AMKuska's 2020 Garden

AMKuska

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My grandparents were very similar to @baymule . Today, you can buy dressed chickens cheaper than buying the chicks/feed. Not going to get into the quality. I have a friend that goes on this tangent every so often. Spend about 7 days talking him off of the ledge. I’ve shown Him the spread sheet on costs-that’s with me supplying the hardware.
My garden is a profitable proposition but I believe most people would be financially better off to buy their produce. Gardening is a life style, not a jump in and jump out-as we all know.
Isn't this the truth. I did cornish cross once. ONCE. Those fat jerks ate way more than their worth in feed, died from sheer stupidity, were 900x stinkier than normal chicken, and didn't manage to make a great weight before slaughter day despite eating an unimaginably huge amount of food. They managed to stumble out of their pen one time and destroyed an entire garden bed just eating away.

I was glad to slaughter them, and for the price of raising them myself I could have bought super fancy high-end meat from the grocery store, already cleaned and plucked!

It was the best chicken I've ever hard in my life though. The flavor was amazing. I don't know if it was the sweet, sweet taste of relief and financial savings, or if the meat was actually that good though.

This year I've got tons and tons of silkie eggs in the incubator, and I'll slaughter any males that come out of it. They might not have the great weights, fast growth, or even the flavor of cornish cross, but they also eat practically nothing for that growth. I'll take it.
 

TwinCitiesPanda

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Today, you can buy dressed chickens cheaper than buying the chicks/feed...I believe most people would be financially better off to buy their produce. Gardening is a life style, not a jump in and jump out-as we all know.
I would agree with this. Its especially true if someone doesn't start or save seed. Its also a matter of how long you do it. Upfront costs can be high but pay off over time, many expenses are one-time. There's also the variability of the gardener - do they drop tons of money on new materials from BigBoxStore, or are they frugal/thrifty, buying second hand tools and finding things they already have that they can use? Do they buy something for each new project or do they get by with less? What is most valuable to them: time, money, or the food itself?

My garden certainly isn't profitable. Maybe someday. Its also my hobby though. The food supply portion is now more important to me than and I am trying to increase production. Someday I'd like a crop or two to sell at my local farmers market.

Profitability for my crops last year is actually hard for me to gauge. I did spend quite a bit on upfront materials - it was my first year out of an apartment and I didn't own any outdoor supplies at all. However my tomatoes alone produced over 50lbs of organic heirloom tomatoes, ~$200 at my local store. In the absence of growing them I would not have bought them though - too expensive. Home gardeners need to be cautious calculating the store price of all their crops as "money saved" without considering material and labor costs. Its like gambling addicts who have lost all their money but only remember the wins.
 

TwinCitiesPanda

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I do expect some sad stories over there when it comes to butchering them. It's bound to happen. But some people will realize where food comes from, chickens or growing it. All we can do is try to help.
I do know where food comes from. I would still be hard-pressed to slaughter and butcher. I've gone through bouts of vegetarianism and veganism because I'm not sure I should eat meat if I'm unwilling to do the dirty work. I've considered chickens for eggs and manure. If I went through with it there is a chance any that needed to go would be given to the neighbor. Maybe its a weakness, I don't know. I think if my feelings were going to change on the matter they would have by now, so I suppose its how I am. I wouldn't be surprised if others are less prepared than they thought when the time comes.
 

seedcorn

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, but they also eat practically nothing for that growth. I'll take it.
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: That you noticed. If they weigh about 3# (feathers, intestines, etc), they’ve eaten about 10# of food, you just didn’t notice-unless they are free range. I’ve had bantams in past. Great hobby, loved their fresh eggs, interesting flavor of meat but never, ever did I want to look at the economic side of it...
I started doing the math on my garden last year for giggles. Didn’t take long and I broke even, then DW started giving produce away, now how do you value that? But I’m cheap. My MTD rear tine tiller has been depreciated out (in my mind over years of service), spend about $15 on seeds and another $15 on plants. I don’t charge myself rent........ It helps when perennials are involved-rhubarb, asparagus.
 

baymule

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I am raising Cornish Cross now. Started with 52, the heat lamp was too hot, couldn't find incandescent 100 watt bulbs, lost 7 chicks. Finally found the 10 watt bulbs and they quit dying. They are poop masters. Gheesh! I move their chicken tractor daily and they leave a poop pad behind. I've been told that my chicken is better than store bought, I wouldn't know, I haven't bought chicken in years. I have 25 of the chickens pre-sold, it will more than pay for the expenses. I give chicken to our DD and family, they like it.

I like old layers, I can the meat and it is so convenient. I also prefer young layer roosters to the Cornish Cross.
 

AMKuska

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:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: That you noticed. If they weigh about 3# (feathers, intestines, etc), they’ve eaten about 10# of food, you just didn’t notice-unless they are free range. I’ve had bantams in past. Great hobby, loved their fresh eggs, interesting flavor of meat but never, ever did I want to look at the economic side of it...
I started doing the math on my garden last year for giggles. Didn’t take long and I broke even, then DW started giving produce away, now how do you value that? But I’m cheap. My MTD rear tine tiller has been depreciated out (in my mind over years of service), spend about $15 on seeds and another $15 on plants. I don’t charge myself rent........ It helps when perennials are involved-rhubarb, asparagus.
It'd be interesting to look at the economics of it. They eat all my vegetable scraps and any left over rice, as well as getting tractored over lawns and unused gardens. It's too dangerous to leave them exposed as we have a Bald Eagle, a hawk, at least one raccoon, several possums, and everybody lets their cat out the backdoor to uh... "Bird watch." I doubt many would survive a day of true freedom.

As for actual non-food waste, they get oyster shell, which I still haven't finished the original bag of I bought when I first got chickens, and I give them a quart of layer pellet which is available during the day. The quart typically lasts 2-3 days between 7 chickens. I don't know how long it would take to raise a rooster to frying size though, so that could well be a bag of feed by the time it's full grown.
 

AMKuska

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I am raising Cornish Cross now. Started with 52, the heat lamp was too hot, couldn't find incandescent 100 watt bulbs, lost 7 chicks. Finally found the 10 watt bulbs and they quit dying. They are poop masters. Gheesh! I move their chicken tractor daily and they leave a poop pad behind. I've been told that my chicken is better than store bought, I wouldn't know, I haven't bought chicken in years. I have 25 of the chickens pre-sold, it will more than pay for the expenses. I give chicken to our DD and family, they like it.

I like old layers, I can the meat and it is so convenient. I also prefer young layer roosters to the Cornish Cross.
Those chickens were so dumb I was flabbergasted. I changed their water and made the mistake of moving the waterer about 5-6 feet from where I usually kept it, so it could be in the shade. They couldn't find it. :idunno
 

seedcorn

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It'd be interesting to look at the economics of it. They eat all my vegetable scraps and any left over rice, as well as getting tractored over lawns and unused gardens. It's too dangerous to leave them exposed as we have a Bald Eagle, a hawk, at least one raccoon, several possums, and everybody lets their cat out the backdoor to uh... "Bird watch." I doubt many would survive a day of true freedom.

As for actual non-food waste, they get oyster shell, which I still haven't finished the original bag of I bought when I first got chickens, and I give them a quart of layer pellet which is available during the day. The quart typically lasts 2-3 days between 7 chickens. I don't know how long it would take to raise a rooster to frying size though, so that could well be a bag of feed by the time it's full grown.
Trust me, do not look into the economics unless you sell 4H or breeder stock. Just enjoy them. Silkies will go broody on a rock or if they imagine it is a rock or if it’s Tuesday. I love Cochin bantams and Wyandotte bantams. Wyandotte came the closest to breaking even. They got a lot of free grain and (like you) scraps from house-that is another whole story. My problem was neighbor dogs, raccoons and hawks.
 
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seedcorn

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I am raising Cornish Cross now. Started with 52, the heat lamp was too hot, couldn't find incandescent 100 watt bulbs, lost 7 chicks. Finally found the 10 watt bulbs and they quit dying. They are poop masters. Gheesh! I move their chicken tractor daily and they leave a poop pad behind. I've been told that my chicken is better than store bought, I wouldn't know, I haven't bought chicken in years. I have 25 of the chickens pre-sold, it will more than pay for the expenses. I give chicken to our DD and family, they like it.

I like old layers, I can the meat and it is so convenient. I also prefer young layer roosters to the Cornish Cross.
Old layers make great soup-as long as not leghorns that have no meat. My favorite young chicken is game chickens. At home, we’d butcher a young rooster and fry him up. Good eats! They have to eat to put on weight. The more they eat, the more weight they put on and the more biomass that goes through their system making “organic” fertilizer..... :hide :frow:lol:
 

flowerbug

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My grandparents were very similar to @baymule . Today, you can buy dressed chickens cheaper than buying the chicks/feed. Not going to get into the quality. I have a friend that goes on this tangent every so often. Spend about 7 days talking him off of the ledge. I’ve shown Him the spread sheet on costs-that’s with me supplying the hardware.
My garden is a profitable proposition but I believe most people would be financially better off to buy their produce. Gardening is a life style, not a jump in and jump out-as we all know.
a 10x10 garden can produce a lot of greens and be economical, but of course you do have to keep it up.
 

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