I have recently been told of an Amish butcher that sells completely processed hog for $200 (complete with breakfast sausage and bacon) and completely processed beef for $350. I am trying to find more info on him, but perhaps you could check in your area for an Amish settlement.
What a fun and useful thread. I haven't read through every post because my son wants to use the computer right now but I thought I'd chime in.
Our goal this year was to produce all our own meat except for fish and sausage/bacon. We over shot that goal. We have excess.
We're on 2 or 2.5 acres. Most of that is a small orchard with fruit and nut trees that the goats graze in. We have a goat pen, a large chicken coop, 3 dog kennels for extra coops, 1 brooder, and one 12x32 mini-barn for rabbits and storage.
Dairy goats: (Toggenburgs) 3 does, 1 buck - If they kid this Spring, we'll sell some and if we have more than one buckling, we might try eating one.
Turkeys: (Royal Palms) I must say they have exceeded my expectations. They're so independent and their babies go like hotcakes! $10/poult I incubate most of them myself but they'll hatch their own, too. They 100% free range and are given a bit of feed each day. They're excellent foragers.
Chickens: are okay for making eggs but selling chicks is what makes up for feed costs. Most are kept in large coops and not free roaming (too many predators). This year, my kids are "creating" color coded chicks (aka sex link) in hopes of bringing in greater profit.
I've offered rooster return (free service/no charge) in the past but this year, I told people I'd take their unwanted cockerels bought from other places. We got so many free chicken, I had to stop taking them.
Ducks: someone gave us 4 free ducklings. We're giving them feed right now but later, they'll be supplemented with kitchen/garden/orchard scraps just like every other animal here.
Quail: We were given quail in exchange for an old, beat up rabbit cage I wasn't using. The quail eat practically nothing but we'll be eating them, their eggs, and selling some in Spring.
Pork: Did I mention my kids raised a pig for fair before we moved here? They missed their fair so we had it butchered. That is a LOT of meat!!!! Still trying to get through it. We started eating our other animals for variety.
Rabbit: Besides the turkeys, this *may* be my favorite animal for meat. Raise them in cages. Initial cost may seem like a lot but buy right (KW Cages) and you'll have the equipment forever. I'm a show rabbit person but learned to process culls. I just began a meat rabbit project (Am Chins) this year. Again, the animals for this project were FREE from Am Chin exhibitors wanting to promote this rare breed.
Rabbits take up the least amount of space, are the cleanest meat,
and highest in nutrition. Personally, I would never pasture them. Yes, you'd need to bring them food but cage raising cuts out many of the potential problems that pasturing creates.
Rabbits can be raised solely on pelleted food but they can also be raised solely on a variety of local grasses and scraps. Gvie sweet potato vine if you have access to it in your area. Dry it for 24 hours or more, first. Check out Heifer International's book on their Rabbit Project.
That's a LOT of variety of meat raised on a very small property. We are not big meat eaters. I wanted affordability and variety. I also had to think about what would work for US and THIS property. I don't have the luxury of raising beef but if I want that, we have an invitation from our landlords to go halvsies of one of their grass feds.
ChickenPotPie, you may want to have your kids re-think the color coded hatching unless they have something they want to do that will use up all the extra roosters. Unless you want to grow them out yourself, hatching sex-link chicks pretty much means a lot of extra unwanted roosters that won't sell. If they know it's gonna grow up to be a rooster and it's not one of those fast growing meat birds, not many people want to bother with it. After the "what do I do with all these wretched roosters" is when I came up with the "rooster return" policy. I've got no problem with a grown up rooster, it's those just hatched ones I didn't want to deal with.