Why it’s Important
The feed conversion ratio (FCR) is the amount of feed ingested by an animal which can be converted into one kilo of live weight.
Feed conversion is calculated per live weight. Use the live weight information provided by the processor to calculate feed costs/kilogram. The number will increase if there are any condemns, as this will be a loss. The lower your feed conversion ratio, the more efficiently your birds are converting feed into body weight.
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Many different factors affect feed conversion. However, with feed being one of the major input costs, increasing efficiency of feed conversion will boost overall productivity. The biggest impact on feed conversion is mortality rate during the growing cycle. Other significant factors that impact feed conversion include temperature, humidity, availability of water, forage availability and quality, and lighting. Generally speaking, feed conversion is more easily managed when birds are confined in an environmentally controlled barn. When birds are pasture-raised, having them out too late in the fall may reduce feed conversion since a certain amount of energy will be used to maintain body temperature.
For White Rock Cornish Crosses or other breeds, feed conversion will increase or become less efficient as the birds get older.
“The biggest impact on productivity is mortality. Especially when they are pasture raised, the birds are at the mercy of the elements and weather affects mortality. We manage their environment as much as possible to minimize losses.”
– Will & Tara MacArthur
“A heat lamp for chicks until they get feathers will help reduce chick mortality. Temperature probes help us adjust to the right temperature.”
– Will & Tara MacArthur, Owners
“When we started, we set our number around what we thought we could sell – 200 seemed right – and we grew as we created our market.”
Will & Tara MacArthur, Owners