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2013 Pastured Poultry Feed Trial

Posted by Jim McLaughlin on

Jeff Mattocks with the Fertrell Co passed this on to us last year. Now that 2014 planing time for pastured poultry is here for  we though we would re-publish it.

The main purpose of these field trials was to get a figure on exactly how much feed costs per bird and also to monitor the actual feed consumption so that we could get a 5.5 lb. live bird weight. We had three different groups of birds that were fed by two local farmers. They both went according to Fertrell’s recommendations on space and feedings per bird. Both groups of chickens were started in a brooder house and then finished out in a 10x12 poultry tractor.

Gary Miller had two groups of birds, group one of one hundred birds being fed with ADM feed and group two of two hundred birds being fed with Fertrell feed. Group two was started in a brooder that met the space requirement and then moved to the poultry tractor. Unfortunately, they were moved six days too late and on day twenty-five and twenty six, eighty-five birds died due to overcrowding. He also lost several birds due to heat stress as we had temps 105 for about two days. Despite the loss to heat stress, Gary did mention that he noticed group two being fed the Fertrell feed formula that was put out in the chicken tractor earlier was a much calmer group.

Group three was done by Jon Helmuth and was fed with Country Road / Rural King feed. About three days into his trial, Jon started noticing small lumps appearing on the right side of the bird’s neck. By the fifth day, the bird’s head was starting to go to the left. Don at Fertrell, recommended puting mineral oil in the water to clean up the gizzard which is where the lumps were forming. After about a day or two of adding mineral oil to the bird’s water and also adding a little grit to the feed, the birds looked healthy again and one couldn’t tell they were even affected several days earlier.

As mentioned above, we had several days were the temps reached into triple digits and we lost about thirty-five birds due to the heat.

The feed prices were calculated for retail per fifty pound bag with the prices at the time of the trial.Feed was purchased through Raymond Beachy, Stutzman’s Feed & Supply, Arthur, IL 61911

Field Trial 2013

Birds were fed for 7 weeks to a live weight of 6 lbs each Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) – Group 1 – Completed by Gary Miller

  • 100 birds
  • Group 2 Fertrell - Completed by Gary Miller

    Group 3 Rural King – Completed by Jon Helmuth

  • ADM feed was figured at $16.90/50 lb bag
  • 11.29 lbs per bird actual consumption to average 6 lb live bird weight
  • Feed conversion of 1.88 to 1
  • $3.82 / bird feed cost
  • 200 birds
  • Fertrell feed was figured at $17.00/50 lb bag
  • 9.59 lbs per bird actual consumption to average 6 lb live bird weight
  • Feed conversion of 1.6 to 1
  • $3.26 / bird feed cost
  • 300 birds
  • Rural King feed was figured at $16.79/50 lb bag
  • 12.75 lbs per bird actual consumption to average 6 lb live bird weight
  • Feed conversion of 2.13 to 1
  • $4.28 / bird feed cost
  • Hope this provides you with some helpful information as you plan for the 2014 Pastured Poultry season.

    As always thanks for stoppin' by and keep lookin' up


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