Selling chickens one part at a time
One of the interesting facets
Poultry Profits is
that Salatin tacked on extra information at the end to show how his
business grew and changed. One of the most recent changes to the
business model is that he finally caved in to customer requests and
began to sell his chickens by the part as well as whole. In 2010,
he charged $3.25 per pound for a broiler, but sold parts for following
As you can tell by the more than ten-fold difference in price between the necks and tenders, customers like some chicken parts much more than others. Walter Jeffreys wrote about this concept very eloquently on his blog, explaining that meat producers have to ensure that the whole animal gets sold. So even though his customers might prefer that all of his time be devoted to making bacon (or chicken tenders in the case of Salatin's operation), you have to raise the price of the in-demand pieces and lower the price of everything else until sales come out even.
Although we don't sell any of our meat, we had to think in a similar manner when we started to grow your own (and to buy whole lambs from a local farmer). Two years ago, the only red meat I was comfortable cooking was steaks and hamburger meat, but a whole lamb required me to learn how to roast shoulders, stew up bones, and much more. Like most parts of the sustainability learning curve, the result was good for my wallet, the earth, and our taste buds.
Which is all a long way of saying --- even if you don't have room for chickens in your backyard yet, you can start your journey toward self-sufficiency by simply learning to cook with unusual cuts of meat. Maybe then you can afford to buy the meat from a pastured producer rather than supporting CAFOs and factory farms.
Our POOP-free chicken waterer ensures that our broilers stay healthy and taste delicious.
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