Amount of feed from hatch to point of lay?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by A.T. Hagan, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    North/Central Florida
    I've been researching the typical amount of feed a pullet will consume from hatch to point of lay at twenty weeks. Obviously there are a number of variables involved that can affect this but I'm looking for general or average amounts.

    What I've been finding online indicates between sixteen to twenty two pounds of feed per bird. The lesser amount for light birds like Leghorns and the greater amount for heavier dual purpose breeds.

    Is this in line with what you folks have found?

    I'm thinking of putting in a larger than usual chick order so I can sell some ready to lay pullets at the swaps. Feed cost being the single greatest expense in doing this I'm trying to get a grasp of what my expenses are generally going to be which in turn will shape the selling price I'll have to ask for.

    What have you folks found?
     
  2. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

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    I just sold a couple of young hens. I have been watching asking prices from others too. In this area, for hatchery quality POL or young hens the selling price ranges $10 - $15.
     
  3. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays Premium Member

    We raise almost all large breeds and dual purpose chickens and we feed free choice at all times (the feeders are always full) but ours eat a bit more than your example. This last year the flocks averaged about 28# per bird from hatch to 20 weeks.
    I think I've got the math right. A bag of feed is about $13.50 divided by 50# is about .27 cents a pound.
    Each one eats about 28# X .27 cents equals about $7.56 in feed.
    So over $7.50 a chicken invested in feed plus the cost of the chick itself, shavings, grit, scratch, supplies, etc..

    Most of ours we are selling right now are between 4 1/2 and 6 months old and I've been selling them locally at $7.00 each.


    I'm gonna have to get a bigger truck.
     
  4. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    In my area point-of-lay pullets are running in the $10-$12 range and last weekend I saw a few go for$15 though she didn't sell them all.

    Twenty eight pounds of feed per bird sounds like a lot. In the past I haven't kept close track of the feed my birds ate while growing out. This next batch I am going to.

    Anyone else want to chime in?
     
  5. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays Premium Member

    In our area common breed laying age hens are in the $10.00 to $12.00 range also in the spring and summer months. Not many buying chickens this time of year though. Right now we are selling them cheaper if they pick them up here at the farm because we are so over stocked and because we had a lot of storm damage to our coops and pens a couple of weeks ago. I'm having to double up in a few of our pens until the repairs are finished and just trying to make room.
    It does sound like a lot of feed but we weigh our feed and record the amount as part of our breeding program. The weights given were averages on all the pens including the meat crosses and heavy breeds. Basicly those numbers were based on the monthly feed bill divided by the amount of poultry on the farm. Of course most of our chickens don't eat that much. The purebreeds eat less than the crossbreeds and commercial production breeds. Some of the slow growing breeds and bantams eat MUCH less!
    There isn't much of a market here for fancy chickens, but your area might be different. I lived in Missouri for 13 years and sold some breeds up there at open air flea markets and at auctions for super money. I've sold Cochins, Brahmas, Giants, and such regularly for $30.00 to $100.00 a pair at auction. We raised hundreds a year and always sold out. Here in Mississippi there's not as many animal auctions and none that deal mainly in poultry. The only good selling breeds here are the rocks, orps, reds & sex links. Also, I don't ship so that hurts us.


    edited for spelling. ugh
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  6. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    North/Central Florida
    If I do this I'll be sticking with well known breeds and the sex-links for the folks who come to the swaps that aren't really into the whole poultry scene but do know they want some laying hens. Those kinds of birds really seem to move out quickly if they're young and healthy. Even if I hatched them right now it would be spring before they'd be old enough to sell as point-of-lay so they'd hit the market at just the right time.

    My turkeys moved out well so I think the pullets would complement those.
     
  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Very interesting thread- thanks!
     

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