Measuring a business’s performance and success in the poultry industry often comes down to one thing: its feed conversion ratio.

Commonly referred to as the FCR, this ratio examines the efficiency of a production site when converting feed into weight or a popular consumer commodity, such as eggs.

Feed costs in relation to growth rate significantly impacts a company’s profitability. Striking a healthy balance can be the difference between returning steady revenue and experiencing financial hardships.

You’ve come to the right place if you’re in the poultry business and searching for  a way to keep your chicken feed ratios at ideal levels. As feed efficiency experts, Engrain knows how businesses like yours can cut costs without sacrificing quality.

Keep reading to learn how to boost your feed efficiency for better growth.

chickens eating

What is the formula for the chicken feed conversion ratio?

The FCR is fundamental in promoting sustainable poultry production, and calculating it is simple once you gather some key measurements.

First, take the amount of feed a flock consumes in a given period. Then, divide that number by the total weight the flock gained in the same duration. The final number you’re left with is the FCR.

Here’s the standard formula:

kg of feed ÷ kg of weight gain = FCR

Evaluating the relationship between feed intake and the consequential growth rate of birds like broilers allows businesses to pinpoint how their feed costs align with their monetary goals. If their live weight or performance output isn’t what they hoped for, they can use this information to uncover areas for improvement.

Generally, businesses want a low FCR. Low levels indicate consistent feed efficiency, while a higher result may suggest changes are necessary to achieve better results.

Chicken feed conversion ratio example

Now that we’ve covered the standard formula, let’s look at how calculating the animal feed ratio can benefit poultry producers in the real world. Take Marco, for example:

Marco, a broiler producer from Brazil, has 1,000 chickens at his production site. Each chicken weighs 1 kg at the start of the month. While poultry farming over the next 30 days, Marco gives his flock a total monthly feed intake of 2,000 kgs. At the end of the month, each of the broilers weighs 2 kg. 

To find his ratio, Marco divides his flock’s total broiler feed consumption by their weight gain:

2,000 kg of feed ÷ 1,000 KG of weight gain = FCR of 2 

After plugging his data in, Marco has a ratio of 2. If he continues using his current blend — although the ratio isn’t terrible — it won’t earn the profits he’s aiming for.

So, how can Marco improve his conversion ratio and streamline his business?

It’s time to dive into strategies businesses can use to improve results. With these tips, you can take a more targeted approach to feed efficiency and reach your desired outcome.

5 ways to improve your chicken feed conversion ratio

A poor conversion ratio can decrease poultry production, preventing companies from earning high revenue or seeing accelerated growth. However, businesses can overcome these challenges with several trusted techniques, improving feed efficiency and boosting income streams.

When developing a mixture, incorporate these six strategies for a better chicken feed conversion ratio, and find out which blend brings your business the best outcome.

Use eMax Feed Technologies

Energy ingredients are one of the largest financial contributors when calculating the dietary costs associated with feeding chickens. Certain types of commercial poultry feed can be pricey, although self-made mixtures with quality ingredients are usually equivalent in cost.

Using eMax Feed Technologies eliminates the need for high inclusion of pricey raw materials in broiler diets, shrinking the ongoing expense of metabolizable energy ingredients. Finding the right additives can improve nutrient absorption and feed efficiency.

With its innovative approach to feed efficiency, eMax Feed Technologies helps businesses:

  • Lower costs by reducing the inclusion rate of  energy ingredients, thus making the diet  more affordable
  • Remove harmful pathogens from feed, such as E. coli and Salmonella 
  • Increase weight gain, egg size, and egg production
  • Maintain a low FCR to maximize earnings

With fewer expenses and no harm to performance outputs, you can lower your FCR values.

Use efficient feeders

The types of feeders a business chooses to use impacts the cost of production and overall earnings. Although you might be tempted to cut costs with a discounted collection, purchasing good quality units designed to minimize feed wastage is worth the small initial investment to maintain a lower FCR over time.

Feeders function best when actively managed, so choose one with enough room for smooth daily feedings. Strategically placing drinkers around for broilers has been positively linked with enhanced feed efficiency, so arrange them where they’re accessible without causing nearby animal feed spills.

Reduce and eliminate mold in feed silos

Having mold inside feed silos can be toxic for you and your flock. It can also be costly,  threatening your food security and keeping you from reaching your desired FCR.

Silos that aren’t cleaned regularly are often swarming with mold, and many contain hot spots, which are patches of old mold inside the silos that can contaminate fresh feed if left unattended.

Don’t let mold ruin your feed quality or turn your ingredients to waste. Always clean and disinfect your silos, inside and outside, to stop hazardous substances from forming and infecting their surrounding areas. A quick wipe-down is an easy way to get a lower FCR for practically no cost.

Adjust lighting to optimize feed consumption by birds

Environmental factors can influence a bird’s feed intake and digestion, a common influence being lighting. Another popular approach is rotating lights on and off in one-hour blocks to encourage fast digestion while still granting rest. In commercial production, follow the breeder’s lighting guidelines for optimum growth and performance.

Mitigate illness and disease as much as possible

To maintain a low FCR, be sure your birds are kept healthy. Chickens in poor health fail to build mass in a timely manner or produce as many quality eggs, achieving slower growth and hindering your income margins.

Sick birds won’t convert animal feed properly — instead, they’ll use their energy to fight disease.  On the contrary, healthy birds with a healthy digestive system can easily recover and continue utilizing their nutrients more efficiently for bulky muscle mass.

You can take proactive measures to prevent illness in broiler chickens by maintaining a hygienic environment. Good air ventilation, isolating sick birds, and running a vaccine program are some biosecurity approaches.

Discover how eMax Feed Technologies can improve your chicken feed conversion ratio

There’s a reason poultry producers across the globe are turning to eMax Feed Technologies to lead the way toward a system with lower costs, greater efficiency, and better outputs.

From reducing the price of the diets, to removing harmful pathogens to keep animals healthy, eMax delivers a balanced approach to quality feed at affordable rates. You can improve your conversion ratio with just a few adjustments to your current approach — then watch as your company experiences growth.

Discover how eMax Feed Technologies can help your business lower its FCR while increasing profit margins by contacting our team. After discussing your unique situation and identifying your future goals, we’ll develop a plan to address your particular challenges and overcome each one.

Head to our contact page and take the first step toward a business partnership with Engrain. A better FCR for your feed and increased earnings await.