Monday, November 15, 2010

Time to stop raising birds....

On Saturday morning, I took the mutt for a walk as usual, and noticed something was amiss with my smaller chicken tractor- where the two laying hens and the rooster lived.

Something ripped open the nylon netting, tore the chicken wire apart, ate the three chickens, and then flipped the tractor over on its back.

The hole, measuring about 20cm high, by 30 wide. There were other places the wire was ripped, but this was obviously the way in- with the wires pushed in.

Feathers and a trampled waterer.

So let's figure out the cost of my birds...
1. The birds themselves- 8 turkeys at 1500 yen each (four were eaten by animals as chicks) 4 laying hens at 500 yen each. My friend Ken gave me two birds for a birthday gift, and I got 8 male Plymouth Barred Rocks for the price of shipping.  I think I am forgetting some in there, but let's just put the total at 15,000 yen ($150).
2. The chicken tractors were not so expensive, total about 5,000 yen ($50)
3. The birds have eaten about 20 bags of feed, which is absurdly expensive here- 20Kg for 1000 yen ($10), so that is another 20,000 yen. ($200)

From these birds, I have actually received maybe 30 eggs, and four chickens, which were similar to flavorful tires, and a stressed out wife, who wants to make delicious food but is stuck with rubber chicken. There are still four turkeys and two chickens left. If the turkeys won't be eaten by predators, they will eat another 4 bags of feed, so the grand total will be 44,000 yen ($440) for 10 birds.

Yep. That sucks. And I wouldn't have paid a dollar for the birds we have eaten so far. Who wants chicken flavored chewing gum? Not me.

At the supermarket, you can get two thighs for 400 yen ($4), and breasts for about half that. So per cut up chicken-breasts, thighs, legs, and wings, let's say 800 yen ($8). And they are tender.

Nope, Japan and backyard chickens don't seem to mix.


  1. We don't know. Probably a tanuki- Japanese Racoon Dog. Looks like a badger.

  2. Wow! A badger-like raccoon dog - the worst of three worlds for chickens... We have our ~60 birds in a [very immobile] chicken fortress. Awhile ago some of them got used to sleeping near the caged door, and some raccoons got food. Like chicken legs from birds that survived to lead one-legged lives. Ugg.