Hi Sarah, we do the same thing with the meat chickens. Haven't done 400 yet though. We did a batch of 120 a few weeks ago. I agree, it's a pretty good business. Do ya'll use Cornish Crosses? We also have about 60 chickens for eggs.
The main regulations here in OK are just that the customers have to come here to the farm to pick them up. We've not had a problem selling them though even though our prices are higher than at the store. Some people realize all the stuff that is done to "store bought" chicken.
ksacres, we order all of our chickens, I couldn't imagine brooding that many!!
Bethany, We tried the cornish x rocks, we hate them. They have so many leg problems and they don't get big drumsticks on them. We order chickens from the hatchery in PA, Reich Poultry Farm I think its called. We get a combo of two breeds, one is called Buff Silver Cockerels, and the other is Barred Silver Cockerels(they are the same breed just different colors) These chickens are BRED to grow on grass and they run all over the yard and eat bugs and grass, we don't use near as much feed on them. They also don't have any leg problems(out of 300 of these we raised this year, maybe 1 with leg problems) We are raising 100 extra cornishes because we oversold and are trying to fill orders. The cornishes don't grow near as fast as these other birds. The other birds dress out 4-6lbs at 9-10 weeks. And they have big thighs, drumsticks and really nice breasts and wings. You can only get them from the hatchery in PA and they are really worth it. We also get a special laying breed from them, they lay in the hot and the cold and are very consistent layers. PM me for the phone number.
In IL, I don't really know the laws for selling chickens, but I do know that they have to be taken to an inspected facility to be butchered. We take our chickens to a butcher(butchering sucks) For now, we are selling chickens to friends and milk customers, and everybody passes our name along by word of mouth. Once they taste our chickens, they tell EVERYBODY about us. We also plan on buying a portable freezer and taking chickens to farmers markets hopefully next year. For farmers markets, the meat just has to be kept at or below 41 degrees.
Any other ?? feel free to ask!
I just added 6 Polish chickens to my coop. 1 white capped black rooster. 2 hens the same color, 2 blue and 1 splash. I got them from a lady that shows them but she had too many. They are really funny looking, and funny to watch. I raise and sell guineas, and the guineas are just looking at the new chickens kinda funny. I will try to get a picture. The lady had a bunch of silkies she was getting ready for a show. I just can't imagine trying to bathe all those chickens.
Thanks for the info Sarah, we will have to consider getting some from that place. Our Cornish crosses dressed out at 4-6 pounds at 8 weeks, we did have a few with leg problems, but not as many as the first time we did it. So you just let yours run free? We have 2 movable pens that we move around out in the pasture. And we do the butchering ourselves. We have a large family so we all work together and have alot of fun doing it. But it is alot of work. I do like the idea that the kind you get don't need as much feed, the cornishes eat a ton!
Believe me Chelsey, butchering chickens isn't that bad, its just the mess you have to clean up.
We built hoop houses with cattle panels and tarps. We pull them around the pasture and let the chickens go free range in the pasture during the day. We still provide free choice feed of course. Another thing we use is Fertrell Nutri Balancer poultry minerals, I don't like Fertrell's minerals for ruminants, but their chicken minerals are AWSOME. We mix our own feed too, which saves money. http://www.plamondon.com/hoop-coop.html
Those are the hoop houses we use, they are great for goat kidding pens too.
I'll PM you the number of the place we get chicks from
Those are some neat pens, looks like they are light weight and easy to move. My brother designed and welded these for us, they are 10x10, and have wheels on the back that fold up when you aren't using them. They worked really great for us this year.
Wow those are really nice. I'll have to show it to dad Ours take about one weekend to build, and we can do it for $100-$150, We found though, you have to use pressure treated wood for it, and you can't cheap out on the tarps, they still have to be replaced every year. For the goats, we put a panel down the middle so we can put two goats in for kidding.