My brother-in-law Rob sent me these pictures from a California Farmer's Market:
These chickens (which don't appear to be organic or pasture raised) are priced at $20 for 3-3.5 pounds. We sell our chicken (which is organic and pasture-raised) at $5 a pound. This means that a 3 pound chicken that we sell would be about $15.
The eggs here don't appear to be organic or pasture raised, and they are $7.00 a dozen. We charge $4-$5 a dozen for our eggs.
I'm amazed at how different parts of the country have different prices for their products. I'm also amazed at how out-of-touch our part of the country is with organic products. Our country is SO big and the people in it are SO different. We have not met anyone anywhere near us who is doing organic poultry. (I am sure there are some but we haven't found them.)
We are so grateful for the few loyal customers we have. Our main goal is to raise meat the way we want to eat it. What we try to do is off-set our costs by selling just a small bit of that product. For example, we eat about 100 chickens a year in our family of 9 (which includes a WWOOFer). If we are going to raise 100 birds, we decided to up it and raise 300 so that we can sell 200 and eat our meat for free. We make NO money on our chickens. We simply eat our own chickens for free.
The same goes with our eggs. When our chickens are laying at top performance, we got about 40 eggs a day. (Right now we are getting 20. We are trying to figure out what is causing the drop.) I sell about 20 dozen a week and we eat about 7 dozen a week. Selling those 20 allow us to feed our birds and therefore eat our own eggs for free. (We also have 40 new layers who are busy growing to get old enough to become layers! This will allow us to sell closer to 40 dozen a week!)
I don't know that we will ever make money on our meat and eggs. But anytime anyone complains about the prices of our products, I want to send them to California! I also want them to understand how much it costs to raise food the way it should be eaten! A bag of non-organic feed costs about $7-8 a bag. Our feed is over $30 a bag!
We have decided as a family that we are going to be shifting to a more eating-only-meant-that-we-know-how-it-was-raised lifestyle. We love our fellow farmers but when we see how they are raising their meat and produce it greatly concerns us. These are not things we have heard of. We have seen it with our own eyes. I won't write it publicly so as to not call anyone out, but if you email me or message me, I can tell you what I have seen. You truly have no idea what is being sprayed on your foods or fed to your animals. We want to control that.
I really encourage you to FIND A LOCAL FARMER! They are there. Go to their farm. See how they are raising their products. Find one who is raising it right. And make it a priority to support them -- at least with a few things you can afford.