In livestock farming FCR, Feed Conversion Ratio is a measure of efficiency in converting feed into increased body mass. One of the easiest ways to calculate FCR is to divide the weight gained by feed intake of the chicken. Apparently, a kilogram of feed intake by a bird doesn’t mean a kilogram of weight gain because 100% retention of nutrients is not possible because of some unavoidable biological waste. FCR is the most important parameter affecting the economics of livestock farming market and 1:1 seems to be the most efficient one. Farmers look for cost effective ways to generate desired FCR values, taking different measures. Higher the poultry feed costs, lower the profits. Hence a lower FCR means higher profit. FCR when simply put is a measure of how efficiently an animal converts feed to desired output. Desired output could be different for different livestock animals. For example, eggs for laying birds, meat from broilers, etc.
Poultry’s FCR is first determined by chosen genetics and rearing conditions. It is important for the poultry house to indicate the amount of feed that has been eaten. Once the feed arrives at broiler farm different methods can be used to improve the feed efficiency.
Feed infested with mould is not only unpalatable but also toxic and harmful to poultry. Moulds consume valuable nutrients and produce toxic mycotoxins proving fatal for your livestock. Silos must be periodically inspected and thoroughly cleaned.
It is common misunderstanding that buying low cost feeder will minimize feed wastage and reduce overall cost. However, the low cost could sometimes be an alluring factor leading us to something less efficient in the longer run. Feed consumption shouldn’t be treated as an opportunity to beat boredom or as a hurried activity where birds fight to eat. A correct placement of feeder and drinker is an adequate way of feeding.
It is an obvious fact, that a healthy bird’s produce will always be better than an unhealthy bird. It is always worth repeating that sick birds do not grow as much as healthy birds do. Sick or sub-clinical affected bird do not eat as much as healthy bird and that is usually what results in lower FCRs.
Overall, lower FCR means lower feed costs. If you want to reduce your cost of production, always start with lowering your FCR. It is needless to say not all of the pointers will be effective on your farm, but these guidelines help in creating a more efficient and healthy farm investing in high quality feeds to ensure lower FCR might seem costly in immediate times, but for the longer run, it only proves to be beneficial for the farm.