COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN
AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
Agricultural Extenson Service, University of Florlds
Florida State University and
United States Department of Agriculture, Cooperating
M. O. Watkins, Director
OF EGG FARMING
N. R. MEHRHOF
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Consider these factors:
3. Number of layers
4. Egg production
5. Mortality and disease
7. Housing and equipment
10. Plant arrangement
Consider closeness to markets and feed mills. In ge
'eral, if you have a long haul to bring in the feed aj
ship out your eggs, you are at a disadvantage competii
with poultrymen closer to feed and markets.*
Eggs are consumed in the metropolitan areas.
It is generally better to sell the eggs at an establish
.market and use the extra time to manage more laye
rather than sell at retail unless labor can be used me
efficiently in marketing. Some poultrymen may find it
their advantage to sell at retail if the farm is located
.s well travelled road and/or near a metropolitan area.
The investment needed to start a commercial e
farm varies with location, type of house and ot4
The following is an estimate of capital needed
-start a 2,500-bird laying flock under present econon
Land, 10 acres (minimum)...................----------..........$2,000
Buildings (laying houses, egg room and
brooder house) .............................-------------- 7,500
Equipment (feeders, waters, brooders, etc.).-.. 3,000
Pullets up to six months of age,
2,500 @ $2.00 each...................................... 5,000
The building investment does not include livi
-quarters for yourself and your family.
*When land prices are excessively high near the mark
it might be to your advantage to be a little farther aw
where land prices are lower.
NUMBER OF LAYERS
Successful poultrymen have been averaging $1.75 to
1.00 per hen labor income-the amount available to
end for family living and other non-poultry expenses.
A flock of 2,500 to 3,000 birds will provide an in-
me of $4,375 to $6,000.
,Labor income varies from year to year, depending
imarily on egg prices and cost of feed. During the same
ar labor income will vary from farm to farm, ranging
:m a net loss to more than the $2.00 per bird.
If you start your egg farm without previous experi-
pe, your labor income probably will be lower than the
erage of $2.00 per bird. It is rather difficult to start
it with less than 2,500 birds and figure to increase the
:e of flock from current income. With previous experi-
ce and a knowledge of poultry production, you prob-
ly would be better off to start with an adequate size
business, even though you had to borrow additional
High egg production is essential for success, as prac-
ally all income from your poultry flock will come from
e of eggs.
Your aim should be to secure 200 or more eggs per
Good stock is a must. It takes very few extra eggs to
the additional cost of high quality chicks.
Culling must be practiced. In general, the flock will
replaced with pullets each year.
Brooding and rearing replacements must be practiced
permit maximum use of laying houses and labor.
MORTALITY AND DISEASE
Some mortality is to be expected during the laying
son. It should not exceed 1% a month. In all cases,
d the cause and act.
Practice a sanitation program-buy healthy chicks,
a proven vaccination program and feed a well-bal-
If prevention is not successful, send sick birds to
state poultry diagnostic laboratory in your area for
notification of trouble and suggested treatment.
In commercial egg farming the most popular bir
are White Leghorns, Lightweight Crossbreeds and Incros
It is more important to purchase a high-producir
strain than to purchase a particular breed or cross. Cheo
on performance of birds in various egg-laying tests.
The birds you want in your flock must have hij
livability, high egg production, good egg size and goc
interior quality. Buy pullorum clean stock.
HOUSING AND EQUIPMENT
Suitable and adequate housing and equipment mu
be provided for the comfort of the birds. See Circul
156 for details on housing and equipment.
Feed represents about 60% of the total cost of pr
during eggs and more than 75% of the cash costs. TI
ration used must be well-balanced and fed properly. S
Circular 155 for details in feeding.
Organize your farm to use labor efficiently. It is
365-day-a-year job for yourself and your family.
You should not use more than 1.5 hours of lab
per bird per year. Try to get it down to one hour. This i
dudes labor for laying flock, brooding replacements ai
Egg farming is one of the details every day in t
year. The poultryman must be alert and do the job wh
needed and not put it off. The poultryman must be obsei
ing, see things to do regularly and, above all, have a lo
He should keep records on the operation and ma
adjustments to increase the efficiency of the farm.
Organize your poultry farm layout before you st
building. Proper arrangement of buildings and equ
ment within the buildings will increase labor efficie
and ease in doing the several jobs necessary to be st
COST OF PRODUCING
Cost of producing eggs varies from farm to fa
within the same year and on the same farm during d
Economic studies show that the three most imports
items of expense in producing eggs are feed, man lab
and depreciation on birds.
COST OF PRODUCING EGGS
eed ..................................... .............................. ........ 60
[an Labor .----------- ......-------------------- 15
depreciation on birds....-................----------------... ... 15
11 other (use of land, building, equipment,
interest, taxes, etc.) ...................-------.. ------................... 10
TAL .....-------------..... ................... .... .......100
FACTORS AFFECTING COSTS AND RETURNS
IN PRODUCING EGGS
Studies of egg farming from many different states,
eluding Florida, reveal that fact that some poultrymen
ake more money than others. Some of these factors in-
encing costs and returns are:
1. Number of layers per man (size of flock).
2. Egg production (winter and total).
4. Depreciation on birds.
5. Price of feed and eggs.
6. Feed efficiency.
7. Use of artificial lights.
One of the most important factors influencing profits
egg production per bird.
PRACTICAL POULTRY ARITHMETIC
1. Feeding consumption per bird:
100 Ibs. per year, 8 lbs. per month, 2 lbs per
week and /4 lb. per day:
2. Egg production per bird housed:
16 to 18 dozen.
3. Feed required per dozen eggs:
4.8 to 6.0 pounds.
4. Feed per 100 birds daily:
25 to 30 pounds.
METHOD TO ESTIMATE COSTS
All poultrymen should keep accurate records in order
determine the cost of producing eggs. When records are
t available, the following formulas (1) and (2) may be
ed in calculating feed costs and total costs per dozen
(1) Total cost of feed
Total doz. eggs produced
(2) Feed cost per dozen
% feed is of total cost
= Feed cost per dozA
= Total cost per doz
Formulas 3 and 4 will help to approximate costs us
records are available.
(3) Cost of 100 lbs. of feed x 6% = Feed cc
(4) Cost of 100 lbs. of feed x 10% = Total a
Feed ........................ ................ $5.00 per 100 11
Eggs .......-----......--..................------ 50 cents a doz
No. of birds ................------------............. ..... 3,0
No. of eggs .....-----...........204, or 17 dozen per bi
(1) 3000 x $5.00 = 15,000 29.4 cents fe
17 x 3,000 51,000 cost per doz<
(2) 29.4 = 49.0 cents total cost per doz.
(3) $5.00 x .06 = 30.0 cents feed cost per dozen.
(4) 5.00 x .10 = 50.0 cents total cost per dozen.
EGG PRODUCTION TO PAY FEED BILL
Many times poultrymen desire to know the perch
production needed to pay the feed bill to help them dec
whether or not to cull.
A formula which may be used to arrive at an appro
mate answer is as follows:
Price of 100 tl feed
Price of one doz. eggs x 3 = Percent production
Price of one do. eggs necessary to pay fe
Example: 5.00 x 3 = 30%
START RIGHT ADOPT PROVEN PRACTICES STU
OPERATION KEEP RECORDS AND MAKE ADJUSTMENT
TO INCREASE EFFICIENCY.
Other circulars in this series include:
Circular 155, Feeding
Circular 156, Housing and Equipment
Circular 157 Handling Eggs