# Average or Minimum Broiler Sell weight Questions

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by RoosterGeek, Jul 6, 2011.

1. ### RoosterGeekChillin' With My Peeps

Aug 31, 2010
Lebanon, TN
What's the weight that you look to grow your broilers out to?

I've read that smaller birds tend to sell better, as in the 2.5 to 3.5 lbs range.

I've done the math, and my fixed costs would be prohibitive to sell birds under 3lbs.

feed /50lbs 13.55/50=0.271\$ per pound
fcr 2.5
live weight 8
Feed Cost per bird 5.42
electricity 0.18
processing 3.35
FC /bird 10.17

I've been generous with the feed costs per 50 lbs and FCR
. This first batch, I would get processed and afterwards I would start doing my own birds. 10.17 per bird fixed costs is pretty steep, right? Notice there is nothing in there for labor either.

The numbers assume 50 birds from Schletch Hatchery, so obviously they would down a few percentage points after ordering 100 or more birds. The processing is a killer.

So farmers, do you sell more lower weight birds and do you consider yourself making a bigger profit from larger birds?

Also, is my live weight target appropriate?

Any help and criticism is very welcomed. Thanks!

2. ### bigredfeatherChillin' With My Peeps

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Oct 1, 2008
Yorkshire, Ohio
I sell my customers the size birds they request on the order form. Some prefer 2 1/2-3 1/2 pound birds (for grilling), and other want 4-5 pound birds for roasting. If I am going to piece them out, I use birds that are over 5 pounds, as it isn't worth it on smaller birds. One piece of data that is hard to pin down is the individual FCR. Sure I can tell you the average for a batch, but I can't tell you for sure what it is for 3#, 4#, or larger bird. If you look at any feed table that gives you daily weight consumption, daily weight gain ect, you will find that the FCR increases as the bird ages. Although I can not back it up with numbers, I think you make a better percentage on smaller birds. Do you gross more on a larger bird? Sure you do, but the percent profit is lower due to less meat per pound of feed consumed. Your math seems to be well thought out, but unless you can track each bird individually, it's somewhat of a guessing game unless all 50 of your batch have nearly the same weights.

I think you already know this, but your losing out on profit by having someone else process your birds. Your profit margin will almost double by doing them yourself. Sorry if I stated the obvious.

Hope this makes sense.

Last edited: Jul 7, 2011
3. ### BossrooChillin' With My Peeps

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Jun 15, 2008
When one processes one's own birds oneself, this does not increase the profit margin. It does however pays oneself ( own hired help) for their processing labor instead of someone else. Profit is what one has left after the sale and all expenses including all overhead (proportion % of land, taxes, insurance, housing, equipment, daily labor, transportation,fuel, feed, water, costs of purchased chicks ( or cost of keeping parent stocks and hatching costs, if doing this oneself), etc. are deducted. An eye opening LOSS when one includes the true costs. Uncle Sam will be very happy to tax one on the new math "profit" when one does not include all expense deductions on farming activities.

4. ### bigredfeatherChillin' With My Peeps

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Oct 1, 2008
Yorkshire, Ohio
Quote:I disagree.

5. ### Oregon BluesOverrun With Chickens

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Apr 14, 2011
Central Oregon
In some states it is not legal to sell home processed birds. They must be processed in an inspected and licensed plant if they are going to be sold to the public.

But, yes, yikes, that processing fee you are paying is a profit killer.

6. ### RoosterGeekChillin' With My Peeps

Aug 31, 2010
Lebanon, TN
Quote:I'll be visiting my local extension office to find out, exactly, what the laws are for my area. Yes, that processing fee is pretty steep. The funny thing is that organic farms drive 2 or more hours to get to this processing plant. Of course, these are the same farms that can charge 12 bucks a pound for boneless, skinless chicken breast and 7 dollars a pound for whole broilers.

It is the only small scale USDA certified plant with several hours of driving distance. They are also Whole Foods and Organic Certified as well. They offer Kosher and Halal processing if the customer provides the rabbi and such. They do have their advantages.

I just received my first order for Pekin ducks and will be raising those this month. The advantage I have on those is that the customers want to process the birds themselves.

With the sale of live birds, I don't lose out on paying processing overhead, whether it be me doing it or a company. I'm hoping this approach will pay off.

@Bossroo I plan on taking my numbers to a former accounting professor of mine to look over if I have any measure of success. Don't you raise birds for customers?

Quote:Thanks for the insight Big Red Feather. That raises an interesting point of big bird versus small and percent profit.

7. ### itsyChillin' With My Peeps

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Mar 14, 2011
New England
Quote:Where would one find information on that? I've been doing research online, but I'm not finding answers and am going around in circles.

8. ### RoosterGeekChillin' With My Peeps

Aug 31, 2010
Lebanon, TN
Quote:Where would one find information on that? I've been doing research online, but I'm not finding answers and am going around in circles.

Your local county extension office should be able to answer all of the questions you may have. In my state, each county has their own office that provides information to farmers about best practices and regulations.

1,790
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Mar 14, 2011
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10. ### BossrooChillin' With My Peeps

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We sold many DP chickens and dozens of eggs annually for several decades. We did our own processing. Then several years ago, feed as well as all other production prices started going way up. My wife ( did books for a large Corp) and I calculated the true cost of production . Result... Got rid of all DP and egg layer birds about 3 1/2 years ago as too inefficiant in feed conversion and too much time and labor, therefore too costly to raise and switched to the Cornish X. Production costs whent up again, so we raised our prices just by a smidgeon and customer numbers dwindled. Exit stage left ! So now we no longer supply any of our former customers. Doing so, we would be paying the customers to take our chickens, and we would loose our shirts. WHY ??? Not profitable by any streatch of the immagination. All of our production costs are still going up into the stratosphere so now we no longer grow the Cornish X to even 6-8 weeks, but process them at about 35 days of age for game hens for our own use to come somewhere close to break even point. I get to pay the slave labor (me) with very expensive chicken dinners only, then give myself a furlow for weeks at a time untill freezer camp starts to be vacated. I now do this 4 times per year with 25 Cornish X each time. ie, work for 4 months then 8 months off, but eat dinners all year.