Raising your own chickens for meat is stupid. You have about $1.50 per pound into them and you can buy chicken for 69 cents per pound on sale. Well you could; who knows what the high corn prices are going to do to our food bills.
Then you have the work of raising them and butchering them. I did 8 yesterday. It took 4 hours. It is a shame that I feel the need to raise chickens every few years to remind myself why I don't raise chickens.
There are some things that could make it better. I need a better setup to raise them. I could let them free range, and feed them less. They can eat bugs and graze, and perhaps my feed bill will be lower. I also need a better setup to butcher. Specifically, I need to build my own tub plucker. That would take about 60% of the work and time out of it. Probably cost a hundred bucks, and then I have to raise even more chickens to justify it.
On the plus side, I now have some home grown chicken. It just tastes a little better. Also, my four year old daughter helped me butcher. Mostly she just got dirty, but she did help hold the chickens while I trussed their feet and she helped pull some feathers. I think it is good for her to understand where our food comes from, instead of growing up into a urbanized wuss who would starve to death if she couldn't get her chicken in the form of a nugget. Either that or I am raising her to be a homicidal terror. She seemed to be enjoying the process.