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Thread: Is Chicken Really Healthy?

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    Administrator Islander's Avatar
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    Default Is Chicken Really Healthy?

    Hiyaguha Cohen
    05/10/2018

    If your friends are like mine, throwing a party presents a challenging exercise in honoring culinary special needs. Some friends don’t eat gluten, some avoid dairy, two have onion allergies, one deplores zucchini, another gets sick from broccoli, two won’t eat fish. And yet, while many long ago gave up red meat, most still eat plenty of chicken. In fact, some eat so much chicken that I jokingly call them the “chicketarians.”
    Apparently, it’s not only my friends who are gorging on chicken. Chicken is on track to become the world’s most popular meat by 2020, accounting for about half the increase in global meat production.1

    Keep reading: https://jonbarron.org/cancer-alterna..._hsmi=63024676
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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Chicken Really Healthy?

    As noted, conventionally-produced chicken is becoming more and more unhealthy. I buy mostly organic chicken breast, but boy it's not cheap. A good sized, split chicken breast can run from $9 - $11 per package. If I'm lucky, I can usually get 3 to 4 meals out of a package.

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    Default Re: Is Chicken Really Healthy?

    Maybe I shouldn't assume that everyone here knows what all my side hustles are. To supplement my microscopic Social Security pension that began upon retirement 12 years ago, I began raising a half dozen organic free-range chickens for my own use every summer. Then friends started asking me if I couldn't add a few for them, and the orders grew to the point where I was no longer willing or able to process them at home. For the last three or four years I have been running 60 broilers every summer. They take 10 to 12 weeks to finish and are more labor-intensive than the pigs — especially in August when I truck them to the slaughterhouse, and two days later, bring home 360 pounds of frozen birds to be unloaded to coolers to wait for customers to pick up. Remember that I live alone, and the profit on OG free-range chix is so small that hiring an hour's help to unload would pretty much disappear it. Really, the biggest reward for me is putting wholesome chicken in my freezer than I could never afford to buy.

    IIRC, last year's per pound price was $6.50, about $1.50 lower than local supermarket prices, and my customers know they can trust mine to be what I claim them to be. Like Mr. Wizard, I can get many meals out of one bird, all packaged and tossed in the freezer, and there's bone broth as well. I also save and freeze the schmaltz, chicken fat for a thousand uses!

    I'm starting to feel the years and this year I've cut the work in half, 35 chix for my 3 best customers and me. My PCP is my best customer and is pleading with me not to quit... will take 10 this year, as will the head of his practice... price is no object, he depends upon my chicken! They each have a side of pork on order too, but the pigs are a breeze; no plans to cut back on pork production!
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    Default Re: Is Chicken Really Healthy?

    You haven't mentioned eggs - what's the situation with those? Do you sell excess?

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    Default Re: Is Chicken Really Healthy?

    Julieanne, are you aware that there are two separate breeds of chickens — layers and broilers? Layers take 7 months to mature, and the roosters are useless, of course, so they are usually destroyed at the hatchery. It takes a fair bit of investment in food and labor to raise a laying hen to seven months, when she begins to produce. I don't keep laying hens because I have no place to winter them over anymore, and I have friends from whom I can buy OG eggs.
    Broilers are a meat breed, and you can buy broiler chicks that finish in 6-8 weeks. Compare that to 7 months! These fast-gaining breeds are what are raised in CAFOs. They gain so fast that often their legs aren't strong enough to support the big bodies. They fall, they are bruised, often they lose the ability to walk and actually starve. Even raised on a farmstead like mine, they sometimes begin to limp as they reach the 6-week mark. I used them on a small scale initially, but when I started growing for market I switched to a Triple-cross French hybrid. These birds finish in 12 weeks; unlike those white broilers, these are a well-camouflaged bronze, and they're famous foragers. They begin free-ranging at 5 weeks, and by that I mean totally free, not in chicken tractors. They're foraging from dawn to dusk and penned overnight to fatten up on OG feed. Even at a week old, when I scatter clover and grass clippings in the pen, they make them disappear overnight. Great birds!
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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Chicken Really Healthy?

    @Islander: I was aware that you had several "side hustles," but had no idea how hard all this was. Trucking to the slaughterhouse and then home with 360 pounds of bird...Wow!! I truly admire your tenacity. Also, you've reminded me how much work really goes into raising organic food. I will remember this the next time I begin to complain about how expensive my OG chicken breast are.

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    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Chicken Really Healthy?

    Mr Wizard, I wish more people would realise this - I read constant complaints of how organic farmers' rip people off' with high prices. They have no idea!

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    Default Re: Is Chicken Really Healthy?

    Actually, organic feed is my biggest expense. I hardly charge for my labor at all.
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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is Chicken Really Healthy?

    Every person is entitled to be fairly compensated for his/her labor. You should charge for the full costs of your labor. Bet most of your customers wouldn't care one bit.

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    Default Re: Is Chicken Really Healthy?

    You are probably right, Mr. Wizard. Like my GPS says, I'll "recalculate."
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