Working out a feed budget. QUESTION!


11 Years
Apr 26, 2009
Hey all,

Last year we raised 25 CornishX, and this year we're going to be raising more like 100-200. I'd like to go to my feed mill (a local one) and talk to them about making a grower feed for them. Last year I bought their broiler feed, and it was feed they buy, not mill. They mill their own layer feed, but it's not high enough in protein. The layer feed runs about $8/50lbs and they grower/developer ran almost $11/50lbs. I'd like to see if they can mill they layer feed and add SBM to increase the protein.

I need to be able to tell them I'm going to be buying X amount of bags/tons, etc. I didn't keep very good records for last year's batch, so I was wondering if I could get some estimates on how many lbs of feed your broilers eat assuming an 8 week growing period. If you could give me numbers in batches of 25 or 50 birds, that'd be great.

I really appreciate it! I can't afford to raise 200 birds if I'm paying $12/50 lbs of feed! Thanks!
Another thing to keep in mind is ask them the milling cost. Some elevators will charge less for milling if they are doing alot of custom mixing versus just starting up the mill for your batch alone. If you give them enough notice they can run your batch while they have the mill going and at least at my elevator they will charge you less. I will check my records although I have run out a few years and had left overs a few years but I can hopefully give you a ballpark figure.
10 chickens will eat 8lbs a week
= 50 chickens will eat 40lbs a week
= 200 chickens will eat 160lbs a week

160lb a week x 4 = 640 lbs a month

640 lbs a month x 12 = 7,680.00 lbs a year
hope that helps
The published industry standard shows that the Cornish X will consume 1.95 pound of feed per 1 pound of live weight gained to market weights if one follows the protocalls of husbandry for them. This is a good guideline , close but adjust for contingencies. Contact the hatcheries for guidance. Your situation may or may not be the same as the commercial growers due to variables of time of year, weather, lighting, temperature, stocking rate, housing, management, and experience, etc..
I have not found the industry standard FCR(1.95) to be accurate for me. I butcher at 8 weeks and feed a 23% protein feed. I have found per my records, a 5 pound dressed Cornish will consume right at 20 pounds of feed on average. I am not disputing the industry standard data, as it is probably accurate for the way the industry raises broilers. They typically process at 6 weeks and who knows what type feed they give them. I have done enough batches of these to consider my data accurate for me.
Each 25 birds will eat about 500 pounds of feed (in my experience.) A bigger question here is that if they mill their own layer feed, why can't they change the mix to up the protein for meaties? Have you asked them specifically if they will do that? If they won't, I'd say you should look for another mill. The mill I go to will set the protein at whatever I want, just by slight alterations in the ingredients. You pay more for more soy, but they'll gladly do it. I get mine ground custom at around 22%, and it costs me around what you're paying for layer feed- $8/50 pounds.
How do you find a mill? I'm guessing there aren't any in the north east near me
I'm paying $12/50 pounds and would love to find something that was a better quality and less expensive...any tips? This is just my first 25 chicks, but if I can't make the money side work, I don't think Hubby will like the whole process as much. I'd much rather pay around $80 for my 500 pounds of feed than $120 for my 500 pounds. That saves me about $1.60 per bird...
I'm reasonably sure you are right about that. I searched a bit in Maine, NH, and VT last year and found nothing. I've read articles that mention local dairy farms using grains shipped in from the midwest (to highlight the high cost of milk production). I'm a bit surprised that there isn't something available in Aroostook county (far northern Maine) where some potato farms have been converted to grain production. But, for someone west of Boston, even if there was a source in Aroostook county, it would be no better than a source in New Jersey or parts Pennsylvania -- from Portland, I can drive into Manhattan in less time than it would take to get to the far northern reaches of Maine.
Ya, they have that down pretty good. Realistically a good number is about 2.5 - 3 lbs per pound. Which would be for a 5 lb bird approximately 12-15 pounds of feed. This will give you the most bang for your buck and you will get dressed weight of 3.5 - 4 pounds. After that feed cost drastically go up and their conversion rate goes through the roof.

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