Feed conversion, the ratio of feed consumed to a meat bird’s market weight, is an important measure of efficiency for any poultry producer. Anything a producer can do to improve feed efficiency will improve the profitability of the entire flock. Use the equations below to track your feed conversion and cost per pound of gain.
Example: A 5-pound bird with a 1.80 feed conversion will consume 9.0 lbs. of feed in its lifetime. If your feed cost is $260/ton, you would divide $260 by 2,000 to get the cost per lb. of feed. If your feed conversion is a 1.8, then your feed cost per lb. of gain would be $.2340. ($260/2000 x 1.8)
Feed conversion, the ratio of feed consumed to a meat bird’s market weight, is an important measure of efficiency for any poultry producer.
How feed cost changes affect the cost per lb. of gain: If the cost per ton changes $1.00 (up or down), divide the $1.00 by 2,000 lbs. and multiply that by the feed conversion to get the change in feed cost per lb. of gain. ($1.00/2,000 x 1.8 = $0.0009) So a $1.00 change in feed cost would change your cost per lb. of gain (using a 1.8 feed conversion) by 9/100 cent per lb. of gain.
Total pounds of feed consumed ÷ total pounds marketed
Feed Cost Per Pound of gain
Feed cost per ton ÷ 2,000 x feed conversion
How $1.00/Ton Change in Feed Costs Affects Cost Per Pound of Gain
$1.00 ÷ 2,000 x feed conversion
Improve conversion with good management
Make sure you are not wasting feed by regularly maintaining your feeders and adjusting feeder height as the birds grow. Good feeder maintenance will also help ensure that all areas of the feeder can be used helping to promote the growth of a uniform flock.
Ensure the birds have plenty of clean water. Bacteria in dirty watering systems can spread disease. In addition, poorly maintained watering systems can leak onto litter.
Keep the litter dry to minimize the growth of bacteria and the promotion of disease.
Monitor the house temperature and ventilation. High ammonia levels or temperatures that are too hot or too cold can hurt feed conversion.
Cull poor performing birds early in the grow-out cycle.
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