, cooked chicken at the grocer for $5.
With cornish cross chickens, roughly 2 lbs of feed = 1 lb of bird. 2:1, that’s impressive. For small producers it’s probably closer to 2.5:1. Our birds eat more because they’re outdoors, getting exercise and staying warm.
Non-GMO feed costs $0.40/lb. So that works out to $0.80/lb of bird. (warning, math coming up)
An 8 lb bird will dress out to about 5.5 lbs.
8 lbs of bird = $6.40 in feed.
$6.40/5.5 lbs = $1.16/lb for the finished product.
This doesn’t include the cost of the bird, labor, packaging, infrastructure…
One thing we would like to know. How do you feel about GMO or non-GMO feed for your food? A year ago I would have said “I don’t care”.
Do a little research, or a lot. What I want to know is if the added cost for non-GMO fed birds is worth it to you?
The purpose of almost all GMO crops is to make them glyphosphate resistant. Another way of putting it is “RoundUp Ready”. Spray RoundUp on the fields and the weeds die but your crop can still grow. Monsanto makes money because they breed & patent the RoundUp ready seeds and they make RoundUp. They are on record stating something along the lines of ‘We are in business to make money, not create healthy food.’
But the gist is the chemical is still in/on the crop. Who wants RoundUp in their food? I don’t. It gets to that point brought up at the beginning, humans are bad at seeing long term effects. So I go with my judgement.
Thanks for staying with me on my tangential chicken math topic:)