Broiler chickens

Raising broiler chickens: The complete guide for meat in 48+ days

With chicken and egg prices going through the roof you may have considered raising your own layer or broiler chickens at some point.

Hundreds if not thousands of different breeds of chickens are all bred for specific needs and climates. If you are looking to raise chickens for meat, then you would most likely be considering raising broiler chickens.

Broiler chickens grown

We have done the hard work for you. The following is documentation of our experience of raising broiler chickens in 2023. We provide all the costs and labour involved, and a comparison between our resulting chicks and what is available in the supermarket.

Broilers are generally ready for harvest in 48 days or 7 weeks. That means they grow fast, but they would need some extra care and attention as compared to other breeds of chickens. To get started check out our article Raising chickens: How to get started and save money.

Broiler chicks
30-day old chick on the left, 3 day old chick on the right

Raising broiler chickens – week 1

When buying baby chicks from the pet shop or agri-supply store, they are generally just 1 to 3 days old. In nature, they would be protected and kept warm by the mother hen.

Broiler chickens

You would have to replace the role of a brooding hen, not by nestling the chicks, but by providing a warm safe environment for the first week or two. You could buy a brooding box or make one if finances permit.

A cardboard box kept away from cold drafts indoors generally does the trick. Sometimes the nights in Trinidad and Tobago get to a low of 17 degrees Celsius, so just bringing them indoors may not be sufficient.

You may have to hang an incandescent bulb over the box to keep them warm. You may have all you need already so you may not need to purchase any additional equipment. See the image below for a simple setup we used for the first week.

Broiler chickens

Unfortunately, you would have losses when caring for any animal, no matter how careful you are. We’ve lost 3 chicks, one on each of the first 3 days.

They seemed healthy but died during the course of each of the first 3 nights from what can only be hypothermia, as they were wet from the drinking water and basically lost too much body heat. After making a self-filling water station instead of just using a tray of water, there were no more casualties.

During this first week, make sure that they are provided with clean drinking water, as well as ample food. They will grow very quickly, as a matter of fact, on the second day they would start growing their signature feathers from under the fluffy yellow downward.

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The feed that is recommended is called “Starter”. It is available where you bought your chicks or at your local feed store.

Starter feed is protein-dense (usually 20-24% protein) and designed to meet the dietary requirements of baby chicks. The feeding schedule for broiler is as follows:

Broiler Starter Phase: 0 to 10 days

Broiler Grower Phase: 11 to 25 days

Broiler Finisher Phase: 26 to 42 days or longer

Our chicks were purchased on Monday January 16, 2023 at the cost of TT$14 each, which is TT$168 per dozen. If you add the 5-pound bag of Starter, the total is now TT$188.

The nutrient requirements for broilers – Starter

Nutritional Requirements of Broiler Chicks (Starter)Requirements
Metabolizable Energy (ME)3000 kcal/kg
Crude Protein (CP)21-22%
Crude Fat5% (max)
Crude Fibre (CF)5% (max)
Calcium0.85% (min)
Phosphorus, available0.45% (min)
Lysine1.10% (min)
Methionine0.37% (min)
Methionine + Cystine0.88% (min)
Threonine0.77% (min)
Tryptophan0.18% (min)

Raising broiler chickens – weeks 2 to 6

At the end of the second week, we placed the broiler chicks outside in the coop. The day went by uneventfully. The chicks seemed to be enjoying the open space, running and flapping their wings as if they were expecting to take off in flight.

Broiler chickens

Day 2 in the coop did not end as well. At 6:30 in the evening we heard a commotion, the adult chickens next door seemed to be raising an alarm.

When we got outside, a manicou had somehow gotten into the coop and grabbed one of the chicks. When we grabbed a hold of the manicou, he dropped the chick and attempted to attack us.

Raising chickens

In the chaos that ensued, he made his escape. That chick unfortunately did not make it. The chicks were placed back into the box and stayed inside the house overnight. We were down to 8 chicks.

Besides manicous, there are snakes, cats, dogs, rats and even chicken hawks that would make a meal out of your broiler chickens, if you are not careful. We learnt this the hard way 16 days into the experiment.

The solution is to ensure that your coop is secure, and your property fenced. Since manicous can climb and seem to be strong enough to rip apart chicken wire, you may have to capture and relocate this errant pest.

This week, the chicks were transitioned from starter feed to growing mash. This transition should happen between the 10th and 14th day.

By this point, your chicks should be 3 to 4 times the size of what they were at 1 day old. The white wing feathers and tail feathers would be more prominent, while still having some on their head and bodies.

Broiler chickens eating plenty

At this point, your chicks would start putting on a lot of weight, but not fat. They will grow quickly and as a consequence would require more food and water as they grow larger.

On average we spent 15 to 20 minutes tending to the chickens, so it is as though it is an additional chore added to your daily routine. As the weeks roll by, you would notice that you are buying feed more often as they start eating more.

Broiler chickens 8 weeks

During this period, we bought 6 bags of feed @ TT$24 each, so the growing mash came up to TT$144. So, our grand total for this is TT$332.

Bonus tip, if you are interested in raising organic chicks you would still have to provide something to help boost their immune system to keep them healthy. Two tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar per litre of water does the trick.

Broiler chickens growing

The chickens are living in close quarters, so if one gets sick, all will get sick. This is why it is recommended to add a vitamin supplement of ACV to their drinking water.

The nutrient requirements for broilers – Grower

Nutritional Requirements of Broilers (Grower)Requirements
Metabolisable Energy (ME)3050 kcal/kg
Crude Protein (CP)19-20%
Crude Fat5% (max)
Crude Fibre (CF)8% (max)
Calcium0.80% (min)
Phosphorus, available0.45% (min)
Lysine1.05% (min)
Methionine0.33% (min)
Methionine + Cystine0.80% (min)
Threonine0.69% (min)
Tryptophan0.17% (min)
Broiler chickens and food
Broiler chickens eating

Raising broiler chickens – weeks 6 to 8

At this point in the process, you should have transitioned to the finisher feed. The chicks would start putting on a lot of weight. Their appetites would seem insatiable at times.

If you don’t monitor them, they could eat themselves to death. Broiler chicks have been known to put on so much weight that they become immobile. So, you may have to ration feed to a specific amount every day.

Broiler chickens fat eater

Don’t worry about if every chick would get sufficient feed, as they would stop eating once their crop is full and another chick would get an opportunity to feed.

Broiler chickens finisher

Total feed costs for weeks 6 to 8 were TT$216, that is eight 10-pound bags of finisher @TT$27 each.

If you are raring broilers for personal use, and you dispatch them one by one as you need, you would notice that every broiler that you consume is larger and heavier than the last one.

Broiler chickens face

The first one that we had weighed 8 pounds, and by the time we had gotten to a few chickens, they were in excess of 15 pounds. They actually resembled young turkeys.

Broiler chickens 8 pounds
Broiler chickens 13 pounds
Broiler chickens 15 pounds


Total financial input was TT$588. This includes one dozen day-old broiler chicks, feed for 8 weeks, and one bottle of Apple Cider Vinegar. This works out to TT$49 per chicken, with an average weight of 12 pounds.

The price per pound was TT$4.08 per pound. Market prices for chicken during this period were all over the place, but basically settled at around TT$20 per pound. This would mean savings of TT$2,304.00. If you were to continue with this venture, your annual savings at today’s prices would be TT$9,216.00.

Broiler chickens big

The health benefits of having access to organic protein are priceless. This can be a family affair that brings all members together and it teaches children self-sufficiency and from where their food comes.

With news every day of the amount of toxic, carcinogenic chemicals finding their way into food, this is one way to take control of your family’s health.

Broiler chickens baked
Baked chicken.

The nutrient requirements for broilers – Finisher

Nutritional Requirements of Broiler (Finisher)Requirements
Metabolisable Energy (ME)3100-3200 kcal/kg
Crude Protein (CP)18-19%
Crude Fat6% (max)
Crude Fibre (CF)8% (max)
Calcium0.80% (min)
Phosphorus, available0.45% (min)
Lysine0.95% (min)
Methionine0.30% (min)
Methionine + Cystine0.74% (min)
Threonine0.65% (min)
Tryptophan0.17% (min)

Expected Broiler Weight Per Week & Feed Consumption Table

Age (Week)Feed Consumed Per Bird (kg)Cumulative Feed Consumed (kg)Average Body Weight Per Bird (kg)Average Body Weight Gain Per Bird (kg)
Week 10.1670.1670.1850.185 
Week 20.3750.5420.4650.280 
Week 30.651.1920.9430.478 
Week 40.9452.1371.5240.581 
Week 51.2153.3522.1910.667 
Week 61.4344.7862.8570.666 
Week 71.5936.3793.5060.649 
Week 81.6918.0704.1110.605 
Week 91.7159.7854.6490.538 

From the above chart, it can be deduced that:

A broiler will consume approximately 1.2 kg of feed (broiler starter + grower) from week 1 to week 3.

A broiler will weigh about 1.52 kg at the end of week 4.

A broiler chicken will eat about 8.6 kg of feed (broiler finisher) from week 4 to week 9.

A broiler will have an average body weight of 4.65 kg at the end of week 9.

Kindly note:

The above chart did not consider the sex of the broiler chicken.

The above is just a standard chart. It is meant to be a guide for you.

You can get a better body weight (e.g. 3 kg) before the end of the 6th week.

Poultry prices (March 2023)

Data courtesy of the Consumer Affairs Division, Ministry of Trade and Industry

It must be noted that the average price per pound (lb) is the ‘live weight’ price, which is the price before the chicken has been plucked and gutted. An additional fee is charged for plucking and gutting. Some poultry depots do not offer a separate ‘live weight’ price and ‘pluck and gut’ fee. Instead, they offer a single ‘dressed weight’ price which is the price per pound after the chicken has been processed.

Prices are stated in TT$

Broiler in Supermarket
Broiler chicken at the supermarket.

Pellet making machine

Make your own feed for pigs, rabbits, chickens, ducks and cattle


Live weight

Pluck ShopLocationPrice per lb (Live Weight)Pluck & Gut
Shaun’s Poultry and MeatsSt. James$9.00$15.00
Nell’s Poultry DepotCalifornia$8.30$20.00
Chico’s Poultry DepotChaguanas$9.50$12.00
Chicken Boys Poultry DepotCharlieville$9.00$15.00
Maddy’s Poultry DepotSouthern Main Road, California$8.00$15.00
V&R Ramparas Poultry DepotLP#7 Balmain Road, Couva$8.50$15.00
Mohammed’s Poultry DepotClaxton Bay$8.00$15.00
V Mac Poultry Depot149 Malgretoute Village, Princes Town$8.25$15.00
St. Charles Poultry290 St. Charles Village, Princes Town$7.99$15.00
Mohammed’s Poultry57 Manahambre Road, Princes Town$8.00$20.00
Ravi’s Poultry DepotLa Romain$8.50$15.00
Indar’s Meat and Poultry DepotSiparia$6.99$14.00
Avocat PoultryAvocat$8.50$12.00
Low Price Poultry DepotFyzabad$8.50$14.00
Ramphally’s Poultry DeptNext to Unipet, High Street, Rio Claro$9.00$15.00
D Poultry DepotRio Claro$9.50$14.00
AVERAGE PRICE$8.47$15.06
MODAL PRICE$8.50$15.00

Small Commercial Animal Feed Pellet Making Machine

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Main performances and features
(1). Simple structure and wide applicability. Small cover and low noise
(2). With wheels , easy to move , suit for fish ,pig ,poultry and cattle.
(3) Power feed and grass power can be made into pellet with only some liquid. Therefore, the water containing rate of pellet feed is the same as before when it is made into the pellet, which means that it is more conductive to storing.
(4) Pellets made by this machine are with high hardness, smooth surface and full of internal curing, which can not only improve digestion and absorption of nutrition but also kill the general pathogenic microorganisms and parasites. They can be used for feeding rabbits, fish, ducks, cattle, sheep and pigs, which have a higher economic benefit compared with mixed power feed.


Dressed weight

Pluck ShopLocationPrice per lb (Dressed Weight) $
George Street Meat ShopPort of Spain$17.00
Imtiaz Poultry DepotCalifornia$17.00
Reeyad’s Poultry DepotAranguez Main Road, Aranguez$16.00
D’Abadie Meat MartD’Abadie$16.00
St. Augustine Poultry DepotEastern Main Road, St. Augustine$18.00
Pro ProcessorsArima$17.50
Jeremy’s Poultry DepotArima$17.00
Lamboy’s Poultry DepotLa Sieva Rd, Sangre Grande$18.00
Joycelyn Poultry Depot (formerly A&J)Sangre Grande$19.00
Lavish Food Ltd.115 Bristol Village, Mayaro$16.50
Mayaro Poultry and MeatsNext to Mayaro Market, Mayaro$17.00
Riaz Poultry DepotCalcutta Rd. #2 Freeport$16.00
Dillon’s Meat Shop153 Rochard Douglas Road, Barrackpore$17.00
Market City Poultry15 Cocoyea Village, Naparima-Mayaro Rd, San Fernando$16.00
Shamo’s Poultry and Meat Shop45 Siparia Old Road, Fyzabad$16.00
R.P.M Meats20 Rest House Trace, St. Mary’s Village, Moruga$16.00

Consumers are advised that of the two (2) pricing methods that exist, there is no general rule of thumb that one method is better than the other. The preferred method will always be the one that offers better value for money for consumers at the time of purchase. To illustrate this, assume a consumer wishes to purchase a 5lb chicken at a poultry depot that uses the ‘live weight’ pricing method. Using the total average price per lb of $8.47 and an average pluck and gut fee of $15.06, a 5lb bird will cost the consumer $57.41 ((5 x $8.47) + $15.06).

However, it is estimated that, on average, 20% of the live weight of the bird is lost in the pluck and gut process. Therefore, when purchasing a 5lb bird for $57.41, the consumer will actually get a bird with a weight of around 4lbs after processing. This translates to a final price of around $14.35 per lb for the actual bird. Estimated final prices for other similar weights are shown below:

Live WeightAverage price per lb $Price per bird inclusive of pluck and gut* $Dressed weight (20% loss)Final price per lb to consumer $
6 lbs8.4765.884.8 lbs13.73
5 lbs8.4757.414.0 lbs14.35
4 lbs8.4748.943.2 lbs15.29
*15.06 pluck and gut
Poultry Prices February 2023
Poultry Price ListDec2022 ad 813x1024 1


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