Research Bulletin (Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station)


The major cost item in broilex production is feed. Previous studies indicate that feed costs generally constitute 65-75 percent of the total cost of producing broilers. Hence, one of the major opportunities for increasing profits from broiler production is to minimize the costs of producing birds of a given weight. Great progress has been made in recent years in developing high energy feeds and feeding formulas which lessen the total pounds of feed required in producing a bird of a given weight. However, even though high energy, rapid gain formulas have been developed, the problem of how major sources or categories of feeds should be combined to minimize costs of gains still remains.

Ordinarily, broiler feeds are made up of two major categories of feeds, along with the proper vitamins and minerals. These two categories include feeds high in carbohydrate such as corn and feeds high in protein such as soybean oilmeal. If prices of these feeds did not change, the least-cost ration determined a( one point in time also would be the least-cost ration at all later points in time. However, the prices of these major feed sources do change. In recent years the price of corn has been as low as 1.8 cents per pound with soybean oilmeal as high as 4.5 cents per pound, a SBOM/corn price ratio of 2.5; in other years the price of corn has been as high as 4.5 cents per pound with soybean oilmeal as low as 3.5 cents per pound, a SBOM/corn price ratio of 0.8. The ration or combination of these two feeds which minimizes costs of gains under one of these price ratios will not also minimize costs under the other ratio.



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