• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Historic note
 Front Cover
 Credits
 Table of Contents
 Purpose of study
 Method and scope of study
 Poultry situation during the...
 Location and description of areas...
 The poultry farm business
 The poultry enterprises
 Summary and conclusions
 Definitions and directions for...














Group Title: Bulletin - University of Florida. Agricultual Extension Service ; no. 105
Title: An economic study of commercial poultry farming in Florida
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF90000448/00001
 Material Information
Title: An economic study of commercial poultry farming in Florida
Series Title: Bulletin
Physical Description: 95 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Brumley, Frank Warner
Publisher: Agricultural Extension Service, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1940
 Subjects
Subject: Poultry -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Poultry -- Economic aspects -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Frank W. Brumley.
General Note: "May, 1940".
Funding: Bulletin (University of Florida. Agricultural Extension Service)
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF90000448
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002571033
oclc - 44697933
notis - AMT7347

Table of Contents
    Historic note
        Historic note
    Front Cover
        Page 1
    Credits
        Page 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Purpose of study
        Page 5
    Method and scope of study
        Page 6
    Poultry situation during the period
        Page 7
    Location and description of areas studied
        Page 8
        Page 9
    The poultry farm business
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
    The poultry enterprises
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
    Summary and conclusions
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
    Definitions and directions for working factors
        Page 94
        Page 95
Full Text





HISTORIC NOTE


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
(EDIS)

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.






Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida





May, 1940
May, 1940


Bulletin 105


COOPERATIVE EXTENSION WORK IN
AGRICULTURE AND HOME ECONOMICS
(Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914)
AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
FLORIDA STATE COLLEGE FOR WOMEN
AND UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
COOPERATING
WILMON NEWELL, Director








AN ECONOMIC STUDY OF

COMMERCIAL POULTRY FARMING

IN FLORIDA








By FRANK W. BRUMLEY
Formerly Economist in Farm Management,
Florida Agricultural Extension Service









Single copies free to Florida residents upon request to
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA







BOARD OF CONTROL


R. P. TERRY, Chairman, Miami
THOMAS W. BBYANT, Lakeland
W. M. PALMER, Ocala
H. P. ADAIR, Jacksonville
C. P. HELFENSTEIN, Live Oak
J. T. DIAMOND, Secretary, Tallahassee

STAFF, AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION SERVICE
JOHN J. TIGERT, M.A., LL.D., President of the University
WILMON NEWELL, D.Sc., Director of Extension1
A. P. SPENCER, M.S., Vice-Director and County Agent Leader
J. FRANCIS COOPER, M.S.A., EditorI
JEFFERSON THOMAS, Assistant Editor1
CLYDE BEALE, A.B.J., Assistant Editorl
E. F. STANTON, Supervisor, Egg-Laying Contest
RUBY NEWHALL, Administrative Managerl
COOPERATIVE AGRICULTURAL DEMONSTRATION WORK
W. T. NETTLES, B.S., District Agent
H. G. CLAYTON, M.S.A., District Agent, Organization and Outlook Specialist
J. LEE SMITH, District Agent and Agronomist
R. S. DENNIS, B.S.A., Assistant District Agent
A. E. DUNSCOMBE, M.S.A., Assistant District Agent
R. W. BLACKLOCK, A.B., Boys' Club Agent
E. F. DEBUSK, B.S., Citriculturist
A. L. SHEALY, D.V.M., Animal Industrialist1
HAMLIN L. BROWN, B.S., Dairyman
N. R. MEHRHOF, M.AGR., Poultrymanl
D. F. SOWELL, M.S.A., Poultryman
WALTER J. SHEELY, B.S., Animal Husbandman
L. T. NIELAND, Farm Forester
C. V. NOBLE, PH.D., Agricultural Economisti
D. E. TIMMONS, M.S.A., Agricultural Economist, Marketing
CHARLES M. HAMPSON, M.S., Agricultural Economist, Farm Management
R. H. HOWARD, M.S.A., Asst. Agr. Economist, Farm Management
JOSEPH C. BEDSOLE, B.S.A., Asst. Economist, Farm Management
R. V. ALLISON, PH.D., Soil Conservationist'
COOPERATIVE HOME DEMONSTRATION WORK
MARY E. KEOWN, M.S., State Agent
LUCY BELLE SETTLE, M.A., District Agent
RUBY MCDAVID, District Agent
ETHYL HOLLOWAY, B.S.H.E., District Agent
ANNA MAE SIKES, B.S., Nutritionist
VIRGINIA P. MOORE, Home Improvement Agent
ISABELLE S. THURSBY, Economist in Food Conservation
CLARINE BELCHER, M.S., Clothing Specialist
NEGRO EXTENSION WORK
A. A. TURNER, Local District Agent
LEULAH SHUTE, Local District Agent

IPart-time.









CONTENTS
PAGE
P URPOSE OF STUDY -............................... ... ........................-----............. 5
METHOD AND SCOPE OF STUDY .............................. ... ................... .......... 6
POULTRY SITUATION DURING THE PERIOD OF THE STUDY ............ ...... 7
LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION OF AREAS STUDIED .............................-........ 8
THE POULTRY FARM BUSINESS .... ........... ...... ...... .... .. -.... 10
Capital ...................................... .............. ............... ... ......... .... 11
Farm R eceipts ..--- ... ................... ................................... 11
F arm E expenses ---.. .... ......... ..... ..... ............. ........... ........... .......... 12
Labor Income and Labor Earnings ................................................... 12
Variations in Labor Income and Labor Earnings ............. .... 14
Size of Business -........................................... -.. ...... ........... ........ 15
A cres of Land .... ....................... ...... .... ..................... 15
Man Equivalent --..--................................ ..........-. 15
Productive Man W ork Units .... ... ........ ................... ... 15
Number of Birds ..................................................... 16
Relation of Number of Birds to Capital ....................... 16
Relation of Number of Birds to Labor Efficiency ..........- 16
Relation of Number of Birds to Man Equivalent .......... 16
Factors Related to Labor Income ...................................... 17
Size of Business .................-- .... ........................... ........... 17
N um ber of B irds --- .......- ..... .......... ............ ............... 17
Productive Man Work Units .............................. ............ 17
Other Measures of Size of Business ................................... 19
E ggs per H en ... ............... .............. ....................... 19
L abor E efficiency ......... ----- -- ............. .................................... 20
Number of Birds per M an ............. ......................- ........... 20
Productive Work Units per Man ...... ...................... .... 21
Dozens of Eggs per Man Equivalent .................. ..... 21
Farm Receipts per M an --------.--.. --.............. ... ................ 22
Percent Labor Is of Farm Receipts ............................ 22
Capital Efficiency ............. ....................... .......... ....---- 22
Farm Capital per Bird ..................----- ...... ------. 22
Years Required for Receipts to Equal Capital .................. 22
Type of Poultry Business ..--... .. --.........-......................... 24
Cost of Producing Eggs .....-------- ......- ....--.. ....-... ........... 24
M mortality ................ .........................------------- .. .... 24
Poultry Experience of Operators .......... ................................ 26
THE POULTRY ENTERPRISES ..................... ..... ....................... 27
Costs and Returns in Producing Eggs .........-. .............. ........... 27
Costs and Returns per Bird .......... .-----...----- ........ .................. 27
Costs and Returns per Dozen Eggs ............................................. 28
Cost of Producing Eggs ....... ... ................................ .. 30
Feed ............... .. -- 30
L abor .................... ................... ....................... .... 32
Horse and Tractor W ork ......... ............. ....................... 33
U se of Auto and Truck ...................- .................. .. .... 33
U se of L and ........--.. .......-- ....- ............ ................ .............. 33
U se of Buildings ........ ... .. ............... ........................... 34
U se of E quipm ent ................ ........... ................. ................. 34
Depreciation on Birds .... .... .. ...... ........... 35
Number of Birds ..... .......... ............ 35
Birds Purchased ..... .......35
D eaths of Birds ............... ... ..... ....... ... 35
Values of Birds .... ... ..... .............36
Sales of B irds .... ........ ....... ........................... .... .. 38
Interest on Birds ............................. 39
M miscellaneous Costs .... ..... .. ........ ...... ..................- -. .... 39








CONTENTS-Continued
PAGE
Returns from Producing Eggs .--...--.....------.....--- -- ----------39
Sales of Market Eggs -.........-.................----. ------- .. --40
Sales of Hatching Eggs .....-..--.............----..... ---------- 44
Eggs Incubated ----... .....--....--.....----..----------- 45
Eggs Eaten ....................... ------- --. --. ------------- 45
Variation in the Costs and Returns in Producing Eggs --...-----................. 45
Variation in Total Cost per Dozen Eggs --.. ---..... --------......... 45
Variation in Individual Items of Cost ....-..... ...-----... --..--- 45
Variation in the Return per Hour of Labor ........--- .........--..-- .. -46
Variation in the Value of Eggs Above Feed Cost per Bird ........ 46
Factors Related to the Costs and Returns in Producing Eggs ......... 46
Number of Birds per Farm .--.................. --------------- ..--....... 47
Eggs per Hen .....--......----... ---........ ------- ----..-- 50
Winter Eggs per Hen .....-------------------- --------.. 52
Percentage of Pullets in the Flock ....------....---.....------...---------- 56
Use of Lights .....- ..- ..-- .......... ...............-- -------... ...... 58
Breeds of Birds ........--....................... ------ --- ----- ... 59
Type of Soil ..... ~........--- ----- ..... -. ............. 59
Percent Mortality ........----.........----.....-...- ...... .. --59
Feeding Practices ---...- -......--.....----- ...---- ---.--. -----------------. 61
Pounds of Feed per Bird .................. -.........---.. ....----...---- 61
Percentage of Pullets and Pounds of Feed ................----........... 62
Percent Mash ..................---...---- ... ..... ......... -- .---. ----... 63
Percent Mash and Pounds of Feed per Bird ........--...........---....... 64
Use of Wet Mash -.................- ....-...---.......------.------.--. 64
Time of Feeding Grain .................--......--........--.--.-. 65
Kinds of Feed Used .........-..-.. -- ...----------- ------. .-- ....... 65
Use of Green Feed .....-..............-- ... ---- ---...........-- .....- .. 67
Number of Birds per Farm and the Number of Laying Houses.. 67
Capital per Bird .................. --. ............................--.......----- .-- 69
Dozens of Eggs per Man Equivalent ...........-.............---- ....----- 70
Costs and Returns in Raising Pullets ......................-----.........-- ..-- 72
Summary of Costs and Returns per Farm --..............----.............--..... 72
Summary of Costs and Returns per Pullet ...-............................ ---72
Cost of Raising Pullets .......... --------.....-..............------..-----........ 72
Feed ......-- ---------------------.....-...-..----...-...-- ------. .........-.....--- 72
Labor ....... .-..- ... ......... ---- .... ...........- ........-- ... 73
Baby Chicks -.. ............ ............. ......... .. ....... .... .......... 74
Other Costs ...............-..------ ---------....-...-.... .. ..- ..-..... ..... ---- 74
Returns in Raising Pullets ...- .......- --.... -- ---- -...-....-..-.... 74
Returns Other Than Pullets .....---..~--...---.....---.-- ....----. 74
R returns for Pullets ....................- ..... ..... .... ....... .....-...-.... ... --75
Summary of the Origin and Disposal of Chicks .................................... 75
Factors Related to the Costs and Returns in Raising Pullets .... 75
Number of Pullets Raised per Farm ......-- ............................. 76
Mortality per 100 Chicks .......-....-...-- ..-... -----.--............. 78
Costs and Returns in Incubating Chicks ......--..............--.............---- .. 81
Costs and Returns in Incubating Chicks on Farms ................-....... 81
Cost of Chicks Custom Hatched ...-- ...... ...------ ........----.......-- ..-- 83
Value of Eggs Set .-...--.... ..---- --.....--- .......... .....-...-. .............. 84
Sales of Baby Chicks ..--..-..-....-....-..-.........--------- ..... .............---.. 84
Factors Relating to the Costs and Returns in Hatching Chicks.. 84
Number of Chicks Hatched per Farm ..................................... 84
Chicks Hatched per 100 Eggs Set .................................... -.... 85
Summary of the Poultry Enterprises ..................-. ...... .........-...... 86
Labor on Poultry ......-------.. ----. ---------...--. ---.-----.... 87
Poultry Capital .--............-....... ....... ........... 87
Poultry Receipts ............ ...----- .........------......... ...-- ... .............. 88
Poultry Expenses .......-....... .--.... ------ ----------...-...-- -.. ....--- --.....-. 88
Returns from Poultry Enterprises ........................ ...............---. 90
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS ............. -------- ........-- .....--.-.... 90
APPENDIX ..----.....-.~. .-- --...--...................---..............- 94









AN ECONOMIC STUDY OF COMMERCIAL POULTRY
FARMING IN FLORIDA1
FRANK W. BRUMLEY2
From 1880 to 1930 the United States population increased 145 percent,
the number of chickens on farms increased 270 percent and the dozens of
eggs produced increased 489 percent (Table 1). Thus the number of
chickens per capital increased 51 percent and the dozens of eggs per capital
141 percent. With this increase in poultry production came the establish-
ment of specialized poultry farms near large cities. Since 1890 the egg
production per hen has increased very rapidly.
The population of Florida has increased about twice as fast as that
of the whole United States but the number of chickens on farms and the
dozens of eggs produced per capital in Florida has always been less than
for the entire United States. In 1930 there were fewer chickens per
capital in Florida than in 1880. The dozens of eggs produced per capital in
1929 were about three times as many as in 1880, but were still only about
one-half the per-capita production in the United States. These facts have
made many feel that the production of poultry and eggs in Florida should
be expanded.
Prior to 1910 a large percentage of the eggs and poultry produced in
Florida came from general farms in the northern and western part of the
State. Since that time most of the increase in the production of eggs
and poultry has occurred in central and southern Florida on commercial
poultry farms.
Because of these facts, many demands were made upon the College of
Agriculture from 1920 to 1926 to furnish information regarding the various
phases of the poultry industry in Florida. At that time little information
was available on the methods of management or the profits obtained from
poultry farming in the State. At the request of the Professor of Poultry
Husbandry and the Poultry Extension Specialist, a study of commercial
poultry farms was undertaken in 1926. The results of five years of this
study are summarized in this report.
PURPOSE OF STUDY
This study was made to obtain reliable information on commercial
poultry farming from those engaged in the business. This information
should be of value to poultrymen, prospective poultrymen, students of agri-
culture, and others.
Acknowledgments.-The writer wishes to express his appreciation to
the poultrymen for their willing cooperation in keeping accounts and
furnishing the information on which this study is based and to N. R.
Mehrhof, Extension Poultryman of the University of Florida, for many
valuable suggestions throughout the period of the study and assistance
in securing the records.
Acknowledgment is especially due the late Dr. J. E. Turlington, former
head of the Department of Agricultural Economics of the University of
Florida, for assistance in starting the project and to Dr. E. G. Misner,
Professor of Farm Management at Cornell University, for the careful
reading of the entire manuscript. The writer also wishes to acknowledge
the constructive criticism and suggestions given by members of the Depart-
ments of Agricultural Economics at Cornell University and the University
of Florida.
'Also presented to the faculty of the Graduate School of Cornell Uni-
versity, February, 1936, as a thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements
for the degree of doctor of philosophy.
"Deceased, December 8, 1938.







Florida Cooperative Extension


TABLE 1.-THE POULTRY INDUSTRY IN THE UNITED STATES AND IN FLORIDA,
1880-1930. (U. S. CENSUS REPORTS.)


Chickens
on
Farms


102,272
258,871
233,598
280,341
359,537
409,291
378,878


m0 I 439
10 920
10 I 1,108
.0 1,326
!0 1,555
;5 i 2,130
i0 1,950
*During previous year.


I Index numbers
Dozens Population Chickens Dozens I
of Eggs on of Eggs Popu-
Produced* Farms [Produced* lation

(000 omitted) (1880=100)

United States


456,911
819,723
1,293,662
1,574,979
1,654,045
1,913,245
2,689,719


1,024
2,789
4,214
5,552
6,531
9,577
14,424


50,156
62,948
75,995
91,972
105,711
112,786
122,775

Florida


269
391
529
753
968
1,264
1,468


100
272
411
542
638
935
1,408


The results of this study will provide certain standards of efficiency
by which individual poultrymen may judge the effectiveness of their
methods. Although the study was conducted over a period of varying costs
and prices, there appeared to be no fundamental differences in the relation-
ship between the important principles of organization and management and
income.
METHOD AND SCOPE OF STUDY
Since egg production, egg sales, feed consumption and mortality vary
from month to month, it was decided to obtain the records from only those
poultrymen who had this information separated by months.
In the spring of 1927 a preliminary survey of the farms in the Jackson-
ville area was made to determine the extent to which poultrymen were
keeping the kind of records needed. Although 20 were found with accurate
records, each had his own separate system and it was difficult to combine
them. Therefore, a poultry account book was prepared for the use of the
cooperators in the succeeding years of the study. The 20 records for the
year ending December 31, 1926, were included as the first year of the study.
Before November 1, 1927, more than 200 poultrymen in the Jacksonville,
Tampa, and central Florida areas were visited. Of these, 189 agreed to
cooperate in the study the second year and use the record books supplied.
Only poultrymen keeping 300 or more hens were asked to cooperate. At
the close of the year ending October 31, 1928, 104 account books were
sufficiently complete to be used. Sixty of these 104 poultrymen continued
to cooperate and furnished records for the year ending October 31, 1929.


Year
|


1880
1890
1900
1910
1920
1925
1930








An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


At the close of each year the farms were visited and the account books
summarized. During the year 1929-30, no record books were summarized
but, in cooperation with the Extension Poultry Specialist, a new poultry
account book was prepared which has been distributed to poultrymen each
year since 1929. For the purpose of this study, 42 of these record books
were summarized for the year ending September 30, 1931, and 35 for the
year ending September 30, 1932.

POULTRY SITUATION DURING THE PERIOD
Prices of poultry and poultry products did not fall so rapidly as did
prices of other farm products after the war. The purchasing power of
poultry and poultry products in terms of non-agricultural commodities was
relatively higher than that of grains and other farm products for the
United States as a whole. This caused poultry farming to be relatively
more profitable than other farm enterprises, and stimulated poultry pro-
duction both on general farms and on commercial poultry farms near cities.
Since 1921 the State Marketing Bureau of the Florida Department of
Agriculture has published daily quotations on the wholesale prices of
white eggs, heavy hens and heavy fryers for the Jacksonville market.
Previous to that date such quotations were not available.
Prices of poultry feeds for the Jacksonville area are available only
since 1925. These are quoted weekly by a large feed company of Jackson-
ville and are considered to be representative of the feed prices paid by
poultrymen in this area.
Fluctuations in poultry and egg prices are due to changes in the general
price level, the supply of and the demand for these products and to
seasonal variation. Average yearly prices of eggs, poultry, and poultry


Ratio

120

115

110

105

100

95

90

85

80
75
1925-26 1930-31 1935-36 1938-39
Fig. 1.-Ratio of price of eggs to price of feed, Jacksonville market, 1925 to 1939.
See Table 2.







Florida Cooperative Extension


feed fluctuated violently during the period of the study. From 1925 to
1939 the average wholesale price of white eggs for the Jacksonville market
was lowest, 23.7 cents per dozen, in 1932-33 and highest, 47.3 cents per
dozen, in 1925-26. Feed prices were highest in 1927-28 and lowest in 1931-
32 (Table 2).

TABLE 2.-COMPARATIVE EGG AND FEED PRICES, JACKSONVILLE MARKET,
1925-26 TO 1938-39.
Dozens of Index of Index of Ratio of
Wholesale Price of Eggs to the Price the Price the Price
Year Price of Feed Buy 100 of Eggs, of Feed, of Eggs to
Eggs per per 100 Pounds 1926-29= 1926-29= the Price
Dozen Pounds of Feed 100 100 of Feed
Cents Dollars Number Number Number Number
1925-26 47.3 2.70 5.7 115 98 117
1926-27 41.9 2.75 6.6 102 98 104
1927-28 40.5 2.92 7.2 99 105 94
1928-29 40.9 2.73 6.7 100 97 103
1929-30 38.3 2.60 6.8 93 92 101
1930-31 29.6 2.06 7J0 72 73 99
1931-32 24.4 1.55 6.4 59 55 107
1932-33 23.7 1.60 6.8 58 57 102
1933-34 27.7 1.96 7.1 67 70 96
1934-35 32.7 2.27 6.9 80 81 99
1935-36 31.8 2.18 6.9 77 78 99
1936-37 31.8 2.60 8.2 77 93 83
1937-38 30.9 2.06 6.7 75 74 101
1938-39 28.7 1.94 i 6.8 70 69 101

The relative position of egg and feed prices may be compared by the
use of egg-feed ratios or index numbers. During the years 1925 to 1939
it required an average of 6.8 dozens of eggs to buy 100 pounds of poultry
feed. In 1936-37 it required 8.2 dozens, and in 1925-26 only 5.7 dozens. The
annual ratios of the price of eggs to the price of feed are given in the last
column of Table 2.

LOCATION AND DESCRIPTION OF AREAS STUDIED
During the five-year period 261 records were obtained. Most of the
flocks included were located around Jacksonville and Tampa and several
smaller cities in central Florida, where commercial poultry farming has
been expanded (Table 3). Records for the last two years were more widely
scattered because several poultrymen in other sections, who were cooperat-
ing with the Extension Service in the poultry record-keeping project, were
included.
Very few flocks containing more than 100 birds are found to be combined
with other farm enterprises on Florida farms. Practically all feed for
commercial flocks is purchased. Therefore, specialized poultry farming
has developed more rapidly around cities having good markets for eggs
and relatively low feed prices.
According to the 1930 census Florida has a total of 58,966 farms. Of
this number, 69 percent or 40,623 reported having chickens (Table 4).
In order to show the type of poultry industry in various sections, the
State has been divided into six areas as shown in Figure 2.
The farms in the West Florida area are of a general farming type.
About 90 percent of the farms in this area reported chickens but only 3
percent reported 100 or more birds (Table 4).








An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


Jacks
Tamp
North
South
East
West

Total


TABLE 3.-DISTRIBUTION OF FARMS BY AREAS.

20 Farms 104 Farms I 60 Farms 42 Farms 35 Farms
Area 1 1926 1927-28 1928-29 1930-31 1931-32


onville ........ 20 61 37 21 13
a ..................i 26 15 4 1
Central ... 1 17 8 11 19
Central .... I 2
Coast .......... 1 1
Florida ..... i 3 1


20 104 I 60 42 35


In the Jacksonville and Tampa areas the farms are largely devoted to
specialized dairy, poultry, and truck farming. Seventy-four and 65 percent,
respectively, of the farms in these two areas reported chickens in 1930.
However, a much larger percentage had large flocks than in the western
Florida area.


West Florida Area


Jacksonville
Area


East Coast
Area


Fig. 2.-Poultry areas in Florida.


South
Central
Area


----------------- I








Florida Cooperative Extension


TABLE 4.-NUMBER AND PERCENT OF FARMS REPORTING SPECIFIED NUMBERS
OF CHICKENS PER FARM, 1930.


Number of
Chickens
per Farm


Less than 50 -
50 to 99 ....
100 to 199 ..
200 to 399 .
400 to 699 .
700 to 999 ..
1,000 to 2,499
2,500 or more

Total Farms
reporting
chickens .--


I _Area
SJack-
West son- Tampa North South
Florida ville Central Central

Number of Farms


17,983
2,347
512
146
48
8
10
3



21,057


Total farms I
in area ........ 23,390


1,382


1,856


1,484
496
281
162
70
25
19
2


8,414
1,866
591
235
93
35
39
5


2,539 11,278


3,907


19,493


1,671
378
143
57
29
9
8




2,295


4,168


East IState
Coast Total



1,331 31,652
382 5,696
196 1,856
96 795
37 347
17 121
10 137
3 19



2,072 40,623


6,152 58,966


Percent of Farms


Less than 50 .
50 to 99 ....
100 to 199 ..-
200 to 399 .]
400 to 699
700 to 999 -.
1,000 to 2,499
2,500 or more


Total .......---
Percent of
total number
of farms re-
porting
chickens ......
I


*Less than 1 percent.


THE POULTRY


FARM BUSINESS


To calculate the operator's total labor income and to study the relation
of the poultry enterprises to the farm business as a whole, information
concerning other farm enterprises was secured by the survey method for
the first three years of the study. An analysis is made of the capital,
receipts, expenses, farm and labor income and the factors related to the
operation of the farm business as a unit. It is based on records taken for
20 farms in 1926, 101 farms in 1927-28, and 60 farms in 1928-29. Thirteen
farmers cooperated in all three years of the study and 60 of the 101
included in 1927-28 cooperated in 1928-29.


56
16
10
7
5
2
4



100



74


74
16
5
2
1
1
1
*


100



58


64
18
10
5
2
1
*
*


100



34








An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


CAPITAL

The value of land, buildings, livestock, machinery, feed and supplies
used for the farm business were estimated by each farmer. The total of
these items per farm was $12,134 in 1926, $7,633 in 1927-28, and $8,545 in
1928-29 (Table 5). It was the highest in 1926 due to the fact that a larger
percent of the farms were located in the Jacksonville area where land values
were high. The land area per farm remained approximately constant for
the three-year period.
The value of real estate was 82 percent of the total capital in 1926
and 77 percent in 1928-29. The capital in poultry increased from 12 percent
of the total in 1926 to 18 percent in 1928-29. This increase was due partly
to a decrease in the value of real estate per farm that was not accompanied
by a corresponding decrease in the value of poultry per farm. The number
of birds per farm was about the same, but they were valued at more per
bird in 1928-29 than in 1926.
The capital per farm varied from $3,000 to $30,000 in 1926, from $1,500
to $21,000 in 1927-28, and from $1,900 to $22,000 in 1928-29. In 1927-28
77 percent and in 1928-29 79 percent of the farms had an investment of
from $3,000 to $12,000. This variation in capital per farm was due to
differences in number of birds per farm, value of land, value of dwelling
and number of other enterprises in the farm business.

TABLE 5.-DISTRIBUTION OF FARM CAPITAL.
Average per Farm Percent of Total
20 101 1 60 20, 101 60
Farms Farms Farms Farms Farms Farms
1926 1927-28 1928-29 1926 1927-28 1928-29

Real estate:
Dwelling .................... $2,080 $1,885 $2,103 17 25 25
Poultry buildings .... 1,722 1,089 1,235 14 14 14
Other buildings ...... 275 211 217 2 3 3
Yards and range .... 1,580 709 823 13 9 10
Water system .......... 270 191 250 2 3 3
Groves ..................... 197 195 3 2
Other land .-........... 4,088 1,627 1,689 34 21 20

Total ............................ $10,015 $5,909 $6,512 82 78 77

Poultry -.......---...---...... 1,380 1,259 1,546 12 16 18

Other livestock ........... 118 117 111 1 2 1
Machinery and
equipment .............. 613 329 344 5 4 4

Feeds and supplies ...... 8 19 32 *

Total .............................. $12,134 $7,633 $8,545 100 100 100
*Less than 1 percent.

FARM RECEIPTS
Receipts per farm were $5,161 in 1926, $3,722 in 1927-28, and $4,958
in 1928-29 (Table 6). The receipts in 1927-28 were lower than in the other
two years due to smaller flocks and the lower price level.







Florida Cooperative Extension


TABLE 6.-SOURCES OF FARM RECEIPTS.
Average per Farm IPercent of Total Receipts

201 101 60 20 101 60
Farms Farms Farms Farms Farms Farms
1926 1927-28 1928-29 1926 1927-28 1928-29

Cash receipts:
Eggs:
Market .-............... $3,754 $2,943 $3,716 73 79 75
Hatching ................ 49 87 66 1 2 1
Poultry ...................... 804 436 632 16 12 13
Other livestock ........ 10 58 30 2 -
Livestock products 27 19 20 -
Crops .......................... 22 60 135 2 3
Miscellaneous .......... 495 119 182 10 3 4

Total Cash receipts $5,161 $3,722 $4,781 100 100 96

Non-cash receipts:
Increase in Capital 177 4

Total farm receipts $5,161 $3,722 $4,958 100 100 100

Eggs were the most important source of receipts on these farms, rang-
ing from 74 percent of the total in 1926 to 81 percent in 1927-28. Poultry
was the next largest source of income, ranging from 12 percent of the total
receipts in 1927-28 to 16 percent in 1926. Miscellaneous sources accounted
for 10 percent of the receipts in 1926, but were insignificant in the other
years. During this year several farmers received income for man labor
performed off the farm. In 1928-29 the increase in farm capital was $177
per farm, or 4 percent of the farm receipts. This was due to a large number
of poultrymen replacing more of their hens with pullets than was the case
at the beginning of the year. The reverse was true in the year 1927-28.

FARM EXPENSES
The expenses per farm were $3,347 in 1926, $3,140 in 1927-28, and
$3,666 in 1928-29 (Table 7). Expenses varied much less between years than
did receipts.
Purchased feed was by far the most important item of expense. It ac-
counted for 67 to 70 percent of the total (Table 8). Hired labor ranged
from 4.9 percent in 1927-28 to 6.8 percent of the total expense in 1928-29.

LABOR INCOME AND LABOR EARNINGS

When studying and comparing farms many measures of returns might
be used. One in which many farmers are interested is the cash available
for interest, family and living expenses, and savings. This is obtained
by subtracting cash expenses from cash receipts. It amounted to $1,960
in 1926, 709 in 1927-28, and $1,184 in 1928-29 (Table 9). This measure
does not take into consideration such non-cash expenses as unpaid family
labor performed by the operator's family and decreases in farm capital, nor
non-cash receipts such as increases in the value of livestock during the
year. It is necessary to make these adjustments before one farm can be
compared with another. The result is the farm income. It was $582 in
1927-28, $1,292 in 1928-29, and $1,814 in 1926.








An Economic Study of Poultry Farming

TABLE 7.-AVERAGE EXPENSES PER FARM.


20 Farms
1926

Cash expenses:
Feed
Poultry ....-.........-.... $2,233
Other livestock ..--.. 116

Total ..................... $2,349
Hired man labor
and board ........... 206
Poultry purchased .. 252
Other livestock
purchased ............ -
Real estate
New buildings ........ 52
Building repairs .. -
Taxes ...................... 18
Insurance ............... -
Fencing and wire


Total ................
Equipment (farm
share)
Auto and truck ...
Tractor .............-
Water system ......
Other equipment ...

Total ...................
Marketing ...............
Miscellaneous .........


99


105


Total cash expenses
Non-cash expenses:
Unpaid labor ..........
Decrease in capital

Total non-cash
expenses ...........

TOTAL FARM
EXPENSES .......


101 Farms
1927-28



)57 $2,3
77

$2,134


154
189

13


3
7


70

75
5
22
28

204
26
94

$3,201


158






130
144
91

$3,013J


1


118 124
28 3

146 1271


$3,347| $3,1401


60 Farms
1928-29



88
68

$2,456

248
202

8

21
44
49
5
12

231

77
11
41
40

169
181
102

$3,597

69


69


$3,666


An item that must be deducted before one farmer can compare the
returns for his year's labor with those of others is interest on capital. At
7 percent this amounted to $534 in 1927-28, $598 in 1928-29 and $849 in
1926. After deducting the interest charge from the farm income, the labor
income was found to average $965 in 1926, $48 in 1927-28, and $694 in
1928-29.
In addition to cash income, farm income, and labor income, the farm
operator received certain privileges not credited to the farm business. An
estimate of the value of these privileges was obtained. They varied from
$400 in 1927-28 to $459 in 1928-29. Approximately 45 percent of the total
was food and 55 percent the value of the use of the house. This latter
was calculated by taking 12 percent of its estimated value. When the value
of these privileges was added to labor income, the operator's labor earnings
were $1,423 in 1926, $448 in 1927-28, and $1,153 in 1928-29.


$2,0








Florida Cooperative Extension


TABLE 8.-PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION OF FARM EXPENSES.


Cash expenses
Feed
Poultry .........................
Other livestock .........

T otal ...........................
Hired man labor
and board ....................
Poultry purchased ....-...
Other livestock
purchased ....................
Real estate
New buildings .............-
Building repairs ........
Taxes ...........................
Insurance ---.............-....
Fencing and wire -....--

Total ............... ...-......-
Equipment
Auto and truck .....-...-
Tractor .............----... .....
Water system ...........
Other equipment ..-....

Total .......- ................
Marketing ...................
Miscellaneous ....-.......


Total cash expenses

Non-cash expenses:
Unpaid labor .............
Decrease in capital ......

Total non-cash
expenses ....................
TOTAL FARM
EXPENSES ..............


20 Farms 10
1926 1



66.7 1 65.5
3.5 2.5

70.2

6.2
7.5


4.3

100.0


1 Farms
L927-28






68.0

4.9
6.0

0.4


95.9


4.0
0.1


4.1

100.0


60 Farms
1928-29



65.1
1.9

67.0

6.8
5.5

0.2

3.3
1.2
1.3
0.1
0.4

6.3

2.2
0.2
1.1
1.1

4.6
4.9
2.8


98.1


1.9


1.9

100.0


Another way of measuring returns is the percent earned on farm
capital. This is obtained by deducting the estimated value of the operator's
labor ($701 in 1926, $695 in 1927-28, and $733 in 1928-29) from the farm
income and dividing by the total farm capital. In 1927-28 the farms failed
by 1.5 percent to pay interest on capital. In 1928-29 they returned 6.5 per-
cent and in 1926 they returned 9.2 percent.
Variations in Labor Income and Labor Earnings.-Although the average
labor income was $965 in 1926, $48 in 1927-28, and $694 in 1928-29, it varied
from a plus $3,200 to a minus $1,300 in 1926, from a plus $3,200 to a
minus $2,500 in 1927-28, and from a plus $3,300 to a minus $2,600 in 1928-
29. Fifty percent of the farms made labor incomes of more than $1,000
in 1926, 7 percent in 1927-28, and 31 percent in 1928-29. The variations
in labor earnings were not so great as variations in labor incomes.








An Economic Study of Poultry Farming

TABLE 9.-SUMMARY OF RECEIPTS, EXPENSES AND RETURNS.


Average


Cash receipts .......-........ ......
Cash expenses ....- ..--... .-........... .......


Cash income ........................................
Plus increase in capital .............
Less decrease in capital .............
Less unpaid family labor ...........

Farm income -. ............
Less 7% interest on capital ........

Labor income e .......... ........................
Value of family living from
the farm .................... ..................
Labor earnings .-.. .... ................-
Value operator's time ..... .....
Percent return on capital ................


per Farm


20 101 60 3-year
Farms Farms Farms Simple
1926 1927-28 1928-29 Average

$5,161 $3,722 $4,781 $4,555
3,201 3,013 3,597 3,271


$1,960 $ 709 $1,184 $1,284
177 59
28 3 i 10
118 124 69 104

$1,814 $ 582 $1,292 $1,229
849 534 598 660

$ 965 $ 48 $ 694 $ 569

458 400 | 459 439
1,423 448 I 1,153 1,008
701 695 733 710
9.2 -1.5 6.5 5.5


SIZE OF BUSINESS

Size of business was measured by (1) acres of land, (2) man equivalent,
(3) productive man work units, (4) amount of capital and (5) number of
birds. The average size of business varied from year to year but there was
a tendency for the same farms to increase in size.
Acres of Land.-The average acres of land per farm were 20.1 acres in
1926, 20.9 in 1927-28, and 22.5 acres in 1928-29. Most of the farms ranged
from 10 to 25 acres in size and had 3 to 5 acres devoted to poultry. A few
farms had large amounts of crop and wood land, but most had no land in
crops except a garden. Wood land accounted for about 45 percent of the
total land area. Land actually used for poultry, crops, and farmstead
amounted to less than 10 acres per farm.
Man Equivalent.-Another measure of the size of the business is the
average number of men, or the equivalent in woman or child labor, employed.
It is called man equivalent and measures the amount of labor available to
work on the farm regardless of what it accomplishes. Each man equivalent
represents 12 months of labor. The average man equivalent was 1.5 per
farm in 1926, 1.4 in 1927-28, and 1.5 in 1928-29.
The work on the farms studied was performed primarily by the operator
and his family; hence a large percentage of the farms had man equivalents
of less than 1.5. Most of those who hired labor found it possible to obtain
day help when needed, making it unnecessary to hire a full-time man.
Only 14 percent of the farms in 1927-28 and 15 percent in 1928-29 employed
more than two men.
Productive Man Work Units.-A productive man work unit is the aver-
age amount of work accomplished by a man in a 10-hour day. The number
of productive man work units on a farm represents the number of days of
productive work accomplished by the man labor on that farm. It includes


J







Florida Cooperative Extension


not only the work on poultry, but the labor on all other productive enter-
prises on the farm as well.
The number of productive man work units per farm was 397 in 1926,
293 in 1927-28, and 349 in 1928-29. From 78 to 87 percent of the productive
man work units were for poultry and the remainder for other farm
enterprises.
Number of Birds.-The average number of birds per farm was 796 in
1926, 679 in 1927-28, and 810 in 1928-29. Since only poultry farms were
included in the study the number of birds measured the size of business
as well as or better than other measures of size.
Many flocks were too small to employ labor and capital efficiently. This
was especially true for the year 1927-28 when approximately 40 percent
of the farms had less than 500 birds. Many of the flocks were small
because operators were just getting started in poultry farming. The
tendency, for those poultrymen remaining in the business, was to increase
the size of flock. Each year there was an increase in number of large
flocks.
Relation of Number of Birds to Capital.-The larger the number of
birds the higher the capital per farm but the lower the capital per bird.
In 1927-28 farms having less than 500 birds had an investment of $5,232
per farm, or $16 per bird, while farms having 800 birds or more had a
total farm capital of slightly over $10,000, or $9 per bird. This relationship
was practically the same in 1926 and 1928-29.
The larger businesses had higher receipts per dollar invested than the
smaller businesses. This resulted in a more rapid capital turnover with
the large flocks. In 1927-28 the group of large farms required only 1.8
years for receipts to equal the farm capital while the small farms required
3.5 years.
Relation of Number of Birds to Labor Efficiency.-Another important
advantage of a large business is greater labor efficiency. While the man
equivalent was higher on the large farms, about twice as much work was
accomplished per man and farm receipts were about twice as much per
man as on small farms.
Most of the man labor in addition to the operator on the small farms
was unpaid family labor, while on the large farms much of it was hired
labor. Some farms in both large and small groups had more labor than
was needed.
During periods of low prices the operators who hired labor found it
necessary to adjust the labor supply to the size of business. Some ac-
complished this by laying off the hired man and cutting the number of
birds to a one-man unit, or caring for the same number of birds with
labor-saving methods. Others increased their size of flock and kept the
hired man. The number of birds needed to give efficient use of labor
depended largely upon the man equivalent.
Relation of Number of Birds to Man Equivalent.-The average number
of birds per man was 493 in 1927-28, and 541 in 1928-29. Each year there
was a wide variation depending on the number of birds per farm and the
man equivalent.
Of farms having less than 500 birds about 50 percent had a man
equivalent of more than one. Most farms having from 500 to 900 birds
had man equivalents of from 1.1 to 1.5. From 75 to 90 percent of the
flocks having 900 or more birds had a man equivalent of 1.6 or more.
There were no flocks containing 900 or more birds with a man equivalent
of 1 or less. About 50 percent of the farms in 1927-28 and 80 percent








An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


in 1928-29 having greater than a 1.5 man equivalent averaged 900 birds or
more per farm.
The number of birds per man increased as the number of birds per
farm increased, or as the man equivalent decreased while holding the other
factor constant. The greatest number of birds per man was found on
farms with 900 or more birds and having a man equivalent of 1.1 to 1.5.
FACTORS RELATED TO LABOR INCOME
Labor income is the term used to measure the returns the farm operator
receives from the farm business for his year's work. It is used because
it is the best known measure for comparing the earnings of two farmers.
One of the important factors found to have affected labor income was
the price level. This was the primary factor causing the average labor
income to decrease from $965 in 1926 to $48 in 1927-28. It was almost
impossible for a farmer to make as high a labor income in 1927-28 as he
did in 1926. This could have been done only by greatly increasing his
efficiency.
There was a much greater difference in labor incomes between farms
during any one year than between the average of all farms for different
years of the study. Poultry farming is intensive. Receipts and expenses
per man and per $100 capital are relatively high. Many factors influence
the receipts and expenses. Inefficiency in any of the factors is quickly
reflected in the operator's labor income. The following are some of the most
important factors found to have been related to labor income.
Size of Business.-The best measures of size of business for poultry
farms were found to be number of birds, productive man work units, and
dozens of eggs produced. These three measures were closely related to
each other, and to farm receipts and labor income.
Man equivalent and capital per farm were also calculated but were
found to be relatively poor measures of size of business.
Number of Birds.-The number of birds is one of the best measures of
size of business on commercial poultry farms. In each of the years 1926,
1927-28, and 1928-29, an increase in the number of birds per farm was
accompanied by an increase in labor income. The difference between the
labor income on the large and small farms was greater in 1928-29 and
in 1926 than in 1927-28 when egg prices were low and feed prices high.
Farms with the smallest number of birds made minus labor incomes
in 1926 and 1927-28 and $14 plus labor incomes in 1928-29 (Table 10). In
1927-28 flocks having 800 birds or more made $328, but in 1928-29, a year
of relatively high returns, the flocks having 1,000 birds or more made $1,570.
Productive man work units per farm increased at about the saine rate
as number of birds. Average number of birds per man on large farms
was more than twice the average on small farms. Production per hen
was approximately the same for all groups except in 1928-29, when it was
slightly higher on the large farms. Mortality decreased as size of flock
increased.
A part of the higher labor incomes on the larger farms was due to
additional income from other sources and profits from selling hatching eggs
and baby chicks. Some of the other advantages of large farms will be
discussed under the factors related to the cost of producing eggs.
Productive Man Work Units.-The number of productive man work units
per farm is also a good measure of size of business. Productive man work
units for a farm represent the total number of days of work accomplished
on that farm during the year. They averaged 390 in 1926, 291 in 1927-28,
and 349 in 1928-29 (Table 11).







Florida Cooperative Extension


TABLE 10.-RELATION OF NUMBER OF BIRDS PER FARM TO LABOR INCOME.

SNumber Average per Farm
Birds per Farm of Number Birds Eggs Percent Labor
Farms of per per Mortal- Income
Birds Man Hen ity
20 Farms, 1926


Less than 600 6
600 to 899 .....- 7
900 or more .... 7
All farms ....1 20


432 288 142 19 $ -33
716 511 156 6 1,214
1,190 793 146 9 1,586
796 531 j 149 10 I $ 965
101 Farms, 1927-28


Less than 500 40
500 to 799 ........ 33
800 or more ... 28
All farms .... 101


Less than 550 22
550 to 999 ........ 21
1,000 or more 17
All farms ....- 60


332 300 145 12 $-102
635 488 146 10 0
1,227 646 151 10 328
679 493 j 148 11 $ 48


60 Farms, 1928-29
378 315 139 13 $ 14
712 548 151 11 690
1,491 710 153 11 1,570
810 I 541 150 1 12 $ 694


TABLE 11.-RELATION OF PRODUCTIVE MAN WORK UNITS PER FARM TO
LABOR INCOME AND OTHER FACTORS.

Average per Farm
Productive Man Number Produc- Man Produc- I Eggs Labor
Work Units Peri of tive Man Equiv- tive Man per Income
Farm Farms Work alent Work Hen
Units Units
Super Man
20 Farms, 1926


Less than 250 ....
250 to 449 ...........
450 or more ......
All farms ......


Less than 200 ..-.
200 to 349 ......-
350 or more ....
All farms .......I


Less than 200 ...
200 to 349 -..---....
350 or more ....
All farms ........


5 203 1.2 169 150 $ 240
9 338 1.5 225 141 589
6 622 1.8 345 158 2,150
20 390 1.5 1 260 G 149 $ 965


101 Farms, 1927-28
31 130 1.0 130
43 252 1.3 194
27 539 1.9 284
101 291 1.4 211


145 $-142
148 37
148 292
148 J $ 48


60 Farms, 1928-29
14 141 1.0 141 1 138 $ 7
24 255 1.2 212 144 354
22 583 2.0 292 156 1,495
60 349 1.5 233 150 $ 694







An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


The relationship between productive man work units per farm and labor
income was about the same as between number of birds and labor income.
Small farms made low labor incomes each year. In 1927-28 the small farms
not only failed to pay the operator anything for his labor but lacked $142
of paying interest on the farm capital. With each increase in the productive
man work units there was a substantial increase in labor income.
The average number of days of productive work accomplished per man
was 260 in 1926, 211 in 1927-28, and 233 in 1928-29. Only on the large
farms was an average of 300 days of work per man approached. The
number of productive work units per man and per farm may be increased
by keeping more hens, hatching and selling baby chicks, raising pullets,
or adding other farm enterprises.
Other Measures of Size of Business.-The number of dozens of eggs
produced per farm was also closely related to labor income. It takes into
consideration the volume of eggs produced on the farm regardless of
whether they were obtained from more hens or by obtaining more eggs per
hen.
Man equivalent and capital per farm were also found to be related to
labor income, but they were not so good measures of size of business as
was number of birds, productive work units, or dozens of eggs per farm.
Some farms had more capital and labor than was needed. Farms inefficient
in the use of capital and labor were classified by these two measures as
being larger than their volume of business justified. An additional amount
of capital or man labor on a farm will be related to labor income only as
they aid in increasing the output per unit of capital or labor.
Farms larger than average usually pay best because of more efficient
use of capital and labor. They also have the advantage of volume of busi-
ness in buying and selling. They usually have a lower unit cost of produc-
tion. Many farm expenses do not increase in proportion to the increase
in size of business.
On the other hand, large farms run the risk of greater losses during
depressions, especially if they are operated inefficiently. Large farms with
low egg production or high mortality rates made lower labor incomes than
small farms with average or better-than-average production.
Eggs per Hen.-One of the most important reasons why some poultry-
men made more money than others was because they obtained more eggs
per hen. The average number of eggs per hen was 149 in 1926, 148 in 1927-
28, and 150 in 1928-29. There was a range of from 91 to 214 eggs per hen in
1927-28, and from 99 to 206 eggs per hen in 1928-29.
The higher the number of eggs per hen the higher the labor income in
each of the three years. In 1927-28 farms obtaining less than 140 eggs per
hen made a labor income of minus $406, as compared with a labor income
of plus $554 on farms securing 160 or more eggs per hen and having the
same size flocks (Table 12). In 1928-29 farms with less than 140 eggs per
hen made average labor incomes of $30 as compared with $1,453 for farms
securing 160 eggs or more per hen. In the latter year the high-producing
flocks averaged 200 more birds. While the difference between the low- and
high-producing flocks was not so great in 1927-28 as in 1928-29, it was more
significant, due to the much lower average labor income.
These data emphasize the importance of high egg production. Of the
important factors analyzed, it was the one most consistently related to labor
income and unit cost of production. It had a very marked effect on labor
income during relatively good and poor years and on large and small farms.
The most desirable egg production for each poultryman will depend upon
many factors but the average of the most profitable poultryman was 172
eggs per hen.







Florida Cooperative Extension


TABLE 12.- RELATION OF EGGS PER HEN TO LABOR INCOME AND
OTHER FACTORS.

Number Average per Farm
Eggs per Hen of Eggs Number
Farms per of Labor
_Hen Birds Income
20 Farms, 1926

Less than 140 .........-.......| 7 131 804 $ 486
140 to 159 .................. 8 149 773 1,025
160 or more --....- 5 172 822 1,560

All Farms -........-... ........... 20 149 796 $ 965
101 Farms, 1927-28

Less than 140 ......... ........ 36 120 671 $-406
140 to 159 ....... ....... 30 148 691 10
160 or more -.... .......... ........ 35 174 678 554

All farms .--....----..-.......-.... 101 148 679 $ 48
60 Farms, 1928-29

Less than 140 ...................... 20 124 747 $ 30
140 to 159 ............. ................ 25 151 781 756
160 or more .......... ......... 15 172 944 1,453

All Farms ..... .................- 60 150 810 $ 694

Labor Efficiency.-Five measures of labor efficiency were calculated for
each farm. They were: Number of birds per man, productive man work
units per man, dozens of eggs per man equivalent, farm receipts per man,
and the percent that labor was of the farm receipts.
Each of the five measures varied in proportion to size of the business.
Receipts per man and the percent that labor was of farm receipts are
subject to variations from year to year according to changes in price level.
Labor income was more closely related to dozens of eggs per man equiva-
lent, farm receipts per man, and the percent that labor was of the farm
receipts, than to birds per man and productive work units per man.
Number of Birds per Man.-The question of how many birds a man can
care for depends upon size of flock, farm lay-out, methods of marketing,
whether pullets are to be raised or purchased, and on other factors.
The average number of birds per man varied from 492 in 1927-28 to
541 in 1928-29. This was obtained by dividing the average number of birds
per farm by the man equivalent. In addition to labor on the laying flock
most of the poultrymen raised pullets, marketed eggs and performed other
farm work.
There was a wide variation among the farms in the number of birds
per man, as from 125 to 1,167 in 1927-28, and from 144 to 1,271 in 1928-29.
On some farms it was low because of too small a flock of birds for the
available labor. About 10 percent of the farms had more than 800 birds
per man.
Farms having a small number of birds per man made minus labor
incomes in both 1927-28 and 1928-29. In 1927-28 there were 44 farms with








An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


less than 400 birds per man and they averaged a minus $104 labor income.
In 1928-29 there were 18 farms with less than 450 birds per man and they
averaged a minus $39 labor income (Table 13).

TABLE. 13.-RELATION OF VARIOUS MEASURES OF LABOR EFFICIENCY TO
LABOR INCOME.


Average labor income of all farms .

Birds per man:
L ow .............- ......-- ..... ..
M edium ............... ...- .....-
H igh ...-................... ..... .........

Productive work units per man:
Low .-.... ......-- ..-
M edium ........- ..... ....
H igh ........ ....... .... .. ....

Dozens of eggs per man equivalent:
Low ........- ........ ...........
M edium ..... .. ..... --.....
H igh .................... ........-........

Farm receipts per man:
L ow .... ............ ..- ..-..... .
M edium .............. -....- ...
H igh .....................................


Percent man labor is of farm receipts:
H igh ...... ..... -... ..... ........
M edium .. .... .....- .......
L ow ......... .... ... .. ... ..-


Average Labor Income per Farm
20 Farms I101Farms 60 Farms
1926 1927-28 1928-29

S$ 965 $ 48 $ 694


S 571 -104 -39
1,050 53 808
1,400 300 1,294


80 30 59
S 1,130 58 632
S 1,700 344 1,267


499
1,135
1,557

- 12
1,388
2,100


350
744
1,614


-247
538
1,508

-193
586
1,370


147
633
1,357


Productive Man Work Units per Man.-The number of productive man
work units per man is a slightly better measure of work accomplished than
birds per man. It includes the productive work on all farm enterprises.
The average number of productive work units per man was 264 in 1926, 209
in 1927-28, and 233 in 1928-29. The range was from 116 to 368 in 1926,
from 45 to 446 in 1927-28, and from 77 to 465 in 1928-29.
In 1927-28 farms below 250 productive work units per man averaged
a minus labor income. Farms with 250 productive work units per man or
more had an average labor income of $344. In 1928-29 the farms with less
than 175 productive work units per man made labor incomes of $59, as
compared with $1,267 for farms having 250 productive work units or more
per man. To accomplish 300 productive work units per man required the
equivalent of about 1,100 birds for every 18 months of labor (Table 13).
Dozens of Eggs per Man Equivalent.-The greatest output per man
can be obtained by having a large number of high-producing hens per man.
This increases the total volume of eggs per man equivalent. The average
number of dozens of eggs per man equivalent was 6,575 in 1926, 6,004 in
1927-28, and 6,681 in 1928-29. In 1927-28 the farms with more than 7,000
dozens of eggs per man equivalent made labor incomes $1,717 higher than
those with less than 5,000 dozens of eggs per man equivalent. In 1926 the
difference was $1,058 and in 1928-29, $1,755 (Table 13).


----------








Florida Cooperative Extension


Farm Receipts per Man.-Labor efficiency can also be expressed in terms
of farm receipts per man. When this measure is used the benefits from
obtaining higher prices as well as from having a larger number of hens
per man and more eggs per hen are included.
The average value of farm receipts per man was $3,441 in 1926, $2,659 in
1927-28, and $3,305 in 1928-29. The variation per farm was less in 1927-28
than in 1926 and 1928-29. In 1927-28 approximately one-third of the farms
had receipts of less than $2,000 per man and averaged a labor income of
minus $312, as compared with $550 for 28 farms having receipts of $3,000
or more per man. In 1928-29 25 percent of the farms had receipts of less
than $2,000 per man and averaged a minus $193 labor income, as compared
with $1,370 for farms with receipts of $3,500 or more per man. During
these two years the farms with the higher receipts per man averaged about
680 birds per man, producing 157 eggs per hen (Table 13).
Percent Labor Is of Farm Receipts.-The relation of labor cost to farm
receipts may also be expressed in terms of the percent that the value of
farm labor is of the farm receipts. The total value of hired labor, unpaid
family labor and the operator's labor per farm was 20 percent of the
farm receipts in 1926, 26 percent in 1927-28, and 21 percent in 1928-29.
Fluctuations from year to year were due to changes in price level and size
of farm. Receipts fluctuated more that did the value of farm labor.
The relation between this factor and labor income was much the same
as for farm receipts per man (Table 13). Both expressed more accurately
the volume of business per man than did birds per man, productive man
work units per man, or dozens of eggs per man equivalent. In addition to
having a larger number of birds per man, many poultrymen increased their
receipts by obtaining higher egg production, higher prices, or by selling
baby chicks or hatching eggs.
Capital Efficiency.-Many farms were found to have too high an invest-
ment in relation to their volume of business. This was usually the result
of having a large percent of the capital in fixed investments such as land,
buildings and equipment. It can be measured either by the capital per bird
or the years required for the farm receipts to equal the farm capital.
Farm Capital per Bird.-There was a tendency for the number of birds
per farm to decrease and the capital per farm to increase as the capital
per bird increased. Each year the two groups with the lower capital per
bird were much larger than the two groups with the higher capital per
bird. This appeared to indicate first, that the capital per bird was lowest
on large farms, and second, that large over-capitalized farms have less
capital per bird than small farms.
The farm capital per bird averaged $11.24 in 1927-28, and $10.55 in
1928-29. This included the value of all farm capital such as land, buildings,
equipment, poultry, and operator's dwelling. It varied from $4 to $43 per
bird in 1927-28, and from $4 to $33 in 1928-29. About 40 percent of the
farms had less than $10 per bird and about 20 percent had $20 or more
per bird.
The higher the capital per bird the higher was the cost per dozen eggs
and the lower the labor income (Table 14). The difference between the
average labor income on the farms with high and low investments per
bird was $622 in 1927-28 and $1,153 in 1928-29. This was a result of both
high investment per bird and small flocks.
Years Required for Receipts to Equal Capital.-The years required for
receipts to equal capital is comparable to the capital turnover used by
many industries to measure the ratio between volume of business and
capital. Poultry farming has a relatively rapid capital turnover for agri-







An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


TABLE 14.-RELATION OF FARM CAPITAL PER BIRD TO LABOR INCOME,
101 FARMS 1927-28 AND 60 FARMS 1928-29.


Average per Farm
Range in Farm Num- Years |
Capital ber Farm Total Num- for Re- Cost
per Bird of Capital Farm ber of ceipts per
Farms per Capital Birds to Equal Dozen
S Bird Capital Eggs


Less than $10 .-.
$10 to $14 ........
$15 to $19 ........
$20 or more ....

All farms ....| 1


Less than $10 ..-
$10 to $14 ........
$15 to $19 ........
$20 or more ....

All farms ....


101 Farms, 1927-28
$ 7.29 $6,310 891
11.83 8,469 715
16.88 7,494 448
26.06 9,300 375

$11.24 $7,633 679
60 Farms, 1928-29
$ 7.13 $6,954 998
11.25 10,365 929
17.50 7,600 441
25.74 8,983 360

$10.55 $8,545 810


$0.387
0.410
0.473
0.552

$0.404


$0.335
0.386
0.488
0.517

$0.367


Labor
Income



$ 263
58
29
-359

$ 48


$ 1,045
825
300
-108

$ 694


TABLE 15.-RELATION OF YEARS REQUIRED FOR RECEIPTS TO EQUAL CAPITAL
TO LABOR INCOME AND OTHER FACTORS.

Years Re- Average per farm
quired for Number Years Num- ;l
Receipts to of Receipts Farm Farm Eggs ber Labor
Equal Capital Farms to Equal Capital Receipts per of In-
I I Capital I Hen Birds come


20 Farms, 1926
Less than 1.6 ] 4 1.3 $ 5,950 $4,577 150 653 $1,300
1.6 to 2.9 .......... 10 2.1 13,050 6,214 154 924 1,490
3 or more ........ 6 4.5 14,717 3,270 138 678 117

All farms .... 20 2.6 $12,134 $5,161 149 796 $ 965
101 Farms, 1927-28
Less than 1.6 .. 30 1.3 $ 6,493 $4,995 154 862 $ 550
1.6 to 2.9 .......... 45 2.3 8,149 3,543 152 706 42
3 or more ........ 26 4.9 8,054 1,644 131 422 -365

All farms .... 101 2.7 $ 7,633 $3,722 148 679 $ 48
60 Farms, 1928-29
Less than 1.6 .. 21 1.1 $ 6,667 $6,0611 156 1 919 $1,357
1.6 to 2.9 .......... 23 2.0 1 10,322 5,161 152 955 765
3 or more ........ 16 4.4 8,438 1,918 128 460 -288

All farms ... 60 2.3 $ 8,545 $4,958 150 810 $ 694








Florida Cooperative Extension


culture. The average number of years required for the receipts to equal
capital varied from 2.3 years for the farms included in 1928-29, to 2.7
years for those in 1927-28.
About one-third of the farms required three or more years for receipts
to equal capital. They averaged minus labor incomes of $117 in 1926,
$365 in 1927-28, and $288 in 1928-29, as compared with plus labor incomes
of $1,300, $550, and $1,357, respectively, for the same years on farms whose
receipts equalled capital in 1.5 years or less (Table 15). Since these
operators already have their capital invested their only alternative is to
increase the farm receipts by more eggs per hen, more birds per farm, or
higher prices.
Type of Poultry Business.-There are many types of commercial poultry
farms. They range from those producing only market eggs to highly
intensive breeding and hatching farms. In between these two extremes
there are many combinations. This study was confined to farms receiving
a large share of their income from market eggs. In addition, they received
income from cull hens and broilers.
About 72 percent of the farms sold eggs only for market. An additional
20 percent received 10 percent or more of their income from the sale of
hatching eggs and baby chicks. The remaining 8 percent received additional
income from work done off the farm such as selling eggs for neighbors,
hauling feed, and other work.
Farms having these additional sources of income made higher labor
incomes (Table 16). In 1927-28 the average labor income was $208 on
farms selling hatching eggs and $520 on farms selling hatching eggs and
baby chicks, as compared with a labor income of minus $53 on farms selling
only market eggs. In 1928-29 the labor incomes for the two groups averaged
$717 and $1,580, as compared with $468 for farms selling only market eggs.
The average labor income for farms selling hatching eggs and baby chicks
was double that for farms selling only hatching eggs in addition to market
eggs. The farms having these additional sources of income averaged more
productive work per farm and per man.
The results of this study showed that very few poultry flocks were
combined with other types of farming in Florida. However, those poultry-
men having sufficient experience and available markets found diversification
within the poultry business both desirable and profitable.
Cost of Producing Eggs.-Another factor found to be closely related
to labor income was the cost of producing eggs. The average cost of pro-
ducing a dozen eggs was 35 cents in 1926, 40 cents in 1927-28, and 37 cents
in 1928-29. About one-third of the farms in 1927-28 produced eggs at an
average cost of 34 cents per dozen, as compared with an average of 56
cents on the third of the farms with the highest cost.
As the cost of producing eggs increased the labor income decreased.
The group of farms having the lowest cost per dozen averaged labor incomes
of $1,243 in 1926, $403 in 1927-28, and $1,262 in 1928-29, while the farms
having the highest cost of producing eggs made minus labor incomes in
1927-28 and 1928-29 and a plus $200 in 1926 (Table 17).
The groups with the lowest cost per dozen had larger flocks, higher
egg production, and lower mortality rates than the groups with the higher
cost per dozen. Other factors related to cost per dozen will be discussed in
more detail later.
Mortality.-Mortality is one of the biggest problems confronting poultry-
men. It affects the cost of producing eggs through increased depreciation
cost and lower egg production per hen, which increases all costs per dozen.
A high chick mortality affects the cost of producing pullets by lowering







An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


TABLE 16.-RELATION OF TYPE OF POULTRY BUSINESS TO LABOR INCOME
AND OTHER FACTORS, 101 FARMS 1927-28 AND 60 FARMS 1928-29.

Average per farm
I | Produc-
Num- Pro- I tive
Source of Income ber of Number ductive Eggs Man Work Labor
arms of Work per Equiv- Units Income
Birds Units Hen alent per
SIMan
101 Farms, 1927-28


Market eggs only .... 75 578
Market eggs plus
hatching eggs ....... 13 989
Market eggs plus
hatching eggs and
baby chicks ........... 5 818
Market eggs plus
outside work ......... 8 1,038
All farms ........... 101 679
60 Farm


Market eggs only .... 44
Market eggs plus
hatching eggs ........ 6
Market eggs plus
hatching eggs and
baby chicks ............ 5
Market eggs plus
outside work .......... 5
All farms ............ 60

TABLE 17.-RELATION OF

Number
Range in Cost of
per Dozen Farms


721

1,078

986

1,096
810


240


368

520
293
is, 1928-29


301

397


421

637
349


147

149


148

145
148


144

148


163

156
150


200

231


245

289
209


215

265


263

318
233


$- 53

208


520

462
$ 48


$ 468

717


1,580

1,740
$ 694


COST OF PRODUCING EGGS TO LABOR INCOME AND
RELATED FACTORS.
Average Number Eggs
Cost per of per Percent Labor
Dozen Birds Hen Mortality Income
20 Farms, 1926


Less than 32 ..-- 7
32 to 39 ........ 9
40 or more ........ 4
All farms ........ 20


Less than 38 ....
380 to 440 .......
450 or more .......
All farms .......


Less than 35 .... -
350 to 39 ........
400 or more ........
All farms ........


$0.29 712 163 7.3 $1,243
0.36 897 141 8.8 1,100
0.48 718 140 22.7 200
$0.35 796 | 149 9.6 $ 965
101 Farms, 1927-28
$0.34 794 159 8.3 $ 403
0.41 800 153 11.1 161
0.56 436 129 12.8 -412
S$0.40 | 679 I 148 10.7 1 $ 48
60 Farms, 1928-29


$0.31
0.37
0.53
$0.37


1,050
921
400
810


156
154
129
150


8.3 $1,262
11.4 810
16.2 -111
11.5 $ 694


~







Florida Cooperative Extension


the percent of birds raised. Apparently the effect of chick mortality does
not stop here.
While studying the factors relating to the mortality of layers, it
appeared that the laying flocks with high mortality usually had high chick
mortality the preceding year. Records were available for 48 farms on
which pullets were raised in 1927-28 and put in the laying flock for 1928-29.
These were sorted into four groups according to the mortality per 100
chicks started in 1927-28.

TABLE 18.-RELATION OF CHICK MORTALITY IN 1927-28 TO EGG PRODUCTION
AND PROFITS ON SAME FARMS IN 1928-29.


Chick Mortality
per 100 Chicks Number
Started in of
1927-28 Farms

Less than 11 ........ 11
11 to 19 ................ 12
20 to 34 ...........-...- 14
35 or more ........ 11

All farms ........ 48


Percent
Mortality
Chicks
1927-28
8
15
28
45

30


Average per farm
Percent I Eggs N
Mortality per
Layers Hen ]
1928-29 1928-291 1
9 168
10 155
13 140
17 127

12 150


umber
of
3irds
)28-29
888
956
681
771

810


As the mortality per 100 chicks started in 1927-28 increased, hen mor-
tality increased and the eggs per hen and labor income per farm for 1928-29
decreased (Table 18). The two groups having lowest mortality and highest
labor income had the largest number of birds per farm. This partly
accounted for the higher labor income.
This relationship is very striking. It seems to indicate that low mor-
tality per 100 chicks started not only affects the cost of raising pullets but
also the cost of producing eggs and the labor income the following year.
Poultry Experience of Operators.-Since most operators had been operat-
ing their present farms a short length of time, and few had owned other

TABLE 19.-RELATION OF YEARS OF POULTRY EXPERIENCE TO LABOR INCOME
AND RELATED FACTORS, 101 FARMS 1927-28 AND 60 FARMS 1928-29.

Years of Number Average per farm
Poultry of Number Eggs Eggs per
Experience Farms of per Hen Percent Labor
Birds Hen Nov.-Jan. Mortality Income
101 Farms 1927-28
Less than 5... 59 563 147 26 11 $- 44
5 to 9 ..............1 32 841 145 23 10 131
10 or more ...- 10 844 154 28 10 350

All farms -. 101 679 148 24 11 $ 48
60 Farms 1928-29
Less than 5.--. 29 683 147 24 12 $ 472
5 to 9 .............. 23 894 146 24 12 913
10 or more __ 8 1,030 151 25 10 850

All farms 60 810 150 25 12 $ 694


Labor
Income
1928-29
$1,360
1,107
516
218

$ 694







An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


poultry farms, the poultry experience of the operators was limited. The
1926 and 1927-28 operators averaged four years of experience and the 1928-
29 operators five years. Approximately half of the operators had less than
five years of experience and less than 15 percent had more than 10 years.
Operators with the largest number of years of poultry experience made
the highest labor income (Table 19). This is largely due to the fact
that they obtained higher egg production and had larger flocks and lower
mortality rates. In spite of added experience, some poultrymen have
encountered difficulty with higher mortality after continuous use of the
same yards and ranges.
With the foregoing discussion of the complete poultry farm business as
a background, the remainder of this bulletin will be devoted to the detailed
analyses of the poultry enterprises on these farms.

THE POULTRY ENTERPRISES

The production of market eggs was the most important enterprise on
these farms. Most poultrymen raised their pullets for replacement and a
few sold pullets. Chicks were hatched on a small number of farms. These
were considered as separate enterprises and a detailed study was made
of each.
Items of costs and returns for each enterprise will be discussed in terms
of physical quantities and in terms of dollars. Factors related to costs
and returns for each enterprise also will be discussed. While analyzing
the various aspects of the poultry enterprises, their relationship to the farm
as a unit should be kept in mind. These and other enterprises should be
organized so as to provide each operator with the best possible labor income.
In studying the cost of producing eggs the three enterprises could be
analyzed separately or as one unit. In this study each has been considered
as a separate enterprise and will be discussed in detail. Chicks were
credited to the incubation account and charged to the rearing account at
market value for chicks of similar quality. Pullets were credited to the
rearing account and charged to the laying account in a similar manner.
This method of analysis provided data on costs and returns in producing
eggs, raising pullets, and hatching chicks for different farms on a com-
parable basis.
COSTS AND RETURNS IN PRODUCING EGGS
The costs of producing eggs were divided into the 10 items: Feed, man
labor, horse and tractor labor, auto and truck use, building use, equipment
use, land use, depreciation on birds, interest on birds, and miscellaneous
expenses.
The laying enterprise was credited with eggs sold, eggs incubated, eggs
eaten, and miscellaneous receipts such as manure, feed bags, et cetera. A
summary of the costs and returns in producing eggs per bird and per dozen
is shown in Tables 20 to 22. The amount and value of each of the items
of costs and returns, their relative importance and the variation which
occurred from farm to farm are discussed following these summaries.
Costs and Returns per Bird.--Costs per bird increased from $4.36 in 1926
to $4.98 in 1927-28. There was only a slight decrease in costs per bird in
1928-29, but a very rapid decrease during the last two years of the study
(Table 20). From 1927-28 to 1931-32 feed costs per bird decreased $1.03,
labor 40 cents, and depreciation 16 cents, which represented decreases of 44
percent, 37 percent and 23 percent, respectively.
Returns per bird varied from $4.93 in 1936 to $2.58 in 1931-32 because of
differences in egg prices for the two years. From 1927-28 to 1931-32 returns
per bird decreased 42 percent while costs per bird decreased 38 percent.







28 Florida Cooperative Extension

Part of the decrease in cost per bird was due to an increase in average size
of flock. From 1928-29 to 1931-32 returns decreased 43 percent, as compared
with a decrease of 33 percent in costs per bird.

TABLE 20.-COSTS AND RETURNS IN PRODUCING EGGS PER BIRD.
20 104 60 42 35
Farms Farms Farms Farms Farms
1926 1927-28 1928-29 1930-31 1931-32
Average per Bird
Costs:
Feed ................ $2.13 $2.37 $2.18 $1.79 $1.34
Man labor ............I.. 0.86 1.07 0.94 0.67 0.67
Horse and tractor labor --. 0.00 0.03 0.02 0.00 0.01
Use of auto and truck .... 0.21 0.16 0.13 0.08 0.05
Use of buildings ............. 0.22 0.18 0.18 0.15 0.14
Use of equipment ........... 0.05 0.03 0.03 0.02 0.03
Use of yards and ranges 0.14 0.08 0.07 0.06 0.06
Depreciation on birds ..... 0.47 0.70 0.65 0.59 0.54
Interest on birds .............. 0.12 0.09 0.09 0.07 0.06
Miscellaneous ................! 0.16 0.27 0.28 0.25 0.18

Total ....... ..... ......... ...I $4.36 $4.98 $4.57 $3.68 $3.08
Returns:
Eggs sold ...................... $4.78 $4.27 $4.38 $3.16 $2.45
Eggs eaten ...... ........ 0.07 0.06 0.06 0.04 0.03
Eggs incubated ............... 0.05 0.06 0.07 0.05 0.05
Miscellaneous -...............| 0.03 0.03 0.03 0.04 0.05

Total -.....- ...-...-........... I $4.93 $4.42 $4.54 $3.29 $2.58

G ain ------......--...... ..................... $0.57

Loss -.......... ................... $0.56 $0.03 $0.39 $0.50

Returns other than eggs ..| $0.03 $0.03 $0.03 $0.04 $0.05

Net cost of eggs .................. $4.33 $4.95 $4.54 $3.64 $3.03
Returns for man labor .... $1.43 $0.51 $0.91 $0.28 $0.17

High returns per bird compared with relatively low costs per bird
provided a gain above all costs of 57 cents per bird in 1926. A decrease in
returns of 51 cents, and an increase in costs of 62 cents from 1926 to 1927-
28 caused the 57-cent gain to be changed to a 56-cent loss in the latter year.
In 1928-29 egg prices were slightly higher and feed costs slightly lower
than in 1927-28. An increase in the average number of birds also brought
about a decrease in certain costs per bird. The changes resulted in reducing
the average loss per bird from 56 cents to 3 cents.
The period 1928-29 to 1931-32 was one of declining prices and the returns
decreased at a more rapid rate than did costs, causing the loss per bird
to increase. The returns for man labor above all costs decreased from 91
cents per bird in 1928-29 to 17 cents in 1931-32.
Costs and Returns per Dozen Eggs.-These were calculated on the basis
of the total dozens of eggs produced per farm. About 99 percent of the
eggs produced were accounted for by eggs sold, eggs incubated, and eggs
eaten. Actual prices received for market and hatching eggs sold are
given in Table 31.







An Economic Study of Poultry Farming

TABLE 21.-COSTS AND RETURNS IN PRODUCING EGGS PER DOZEN.


20 104 60
Farms Farms Farms
1926 | 1927-28 1928-29
Average per Dozen


42 35
Farms Farms
1930-31 1931-32


Costs: I
F eed .......................... ....... I
M an labor ..........................
Horse and tractor labor i
Use of auto and truck ....
Use of buildings ................
Use of equipment ..........
Use of yards and ranges |
Depreciation on birds ....
Interest on birds ............
Miscellaneous ..................


Total ............
Returns:
Eggs sold ..........
Eggs eaten ......
Eggs incubated
Miscellaneous

Total .........

Gain ...-......-


$0.172
0.069

0.017
0.018
0.004
0.011
0.038
0.010
0.013


--....-........ $0.352

............... $0.386
-.--.....-I- 0.006
................ 0.004
-...-.-.-- 0.002


$0.398

$0.046


Loss


Returns other than eggs .. $0.002

Net cost of eggs ...........-. $0.350

Returns for man labor .... $0.115


$0.193 $0.176
0.087 0.076
0.002 0.001
0.013 0.010
0.014 0.015
0.003 0.003
0.006 0.006
0.058 0.053
0.007 0.007
0.023 0.023

$0.406 $0.370

$0.349 $.0354
0.005 0.004
0.005 0.006
0.002 0.003

$0.361 $0.367


$0.045 $0.003

$0.002 $0.003

$0.404 $0.367

S0.042 $0.073


$0.139
0.052

0.006
0.012
0.002
0.004
0.046
0.005
0.019

$0.285

$0.245
0.003
0.004


$0.108
0.055
0.001
0.004
0.012
0.003
0.004
0.043
0.005
0.014

$0.249

$0.198
0.002
0.004


0.003 0.004

$0.255 $0.208


$0.030 $0.041

$0.003 $0.004

$0.282 $0.245

$0.022 $0.014


TABLE 22.-PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION OF THE COST


104 60 42 I 35
20 FarFarms arms Farms I Farms 5-Year
Farms 1927- 1928- 1930- I 1931- Simple
1926 I 28 29 31 32 Average
Percent of Total


Costs:
Feed ..................................... 48.9
Man labor ......................... 19.6
Horse and tractor labor .... 0.0
Use of auto and truck ........ 4.8
Use of buildings ................ 5.1
Use of equipment .............. 1.1
Use of yards and ranges 3.1
Depreciation on birds ........ 10.8
Interest on birds .............. 2.9
Miscellaneous .................... 3.7

Total ............................ 100.0


47.5
21.4
0.5
3.2
3.5
0.7
1.5
14.3
1.7
5.7

100.0


47.6
20.5
0.3
2.7
4.1
0.8
1.6
14.3
1.9
6.2

100.0


48.7
18.3
0.1
2.3
4.0
0.5
1.5
16.0
1.8
6.8

100.0


OF PRODUCING EGGS.


43.6
21.9
0.3
1.5
4.7
1.0
1.8
17.4
2.0
5.8

100.0


47.3
20.3
0.2
2.9
4.3
0.8
1.9
14.6
2.1
5.6

100.0


................ I
... .......... i
----------







Florida Cooperative Extension


Since egg production per hen remained about the same over the period of
this study, costs and returns per dozen eggs fluctuated in accordance with
costs and returns per bird. Total costs per dozen eggs increased from 35.2
cents in 1926 to 40.6 cents in 1927-28, and decreased to 24.9 cents in 1931-32
(Table 21). Net cost per dozen was slightly lower than these figures. Total
returns per dozen were highest, 39.8 cents, in 1926 and lowest, 20.8 cents, in
1931-32.
The three most important items of cost were feed, man labor and depre-
ciation on birds. Over the five-year period they averaged 47.3 percent, 20.3
percent and 14.6 percent, respectively, and comprised a total of 82.2 percent
of the total cost (Table 22). The depreciation cost per bird and per dozen
eggs did not decrease so rapidly as other costs from 1927-28 to 1931-32,
which caused it to represent a higher percent of the total cost.
The charge for the use of auto and truck decreased from 4.8 percent
cf the total costs in 1926 to 1.5 percent in 1931-32. This was brought
about by changes in the methods of marketing and an increase in the
amount of hauling hired. These changes increased the miscellaneous costs.
The ratio of costs other than depreciation, auto and truck use and miscel-
laneous, to total costs remained about the same throughout the study.

COST OF PRODUCING EGGS
Feed.-The cost of feed includes all purchased and home-grown con-
centrates, and over the five-year period averaged 47.3 percent of the total
cost. It varied from 43.6 percent in 1931-32 to 48.9 percent in 1926. The
cost of green feed was not included under the heading of feed costs but
was distributed among the items of man labor, land use and miscellaneous
expenses.
The average feed cost per dozen eggs ranged from 19.3 cents in 1927-28
to 10.8 cents in 1931-32 (Table 21). There was also a great variation in
feed cost per dozen eggs on individual farms in each year. In 1927-28 the
lowest feed cost per dozen was 10.9 cents and the highest 36.0 cents. On
the fourth of the farms having the lowest feed cost per dozen it averaged
14.9 cents and on the highest fourth 25.3 cents. In 1930-31 the lowest
fourth of the farms averaged 11.9 cents and the highest fourth 17.2 cents.
During three of the five years all the concentrated feed was purchased.
In 1927-28 and 1928-29 a small amount of grain was grown on a few farms.
It amounted to less than 1 percent of the feed cost per farm.
While all poultrymen kept records of the cost of feed, some did not
record the pounds of feed used. For this reason many of the tables showing
the kinds, amounts and costs of feed include data for less than the total
number of farms. In these tables the feed purchased plus the home-grown
feed used, except green feed, was considered to be the same as feed con-
sumed, since purchases were made by most poultrymen once or twice each
week.
All concentrated feed was classified under the six headings: Grain,
mash, milk products, oats for sprouting, grit and oyster shell, and miscel-
laneous. Mash and grain included both mixed feed and ingredients pur-
chased for mixing. Milk products included semi-solid and skimmilk used
in feeding wet mash. Dry buttermilk was included under mash. Oats
listed as concentrated feed were used for sprouting. Those purchased for
planting in yards were included under miscellaneous costs.
The total feed consumption per bird, except green feed, decreased from
78.3 pounds in 1926 to 73.1 pounds in 1931-32 (Table 23). Mash constituted
from 45 to 51 percent of the total feed consumed on all farms, grit and
oyster shell from 4 to 6 percent. There was no consistent change in the
percent of the total feed represented by any one class of feed.







An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


TABLE 23.-FEED CONSUMPTION PER BIRD IN LAYING FLOCK.


20 89 42 27 29
Farms Farms FarFar marms Farms
1926 1927-28 1928-29 1930-31 1931-32


Pounds per Bird

Grain .......................-...-----.... 34.0 32.5 35.6 35.1 32.6
Mash ............. ... .......--------- 34.8 39.7 37.0 35.8 34.2
Milk products ....- ...... 2.5 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.3
Oats for sprouting .......... 2.0 1.5 0.4 0.2 2.0
Grit and shell ................ 5.0 3.0 3.3 3.2 3.5
Miscellaneous ................. 0.0 0.3 0.4 0.2 0.5

Total ........................ 78.3 77.5 77.1 74.8 73.1
Percent of Total

Grain ............................. 44 42 46 47 44
Mash ................. .... ...--- 45 51 48 48 47
Milk products ................. 3 1 1 1 0
Oats for sprouting ......... 2 2 1 0 3
Grit and shell ..........--....... 6 4 4 4 5
Miscellaneous ...................... 0 0 0 0 1

Total ........................... 100 100 100 100 100


TABLE 24.-COST OF FEED PER BIRD


AND PER 100 POUNDS.


20 89
Farms Farms
1926 1927-28
Cost per Bird


Grain ...............--- .....---- ---.....
Mash ................... ----....-.
Milk products ..............-
Oats for sprouting .........
Grit and shell ..................
Miscellaneous ...............-....

Total .......................


$0.92
1.03
0.09
0.04
0.05
0.00

$2.13


Cost per 100 pounds


Grain ...............-------......
M ash ..-....... ...... ...- ........... ...I
Milk products ................
Oats for sprouting ........
Grit and shell ................
Miscellaneous ...................-- [

Average .....-...............


$2.72
2.95
3.41
2.17
0.90
0.00

$2.72


42
Farms
S1928-29


$0.95
1.19
0.03
0.01
0.03
0.01

$2.22


27
Farms
| 1930-31


$0.74
0.95
0.01
0.01
0.02
0.01

$1.74


$0.94
1.30
0.04
0.04
0.03
0.01

$2.36


29
Farms
S1931-32


$0.53
0.74
0.01
0.03
0.03
0.02

$1.36


$2.90
3.28
6.88
2.55
0.93
3.73

$3.04


$2.66
3.22
6.39
2.37
0.92
5.27

$2.88


$2.12
2.66
4.47
1.80
0.92
2.38

$2.36


$1.62
2.18
3.11
1.67
0.85
3.83

$1.87


The average feed cost per 100 pounds varied from $3.04 in 1927-28 to
$1.87 in 1931-32, and the feed cost per bird varied from $2.36 to $1.36 in
the same two years (Table 24). Mash constituted a higher percent of the







32 Florida Cooperative Extension

total cost of feed than it did of the total pounds of feed per bird because
of its higher cost per hundredweight. Mash ingredients cost approximately
the same per hundredweight as did grain ingredients, but a larger percent-
age of the mash was purchased as mixed mash than was the case for grain.
The price of milk products and grain decreased more rapidly from 1927-28
to 1931-32 than did the prices of other kinds of feed.
Figure 3 shows the average monthly egg production per hen and feed
consumption per bird. Data for this figure were obtained by dividing the
average number of hens for the month into the eggs produced and by
dividing the average number of birds into the home-grown and purchased
feed for the month. As egg production per hen increased total feed con-
sumption also increased. Average monthly feed consumption per bird
increased about 33.3 percent from the low to the high producing months.
Most of the increase was in mash. Pounds of grain consumed per month
remained about the same throughout the year. The same relationship was
true in the other years of the study.
Labor.-Labor was the second largest item of cost in producing eggs.
It varied from 18.3 percent of the total cost in 1930-31 to 21.9 percent in
1931-32 and for the five-year period averaged 20.3 percent.
The hours of labor and the rates at which it was charged were estimated
for each farm separately by the operator. The product was divided by the
average number of birds and the dozens of eggs produced to secure the
cost per bird and per dozen eggs.

Pounds of feed Eggs per
per bird hen
8 21



7 18

Total pounds of
S/ feed per bird
6 / / 15



5 Eggs per hen 12



4 9
Pounds of mash
per bird
3 6/ '

--iPounds of grain ~
..--' per bird
3 3




Oct. Jan. Apr. July Sept.

Fig. 3.-Egg production per hen and feed consumed per bird, 29 farms, 1931-32.








An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


Average labor cost per bird varied from 67 cents in 1930-31 to $1.07 in
1927-28, per dozen eggs from 5.2 cents in 1930-31 to 8.7 cents in 1927-28.
In 1927-28 one-fourth of the farms had labor costs of 3.4 cents per dozen,
as compared with 18.2 cents on the one-fourth of the farms with the highest
labor cost per dozen. This wide variation was caused by variations in size
of flock, eggs per hen and rates used for labor. There was less variation
in 1930-31 and 1931-32 than in 1927-28 and 1928-29.
The average number of hours of labor per bird was slightly under three
in all years except 1927-28, when it was 3.28 hours (Table 25). Large
flocks required from two to three hours per bird and small flocks from four
to five hours. Of the total hours per farm about 59 percent was used
in performing daily chores, 14 percent in cleaning houses, 17 percent in
gathering and packing eggs, and 10 percent in hauling feed and marketing
eggs.
The average charge per hour for labor varied from 23.2 cents in 1931-
32 to 32.6 cents in 1927-28. Varying rates were used on each farm. Hired
labor was charged at cost and unpaid family labor at a rate estimated
by each operator.
Horse and Tractor Work.-Slightly more than half the farms used
horse and tractor work for plowing yards, hauling manure, and distribut-
ing feed. On the 104 farms in 1927-28, 9 had tractors and 34 had horses.
These were found either on farms with large flocks or on farms producing
crops. Others found it cheaper to hire horse and tractor work. The total
charge for the use of horse and tractor work amounted to only 0.2 percent
of the total cost of producing eggs.
Use of Auto and Truck.-The laying flock was charged with the miles
that the automobiles and trucks were used for hauling feed, marketing
eggs, and marketing poultry. About 80 percent of the farms included in
1926, 1927-28, and 1928-29, and about half of those in 1930-31 and 1931-32
used an auto or truck for the laying flock. A larger percentage of the farms
included in the last two years of the study sold their eggs wholesale at the
farm to truckers, thereby eliminating this charge.
The average cost per bird for automobile and truck use on all farms
varied from 21 cents in 1926 to 5 cents in 1930-31. It was somewhat higher
than this on farms where autos and trucks were actually used. The total
cost of operating an automobile or truck was about $300 per year or 5.5
cents per mile in 1927-28 and 1928-29. Since about 45 percent of the annual
use was for poultry, the average cost to the laying enterprise on the farms
using them was about $135 per farm or 18 cents per bird. The need for an
automobile or a truck for the poultry business itself depends upon available
sources of feed and the method of marketing eggs.
Use of Land.-All farms used outside ranges for their laying birds
in the first three years of the study. In 1930-31 and 1931-32 there were two
farms on which the birds were confined to the laying houses 24 hours of the
day. The charge for the use of land and fences averaged 1.9 percent of
the total cost of producing eggs in the study.
The amount of land used for layers varied from 2.2 acres in 1927-28
to 3.3 acres in 1926. The value of land and fences per farm was $1,236
in 1926, but by 1931-32 had decreased to $368. The cost per bird decreased
from 14 cents in 1926 to 6 cents in 1931-32.
Items included in the charge for use of land and fences were interest,
depreciation on fences, fence repairs, seed, and taxes. The first two items
amounted to 75 to 90 percent of the total, which averaged 10.4 percent of
the average land value.







Florida Cooperative Extension


TABLE 25.-HouRs OF LABOR APPLIED TO LAYING FLOCK.

20 104 60 42 35
Farms Farms Farms Farms Farms
1926 1927-28 1928-29 1930-31 1931-32

Average birds per flock .... 796 676 810 874 788

Hours per Flock

Daily chores ..-..-...... ......... 1,053 1,315 1,417 1,597 1,429
Cleaning houses ....-....-... 377 306 305 328 317
Gathering and
packing eggs ............... 541 328 361 336 349
Hauling feed
and marketing eggs ........ 300 261 257 173 192

Total ............................. 2,271 2,210 2,340 2,434 2,287

Hours per Bird

Daily chores ................... 1.32 1.95 1.75 1.83 1.81
Cleaning houses .................. 0.47 0.45 0.38 0.38 0.40
Gathering and
packing eggs ................ 0.68 0.49 0.45 0.39 0.44
Hauling feed
and marketing eggs ...... 0.38 0.39 0.32 0.20 0.24

Total ............................. 2.85 3.28 2.90 2.80 2.89

Total cost per bird ........... $0.86 $1.07 $0.94 $0.67 $0.67

Average rate per hour .... $0.301 $0.326 $0.324 $0.240 $0.232

Use of Buildings.-The charge for the use of buildings was the fourth
most important item of cost and averaged 4.3 percent of the total cost
of producing eggs. It was more than double the charge for the use of
land and 50 percent greater than the auto and truck charge. There was
an average of 5.3 laying houses per farm in 1927-28 and 7.0 per farm in
1928-29. The layers were also charged with their proportionate share of the
feed houses.
In 1926 the value of buildings used by the laying flock was $1,218 per
farm, or $1.53 per bird. These values decreased to $653 per farm and 79
cents per bird in 1931-32. This decrease was due to lower building costs
for new buildings and the rather heavy depreciation rate used throughout
the study.
Interest and depreciation represented about 85 percent of the total
charge, and taxes and repairs 15 percent. The total charge for the use of
buildings averaged about 16 percent of their value, of which interest was
7 percent, depreciation 7 percent and taxes and repairs 2 percent.
Use of Equipment.-The average value of equipment used for the
laying flock was $121 per farm in 1926 and $57 in 1930-31. It included
such items as feeding utensils, oat sprouters, feed mixers and lights. The
charge for the use of equipment averaged less than 1 percent of the total
cost and varied from 5 cents per bird and 0.4 cents per dozen eggs in 1926
to 2 cents per bird and 0.2 cents per dozen in 1930-31.








An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


Depreciation was the largest charge, representing about one-half of
the total cost, and interest and repairs the other one-half. The total annual
charge for the use of equipment was about one-third of its value.
Depreciation on Birds.-This charge was made against the laying flock
to cover the cost of mortality and decreases in the value of birds used for
laying and breeding. It was the third most important item of cost and
averaged 14.6 percent of the total cost. To eliminate the influence of the
declining price level during the period, birds were inventoried on the same
basis at the beginning and end of the year.
When the average depreciation cost of birds per farm was divided by
the number of birds and the dozens of eggs produced per farm, the average
cost varied from 70 cents per bird and 5.8 cents per dozen eggs in 1927-28,
to 54 cents per bird and 4.3 cents per dozen in 1931-32.
The depreciation cost per bird and per dozen eggs was lowest in 1926
because of the low mortality rate and high prices received for hens sold
from the laying flock. It was highest in 1927-28, due to the low prices
received for birds sold as compared with the inventory values of birds on
hand at the beginning of the year. From 1927-28 to 1931-32 depreciation
cost per bird and per dozen eggs declined, but not so fast as did other costs,
thereby increasing the percentage of the total cost represented by depre-
ciation on birds.
Number of Birds.-The necessity of including a charge for depreciation
on birds in the laying flock is shown in Table 26. The number of birds
in the laying flock is highest each fall after the pullets have been housed
and gradually decreases as the birds die and are sold during the year.
The charge for depreciation is obtained by adding the cost of birds pur-
chased during the year to the value of pullets, hens, and males on hand
at the beginning of the year and deducting the value of birds sold, eaten
and on hand at the end of the year.
Birds Purchased.-Very few birds were purchased or added to the laying
flock during the year. Pullets raised for layers the following year were
hatched in the spring and their records kept separate until the end of the
year. Young pullets purchased for layers were usually obtained during the
fall months and were not added to the laying flocks until the beginning of
the new year.
In 1926 49 percent of the layers on hand at the beginning of the year
were sold, 2 percent were consumed on the farm, 10 percent died and 39
percent were kept for layers the following year (Table 27). This was the
most profitable year of the study and a relatively high percent of the birds
was sold and replaced with pullets. This was also true in 1928-29, which
was the next most profitable year. During the other three years of the
study an average of 34.5 percent of the birds were sold, 1.4 percent were
consumed on the farm, 13.6 percent died, and 50.5 percent were kept for
layers the following year.
Deaths of Birds.-The percent of birds on hand at the beginning of the
year that died was called the percent mortality. It increased from 9.6
percent in 1926 to 15.8 percent in 1931-32.
The largest number of deaths per farm or per hundred birds on hand at
the beginning of the year usually occurred during the months from March
to June, inclusive. Since the number of birds per farm was rapidly
decreasing during the summer months deaths per thousand birds on hand
at the beginning of each month was much higher during the summer months.
In 1927-28 the deaths per thousand birds on hand at the beginning of the
month were 7 to 8 in the winter months and 14 or more in June, July
and August (Table 28). In 1931-32 the deaths per thousand birds were 10
and 12 in October and November, respectively, and 21 or more from








Florida Cooperative Extension


TABLE 26.-NUMBER OF LAYERS ON HAND AT THE BEGINNING OF EACH
MONTH PER FARM.
104 Farms 60 Farms 42 Farms 35 Farms
1927-28 1928-29 1930-31 1931-32
Number per Farm
October ........................ .... 1,058 981
November ......................... 803 1,005 1,033 962
December ............................ 792 984 1,015 932
January ........................... 776 961 992 913
February ........................ 758 942 965 893
March ..... ................--...- 741 919 939 858
April ..................... ........... 719 890 915 820
May .......... ..................- 705 852 884 783
June .......- ..-.. ................ 677 806 835 722
July ........... ......... .--. 642 756 758 664
August ............ ................ 599 696 665 594
September ...... ...........I 533 583 594 555
October ............................ 482 516 532 500
November ..................| 452 469 -

TABLE 27.-SUMMARY OF ORIGIN AND DISPOSAL OF LAYERS PER FARM.
| 20 104 60 42 35
Farms Farms Farms Farms Farms
1 1926 11927-28 1928-29 1930-31 1931-32
Number per Farm
Origin of layers: 1,005
On hand beginning of year.. 830 803 1,005 1,058 981
Purchases and additions 5 15 5 1 16

Total ............[....-........ ... 835 818 1,010 1,059 997
Disposal of layers:
Sold for meat ................ ....... 372 256 376 345 306
Sold for breeders ~....... .... 41 1 22 22 18
Consumed on farms .....- 18 13 14 13 15
Died -................ .............. .- 80 86 115 144 158
Stolen or unaccounted for ...... 10 14 3 -
On hand at end of year .-.......i 324 452 469 532 500

Total .... .............................. 835 818 1,010 1,059 997
Percent of Total Disposals
Sold for meat ........................... 44.5 31.3 37.2 32.6 30.7
Sold for breeders ..................... 4.9 0.1 2.2 2.1 1.8
Consumed on farm .........-........ 2.2 1.6 1.4 1.2 1.5
Died .................................. ..... 9.6 10.5 11.4 13.6 15.8
Stolen or unaccounted for ...... 0.0 1.2 1.4 0.3 0.0
On hand at end of year ... ...... 38.8 55.3 46.4 50.2 50.2

Total ............. ............ ..... 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0

June to September. The mortality per thousand birds during the summer
months was about double that for the winter months.
Values of Birds.-The value of hens and pullets on hand at the beginning
of the year was about the same for the first two years of the study, but
was much lower in 1930-31 and 1931-32 (Table 29). On November 1, 1927,
the average value per hen was $1.21 and per pullet $1.66. By October 1,








An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


1931, these values had decreased to 82 cents and $1.06, respectively. Hens
on hand at the beginning of the year were valued at about 50 percent more
than the average value received for hens sold for meat.

TABLE 28.-DEATH PER 1,000 BIRDS ON HAND AT THE BEGINNING OF
EACH MONTH.


October ................
November ..........
December ............
January ...........
February ..........
March ................
April ...-..............
May ..................
June ..............-
July ...................


104
Farms
1927-28

..-.-.-. ----- 8



......................i 12
-.--.--. ... ..-- .. 12
....................... 12
..-... ..--.... ..... 13
--...- ...- ..-.. 14
--...... 18


August ................ ...................-
September ...........................
October .......................................


60
Farms
1928-29


8
8
8
10
15
14
16
13
12
13
13
10


42
Farms
1930-31

9
8
10
11
13
14
15
18
19
17
18
16


35
Farms
1931-32

10
12
13
15
15
16
18
19
21
21
22
21


TABLE 29.-AVERAGE VALUE PER BIRD OF BIRDS SOLD, PURCHASED, AND ON
HAND AT BEGINNING AND END OF YEAR.
20 104 60 42 35
Farms Farms Farms Farms Farms
1926 1927-28 1928-29 1930-31 1931-32


Birds charged to
laying flock:
On hand beginning
of year:
Pullets ........... ...
H ens ..... .... ..
M ales ...... ......- ...

Purchased:
Layers ..................
M ales ............. ......

Birds credited to
laying flock
Layers:
Sold for meat ......
Sold for breeders __
Consumed on farm
On hand end of year

Males:
Sold for meat ........
Sold for breeders ..I
Consumed on farm

On hand end of yearly
I


Average Value per





$1.58 $1.66
1.35 1.21
1.78 2.87


1.00 1.06
0.00 4.77


$1.65
1.19
4.08


1.03
2.28




0.86
1.07
0.83
1.21


0.97
1.72
0.85

4.07


$1.24
0.81
3.14


1.00
0.00




0.57
0.73
0.64
0.83


0.80
1.57
0.85

1.86


$1.06
0.82
2.93


0.95
9.00




0.47
0.64
0.48
0.79


0.56
0.00
0.00

2.50








Florida Cooperative Extension


Sales of Birds.-Layers sold for meat averaged 95 cents per bird in
1926 and 86 cents in 1928-29, but by 1931-32 had dropped to 47 cents. The
values of layers sold for breeders, consumed on the farm, and those on
hand at the end of the year decreased at about the same rate as birds sold
for meat. The high value received for birds sold for breeders in 1927-28
was due to the small number sold and to the sale of a few high priced birds.
The average value of hens purchased was about $1.00 throughout the study.
Very few males were purchased or sold, and their values fluctuated from
year to year.
Sales of layers for meat were heaviest during June, July, August, and
September. From 60 to 75 percent of the sales were made during these
four months. During 1931-32 the sales of layers were distributed over a
longer period than during the other years. The average value of birds sold
during these months was usually 25 percent below the average value of
those sold during March and April. Poultrymen should begin culling their
laying flock as soon as production begins to decline in the summer so as
to avoid the low prices and high mortality during these months.
A summary of sales, purchases and inventory values per farm used in
calculating the depreciation charge per farm, per bird and per dozen eggs
is shown in Table 30.

TABLE 30.-SUMMARY OF THE CHARGES FOR DEPRECIATION ON BIRDS IN
LAYING FLOCK (INCLUDING LAYERS AND MALES).
20 104 60 42 35
Farms Farms Farms Farms Farms
1926 1927-28 1928-29 1930-31 1931-32
Average Value per Farm
Birds charged to
laying flock:
On hand beginning
of year:
Pullets .............. $ 946 $ 828 $ 789 $ 833 $ 626
Hens ......... ........ 313 368 625 315 321
Males ----------...... 5 22 47 39 30
Purchases:
Layers ................ 5 15 5 1 16
M ales ...............-... 0 1 2 0 0
Total ......~.......-..... $1,269 $1,234 ] $1,468 | $1,188 $ 993
Birds credited to
laying flock
Layers:
Sold for meat ..... $ 353 $ 194 $ 322 $ 196 $ 144
Sold for breeders .. 50 2 23 16 12
Consumed on farm 18 11 12 8 7
On hand end of year 469 534 565 442 396
Males:
Sold for meat ....... 0 4 6 7 3
Sold for breeders .- 0 1 1 0 0
Consumed on farm 1 1 1 0 0
On hand end of year| 1 10 11 6 9
Total .. -...- $ 892 $ 757 $ 941 $ 675 $ 571
Charges less credits
or depreciation per
farm .................... $ 377 $ 477 $ 527 $ 513 $ 422
Depreciation per bird $ 0.47 $ 0.70 $ 0.65 $ 0.59 $ 0.54
Depreciation per
dozen eggs ..............- $0.038 $0.058 $0.053 $0.046 $0.043








An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


Interest on Birds.-Seven percent interest was charged on the average
inventory value of birds in the laying flock. This was a minor item and
averaged only 2.1 percent of the total cost. It varied from 12 cents per
bird in 1926 to 6 cents per bird in 1931-32.
Miscellaneous Costs.-Numerous small items were grouped together as
miscellaneous costs. Most important of these were marketing expenses,
medicine, sprays, disinfectants, and water rent. The total of these items
varied from 16 to 28 cents per bird and averaged 5.6 percent of the total
cost of producing eggs.
RETURNS FROM PRODUCING EGGS
Returns from the laying flock consisted of eggs sold for market and
for hatching, eggs incubated, eggs eaten and miscellaneous items. The
miscellaneous items amounted to less than 1 percent of the total returns
in 1926, 1927-28, and 1928-29, to slightly more than 1 percent in 1930-31,
and to about 2 percent in 1931-32.
About 95.5 percent of the eggs produced by the laying flocks were sold
as market eggs, 1 percent were sold as hatching eggs, 1.5 percent were
eaten, 1 percent were incubated, and slightly less than 1 percent were
unaccounted for as cracked or broken eggs (Table 31).

TABLE 31.-METHODS OF DISPOSAL AND PRICES RECEIVED FOR EGGS
PRODUCED BY THE LAYING FLOCK.


Method of disposal


20
Farms
1926


I 104 60 42
Farms Farms Farms
1927-28 1928-29 1930-31


Dozens per Farm

Sold for market eggs ........ 9,466 7,870 9,513 10,804 9,373
Sold for hatching eggs .... 97 158 127 61 37
Eaten ....... -------. --------- 165 143 102 204 160
Incubated ........------------------- 77 70 99 139 130
Unaccounted for ...-............. 57 44 169 47 48


Total .....-.............- ------- 9,862 8,285 10,010 11,255 9,748


Percent of Total


Sold as market eggs .......i 96.0 95.0 95.0 96.0 96.2
Sold as hatching eggs ... 1.0 1.9 1.3 0.6 0.4
Eaten 1.6 1.7 1.0 1.8 1.6
Incubated ...------------ .. 0.8 0.9 1.0 1.2 1.3
Unaccounted for ................ 0.6 0.5 1.7 0.4 0.5


Total ........------------------.... 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0


Average Price per Dozen Eggs (cents)


Sold as market eggs .....--
Sold as hatching eggs .......
Eaten -.... .......
Incubated ... .........


39.7 35.6 36.6
50.8 53.4 51.6
32.7 28.5 26.1
51.9 55.5 58.8


35
Farms
1931-32


25.3
43.4
17.7
32.6


20.4
31.9
14.3
29.8








Florida Cooperative Extension


Prices of hatching eggs sold averaged about 50 percent above those of
market eggs. Eggs incubated were valued at about the same price as
hatching eggs, and eggs eaten at about 30 percent less than market eggs.
Sales of Market Eggs.-Monthly sales of market eggs compared very
closely with monthly production of eggs. Practically no eggs were stored
by poultrymen, but a few were stored by one of the cooperative associations.
In 1926 the percent of the total eggs marketed during the different months
varied from 3 percent in September and October to 13 percent during the
spring months, and in 1931-32 from 4 percent in September to 12 percent
in the spring months. About 60 percent of the eggs were sold during the
months from February to June (Table 32).

TABLE 32.-SALES OF MARKET EGGS PRODUCED BY LAYING FLOCK.


Dozens sold per
farm ......... ....-
Value of sales per
farm .. .........


20
Farms
1926

9,466

$3,754


104
Farms
1927-28

7,870

$2,803


60
Farms
1928-29

9,513

$3.479


42
Farms
1930-31

10,804

$2,732


35
Farms
1931-32

9,373

$1,915


Percent of Dozens Sold Each Month


5
6
8
11
14
13
13
10
8
6
4
2



100


Average Price Received

....- 53.1
---..- 51.2
54.7 47.5
..... 38.1 32.1
-..- 30.5 28.5
...... 31.8 28.0
...-.... 30.6 27.6
--. ...-- 34.1 31.8
... 39.1 35.6
- ....-- 43.7 40.6
. -... 49.0 48.1
...- 57.7 53.8
.....- 56.3 -
I 9 A


100 100 100
100 100 I 100


(cents per dozen)


53.2
47.9
40.1
34.0
33.8
29.1
29.6
33.1
38.8
42.7
46.9
54.1



36.6


39.7 35.6


October _
November
December
January ....
February
March .....
April
May ......
June ..
July ........
August ..
September
October ....
November
December

Total


October ....
November
December
January .....
February .
March .....
April ........
May .......
June ....
July ..........
August ....
September .
October ...
November .
December


Average ----.........


25.3 20.4







An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


The wholesale quotation for white eggs on the Jacksonville market made
by the Florida State Marketing Bureau was used by many farmers as a
basis for contracts. Farmers selling eggs regularly to retail stores in the
Jacksonville area usually received quoted prices or higher than quoted
prices. Buying prices of wholesalers were usually below quoted prices.
Prices of eggs in other areas were slightly higher than in the Jacksonville
area. Average monthly prices received by all farmers included in the study
were about 1.5 cents below the quotation for the Jacksonville market.
Average yearly prices received per dozen for market eggs were 39.7 cents
in 1926, 35.6 cents in 1927-28, 36.6 cents in 1928-29, 25.3 cents in 1930-31, and
20.4 cents in 1931-32. The rapid decline in prices from 1929 to 1932 was
due to the decline in the general price level.
The average monthly prices received were highest in October and No-
vember and lowest in April and May. In 1926 the October and November
prices were 57 cents per dozen and the April and May prices about 31 cents.
In 1931-32 the October and November prices had dropped to 34 cents and
the April and May prices to 13.5 cents. This represented a decline of 40
percent in winter egg prices and 57 percent in spring egg prices. In 1926
a dozen eggs sold in October or November returned 1.9 times as much as
in March or April, but in 1931-32 they returned 2.5 times as much. In 1930-
31 and 1931-32 prices in February were lower than in March and April.
The price received for eggs by individual poultrymen varied widely in
each of the five years. The average price per dozen eggs was 35.6 cents in
1927-28 and 36.6 cents in 1928-29. About 20 percent of the farms received
from 35.0 to 35.9 cents per dozen eggs in both 1927-28 and 1928-29, but
in 1928-29 only 10 percent of the farms received less than 35.0 cents, as
compared with 29 percent in 1927-28; and 69 percent of the farms received
more than 36.0 cents, as compared with 51 percent in 1927-28.
These differences in market prices were due largely to method of selling
eggs and percent of eggs sold during months of high prices. The method
of disposal depended upon location of the farm and size of the flock. The
most common method used by those near large cities was to sell wholesale
to retail stores, hotels, and boarding houses. A few poultrymen with small
flocks retailed eggs to homes. Those poultrymen located far from markets
sold their eggs to truckers, shipped them to wholesalers, or sold them
through associations. A comparison of the marketing costs, gross prices
and net prices received from the different methods of marketing eggs is
shown in Table 33 for 1927-28 and Table 34 for 1928-29.
In both 1927-28 and 1928-29 highest gross prices per dozen eggs were
received by farmers retailing eggs to homes and lowest by farmers selling
eggs wholesale at farms. After deducting costs of marketing highest net
prices per dozen in 1927-28 were received by those retailing eggs and in
1928-29 by those shipping eggs to wholesalers.
Farmers using the different methods averaged about the same distance
to market except those shipping eggs to wholesalers. All in this group had
large flocks, were located in central Florida, and shipped eggs to southern
cities. The markets in these cities were higher in 1928-29 than in 1927-28,
which largely accounted for the relatively high gross and net prices received
by these farmers in that year.
The 12 farmers in 1927-28 and the 8 in 1928-29 who retailed eggs had
very small flocks and were using this method of marketing to obtain more
hours of productive work and higher gross receipts per farm. Most of
them sold garden and dairy products while marketing eggs, thus reducing
the marketing cost on each commodity. The gross price received was
enough higher than that received by other methods to pay the relatively
high costs and still return above-average net price per dozen. However,











TABLE 33.-RELATION OF METHOD OF SALE OF EGGS TO COST OF MARKETING AND NET PRICE RECEIVED FOR EGGS,
104 FARMS, 1927-28.


Method of
Sale



Retail to home

Wholesale to
stores, hotels,
and boarding
houses .........

Associations -

To wholesalers

By agent ........

Wholesale at fi

Shipped to who
sales ......


Total or
average


Number Ai
of Si
Farms I


s .... 12



----.. 35

....... 26

6

........ 11

arm 9

)le-
1.. 04 5



...... 104


Weekly
rerage Hours
ize of Marketing,
'lock per Farm


437



724

653

602

757

521


1,205



676


Weekly
Miles
Marketing
per Farm


44



54

5

52

2

28


26


Cost per Dozen Eggs Marketed


Man
Labor

$0.028



0.019

0.002

0.019

0.001

0.003


0.004


Auto Market-
or ing
Truck Expense

$0.022 $0.000



0.020 0.000

0.003 0.037

0.020 0.000

0.000 0.031

0.002 0.000


0.005 0.027


Cases
and
Fillers

$0.002



0.002

0.000

0.004

0.000

0.002


0.006


Total
Cost

$0.052



0.041

0.042

0.043

0.032

0.007





0.042 0.344


$0.356


Net Price
perDozen
Above
Market-
ing Cost

$0.329



0.321

0.313

0.305

0.324

0.317


0.302


Gross
Price
Re-
ceived
per
Dozen

$0.381



0.362

0.355

0.348

0.356

0.324


~---









TABLE 34.-RELATION OF METHOD OF SALE OF EGGS TO COST OF MARKETING AND NET PRICE RECEIVED FOR EGGS,
60 FARMS, 1928-29.


Method of Number
Sale of
Farms


Retail to homes......

Wholesale to
stores, hotels,
and boarding
houses ....................

Associations ..........

To wholesalers ......

By agent .........-----

Wholesale at farm

Shipped to whole-
salers ....--.. ...


Total or
average ........


2

9

2


4



60


Average
Size of
Flock


304



996

745

758

731

512


1,425



810


Weekly Weekly
Hours Miles
Marketing Marketing
per Farm per Farm


1.8


Cost per Dozen Eggs Marketed


Auto
Man or
Labor Truck

$0.037 $0.031


0.016

0.003

0.017

0.002

0.000


0.002


0.016

0.002

0.015

0.000

0.000


0.002


Market- Cases
ing and
Expense Fillers

$0.000 $0.003


0.000

0.040

0.000

0.032

0.000


0.020


0.003

0.000

0.006

0.000

0.000


0.005


Total
Cost

$0.071



0.035

0.045

0.038

0.034

0.000


0.029


Gross
Price
Re-
ceived
per
Dozen

$0.411



0.367

0.357

0.366

0.366

0.334


0.383



$0.366


Net Price
perDozen
Above
Market-
ing Cost

$0.340



0.332

0.312

0.328

0.332

0.334


0.354







Florida Cooperative Extension


there is a limit to the number of dozens of eggs that can be disposed of
by this method.
Of the remaining methods of marketing only 3 were used by a sufficient
number of farmers to make comparisons. These were sales by agents,
through associations, and wholesale to stores, hotels and boarding houses.
The number of birds per farm was approximately the same on these three
groups of farms.
Average gross price per dozen was highest on farms selling to stores,
hotels, and boarding houses and lowest on farms selling through cooperative
associations. When costs of marketing had been deducted the net price
on farms selling their eggs through agents was about the same as for those
selling to stores, hotels and restaurants. This was due to the fact that
the marketing cost on the latter group of farms was slightly higher than
on farms selling eggs through agents.
When comparing net prices. received for eggs sold by different methods
it should be remembered that cost of marketing deducted included a charge
for the operator's own labor selling eggs. Had it not been charged the
net price would have been higher by the cost of labor.
Another significant thing shown by these tables is that a poultryman
within 15 miles of a market and having 800 or 1,000 birds can pay himself
about 30 cents per hour for his labor and 5 cents per mile for his truck
and market his eggs for 3 or 4 cents per dozen. This included 2 trips to
market requiring an average of about 8.5 hours of labor and 60 miles of
truck use per week.
Sales of Hatching Eggs.-Hatching eggs were sold by 25 percent of the
poultrymen. In 1927-28 29 farms sold an average of 567 dozens per farm at
an average price of 53.4 cents per dozen (Table 35). The number of dozens
per farm declined each year until in 1931-32 only 214 dozens were sold at
an average price of 31.9 cents per dozen. The average value of hatching
eggs per farm selling declined from $303 in 1927-28 to $68 in 1931-32.

TABLE 35.-SALES OF HATCHING EGGS PRODUCED BY LAYING FLOCK.
20 104 60 42 35
Farms Farms Farms Farms Farms
1926 1927-28 1928-29 1930-31 1931-32
Number of farms selling ........ 6 29 16 9 6
Dozens per farm selling ........ 324 567 477 284 214
Value per farm selling ....-....... $165 $303 $246 $125 $ 68
Percent Sold Each Month


January .........
February ...
March .....
April ..........-
Other months

Total ...........


January .....-
February .....
March ......
April ........-
Other months -

Average .......


...-..-..-.- ... 3 17
...-- .-.- ... 42 33
-.-....--.. 34 33
- .....- ... ...... 20 11
....... ........... .6

.. ................... 100 100


Average Price Received (cents per dozen)
.. 49.1 59.5 55.5
49.9 52.4 51.4
---..- 51.6 51.1 51.4
-.... ........ 51.6 46.0 47.3
...-.-.- .... ...- 44.4 66.5 60.8

.........-.- ...... ....I 50.8 53.4 51.6


9
21
38
28
4

100


48.1
48.9
42.7
39.5
35.6

43.4


9
67
13
11

100



38.9
32.0
27.1
28.4

31.9







An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


From 77 to 96 percent of the hatching eggs were sold during February,
March, and April. A few sales were made in September and October.
Prices received for hatching eggs tended to follow the price of market eggs,
but were considerably higher throughout the season. Premiums for hatch-
ing eggs above market egg prices varied from 11.1 cents in 1926 to 18.1
cents in 1930-31.
Eggs Incubated.-Eggs produced by the laying flock and incubated on
the farm, or custom hatched for the operator, were credited to the laying
flock and charged to the incubation account at the market value of hatching
eggs. Over the period of the study the percent of farms using eggs for
incubation decreased but the percent of total dozens that were incubated on
all farms increased from 0.8 percent in 1926 to 1.3 percent in 1931-32.
The incubation season began in January and extended through April. A
few eggs were set in December and May. The value per dozen for eggs
incubated was about the same as for eggs sold for hatching, but had less
seasonal variation.
Eggs Eaten.-An average of 157 dozens of eggs per year were consumed
on the farm. This represented about 1.6 percent of the eggs produced.
A large percent of these were cracked eggs and were valued at about 10
cents per dozen below the price received for market eggs.
VARIATION IN COSTS AND RETURNS IN PRODUCING EGGS
There was wide variation each year in the total cost per dozen eggs, in
cost of individual items and in returns for feed and labor. Several measures
of returns were calculated. The most useful of these is the return per hour
of labor. It shows how well the layers paid those who cared for them.
Feed was the most important single item of cost. The relative efficiency
of certain feeding practices was best measured by the value of eggs above
feed cost per bird.
Variation in Total Cost per Dozen Eggs.-The greatest variation in
total cost per dozen eggs occurred in 1927-28 and in 1928-29, the years in
which the average cost was the highest and when the largest number of
farms was included. In 1927-28 when the average cost per dozen eggs
was 40.6 cents, the lowest cost per dozen was 26.0 cents and the highest
$1.25. The highest cost per dozen was five times that of the lowest cost.
The variation was about the same in 1928-29, but in the other three years
the highest cost was only double that of the lowest cost.
The average cost per dozen eggs was 35.2 cents in 1926 and 37 cents
in 1928-29. During these two years there were no farms on which the
average cost per dozen was below 25 cents. Twenty percent of the farms in
1926 and 10 percent in 1928-29 produced eggs for less than 30 cents per
dozen. In 1927-28 there was only one farm where the cost per dozen was
below 30 cents.
In 1930-31 and 1931-32 the average cost per dozen eggs was lower and
the variation less than during the first three years of the study. In 1930-
31 12 percent of the farms had costs per dozen of less than 25 cents and 10
percent had costs above 40 cents. Seventy-one percent of the farms pro-
duced eggs at costs between 25 and 34 cents per dozen. In 1931-32 9 percent
of the farms had costs below 20 cents per dozen and 6 percent had costs
above 40 cents. Sixty-five percent of the farms produced eggs at costs
between 20 and 29 cents per dozen.
Variation in Individual Items of Cost.-Some of the items of cost varied
considerably more than others. Feed varied least, land and buildings most.
Total cost per dozen eggs varied about in proportion to feed cost per dozen.
Important factors influencing feed cost per dozen eggs were feed con-
sumption per bird and price per hundredweight of feed. The fourth of the-







Florida Cooperative Extension


farms with the highest feed cost per dozen averaged 127 percent of the
average feed cost for all farms, as compared with 82 percent of the average
for the fourth of the farms with the lowest feed cost per dozen. While this
seems a relatively small variation, it is very significant in view of the fact
that it can vary only in proportion to the productive capacity of the hens and
to the cost per hundredweight of feed purchased. Since feed represents
approximately 50 percent of the cost of producing eggs, a 10 percent saving
has considerable influence on total returns.
Man labor cost per dozen eggs largely depended on the hours per bird
and the rate per hour, both of which were quite variable. The hours of
labor per bird were much greater for small flocks than for large flocks.
The fourth of the farms with the highest labor cost per dozen eggs had
double the average cost and three and one-half times the cost for the
lowest fourth of the farms.
Land and building cost per bird was affected by the investment per bird
and the rate of depreciation. The investment per bird was extremely
variable. The fourth of the farms with the highest land cost per dozen
eggs had 2.6 times the average cost and 5 times the cost of the lowest fourth
of the farms.
The cost per dozen eggs for depreciation on birds was influenced by
many factors such as mortality, value received for birds sold and rates of
culling. Like feed cost, it was largely affected by biological and price
factors and was not so variable as labor, land and building costs.
Variation in Return per Hour of Labor.-The average return per hour
of labor spent on layers varied from 50 cents per hour in 1926 to 6 cents
in 1931-32. The average for the five years was 23 cents per hour. Since it
was influenced by both costs other than labor and prices received for
products, it showed great variation. Each year there were some farms on
which returns from eggs were insufficient to cover all costs other than
labor, which resulted in a minus return per hour of labor. In 1930-31 and
1931-32 more than 30 percent of the farms made a minus labor return.
Variation in Value of Eggs Above Feed Cost per Bird.Feed repre-
sented an average of 47.3 percent of the total cost of producing eggs.
Therefore, the average value of eggs above the cost of feed had to be
slightly higher than the feed cost per bird in order to pay all costs including
labor. This was not true for individual farms since the percent that feed
cost represented of the total cost might be different than for the average
of all farms.
The value of eggs above the feed cost per bird varied from $2.77 in
1926 to $1.19 in 1931-32. In 1926 it varied from 36 cents to $3.52, and
in 1931-32 from 43 cents to $2.43 on individual farms. There was no
farm included in the study on which the value of eggs from the laying
flock was insufficient to cover the cost of feed.
FACTORS RELATED TO COSTS AND RETURNS IN PRODUCING EGGS
Thus far the discussion of the laying enterprise has been confined to a
description of items of costs and returns in producing eggs and their
variations.
One of the purposes of this study was to determine some of the factors
related to costs and returns in producing eggs. Each year as the accounts
were summarized, the important management practices followed on each
farm were noted. While the number of farms following some of the
practices was small it was felt that the comparisons were justified because
of the accuracy of the accounts.
Among the factors found to have affected costs and returns were the
number of birds per farm, eggs per hen, winter eggs per hen, percent of







An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


flock pullets, soil, percent mortality, feeding practices, capital per bird,
and birds per man. The most important of these were number of birds,
eggs per bird, and feeding practices.
Number of Birds per Farm.-The number of birds per farm was one of
the most important factors related to the cost of producing eggs. The
chief advantage of large flocks was in lower labor cost per bird and per
dozen eggs. The other items of cost tended to decrease as the size of
the flock increased, but not so rapidly as did labor cost.
The number of birds per farm varied from 676 in 1927-28 to 874 in
1930-31. In 1927-28 14 percent of the farms averaged less than 300 birds
and 7 percent averaged 1,500 birds or more per farm. In 1928-29 10 percent
of the farms averaged less than 300 birds and 10 percent had 1,500 birds
or more. About 60 percent of the farms had between 300 and 900 birds.
TABLE 36.-RELATION OF THE NUMBER OF BIRDS PER FARM TO VARIOUS
FACTORS.


Number Num-
of ber
Farms of
Birds


Price
Eggs Re-
per ceivec
Bird for
I IEggs


Average per Farm
r Re-
s Hours Per- turns Dozen
Labor cent per Eggs
d per Mor- Hour per
Bird tality of Man
i Labor


20 Farms, 1926


Less than 600
600 to 899 ......
900 or more ....
All farms ....


432
716
1,190
796


142 $0.39
156 0.38
146 0.40
149 $0.40 I


S$0.36 4,033
0.65 6,628
0.51 10,143
S$0.50 I 6,575


Less than 500 40
500 to 799 .....- 35
800 or more .. I 29
All farms .... 104


Less than 550 22
550 to 999 ...... 21
1,000 or more | 17
All farms .... 60


104 Farms, 1927-28
332 145 $0.37
630 146 0.37
1,205 151 0.36
676 148 I $0.36 I


$0.07
0.15
0.23
S$0.16


60 Farms, 1928-29


378
712
1,491
810


139 1 $0.38
151 0.36
153 0.37
150 $0.37 1


$0.15 4,718
0.40 7,290
0.44 9,606
S$0.32 [ 6,681


Less than 400 I
400 to 899 ......I
900 or more ...I
All farms ...


42 Farms, 1930-31
327 157 1 $0.26
642 159 1 0.26
1,448 154 | 0.25
874 1 156 | $0.25
35 Farms, 1931-32


Less than 550 12 1 381
550 to 799 ........ 12 668 1
800 or more .... 11 1,362 I
All farms .... 35 788


148 $0.21 I
150 1 0.21
149 1 0.21
149 $0.21


4.4 I 13 1$-0.02 1 4,472
3.3 1 20 0.03 7,248
2.5 16 0.12 10,557
2.9 I 16 $0.06 1 7,789


There was little relationship between number of birds and egg produc-
tion in four of the five years (Table 36). In 1928-29 the flocks with less


Birds per
Farm


4,245
6,737
8,590
S6,004


$0.05
0.08
0.15
$0.10


4,074
7,005
10,332
8,174







Florida Cooperative Extension


than 550 birds averaged 139 eggs per hen, as compared with 153 eggs per
hen for flocks of 1,000 birds or more. Prices received per dozen eggs
were about the same for the various sized flocks. In three of the five
years, the percent mortality was higher for small flocks than for medium
and large flocks.
In each of the five years the larger the number of birds the lower was
the labor cost per bird and per dozen eggs and the higher the return per
hour of labor (Table 37). In 1928-29 flocks of less than 550 birds had a
labor cost of $1.54 per bird, as compared with 78 cents per bird in flocks of
1,000 birds or more. There was a difference of 48 cents in labor cost per
bird between large and small flocks in 1930-31.

TABLE 37.-RELATION OF THE NUMBER OF BIRDS PER FARM TO COSTS AND
RETURNS PER BIRD.


Birds per
Farm Feed



Less than 600 I $2.17
600 to 899 ...... 2.09
900 or more .... 2.13

All farms .... $2.13


Less than 500 $2.53
500 to 799 ...... 2.36
800 or more .... 2.32

All farms .... $2.37


Average per I
Depre- Over-
Man ciation head
Labor onBirds Costs
20 Farms, 1926
$1.17 I $0.34 $0.57
0.85 0.46 0.43
0.76 0.52 0.58

$0.86 I $0.47 $0.53
104 Farms, 1927-28


$1.47
1.14
0.86

$1.07


$0.67 $0.42
0.80 0.41
0.66 0.35

$0.70 $0.38


60 Farms, 1928-29


Less than 550
550 to 999 ....
1,000 or more


S$2.22
2.19
2.14


All farms .... $2.18


$1.54
0.87
0.78

$0.94


$0.69
0.66
0.63

$0.65


$0.54
0.33
0.34

$0.37


Returns Gain or
Total per Loss per
Costs Bird Bird


$4.79
4.12
4.36

$4.36


$5.57
5.30
4.57

$4.98


$5.47
4.52
4.29

$4.57


$4.84 $0.05
5.01 0.89
4.89 0.33

$4.93 $0.57


$4.41 $-1.16
4.58 -0.72
4.34 -0.23

$4.42 $-0.56


$4.30 $-1.17
4.60 0.08
4.58 0.29

$4.54 $-0.03


42 Farms, 1930-31


Less than 400 I $1.87
400 to 899 ...... 1.93
900 or more .... 1.71 I

All farms ....1 $1.79 I


Less than 550 $1.42
550 to 799 ...... 1.33
800 or more ... 1.33 I

All farms .... $1.34


$1.04 $0.68
0.81 0.54
0.56 0.60

$0.67 $0.59


35 Farms, 1931-32


$0.92 $0.60
0.77 0.54
0.56 0.52

$0.67 1 0.54


$0.26
0.31
0.29

$0.30


$4.21
3.90
3.50

$3.68


$3.34
3.40
3.23

$3.29


$-0.87
-0.50
-0.27

$-0.39


$0.35
0.33
0.25

$0.29


$3.56
3.26
2.84

$3.08


$2.58
2.56
2.59

$2.58


$-0.98
-0.70
-0.25

$-0.50







An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


The chief cause of the lower labor cost for large flocks was the smaller
number of hours required per bird. In 1928-29 and 1931-32 the number of
hours per bird for small flocks was 4.4 hours, as compared with 2.5 hours for
large flocks. The greatest difference in the number of hours of labor per
bird was between small and medium flocks.
In 1928-29 the total cost per dozen eggs was 47.5 cents on farms having
less than 550 birds, as compared with 34.3 cents on farms having 1,000
birds or more and in 1930-31 it was 32.4 cents on farms having less than
400 birds, as compared with 27.4 cents on farms having 900 birds or more
(Table 38).

TABLE 38.-RELATION OF THE NUMBER OF BIRDS PER FARM TO COSTS AND
RETURNS PER DOZEN EGGS.


Average Cost per Dozen
Depre- Over-
Feed Man ciation head
SLabor i onBirds Costs
20 Farms, 1926


$0.182 $0.097
0.163 0.066
0.174 0.062

$0.172 $0.069


$0.206
0.196
0.187


$0.028
0.036
0.042

$0.038


$0.048
0.033
0.047

$0.043


104 Farms, 1927-28

$0.120 $0.054 $0.034
0.095 0.065 0.033
0.070 0.052 0.028


All farms .. $0.193 $0.087 0.058 80.030
60 Farms, 1928-29


Less than 550
550 to 999 .....
1,000 or more


I$0.193
0.175
0.171


All farms ....1 $0.176


$0.134 $0.057
0.070 0.051
0.063 0.047

$0.076 $0.053


$0.047
0.026
0.032

$0.031


42 Farms, 1930-31


Less than 400 $0.143 $0.080 80.052
400 to 899 ..... 0.148 0.062 0.041
900 or more .... 0.134 0.044 0.046

All farms .... $0.139 $0.052 $0.046


$0.021
0.023
0.023

$0.023


35 Farms, 1931-32


Less than 550 $0.116 $0.075 $0.049
550 to 799 ...... 0.108 0.062 0.043
800 or more ... 0.107 0.045 0.042

All farms ....$0.108 $0.055 $0.043


$0.029
0.027
0.020

$0.024


I Gain
lReturns or
per Loss
Total Dozen per
Eggs Dozen


Birds per
Farm




Less than 600
600 to 899 .....-
900 or more ...

All farms ....


$0.404 $0.004
0.391 0.070
0.400 0.044

$0.398 $0.046



$0.359 $-0.094
0.380 -0.060
0.349 -0.019

$0.361 $-0.045



$0.374 $-0.101
0.366 0.006
0.366 0.023

$0.367 $-0.003



$0.257 $-0.067
0.259 -0.038
0.253 -0.021

$0.255 $-0.030


$0.400
0.321
0.356

$0.352



$0.453
0.440
0.368

$0.406



$0.475
0.360
0.343

$0.370



$0.324
0.297
0.274

$0.285



$0.292
0.263
0.229

$0.249


$-0.082
-0.056
-0.020


$0.208 1$-0.041


$0.210
0.207
0.209


Less than 500
500 to 799 .....
800 or more ...







Florida Cooperative Extension


Eggs per Hen.-Another very important factor found to be related to
costs and returns in producing eggs was eggs per hen. As the eggs per hen
increased the total cost per bird increased but the cost per dozen eggs
decreased. The average return per hour of labor was much higher on
farms with higher egg production per hen.
The average number of eggs per hen was highest, 156 eggs, in 1930-31
and lowest, 148 eggs, in 1927-28. The highest egg production per hen for
a flock was 214 eggs and the lowest 91 eggs. About 50 percent of the
flocks produced between 140 and 159 eggs per hen. It was influenced by
many factors such as percentage of pullets in the flock, feeding practices,
etc., which will be discussed in more detail.
Monthly egg production per hen showed wide seasonal variation (Table
39). During the fall months of September to December the average
production was less than 30 percent, while from February to May it averaged
more than 50 percent. It was lowest in October and November and
highest in March and April. After reaching the peak of production
in March and April it gradually decreased until the new crop of pullets
came into production in the fall. Since the number of birds in the laying
flock was also decreasing during this season of the year, the volume of eggs
per farm decreased very rapidly. On many farms expenses exceeded
receipts in August, September and October.

TABLE 39.-MONTHLY VARIATION IN EGG PRODUCTION PER HEN.
20 104 60 42 35
Farms Farms Farms Farms Farms
1926 1927-28 1928-29 1930-31 1931-32
Eggs per Hen

October --...--..-- 6.0 6.2
November ---... 6.0 5.5 6.3 7.7
December ----...... 7.5 7.1 7.5 10.5
January ............ 11.9 10.9 12.0 11.1 13.2
February .......... 15.0 15.5 14.8 16.0 15.6
March ................ 19.2 19.4 19.4 19.9 17.0
April ............... 19.5 18.8 18.8 20.1 17.6
May .................... 19.0 17.8 17.7 18.7 16.7
June .................... 15.0 14.9 15.1 16.4 14.4
July ...................- 13.7 12.9 13.3 14.4 11.6
August ........... 10.1 10.3 10.9 12.4 10.2
September ........ 6.3 6.8 6.8 8.6 7.9
October .............. 5.5 3.9 3.7 -
November ........ 5.9 -
December .......... 8.6 -
Yearly ]
Average* ... 148.6 148.2 149.5 156.0 148.7
*Represents the yearly average egg production per hen obtained by dividing the total
eggs laid by the yearly average number of birds. It is not a total of the eggs per hen
per month.

One of the methods of increasing egg production per hen was to keep
a high percentage of the laying flock pullets (Table 40). The average
pullet lays about 24 more eggs per year than a hen, many of which are
laid during the winter months. Part of the receipts from the extra eggs
was required to offset the high depreciation cost incurred when more pullets
were kept. The depreciation cost per bird in the high producing flocks







An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


was 18 cents more in 1927-28 and 15 cents more in 1931-32 than in the
low-producing flocks (Table 41). The depreciation cost per dozen eggs
was about the same for high and low producing flocks (Table 42).
High producing birds require more pounds of feed per bird. Feed cost
per bird in the high producing flocks was 19 cents more in 1927-28 and 31
cents mo-e in 1931-32 than in the low producing flocks, but the feed
cost per dozen eggs was less in high producing flocks. The cheapest way
to lower the feed cost per dozen eggs was by breeding, but it can be
done also by stimulating feed consumption of low producing birds unless
feed prices are abnormally high.

TABLE 40.-RELATION OF EGGS PER HEN TO VARIOUS FACTORS.


Eggs per Hen


Number
of
Farms


Eggs
per
Hen


Average per Farm
| Value
Return Eggs
Winter per Hour Above Percent
Eggs Man Feed of Flock
per Hen Labor Costs per Pullets
Bird


20 Farms, 1926


Less than 140 ...... 7
140 to 159 ............- 8
160 or more ......... 5

All farms .......... 20


Less than 140 .
140 to 159 .......
160 or more .....

All farms ...


131 21 $0.36
149 25 0.46
172 34 0.91

149 26 $0.50

104 Farms, 1927-28


120
148
174

148


19
24
33

24


$-0.04
0.17
0.30

$0.16


60 Farms, 1928-29


Less than 140 ........
140 to 159 .............. !
160 or more ........


124
151
172


$0.16 $1.76 39
0.38 2.36 47
0.46 2.92 55


All farms ........- 60 1 150 | 25 $0.32 1 $2.33 48
42 Farms, 1930-31

Less than 140 ........ 6 127 12 $-0.05 $0.98 58
140 to 159 .............. 20 152 20 0.08 1.41 65
160 or more ..........- 16 175 24 0.18 1.77 68

All farms ..-......... 42 156 20 $0.10 $1.46 65
35 Farms, 1931-32

Less than 140 ........ 14 1 127 16 $-0.07 $0.76 42
140 to 159 ............ 11 150 25 0.05 1.18 57
160 or more .......... 10 179 34 0.18 1.74 75

All farms ...........[ 35 149 24 $0.06 $1.19 56


$2.14
2.70
3.71

$2.77


56
70
70

66


$1.33
2.11
2.66

$2.02







Florida Cooperative Extension


TABLE 41.-RELATION OF THE EGGS PER HEN TO COSTS AND RETURNS
PER BIRD.


Eggs per Hen





Less than 140
140 to 159 ......
160 or more ...-

All farms


Average Cost per Bird
Depre-
Man ciation Over-
Feed Labor on head
Birds Costs
20 Farms, 1926


$2.06
2.20
2.11

$2.13


$0.81 $0.33 $0.52
0.96 0.61 0.55
0.76 0.44 0.52

$0.86 $0.47 $0.53
104 Farms, 1927-28


Returns Gain or
Total per oss per
Costs Bird Bird
[


$4.02
4.67
4.32

$4.36


$4.22
4.93
5.85

$4.93


$0.20
0.26
1.53

$0.57


I I
Less than 140 $2.28 $0.98 $0.60 $0.37 $4.64 $3.64 $-1.00
140 to 159 ..... 2.36 1.15 0.76 0.40 5.09 4.50 -0.59
160 or more ..- 2.47 1.09 0.78 0.37 5.24 5.17 -0.07

All farms $2.37 $1.07 $0.70 $0.38 $4.98 $4.42 $-0.56
60 Farms, 1928-29


Less than 140 $2.02
140 to 159 .....- 2.19
160 or more .. 2.33

All farms ..[ $2.18



Less than 140 | $1.66
140 to 159 ...... 1.72
160 or more --.. 1.92


$1.00 $0.55
0.89 0.63
0.94 0.79

$0.94 $0.65


$0.39
0.34
0.40

$0.37


$4.37
4.43
4.98

$4.57


$3.80 $-0.57
4.60 0.17
5.29 0.31

$4.54 $-0.03


42 Farms, 1930-31


$0.75
0.70
0.61


All farms $1.79 $0.67


$0.61
0.57
0.61

$0.59


$0.27 $3.54 $2.79 $-0.75
0.27 3.58 3.10 -0.48
0.33 3.84 3.67 -0.16

$0.30 $3.68 $3.29 $-0.39


35 Farms, 1931-32


Less than 140 $1.13
140 to 159 ...... 1.40
160 or more ... 1.44

All farms .I $1.34


$0.73
0.65
0.63

$0.67


$0.46
0.56
0.61

$0.54


$0.25 $2.88 $2.09 $-0.79
0.33 3.12 2.62 -0.50
0.30 3.31 3.20 -0.11

$0.29 $3.08 $2.58 $-0.50


During each of the five years of the study returns from eggs on farms
having the highest egg production per hen were more than enough to
offset the added costs, thereby returning a higher profit per bird and a
higher return per hour of labor. There is little doubt that this is one
of the surest ways of increasing profits.
Winter Eggs per Hen.-High winter egg production was also closely
associated with total egg production and high returns in producing eggs
(Table 43). The flocks having high winter egg production also had high







An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


TABLE 42.-RELATION OF EGGS PER HEN TO COSTS AND RETURNS PER
DOZEN EGGS.


Eggs per Hen


Less than 140
140 to 159......
160 or more --

All farms .-


Average Cost per Dozen Eggs Returns
I Depre- I per
Man ciation I Over- ITotal Dozen
Feed Labor on I head Costs Eggs
Birds I Costs
20 Farms, 1926


$0.188
0.178
0.147

$0.172


$0.074
0.078
0.053

$0.069 1


$0.031
0.050
0.031

$0.038


$0.047
0.044
0.036

$0.043


104 Farms, 1927-28

Less than 140 $0.223 $0.095 $0.058 $0.036
140 to 159 ........ 0.192 0.094 0.062 0.032
160 or more .. 0.173 0.076 0.054 0.026
I I I I


$0.369
0.378
0.300

$0.352



$0.450
0.415
0.367


Gain or
Loss
per
Dozen
Eggs


$0.387 $0.018
0.400 0.022
0.406 0.106

$0.398 1 $0.046


$0.354
0.366
0.362


$-0.096
-0.049
-0.005


All farms -I $0.193 i $0.087 $0.058 | $0.030 $0.406 $0.361 5$-0.045
60 Farms, 1928-29

Less than 140 $0.194 | $0.096 $0.053 $0.037 $0.420 $0.365 $-0.055
140 to 159 ...... 0.175 0.072 0.050 0.027 0.354 0.368 0.014
160 or more I 0.162 | 0.066 0.055 0.029 0.346 0.368 0.022
I I I I I
All farms $0.176 $0.076 1 $0.052 $0.031 $0.370 $0.367 $-0.003
42 Farms, 1930-31

Less than 140 $0.151 $0.068 $0.056 $0.023 $0.322 $0.254 $-0.068
140 to 159 ...... 0.139 0.057 0.046 0.022 0.290 0.252 -0.038
160 or more .. 0.135 0.043 0.043 0.023 0.271 0.259 -0.012

All farms .- $0.139 $0.052 $0.046 $0.023 $0.285 I $0.255 $-0.030
35 Farms, 1931-32


Less than 140 |
140 to 159 ......
160 or more ..I

All farms


$0.117
0.113
0.096

$0.108


$0.073
0.053
0.042

$0.055


$0.044
0.045
0.040

$0.043


$0.024
0.027
0.020

$0.024


$0.276
0.252
0.220

$0.249


$0.200 $-0.076
0.212 -0.040
0.213 -0.007

$0.208 $-0.041


yearly production and vice versa. The factors affecting yearly production
had about the same effect on winter egg production.
The three winter months for the years 1926, 1927-28, and 1928-29 were
November, December, and January; and for 1930-31 and 1931-32 were
October, November, and December. Since the average eggs per hen were
slightly lower in November than in January the number of winter eggs per
hen for the last two years was slightly below that of the first three years.
A more favorable season and the increased use of lights caused the winter
egg production in 1931-32 to be higher than in 1930-31.







Florida Cooperative Extension


TABLE 43.-RELATION OF WINTER EGGS PER HEN TO RETURNS.

Number Average per Farm
Winter Eggs of I Return
per Hen Farms Winter Yearly Percent per Hour
Eggs Eggs Pullets Man
per Hen* per Hen Labor

20 Farms, 1926

Less than 23 ........ 7 20 138 63 $0.05
23 to 28 ............. I 8 25 143 60 0.39
29 or more ...---...... 5 36 171 76 0.82

All farms -.....-- 20 26 149 66 $0.50

104 Farms, 1927-28

Less than 21 ........ 27 15 121 46 $-0.04
21 to 28 ................ 39 24 146 68 0.12
29 or more .........I 38 34 168 77 0.28

All farms ........ 104 24 148 61 $0.16

60 Farms, 1928-29

Less than 21 ........ 20 17 129 34 $0.17
21 to 26 ............... 23 23 147 47 0.38
27 or more .........| 17 33 170 61 0.41

All farms .......... 60 25 150 48 $0.32

45 Farms, 1930-31

Less than 16 ........ 12 13 140 61 $-0.03
16 to 23 ................ 17 20 158 60 0.05
24 or more .......... 13 29 172 76 0.25

All farms .....-.... 42 20 156 65 $0.10

35 Farms, 1931-32

Less than 20 ........ 14 14 129 42 $-0.08
20 to 28 ................ 12 23 154 53 0.08
29 or more .......... 9 40 174 82 0.17

All farms .......... 35 24 149 56 $0.06
*Includes November, December and January in 1926, 1927-28 and 1928-29, and October,
November and December in 1930-31 and 1931-32.

The average winter egg production per hen varied from 20 in 1930-31 to
26 in 1926. The lowest production on any one farm was 6 and the
highest 52, both of which occurred in 1927-28. Eighty percent of the
flocks in 1928-29 and 60 percent in 1931-32 produced from 15 to 29 eggs
per hen during the winter months.







An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


On the farms obtaining the highest winter egg production in 1926,
1927-28 and 1928-29, the total cost per bird was about 60 cents higher
than on the farms with low winter egg production (Table 44). In 1930-31
and 1931-32 the difference was less. To offset this additional cost they
received an average of 20 more eggs per hen in the winter months and
40 more eggs per hen for the year, which resulted in a lower cost per dozen
eggs. Average returns per dozen eggs were about 2 cents higher on the
farms with higher winter egg production.

TABLE 44.-RELATION OF WINTER EGGS PER HEN TO COSTS AND RETURNS.


Costs per Bird
Depre-
Feed ciation Total


Per Dozen Eggs
Profit
Costs Returns or Loss


20 Farms, 1926

Less than 23 ............ $1.98 $0.34 $3.98
23 to 28 .......... ......... 2.22 0.55 4.56
29 or more ................ 2.17 0.52 4.51

All farms ............. $2.13 $0.47 $4.36


Less than 21 .
21 to 28 .........
29 or more .........


104 Farms, 1927-28

.......... $2.31 $0.56 $4.58
....-...- 2.38 0.77 5.11
.........- 2.41 0.77 5.19


I
All farms ........$..... $2.37 $0.70 $4.98

60 Farms, 1928-29


Less than 21 .......
21 to 26 ........
27 or more ..........

All farms .......


.....- $2.07 $0.56
....... 2.16 0.57
....... 2.28 I 0.82

....... $2.18 $0.65


$4.48
4.27
5.02

$4.57


$0.352
0.381
0.316

$0.352



$0.437
0.415
0.377

$0.406



$0.426
0.348
0.358

$0.370


42 Farms, 1930-31


Less than 16
16 to 23 ....
24 or more

All farms


Less than 20 .......
20 to 28 .............
29 or more ......

All farms .....


..........- ( $1.68
........... 1.89
......... 1.77

........-.. $1.79


$0.62
0.57
0.56


S$0.59


$3.61 $0.338
3.70 0.299
3.72 0.266

] $3.68 $0.285


35 Farms, 1931-32

..... ... $1.21 $0.48 $2.91 $0.279
......... 1.40 0.56 3.05 0.233
........ 1.48 0.61 3.39 0.233

.... $ 1.34 $0.54 $3.08 $0.249


$0.390
0.395
0.409

$0.398


$0.038
0.014
0.093

$0.046


$0.348 $-0.089
0.361 -0.054
0.368 -0.009

$0.361 1$-0.045


$0.361
0.367
0.372


$-0.065
0.019
0.014


$0.367 1$-0.003



$0.253 $-0.085
0.256 -0.043
0.268 0.002

$0.255 $-0.030



$0.200 1$-0.079
0.204 -0.029
0.224 -0.009

$0.208 1$-0.041


Winter Eggs
per Hen







Florida Cooperative Extension


The average poultryman had a greater net income above feed cost in
the spring months, when eggs were cheapest. However, on many of the
farms in the high winter egg group, the total value of egg sales above feed
costs was greater during winter months than during spring months. It
cost slightly more to produce eggs in the winter months but the higher
prices obtained greatly exceeded the cost and the increased production
for the year lowered the average yearly cost per dozen.
Percentage of Pullets in the Flock.-During the five-year period about
60 percent of the laying birds on hand at the beginning of the year were
pullets. The percentage kept on individual farms varied widely and was
influenced by many factors. The primary advantages of pullets were higher
yearly and winter egg production per hen with approximately the same
feed consumption. The chief disadvantage was the higher depreciation
cost per bird.
Very few laying flocks were composed of all hens or all pullets. About
65 percent of the poultrymen kept between 40 and 80 percent pullets. In
1927-28 and 1930-31 more than 25 percent of the poultrymen had flocks
composed of 90 percent or more pullets. Most of these were beginners in
poultry farming. The more experienced and more prosperous poultrymen
kept from 50 to 75 percent pullets.
The higher the percentage of pullets the higher the egg production
(Table 45). When the 258 records for the five years were combined the
average for those flocks with less than 20 percent pullets was 132 eggs per
hen, as compared with 162 eggs for flocks with 100 percent pullets.

TABLE 45.-RELATION OF PERCENT OF FLOCK PULLETS TO EGG PRODUCTION,
258 FLOCKS 1926, 1927-28, 1928-29, 1930-31 AND 1931-32.

Number Average per Farm
Percent of of IWinter
Flock Pullets Farms Percent Eggs per Eggs per
Pullets Hen Hen

Less than 20 ............. 1 15 7 132 17
20 to 39 ........................... 36 31 135 18
40 to 59 ............................. 83 50 149 23
60 to 79 .................. ....... 69 68 152 25
80 to 99 ............ ... 15 87 159 29
100 ......._....... ...... ........ 40 100 162 31

All farms ........... ... 258 60 149 24

The increase in average egg production in the higher-percentage-pullet
flocks was due primarily to an increase in the percent of the number of
high producing flocks. In the group of flocks with less than 20 percent
pullets there were no flocks with less than 100 eggs per hen or above 160
eggs per hen. However, in the flocks composed of from 40 to 59 percent
pullets, 4 percent of the flocks averaged less than 100 eggs per hen and
30 percent averaged more than 160 eggs. In the flocks of 100 percent
pullets 2 percent averaged less than 100 eggs per hen and 5 percent over
200 eggs. There were no flocks averaging over 180 eggs per hen with less
than 40 percent pullets and none averaging over 200 eggs per hen with less
than 80 percent pullets.
Winter egg production per bird was also higher in flocks having a higher
percentage of pullets. Flocks with 100 percent pullets averaged 31 eggs
per hen during the winter months as compared with 17 eggs in flocks with








An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


less than 20 percent pullets. This helped to increase the average yearly
price received per dozen eggs.
Another advantage in keeping a high percentage of pullets in the flock
was the more efficient use of feed. The groups of farms having the highest
percentage of pullets averaged a higher feed cost per bird but a lower feed
cost per dozen eggs than the low-percentage-pullet flocks. In 1928-29 the
feed cost per bird for the high-percentage-pullet flocks was $2.33, as com-
pared with $2.12 for the low-percentage-pullet flocks; and in 1931-32, $1.44,
as compared with $1.31. The increase in value of eggs per bird for the
same two groups was about 5 times the increase in the feed cost per bird.

TABLE 46.-RELATION OF PERCENT OF FLOCK PULLETS TO FEED AND
DEPRECIATION COSTS.


Num- Per-
ber of cent
Farms Pullets


Average per Farm

Value Eggs per
g Bird
Eggs Feed Depre- Above
per Cost citation Feed
Hen per Bird Cost per Total and De-
[ Bird i precia-
SItion
S____Cost


104 Farms, 1927-28


Less than 50 i
50 to 74 ........
75 or more ....


135
148
157


$2.35
2.34
2.43


All farms 104 61 148 $2.37


Less than 45
45 to 59 ........
60 or more ....

All farms


60 Farms, 1928-29

28 30 139 $2.12
19 53 154 2.14
13 72 155 2.33

60 48 150 $2.18


42 Farms, 1930-31

Less than 50 1 10 37 | 148 $1.89
50 to 74 ......i 21 61 160 1.85
75 or more .... 11 98 161 1.80

All farms | 42 65 156 $1.85
35 Farms, 1931-32


Less than 50 1 13
50 to 74 ........ 14
75 or more .... 8 I

All farms 35


27
63
91

56


138
151
164

149


$1.31
1.32
1.44

$1.34


$0.51
0.79
0.83

$0.70


$4.06
4.47
4.67

$4.39


$0.57 $4.19
0.62 4.61
0.85 5.02

$0.65 $4.51


$0.48
0.55
0.75

$0.59



$0.45
0.53
0.68

$0.54


$3.14
3.35
3.47

$3.33


$1.20
1.34
1.41

$1.32



$1.50
1.85
1.84

$1.69



$0.77
0.95
0.92

$0.89


$2.28 $0.52
S2.52 0.67
I 3.15 1.03

$2.53 $0.65


Percent of
Flock
Pullets







Florida Cooperative Extension


In spite of these advantages only a few poultrymen tried to maintain
flocks of 100 percent pullets each year. One reason for this was the high
depreciation cost (Table 46). The average depreciation cost per bird
was about 27 cents more in flocks containing 90 percent pullets than in those
keeping 30 percent pullets. This cost increased more rapidly when the per-
centage of pullets was increased from 60 to 90 than when it was increased
from 30 to 60 percent, while egg production per hen tended to increase less
rapidly.
The total value of eggs above feed and depreciation cost per bird in-
creased as the percentage of the pullets increased in each of the four
years. In three of the four years it increased more rapidly when the
percentage of pullets in the flock was increased from 30 to 60 percent
than when it was increased from 60 to 90 percent.
While these data show the relative egg production, costs, and returns
with various percentages of pullets in the flock, they do not definitely tell
each individual poultryman what percentage of pullets he should keep.
That will be influenced by some of the following factors: First, the higher
the production of any group of birds as pullets the more of them that should
be kept the following year. Consequently in years when a high percentage
of the previous year's pullets were kept the percentage of pullets in the
flock would be lower. Second, one can afford to replace more of his birds
with new pullets each year if a high price can be obtained for the old
pullets at the end of their first year's laying. Third, poultrymen who have
the opportunity to sell hatching eggs should keep a lower percentage of
pullets than those selling only market eggs. Fourth, if the cost of raising
pullets is high it may be well to use the best of the birds two years. Higher
returns per hour of labor were obtained from the flocks with between
50 and 75 percent pullets than from flocks with less than 50 percent or
more than 75 percent.
Use of Lights.-Lights are used with laying birds to increase feed con-
sumption and egg production. Less than 10 percent of the farms included
in 1927-28, 1928-29 and 1930-31 used lights. The number and percent of
farms using lights during these three years were considered too small
for accurate conclusions as to their effect on egg production.
In 1931-32 17 of the 35 farms used lights. Of this number 12 were
among the 42 farms included in 1930-31. Nine of them were using lights for
the first time while three used lights the previous year. The remaining
five farms were not included in the previous years of the study.
The 17 flocks on which lights were used in 1931-32 produced 19 more
eggs per hen than the flocks on which lights were not used (Table 47).
Ten of these were produced during the winter months. This was accom-
panied by an increased feed consumption per bird, but the value of eggs
above feed cost per bird was 48 cents more on farms using lights. Return
per hour of labor was 16 cents more per bird on farms using lights. Part
of this higher return was due to the fact that farms using lights had a
larger number of birds per farm.
Records for previous years show no apparent reason for the rapid
increase in the use of lights in 1931-32 or for the excellent returns obtained.
However, in view of the results secured by farms using lights in 1931-32,
it seems that lights may be more widely used in the future than they were
prior to that time. The average winter egg production for 1931-32 was
much above that of 1930-31, the only other year when October, November
and December were designated as the winter months, and the total egg
production per hen on the nine farms using lights in 1931-32 was 9 eggs
per hen higher than on the same farms in 1930-31 when lights were not
used.








An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


TABLE 47.--RELATION OF USE OF LIGHTS TO EGGS PER HEN AND RETURNS,
35 FARMS, 1931-32.
Average Average 18
17 Farms Farms not
Using Lights Using Lights

Number of farms ................... .......... 17 18
Number of birds ........................................ 920 662
Percent pullets ............ ........... 59 53
Eggs per hen ......... -...........- ........ .... 159 140
Winter eggs per hen ............................... 29.2 18.9
Percent mortality ..................... ................- 17.2 15.3
Cost per dozen eggs ........... ........................ $0.234 $0.271
Price per dozen eggs ..................................... $0.211 $0.210
Value of eggs above feed per bird ............... $1.42 $0.94
Return per hour of labor -..--...--. ..-.....- $0.121 $-0.039


Breeds of Birds.-Most birds on farms studied were Leghorns. Four-
teen of the 104 farms in 1927-28 reported having breeds other than Leg-
horns, but the total number of birds of other breeds represented only 3.5
percent of the total birds inventoried at the beginning of the year. The
most common breed other than Leghorns was Rhode Island Red.
Breeds other than Leghorns were found mainly on farms selling hatch-
ing eggs, baby chicks, or fryers. Since a large percentage of the receipts
on these farms was from sources other than market eggs total returns
from all poultry enterprises should be taken into consideration when com-
paring the relative profitableness of the different breeds. It was impossible
to do this since flocks with breeds other than Leghorns were about half
as large as those composed entirely of Leghorns.
Type of Soil.-Florida has many types of soils, some of which are
not suited to poultry. It was impossible to classify accurately the types of
soil used for chickens on each farm but they were grouped into the
following three general classes: 1. Light, sandy soils, well drained; 2.
heavy soils, poorly drained; and 3. other types. The adaptability of the soils
to poultry seems to depend upon drainage as well as texture.
In 1927-28 flocks on light, sandy, well drained soils averaged 155 eggs
per hen and 8 percent mortality, as compared with 140 eggs per hen
and 14 percent mortality for farms on the heavy, poorly drained soils; and
in 1928-29, 149 eggs per hen and 9 percent mortality for farms on light,
sandy, well drained soils, as compared with 141 eggs per hen and 15 percent
mortality for farms on heavy, poorly drained soils. These differences in
mortality and egg production caused a difference of from 1 to 3 cents per
dozen in the cost of producing eggs, depending on the price level. This
would amount to from $100 to $300 per year on farms averaging about 800
hens.
When selecting a location for a commercial egg farm distance from
market as well as type of soil should be taken into consideration. Each'
additional 5 miles to market adds about $50 per year to the truck cost
if the poultryman expects to market his own eggs. The best location for a
commercial egg farm is near a good market for eggs on a well drained,
sandy soil.
Percent Mortality.-The death rate of birds in the laying flock was an
important factor affecting cost of producing eggs. The 258 flocks included
in the five years of the study averaged 12.1 percent mortality and 149 eggs
per hen. As the percent mortality increased the eggs per hen decreased.







Florida Cooperative Extension


There were nine flocks with less than 4 percent mortality and they averaged
153 eggs per hen. The 32 flocks with the highest mortality averaged 137
eggs per hen. All groups of flocks averaging less than 10 percent mortality
were above average in egg production per hen. Egg production was below
average in all groups of flocks except one with more than 10 percent
mortality. The reverse relationship was true also.
The cost per dozen eggs increased as percent mortality increased
(Table 48). This was the result of higher depreciation cost per bird
and lower egg production. In 1928-29 flocks with less than 7 percent
mortality averaged 160 eggs per hen and 53 cents depreciation cost per
bird, as compared with 134 eggs per hen and 82 cents depreciation cost
per bird for flocks having 13 percent mortality or more. Total costs per
dozen eggs were 34 and 46 cents and returns per hour of labor 48 and 19
cents for the same two groups. The same relationship existed in 1927-28
and 1930-31.

TABLE 48.-RELATION OF PERCENT MORTALITY TO EGG PRODUCTION
AND PROFITS.

Average per Farm
Num- Return
Percent ber of Percent Eggs Depreciation Total per
Mortality Farms Mor- per Per Cost per Hour
tality Hen Per Dozen Dozen of
Bird Eggs Eggs Labor
101 Farms, 1927-28

Less than 7 27 4 153 $0.69 $0.054 $0.40 $0.15
7 to 12 ........ 43 9 151 0.65 0.052 0.42 0.16
13 or more .- 31 18 136 0.81 0.072 0.49 0.11

All farms 101 11 148 $0.70 I $0.058 $0.41 $0.16
60 Farms, 1928-29


160 $0.53
150 0.60
134 0.82

150 $0.65
42 Farms, 1930-31


170
153
152

156


$0.49
0.56
0.72

$0.59


$0.040
0.048
0.073

$0.053



$0.035
0.044
0.057

$0.046


35 Farms, 1931-32

11 148 $0.55 $0.042
17 153 0.53 0.043
24 146 0.56 0.046

16 149 $0.54 $0.043


Less than 7
7 to 12 .......
13 or more

All farms



Less than 10!
10 to 14........
15 or more

All farms,



Less than 15
15 to 19
20 or more

All farms1


12
17
13

42


$0.34
0.38
0.46

$0.37



$0.30
0.31
0.29

$0.29


$0.25
0.25
0.26

$0.25


$0.48
0.34
0.19

$0.32



$0.15
0.10
0.05

$0.10



$0.00
0.08
0.03

$0.06


~-~--








An Economic Study of Poultry Farming 61

Feeding Practices.-Some feeding practices on these farms varied, others
were quite standardized. Practically all poultrymen kept laying mash,
oyster shell, and grit before the birds all the time. Grain was fed once
or twice daily. Only one or two farms were using the all-mash system
of feeding. About two-thirds fed wet mash and three-fourths fed green
feed part or all of the year. Most of the feed was purchased once or twice
each week from nearby feed stores. Kind of mash, ratio of mash to
scratch, and time of feeding green feed and wet mash varied more than
did other factors.
The relation of some of these factors to eggs per hen and returns
were studied and will be shown. The total number of farms using these
different practices does not always correspond to the total number of
farms for that year because the information for each practice was not
secured on all farms.
Pounds of Feed per Bird.-There were 205 farms for which detailed
information was available on amounts and kinds of feed used by the laying
flock. Average feed consumption per bird in these flocks was 77 pounds.
Yearly averages varied from 78 pounds in 1927-28 to 73 pounds in 1931-32.
The lowest feed consumption per bird for any one flock was 58 pounds and
the highest 110 pounds. The average feed consumption per bird was
between 60 and 80 pounds on about 50 percent of the farms.
The farms in each of the last four years were sorted into three groups
on the basis of the pounds of feed per bird (Table 49). There was a
close association between feed consumption per bird and average number
of eggs per hen. Higher feed intake was accompanied by higher egg
production in each of the four years. In three of the years the additional
eggs increased the returns at a more rapid rate than feed cost per
bird increased so that returns for eggs above feed cost per bird was
highest on farms with highest feed consumption. In 1927-28 there was
little difference between the groups in the value of eggs above feed cost
per bird because feed prices were relatively high compared with egg prices.
In two of the four years the feed cost per dozen eggs increased slightly
as the feed intake increased, but the total value of eggs above feed cost
per bird increased as there were more dozens of eggs produced per hen.
In the other two years the feed cost per dozen eggs did not increase as
the pounds of feed increased.
In an effort to determine the limits at which feed consumption could be
profitably increased, the 205 records for the five years were combined
and sorted into eight groups on the basis of pounds of feed per bird. The
flocks consuming from 60 to 64 pounds of feed averaged 127 eggs per
hen as compared with 158 eggs for flocks consuming from 80 to 84
pounds and 160 eggs for those consuming 90 pounds or more.
Although eggs per hen increased as pounds of feed increased, it was at
a decreasing rate. When feed per bird was increased from 58 to 63
pounds the number of eggs per hen increased 20; when feed was increased
from 63 to 67 pounds, eggs per hen increased 10; when feed was increased
from 72 to 77 pounds, eggs per hen increased 6; and when feed was increased
from 81 to 86 pounds, eggs per hen increased only 1 egg. With a feed
cost of 3 cents a pound the feed cost per dozen eggs decreased as feed
consumption was increased from 58 to 70 pounds. It increased very slowly
as consumption was increased from 70 to 85 pounds, and increased very
rapidly when feed consumption was increased above 85 pounds per bird.
The same 205 records were sorted into nine groups on the basis of
eggs per hen in order to study the effect of increasing egg production on
feed consumption and feed cost per dozen eggs. Just as increasing the
feed intake increased egg production and the value of eggs above feed








Florida Cooperative Extension


TABLE 49.-RELATION OF POUNDS OF FEED PER BIRD TO COSTS AND RETURNS.


Pounds
of Feed
per Bird


Number
of
Farms


Pounds
of Feed
per Bird


Average per Farm


Eggs Feed Feed Cost
per Cost per per Dozen
Hen Bird Eggs


Value of
Eggs
Above
Feed
Cost per
Bird


81 Farms, 1927-28

Less than 75 31 69 139 $2.12 $0.19 $2.10
75 to 79 ............ 21 77 149 2.37 0.19 1.93
80 or more .... 29 86 161 2.59 0.20 2.15

All farms .... 81 78 148 $2.37 $0.19 $2.02
40 Farms, 1928-29

Less than 75 15 70 137 $1.97 $0.18 $2.15
75 to 79 ........... 15 77 151 2.26 0.18 2.28
80 or more ...... 10 83 168 | 2.45 0.18 2.63

All farms ... 40 78 150 $2.18 $0.18 $2.33
34 Farms, 1930-31
i
Less than 71 6 68 141 $1.62 $0.14 $1.45
71 to 79 ............ 19 76 156 1.88 0.15 1.42
80 or more ...... 9 86 173 2.00 0.14 1.69

All farms ....1 34 75 156 $1.79 $0.14 $1.46
29 Farms, 1931-32

Less than 70 .. 8 65 137 $1.01 $0.10 $1.07
70 to 74 ............ 11 72 149 1.43 0.11 1.02
75 or more ....| 10 80 161 1.49 0.11 1.38

All farms -..- 29 73 i 149 $1.34 $0.11 $1.19

costs, so did increasing the eggs per hen increase the feed consumption
and the value of eggs above feed cost per bird. However, the feed cost
per dozen decreased and the value of eggs over feed cost per bird increased
at very uniform rates.
Flocks producing less than 110 eggs per hen consumed 69 pounds of
feed per bird, as compared with 77 pounds for flocks producing from 140 to
149 eggs, 79 pounds for flocks producing from 160 to 169 eggs, and 82
pounds for flocks producing 180 eggs or more. The feed cost per dozen
eggs decreased at the very uniform rate of about 1 cent per dozen for
each additional 10 eggs per hen. There appeared to be no point at which
an increase in egg production caused the feed cost per dozen eggs to
increase and the value of eggs above feed cost to decrease as was the
case when egg production was increased by feed intake alone.
Percentage of Pullets and Pounds of Feed.-Pullets were more efficient
users of feed than were hens. There were 103 of the 205 flocks with 60








An Economic Study of Poultry Farming 63

percent or more pullets and 102 with less than 60 percent pullets. Those
with 60 percent or more pullets averaged 155 eggs per hen and 78 pounds
of feed per bird. The flocks with less than 60 percent pullets averaged
142 eggs per hen and 75 pounds of feed per bird. The value of eggs above
feed cost per bird was 37 cents more for the higher-percentage-pullet
flocks.
While pullets produced more eggs per bird on the same amount of
feed, an increase in feed consumption per bird did not give so great an
increase in egg production in pullet flocks as in hen flocks. Increasing
consumption up to 80 pounds of feed increased egg production in flocks
with both low and high percentages of pullets, but increasing feed con-
sumption per bird above 80 pounds increased production per hen only 1 egg
in high-percentage-pullet flocks. Apparently increasing feed consumption
of these flocks producing at the rate of 160 eggs or more per hen will
only slightly increase egg production.
Percent Mash.-Slightly more than 50 percent of the feed consumed
by the laying birds was mash. Mash consumption per hen increased in
the months of heaviest production. However, it cannot be assumed that
flocks fed more than the average percentage of mash produced more than
the average number of eggs per hen. In fact, there was no relationship
between the percent mash and egg production.
There were 149 flocks in 1926, 1927-28, and 1928-29 on which the
percentage of the feed that was mash was calculated. The higher the
percentage mash, the higher the feed cost per dozen eggs (Table 50).
This was because mash had a higher average price per 100 pounds than
grain. The percent mortality was 2 percent higher on the farms feeding
the lowest percentage of mash.

TABLE 50.-RELATION OF PERCENT MASH TO EGG PRODUCTION AND
RETURNS, 149 FARMS 1926, 1927-28, AND 1928-29.

Average per Farm
Value
Num- Eggs
Percent Mash ber of Per- Pounds Eggs Percent Feed Above
Farms cent Feed per Mortal- Cost per Feed
Mash per Bird Hen ity Dozen Cost
|_ per Bird

Less than 45 44 j 40 78 147 12 $0.18 $2.31
45 to 54 .......... 64 49 77 148 11 0.19 2.27
55 or more.... 41 I 61 78 148 10 0.21 1.89
I I
S149 50 78 148 11 $0.19 $2.18

Mash fed on individual farms ranged from 35 to 80 percent. There
was a tendency for those feeding a lower-percent-protein mash to feed
more than the average percentage of mash. A slight variation in either
direction had little effect on egg production as long as the birds were fed
sufficient protein.
Data were not available to determine the necessary amount of protein
for egg production, but at least two groups of poultrymen appeared to
be feeding a poorly balanced ration. One group was composed of about
one-third of the poultrymen who were using ready-mixed mashes and
who were feeding 66 percent mash. Even though they had above-average
egg production per hen, their feed cost per dozen eggs was about 3 cents








Florida Cooperative Extension


above average. The other group was composed of poultrymen feeding
a mixed-formula mash containing less than 18 percent protein. In spite
of their feeding more than 60 percent mash, they obtained less-than-
average egg production and were above average in feed cost per dozen
eggs.
The percent of mash that can be profitably fed to maintain egg pro-
duction will depend upon the percentage of protein in the mash and the
relative prices of feed ingredients. The higher the percentage of scratch
fed, the lower the feed cost per dozen eggs as long as egg production can
be maintained. The lower the price of mash ingredients and high percent
protein feeds, the lower will be the feed cost per dozen eggs on farms
feeding a large percentage of high protein feed.
Percent Mash and Pounds of Feed per Bird.-Increasing the pounds
of feed per bird on farms feeding a high percentage of mash did not
increase egg production per hen so rapidly as it did on farms feeding a
low percentage of mash (Table 51). As the pounds of feed per bird were
increased on farms feeding a low percentage of mash the feed cost per
dozen remained about the same, but on farms where a high percentage of
mash was fed an increase from 70 to 86 pounds of feed per bird raised the
feed cost per dozen eggs from 18 to 22 cents. Highest egg production
and greatest profits were obtained on farms feeding less than 50 percent
mash and more than 80 pounds of feed per bird.

TABLE 51.-RELATION OF PERCENT MASH AND POUNDS OF FEED TO EGG
PRODUCTION, 149 FARMS 1926, 1927-28, AND 1928-29.
I Number Pounds I Per- Eggs Feed Cost
Pounds of Feed I of of Feed cent per per Dozen
per Bird Farms per Bird, Mash Hen Eggs
Less than 50 Percent Mash

Less than 70 ........ 14 64 43 125 $0.18
70 to 79 ................ 33 74 45 144 0.19
80 or more .......... 32 86 41 162 0.19

50 Percent Mash or More

Less than 75 ........ 21 | 70 55 140 $0.18
75 to 79 .............. 28 77 59 150 0.20
80 or more .......... 21 86 57 152 0.22

Use of Wet Mash.-It was found that about one-third of the farms fed
a wet mash all of the year, one-third fed it at different seasons of the year,
and one third fed no wet mash. Comparison of egg production and feed
cost per dozen eggs for the three groups of farms in 1927-28 and 1930-31 is
shown in Table 52.
There was very little difference in egg production and in feed cost per
dozen eggs between farms using wet and dry mash and those using only
dry mash. The average percentage of pullets on the three groups of farms
was about the same.
There was a great difference of opinion among poultrymen concerning
wet mash feeding. Many of those feeding wet mash part of the year
used it to keep up the body weight of the birds during summer months
and others used it to try to increase egg production on poor flocks. The
production per hen might have been lower on the farms using wet mash







An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


TABLE 52.-RELATION OF FEEDING OF WET MASH TO EGG PRODUCTION,
104 FARMS 1927-28 AND 37 FARMS 1930-31.
Number Eggs I Winter Feed Cost
of per Eggs Percent per Dozen
Farms Hen I per Hen Pullets Eggs
104 Farms, 1927-28


No wet mash ........- 39 149 24 62

Wet mash for
part of year ...... 37 143 24 61

Wet mash for
12 months .......... 28 157 25 65

All farms ...... 104 148 24 62


$0.185

0.197

0.180

$0.193


No wet mash ........

Wet mash for
part of year ......

Wet mash for
12 months .........

All farms .


37 Farms, 1930-31


13 155 20

12 160 21

12 155 21

37 156 20


if it had not been used, but of course this could not be determined. Both
high and low egg production per hen was obtained by those who used wet
mash and by those who did not.
Time of Feeding Grain.-Information was obtained in 1927-28 and 1928-
29 on the time of day that grain was fed. Approximately half the poultry-
men in these two years fed all of the grain in the evening and the other
half fed from 20 to 50 percent of it in the morning and the remainder
in the evening.
In both years the pounds of feed per bird was slightly higher on
farms where all the grain was fed in the evening. In 1927-28 the eggs
per hen were 3 more on farms feeding part of the grain in the morning
largely because the percentage of pullets was 12 percent higher than on
farms where grain was fed only in the evening. In 1928-29 the eggs per
hen were 5 more on the farms where all of the grain was fed in the
evening than on the farms where part of the grain was fed in the morning,
in spite of the higher percentage of pullets on farms where grain was fed
both morning and evening. Apparently there are many other feeding
practices more closely related to egg production than the time of feeding
grain.
Kinds of Feed Used.-Practically all poultrymen cooperating in this
study mixed their own grain, but many kinds of mashes were used. The
highest returns above feed cost per bird were obtained by those using a
mash mixed according to their own formula (Table 53).
In 1927-28 and 1928-29 about one-half of the poultrymen mixed their
mash on their own farms or had it mixed by the feed company from whom
they purchased the ingredients. Such mashes were called mixed-formula


66

67

66

67


$0.147

0.141

0.147

$0.145







Florida Cooperative Extension


TABLE 53.-RELATION OF KIND OF MASH TO EGG PRODUCTION AND RETURNS.
I Value of
Num- Eggs Percent Num- Feed Cost Eggs
Kind of Mash ber of per Mortal- ber of per Dozen Above
Farms Hen ity Birds Eggs Feed Cost
per Bird
101 Farms, 1927-28

Mixed formulas 1 51 147 10 774 $0.196 $1.97
Commercial ....... 29 145 11 528 0.223 1.85

All farms ........ 101 149 10 676 $0.193 $2.02
60 Farms, 1928-29

Mixed formulas 31 144 14 967 $0.180 $2.32
Commercial ...-.... 16 153 8 573 0.198 2.22

All farms ..... 60 150 12 810 $0.176 $2.33
42 Farms, 1930-31

Mixed formulas 16 158 16 1,041 $0.132 $1.60
Commercial ....... 21 158 11 643 0.155 1.42

All farms ......- 42 156 14 874 $0.139 $1.46
35 Farms, 1931-32


Mixed formulas
Commercial ........

All farms ........


152
150

149


16
14

16


952
648

788


$0.104
0.124

$0.108


$1.29
1.13

$1.19


mashes. About 30 percent used a commercial mash and the remaining
20 percent used a mash mixed by their cooperative associations or local
feed companies and sold to them under a trade name. Usually those
using the latter type of mash know the formula by which it was mixed.
In 1930-31 and 1931-32 the percent of farms using commercial mashes
increased because more records were obtained from the areas distant
from steady sources of ingredients and mixing machines.
Both high and low egg production were obtained by the users of each
kind of mash, but the average for all flocks fed on each kind was approxi-
mately the same. The other factors influencing egg production, such as
percentage of pullets, pounds of feed per bird and green feed, were
also about the same for the different groups. The average percent mor-
tality was slightly higher on farms using a mixed formula in three of the
four years, but apparently had little influence on egg production.
The feed cost per dozen eggs was about 2 cents lower on farms using
mixed-formula mashes because of the lower feed cost per hundred pounds.
This saving amounted to about 25 cents per bird per year. Most of the
poultrymen using this type of mash had it mixed by the company from
whom they purchased the ingredients and the price of mixing was included
in the feed cost.







An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


The value of eggs above feed cost on farms using the mixed formulas
did not reflect all of the saving made by the users because the average
price received per dozen eggs was higher on the farms using commercial
mashes. In each of the four years poultrymen using commercial mashes
had smaller-than-average flocks and many of them retailed their eggs.
In spite of the 25 cents per bird saving made by poultrymen mixing
their own mash, it is not desirable that all poultrymen should follow this
practice. Poultrymen who do not have a large flock of birds, a reliable
feed formula, a suitable mixing machine with a steady and uniform source
cf ingredients, and have not had experience in purchasing feed may find
it difficult. Those having all these advantages will, no doubt, find it more
economical.
Use of Green Feed.-Green feed was found to be another important
factor influencing egg production and feed efficiency. Many poultrymen
felt that large quantities of green feed, unless fed excessively at certain
times during the day, cau-Ped a higher egg production and more efficient
use of concentrates, thereby lowering the feed cost per dozen eggs.
In 1927-28 the amounts and kinds of green feed were secured from 99
of the 104 farms. Ten of the flocks received no green feed. Thirty-three
received it only part of the year and 56 received it the entire year (Table
54). The flocks receiving no green feed produced 129 eggs per hen, averaged
15 percent mortality and returned $1.71 per bird above feed costs, as
compared with 156 eggs per hen, 10 percent mortality and $2.27 per bird
above feed cost on farms receiving green feed the entire year. The same
relationship existed in each of the other years.
Contrary to the opinions of some poultrymen it was not found that
large amounts of green feed decreased the pounds of concentrates consumed.
In each of the four years the flocks fed green feed the entire year con-
sumed more pounds of other feed per bird than those fed no green feed.
Apparently it increased the consumption of concentrated feed but must
have had other effects because an increase of 4 pounds of concentrated
feed could not have caused so great an increase in egg production.
No information was obtained on the relative efficiency of various kinds
of green feed. Poultrymen who supplied green feed to their flocks the
entire year used cut green feed from their gardens, lawn clippings, and
crops planted in the yards, supplemented by sprouted oats during seasons
when the other kinds were insufficient.
Number of Birds per Farm and Number of Laying Houses.-The costs
of labor, land, buildings, and equipment per bird were influenced by the
number of birds and the number of laying houses per farm. These costs
per bird were lower on large farms than on small farms but increased as
the number of laying houses was increased on both large and small farms.
They were lowest on farms having a large number of birds and a small
number of laying houses per farm, in other words, where more birds were
kept per house.
The average number of birds per laying house was slightly higher
on the large farms but the average number of laying houses per farm
depended largely on the number of layers per farm. In order to eliminate
this relationship, the farms were first sorted on the number of birds
per farm and then subsorted on the number of laying houses per farm.
On farms having less than 600 birds there was an average of four
laying houses per farm, as compared with eight per farm on those having
600 birds or more. The average number of birds per laying house was
about 100 on the farms having less than 600 birds and 135 on farms
having 600 birds or more.






Florida Cooperative Extension


TABLE 54.-RELATION OF GREEN FEED TO EGG PRODUCTION AND RETURNS.


iNum- Eggs Percent
ber of per Mor-
Farms Hen tality

I


Per-
cent
Pul-
lets


Pounds
Feed
per
Bird


Value of
Eggs
Feed Above
Cost Feed
per Cost
Bird per
Bird


99 Farms, 1927-28

No green feed .... 10 129 15.0 59 74 $2.22 $1.71
Green feed part I
of year ............ 33 137 11.2 68 77 2.37 1.59
Green feed all
of year ............ 56 156 __9.7 67 78 2.42 2.27

All farms ..- 99 147 10.7 61 77 $2.37 $2.02
60 Farms, 1928-29

No green feed .... 9 129 12.5 31 72 $2.07 $1.79
Green feed part
of year .......... 18 144 12.1 42 74 2.13 2.13
Green feed all
of year ............ 33 154 11.3 53 78 2.27 2.46

All farms .... 60 150 11.5 48 77 $2.18 $2.33
36 Farms, 1930-31

No green feed .... 6 135 14.6 77 72 $1.77 $1.18
Green feed part
of year ............ 12 151 13.2 53 76 1.80 1.32
Green feed all I
of year ............ 18 167 12.5 72 79 1.95 1.64

All farms .... 36 156 13.1 67 75 $1.86 $1.45
31 Farms, 1931-32

No green feed .... 8 145 15.9 66 71 $1.40 $1.07
Green feed part I
of year ........... 9 144 19.4 62 70 1.16 1.24
Green feed all 1
of year ............ 14 156 14.4 54 76 1.49 1.22

All farms .... 31 149 16.1 56 73 $1.34 $1.19

There was a slight increase in the average number of birds per farm
as the number of laying houses was increased in both the large and the
small groups, but the average number of birds per laying house increased
very rapidly. With a larger number of laying houses per farm more hours
of labor were required per bird on both large and small farms. There was
no significant difference in average egg production per hen on farms
with large or small numbers of laying houses, but the average percent
mortality was slightly higher on farms with a small number of houses and
more birds per house.







An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


The average cost per bird for labor, land, buildings and equipment on
small farms was $1.74 per bird in 1927-28 and $1.80 in 1928-29, as compared
with $1.19 per bird in 1927-28 and $1.04 in 1928-29 on large farms. In
1927-28 the average cost for these items on small flocks with less than
three laying houses was $1.55 per bird, as compared with $1.79 on farms
with six or more laying houses (Table 55). Most of the increase in cost
per bird was due to the higher labor cost, but the land cost per bird
showed the greatest percentage increase. An increase in number of laying
houses on large farms did not cause the labor cost per bird to increase
so rapidly as it did on small farms.
Capital per Bird.-Approximately 10 percent of the cost of producing
eggs was composed of charges for the use of land, buildings and equipment
and interest on birds. Since there was very little variation in the percent
that the cost of these items was of their value, the charge for the use of
land, buildings, and equipment depends on their value per bird. The capital
per bird used here includes only the value of birds, land, buildings and
equipment for laying flocks.

TABLE 55.-RELATION OF NUMBER OF BIRDS AND NUMBER OF LAYING
HOUSES PER FARM TO LABOR, LAND AND EQUIPMENT COST.


Number of Birds and Number
Laying Houses per of
Farm Farms


Average Cost per Bird
B uild- Equip- T
Labor Land ings ment Total


104 Farms, 1927-28

Less than 600 birds: |
Less than 3 houses .. 24 $1.24 $0.08 $0.19 $0.04 $1.55
3 to 5 houses ............ 18 1.62 0.09 0.18 0.03 1.92
6 houses or more ...... 12 1.42 0.11 0.23 0.03 1.79

All farms .............. 54 $1.42 $0.09 $0.20 $0.03 $1.74

600 birds or more:
Less than 4 houses .! 11 $0.90 $0.05 $0.14 $0.02 $1.11
4 to 7 houses ............ 21 0.92 0.06 0.14 0.02 1.14
8 houses or more ...... 18 0.93 0.10 0.21 0.04 1.28

All farms ............. 50 $0.92 $0.07 $0.17 $0.03 $1.19
60 Farms, 1928-29

Less than 600 birds:
Less than 3 houses .- 9 $1.15 $0.08 $0.17 $0.04 $1.44
3 to 5 houses ........... 11 1.34 0.09 0.18 0.04 1.65
6 houses or more ..... 6 1.86 0.16 0.42 0.05 2.49

All farms .............. 26 $1.41 $0.11 $0.24 $0.04 $1.80

600 birds or more:
Less than 5 houses 10 $0.72 $0.05 $0.20 $0.03 $1.00
5 to 8 houses ............ 14 0.81 0.06 0.14 0.02 1.03
9 houses or more ...... 10 I0.88 0.08 0.17 0.05 1.18

All farms ..............- 34 $0.81 $0.06 $0.14 $0.03 $1.04







Florida Cooperative Extension


The cost per bird for the use of land, buildings, and equipment, and
interest on birds, decreased from 53 cents per bird and 4.3 cents per dozen
eggs in 1926 to 29 cents per bird and 2.4 cents per dozen eggs in 1931-32
(Table 56). The average investment per bird decreased from $4.96 in
1926 to $2.29 in 1931-32, but the percent that the total charge was of the
value increased from 11 to 13 percent.

TABLE 56.-AMOUNT OF CAPITAL AND CHARGES FOR USE OF CAPITAL BY
THE LAYING FLOCK.

Average Capital Invested Total Charges
in Land, Buildings, Equip- for Use of Percent
Year ment and Birds for Lay- Capital Charge is
ing Flock I of Value
SPer
Per Farm Per Bird Per Bird I Dozen

1926 .................. $3,946 1 $4.96 $0.53 $0.043 11
1927-28 ............ 2,268 3.36 0.38 0.030 11
1928-29 ................ 2,596 3.20 0.37 0.031 12
1930-31 .............. 2,051 2.35 0.30 0.023 12
1931-32 -............... 1,805 2.29 0.29 0.024 13

The average cost per bird for these three items on 42 farms in 1930-31
and 35 farms in 1931-32 was about the same, but the cost per bird on
individual farms varied from less than 20 cents to more than 50 cents. This
difference between farms was caused by variations in investment per bird.
There were 23 of the 77 farms with less than $2 capital per bird. They
had an average cost of 20 cents per bird and 1.7 cents per dozen eggs for
the use of land, buildings, and equipment, and for interest on birds. Twelve
farms with $3.50 or more invested per bird had a cost of 46 cents per bird
and 3.6 cents per dozen eggs. The high investment per bird on the latter
group of farms was partly due to the smaller flocks.
Dozens of Eggs per Man Equivalent.-An increase in number of dozens
of eggs per man equivalent caused a very rapid increase in return per hour
of labor. In four of the five years farms having the most dozens of eggs
per man equivalent were farms with large flocks and high egg production
per hen. In 1930-31 the farms on which the largest number of dozens of
eggs per man equivalent were produced were slightly below average in
eggs per hen, but they had nearly double the average number of birds
per farm.
The average dozens of eggs per man equivalent varied from 6,004
in 1927-28 to 8,175 in 1930-31. About one-fourth of the farms produced
less than 5,000 dozens of eggs per man equivalent during each of the five
years, but the percent producing 10,000 dozens of eggs or more per man
equivalent increased from about 11 percent in 1927-28 to 31 percent in
1930-31, and 20 percent in 1931-32.
In 1928-29 the farms on which less than 5,000 dozens of eggs were pro-
duced per man equivalent averaged 389 birds per farm and 126 eggs per
hen (Table 57). This small number of birds and low egg production per
hen provided only 3,138 dozens of eggs per man. The average return for
labor was only 2 cents per hour, or about 10 cents per bird. The 21 farms
producing 8,000 dozens or more per man equivalent averaged 1,213 birds
per farm, 158 eggs per hen and 9,360 dozens eggs per man equivalent. The
return for labor was 46 cents per hour and $1.20 per bird.







An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


The labor cost per dozen eggs on farms producing 8,000 dozens or more
per man equivalent was about 20 percent of the total cost, on farms pro-
ducing less than 5,000 dozens per man equivalent it was about 25 percent.
The larger volume of eggs per man equivalent, which was the result of
keeping a large number of high producing hens per man, resulted in a
lower cost per dozen eggs for each item of cost.

TABLE 57.-RELATION OF DOZENS OF EGGS PER MAN EQUIVALENT TO
RETURNS AND VARIOUS FACTORS.

I Average per Farm
Dozens of Eggsi Num- I Dozens I
per Man I ber of I of Eggs Num- Eggs Man Hours Return
Equivalent Farms Iper Man ber of per Equiv- per per
SEquiv- Birds Hen I talent Bird Hour of
I alent I I Labor


20 Farms, 1926
I-

Less than 6,000| 8 3,791 505 148 1.7 4.0
6,000 to 7,999 .... 8 7,158 1 895 146 1.5 2.7
8,000 or more 4 13,152 1,185 153 1.2 2.1

All farms ..! 20 6,575 796 149 1.5 2.9


$0.31
0.58
0.80

$0.50


Less than 4,0001
4,000 to 6,999 .1
7,000 or more

All farms ...


104 Farms, 1927-28

26 2,915 364 133 1.4 5.2 $-0.02
41 5,280 596 149 1.4 4.0 0.14
37 8,930 982 156 1.4 2.8 0.24

104 6,004 676 149 1.4 3.3 $ 0.16
60 Farms, 1928-29


Less than 5,0001 14 3,138 389 126
5,000 to 7,999 .. 25 5,827 708 150
8,000 or more _21 9,360 1,213 158

All farms ...i 60 6,681 I 810 150
42 Farms, 1930-31

Less than 5,0001 12 4,591 386 157
5,000 to 8,999 -. 13 7,450 834 157
9,000 or more .. 17 10,600 1,513 152

All farms .... 42 8,179 874 156
35 Farms, 1931-32

Less than 5,0001 9 4,245 363 142
5,000 to 8,999 -. 14 7,462 725 150
9,000 or more 12 11,753 1,209 154

All farms .... 35 7,789 788 149


1.2
1.5
1.7

1.5


5.1 $ 0.02
3.0 0.37
2.6 0.46

2.9 $ 0.32


$ 0.05
0.11
0.15

$ 0.10


4.5 $-0.07
3.4 0.08
2.5 0.08

2.9 $ 0.06







Florida Cooperative Extension


COSTS AND RETURNS IN RAISING PULLETS
Costs and returns in raising pullets were secured on all the farms
that raised pullets for each of the five years. The costs and returns for
1926 were not comparable with those of the other four years because of
the different methods used in summarzing the accounts and are not included
in this report.
In each of the last four years the rearing accounts were kept separate
until the end of the year, October 31 in 1927-28 and 1928-29 and September
30 in 1930-31 and 1931-32. This was done in order to keep the profits
or losses from early hatched pullets from influencing the costs and returns
from the laying enterprise. While the average age of the pullets during
the first two years was higher than during the last two years, the additional
income secured from eggs sold before the close of the year was about
sufficient to offset the additional cost and made the net cost comparable
for all four years.
The average number of pullets raised per farm for all farms included in
the study varied from 412 in 1927-28 to 568 in 1928-29. Some of the
poultrymen purchased part or all of their pullets but the majority raised
all their pullets from day-old chicks. The pullets purchased were of vary-
ing ages and were purchased at different seasons of the year. For this
reason the costs and returns on farms purchasing part or all their
pullets have been kept separate from the farms raising all their pullets
from day-old chicks.
Summary of Costs and Returns per Farm..-There were 81 farms in
1927-28, 46 farms in 1928-29, 29 farms in 1930-31, and 22 farms in 1931-32
on which all pullets were raised from baby chicks started on the farm.
The average number of pullets raised per farm during the last three years
of the study was between 600 and 700, but was only 476 in 1927-28.
The total costs per farm were $1,391 in 1928-29 and $800 in 1931-32.
The three most important items of cost-feed, baby chicks, and man labor
-comprised about 86 percent of the total cost. The cost of chicks included
the total number of chicks started, slightly more than half of which
turned out to be cockerels.
Summary of Costs and Returns per Pullet.-Costs and returns per pullet
decreased appreciably over the four-year period. From 1927-28 to 1931-32
the total cost per pullet decreased from $2.38 to $1.31, the net cost from
$1.41 to 85 cents, the value from $1.69 to 99 cents, and the labor return
from 66 cents to 33 cents (Table 58). The average age of the pullets
raised in 1927-28 to 1928-29 was about 7 months, and in 1930-31 and 1931-
32, 6 months.
The cost of chicks and feed averaged 70 percent of the total cost of
pullets in each of the four years. Labor made up another 15 percent of
the total cost.
The net cost per pullet was obtained by deducting the value of cockerels
raised, the value of eggs produced prior to the end of the year, and
miscellaneous returns from pullets, from the total cost. The value of
cockerels sold, eaten, and on hand was sufficient to cover the cost of chicks
in each of the four years. If the item of chick cost had been omitted
from the cost, and the value of cockerels from the returns, feed would
have constituted about 60 percent of the total cost, labor about 20 percent,
and other items about 20 percent.

COST OF RAISING PULLETS
Feed.-The cost of feed per pullet raised was $1.18 in 1927-28, $1.12
in 1928-29, 78 cents in 1930-31, and 61 cents in 1931-32 (Table 58). Feed








An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


TABLE 58.-COSTS AND RETURNS IN RAISING PULLETS PER PULLET ON
FARMS RAISING ALL OF PULLETS FROM DAY-OLD CHICKS.
81 Farms 46 Farms 29 Farms 22 Farms
1927-28 1928-29 1930-31 1931-32

Number of pullets per farm ..... 476 627 664 609
Cost per pullet:
Feed .. ... ........ $1.18 $1.12 $0.78 $0.61
Man labor -... ..... ........ 0.38 0.33 0.20 0.19
Land ........... ......... ......-........ 0.04 0.04 0.03 0.04
Buildings ..................... ...... 0.08 0.09 0.08 0.08
Equipment ........... ... 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.03
Interest on birds ..............-..-. 0.03 0.03 0.02 0.02
Miscellaneous .........................! 0.12 0.09 0.04 0.04
Chicks ............... ..-...- ...... 0.51 0.48 0.31 0.30

Total ............... .....- ...............I $2.38 $2.22 $1.50 $1.31

Returns other than for pullets:
Cockerels sold .......................... $0.48 $0.44 $0.34 $0.25
Cockerels eaten .... ................... 0.02 0.03 0.02 0.01
Cockerels on hand at end
of year ........... .................- ..1 0.10 0.09 0.05 0.06
Eggs produced before end
of year ................................. 0.36 0.39 0.09 0.14
Miscellaneous ............................ 0.01 0.01 0.00 0.00

Total ................................. $0.97 $0.96 $0.50 $0.46

Net cost per pullet raised .......... $1.41 $1.26 $1.00 $0.85

Value per pullet .......................... $1.69 $1.68 $1.20 $0.99
Gain per pullet ...................... $0.28 $0.42 $0.20 $0.14
Labor return per pullet raised I $0.66 $0.75 $0.40 $0.33

costs were lower in 1930-31 and 1931-32 than in 1927-28 and 1928-29 because
of the lower average feed prices and fewer pounds of feed per pullet.
The feed cost included all feed consumed by the pullets and cockerels3.
It averaged 34.2 pounds per pullet on 52 farms in 1927-28 and 32.5 pounds
on 31 farms in 1928-29. Mash represented 55 percent, grain 41 percent,
and other feed 4 percent of the total. During the last two years when
pullet costs were separated for only six months the average pounds of
feed consumed per pullet were 29.
Labor.-Charges for labor represented about 15 percent of the total
cost and about 20 percent of the net cost of raising a pullet.
The average hours of labor required to raise a pullet from a baby
chick including the labor of taking care of cockerels until sold was 1.2 hours
in 1927-28, 1 hour in 1928-29, 0.8 of an hour in 1930-31, and 0.9 of an
hour in 1931-32. The decrease in number of hours of labor required to
raise a pullet from 1927-28 to 1928-29, and the increase from 1930-31
to 1931-32, were due to the difference in number of pullets raised per
farm, while the decrease in the amount required during the last two years
from that required in the first two years was due to the fact that the
accounts were closed at the end of 6 months instead of 7 months.

3Approximately 93 percent of the cockerels were sold for meat from 8 to 10 weeks of age.







Florida Cooperative Extension


Baby Chicks.-The cost of baby chicks per pullet raised decreased from
51 cents in 1927-28 to 30 cents in 1931-32, most of which was due to the
decrease in the average value of chicks started from 17.8 cents in 1927-28
to 11.9 cents in 1931-32.
In order to get a complete picture of the origin and disposal of all
chicks started, the records of all farms starting chicks were combined. All
farms raising pullets were included. Some farms purchased part of their
pullets. However, the number of pullets on hand at the end of the year
on these farms includes only those raised from the chicks started.
The average number of chicks started per pullet raised varied from
3 in 1927-28 to 2.5 in 1930-31, depending on the percent mortality and the
percent of those raised that were cockerels.
The percent of the total chicks home-hatched on the farms included
in the study gradually increased from 1927-28 to 1930-31, but the percent
of the total number of farms that hatched their own baby chicks decreased.
Many poultrymen who had been hatching chicks in small lots purchased
their chicks instead, while those poultrymen who continued to hatch chicks
increased their volume considerably.
Less than 1,500 chicks were started per farm in 1927-28 and 1930-31,
and more than 1,500 in 1928-29 and 1931-32. About half of them were
started prior to April 1 and about half after April 1. The percent of the
total number of chicks started in March and April increased from 73 per-
cent in 1927-28 to 84 percent in 1931-32. In 1931-32 only 1 percent of the
total number of chicks started were started later than April 30, as com-
pared with 4.9 percent in 1927-28.
The average value of chicks started was 17.8 cents in 1927-28, 16.4 cents
in 1928-29, 12.9 cents in 1930-31, and 11.9 cents in 1931-32. The average
monthly value of chicks started prior to January and after April 30 tended
to be lower than those started during these four months.
Other Costs.-All costs other than feed, labor and chicks started repre-
sented about 20 percent of the total cost. These items included charges for
use of land, buildings, equipment, interest on birds and miscellaneous
expenses.
The charges for the use of land, buildings, and equipment for the
rearing flock were calculated in the same manner as were these charges
against the laying flock. The average cost of these items per pullet varied
from 17 cents in 1928-29 to 15 cents in 1931-32. The average cost for
their use represented about 13 percent of their average value.
Interest was charged on one-half the value of pullets and cockerels
on hand at the end of the year, for six months at the rate of 7 percent.
This amounted to 3 cents per pullet in 1927-28 and 1928-29, and 2 cents
per pullet in 1930-31 and 1931-32.
The total cost for pullets of brooder oil, litter, disinfectants and other
miscellaneous expenses decreased from 12 cents per pullet in 1927-28, to 4
cents per pullet in 1931-32. Lower prices for supplies, lower mortality
iates and a larger number of pullets raised per farm, brought about this
decrease.
RETURNS IN RAISING PULLETS
Returns Other Than Pullets.-When raising pullets there are a few
necessary by-products, such as cockerels and manure. Since it was im-
possible to separate the cost of these by-products from the cost of raising
pullets, all of these returns were credited to the rearing account.
The most important of these returns was for cockerels sold. The
average return per pullet for cockerels sold varied from 48 cents in 1927-28
to 25 cents in 1931-32 (Table 58). The sales of cockerels began in








An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


February or March, reached a peak in June and July and decreased rapidly
in August and September.
The average value received for cockerels sold was 50 cents in 1927-28
and 29.5 cents in 1931-32. The average monthly value is of little signifi-
cance because the cockerels sold each month were of different ages and
weights. The weights of the birds sold were not secured.
Cockerels eaten and kept on hand for breeders were also credited to
the rearing flock. Less than 10 percent of the cockerels were disposed
of in this manner. The value per bird was slightly higher than the average
value of the cockerels sold. The total returns per pullet for all cockerels
accounted for was more than the chick cost per pullet.
Another source of returns handled in this manner was eggs produced
by the pullets prior to the end of the year. This return amounted to an
average of 37.5 cents per pullet in 1927-28 and 1928-29, and an average of
11.5 cents in 1930-31 and 1931-32. The total dozens of eggs sold per
farm prior to October 31 in 1927-28 and 1928-29 averaged about one dozen
per pullet, half of which were produced in October. The income from
pullet eggs sold was $96 per farm in October 1928 and $164 per farm in
October 1929. Many of the pullets on these farms were in sufficient pro-
duction to be entered in the laying flock before the end of the year. This
was not done because of the difficulty of calculating average numbers of
birds, egg production per hen and feed costs for the laying flock.
In order to avoid these difficulties the records for 1930-31 and 1931-32
were started October 1. The average returns credited to the rearing flock
for eggs laid prior to the close of the year during these two years were
only about one-third of the amount for the first two years because of
lower production and lower prices.
The average monthly prices received for pullet eggs sold were from
5 to 10 cents per dozen below the prices received for eggs sold from the
laying flock.
Returns for Pullets.-The total value per farm for pullets raised in-
creased from $803 in 1927-28 to $1,051 in 1928-29, and decreased to $603
in 1931-32. This included the value of pullets sold and pullets on hand at
the end of the year. It amounted to the return of $1.69 per pullet raised
in 1927-28 but had decreased to 99 cents per pullet by 1931-32. The average
inventory value of pullets on hand was practically the same as the value
per pullet raised.
None of these poultrymen were in the business of raising pullets for
sale. Most of them culled some of the poorer birds and a few sold small
lots for layers. Most of these were sold before maturity at values con-
siderably below the inventory value at the end of the year. Only about
5 percent of the total pullets raised were sold.
SUMMARY OF ORIGIN AND DISPOSAL OF CHICKS
A summary of the origin and disposal of the baby chicks started on all
farms starting chicks is given in Table 59. Of the total number started an
average of 25 percent died, 38 percent were cockerels, and 37 percent were
pullets.
The largest number of pullets raised per 100 chicks started was 41.7 in
1930-31 and the smallest 35 in 1928-29. The factor of most influence in
determining the number of pullets raised per 100 chicks was the percent
mortality, which varied from 17 percent in 1930-31 to 30 percent in
1927-28.
Factors Related to Costs and Returns in Raising Pullets.-The two
most important factors found to have been related to the costs and returns
in raising pullets were the number of pullets raised per farm and the
mortality per 100 chicks started. The net cost per pullet was also reduced








Florida Cooperative Extension


TABLE 59.-ORIGIN AND DISPOSAL OF BIRDS PER 100 CHICKS STARTED.
88 Farms 52 Farms 32 Farms 25 Farms
1927-28 1928-29 1930-31 1931-32


Origin of chicks:
Custom hatched ........
Home hatched ..............
Purchased ...............

T otal ...........................
Disposal of chicks:
Cockerels
Sold for meat ...............
Sold for breeders .........
Eaten ......................
On hand at end of year

T otal .........................
Pullets
Sold for breeders or lay
Sold for meat ..............
On hand at end of yea

T otal ............ ...... ..

Chicks, died, stolen, etc.

T otal ..........-...... ........


Number per 100


Chicks Started


..... 13.6 19.4 14.4 5.8
...... 28.2 28.1 35.5 51.8
...... 58.2 52.5 50.1 42.4

..... 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0


..I 32.3 33.0 38.2 39.0
..I 0.1 -
..... 1.7 1.9 2.1 1.4
0.9 0.6 0.8 0.8

..... 34.9 35.6 41.1 41.2

ersl 1.2 1.2 0.4 3.3
.... 0.8 0.4 0.4 0.2
r ..I 33.1 33.4 40.9 34.3

.... 5.1 35.0 41.7 37.8

.... 30.0 29.4 17.2 21.0

..... 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0


by obtaining higher prices for cockerels sold. These relationships were
studied only for farms where all of the pullets were raised from baby chicks
started on the farm.
Number of Pullets Raised per Farm.-The average number of pullets
raised per farm was above 600 in each of the years except 1927-28, when
it was 476. The number raised on individual farms varied from less than
100 to over 2,500. The larger the number of pullets raised per farm the
lower the cost per pullet, the less the number of hours required to raise
a pullet and the higher the return per hour of labor.
In 1927-28 the average number of pullets raised per farm was small.
Less than 400 pullets were raised on 47 percent of the farms and 1,000
or more on only 8 percent of the farms. In 1930-31, when the average
number was high, 664 pullets, 1,000 or more were raised on 21 percent
of the farms. In 1931-32 only 14 percent of the farms raised 1,000 or more
pullets, but 50 percent of the farms raised between 400 and 800 pullets.
In three of the four years the deaths per 100 chicks started were
lower on farms raising 800 or more pullets per farm than on farms raising
less than 400 pullets (Table 60). These farms raised an average of 1,000
or more pullets in each of the years. This helped to cause a lower net
cost per pullet on the large farms because it lowered the chick cost and
increased the credits for cockerels sold per pullet.
There was a rapid decrease in number of hours of labor required to
raise a pullet as the number of pullets raised per farm increased. In 1928-
29 it required 1.7 hours per pullet on farms raising less than 400 pullets;
1 hour per pullet on farms raising from 400 to 800 pullets; and 0.8 hour
on farms raising 800 or more pullets. This resulted in a lower labor cost
per pullet. There was only a slight decrease in the labor cost per pullet


.








An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


when more than 600 to 800 pullets were raised per farm. In order to raise
this number of pullets a poultryman had to start between 1,500 and 2,000
chicks.

TABLE 60.-RELATION OF THE NUMBER OF PULLETS RAISED PER FARM TO
COSTS AND RETURNS IN RAISING PULLETS.

Number of Num- Average per Farm
Pullets ber Num- I Mortal- Hours Net
Raised of ber ity per Labor Cost Value Return
per Farm Farms Pullets 100 per per per per Hour
Raised Chicks Pullet Pullet Pullet of Labor
81 Farms, 1927-28


Less than 400
400 to 799 ......
800 or more ..-

All farms ..[



Less than 400
400 to 799 ......
800 or more .-1

All farms



Less than 400
400 to 799 ......
800 or more -.

All farms -.



Less than 400
400 to 799 ......
800 or more .[

All farms -.


234
538
1,040

476


31
30
24

30


$1.71
1.34
I 1.27

$1.41


46 Farms, 1928-29


248
542
1,218


627


S32 1.7 $1.71
30 1.0 1.31
23 0.8 0.92

29 1.0 $1.26


$1.59
1.73
1.65

$1.69



$1.51
1.68
1.71

$1.68


$0.27
0.71
0.81

$0.60



$0.25
0.70
1.01

$0.76


29 Farms, 1930-31


1


277 20
625 12
,332 19

664 17


$1.17 $1.15 $0.23
0.96 1.18 0.53
0.94 1.21 0.61

$1.00 1 $1.20 $0.50


22 Farms, 1931-32


7 245
11 503
4 1,586

22 609


7 1.3 $1.10 $1.04 $0.19
22 0.9 1.11 1.11 0.24
19 0.7 0.58 0.90 0.64

21 0.9 $0.85 $0.99 $0.37


There was little difference in the feed cost per pullet between large and
small flocks of pullets, but other charges tended to decrease as the number
of pullets increased (Table 61).
Credits for cockerels were higher on farms raising large numbers of
pullets than on farms raising small numbers because of the lower mortality
rate. Credit for eggs laid by pullets before placing them in the laying
flock was also higher in the larger flocks.
In 1927-28 the average net cost per pullet was $1.27 on farms raising
800 or more pullets per farm as compared with $1.71 on farms raising less
than 400 pullets; in 1928-29 it was $0.92 as compared with $1.71; in 1930-31
it was $0.94 compared with $1.17; and in 1931-32 the cost was $0.58
compared with $1.10.


8
2
8


I


[

|







78 Florida Cooperative Extension

TABLE 61.-RELATION OF NUMBER OF PULLETS RAISED PER FARM TO NET
COST PER PULLET.

Average per Pullet


Pullets
Raised
per Farm


Less than 400
400 to 799 ......
800 or more ..I

All farms ..


Feed Man I Value [ Other Total
Cost Labor of Costs Cost
Cost Chicks I

81 Farms, 1927-28

$1.16 $0.56 $0.52 $0.35 1 $2.59
1.23 0.32 0.55 0.26 1 2.36
1.13 0.35 0.47 0.31 2.26

$1.18 $0.38 1 $0.51 $0.31 $2.38
46 Farms, 1928-29


Credits Other
Than Pullets
Cock-
erels I Eggs


Net
Cost


$0.66 $0.22 $1.71
0.57 0.45 1.34
0.62 0.37 1.27

$0.60 $0.37 $1.41


I
Less than 400 | $1.09
400 to 799 --...| 1.09
800 or more ..1 1.16

All farms .. $1.12


$0.63
0.33
0.27

$0.33


29 Farms, 1930-31


Less than 400 $0.69 I $0.30
400 to 799 ...... 0.79 i 0.20
800 or more I 0.81 | 0.16

All farms .I $0.78 | $0.20


$0.35
0.27
0.31

$0.31


$0.27
0.23
0.18 1

$0.21


$1.61 $0.40 $0.04
1.49 0.33 0.20
1.46 0.47 0.05

$1.50 [$0.41 $0.09


22 Farms, 1931-32


Less than 400 $0.63 1 $0.31 $0.30
400 to 799 ...... 0.62 0.22 0.35
800 or more ..| 0.60 0.14 0.25

All farms -1 $0.61 $0.19 1 $0.30


$0.24
0.29
0.14

$0.21


$1.48
1.48
1.13

$1.31


$0.34
0.27
0.36

$0.32


$0.04
0.10
0.19

S$0.14


$1.10
1.11
0.58

$0.85


Mortality per 100 Chicks.-All costs per pullet increased as the mor-
tality per 100 chicks increased, but the chick cost per pullet increased
more rapidly than did other costs. The net cost per pullet was also lower
on farms having a lower chick mortality in all years except 1931-32.
The average mortality per 100 chicks started varied from 30 in 1927-28
to 17 in 1930-31. The percent of farms having a chick mortality of 30
percent or more was less each successive year. In 1931-32 only one of the
22 farms had relatively high chick mortality.
In general, lower chick mortality meant more pullets raised per farm
(Table 62). Part of the increase in number of pullets raised was due
to lower mortality, but since it was also true that the larger the number
of pullets per farm the lower the mortality, some of the increase was
due to better management practices on the larger farms. The relation
of quality chicks, clean land, and clean brooder houses to chick mortality


$0.46
0.52
0.44

[$0.48


$0.33
0.31
0.26

$0.29


$2.51
2.25
2.13

$2.22


$0.49
0.54
0.59

$0.56


$0.31 $1.71
0.40 1.31
0.42 0.92

$0.40 1 $1.26


$1.17
0.96
0.94

$1.00


,


.


I







An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


TABLE 62.-RELATION OF THE MORTALITY PER 100 CHICKS STARTED TO COSTS
AND RETURNS IN RAISING PULLETS.


Num-
her Mortality ]
of per 100
Farms I Chicks
I Started


Average per Farm
Num- Num- Net [Value
ber of ber Cost per
Chicks Pullets per |Pullet
Started Raised Pullet I


Less than 16
16 to 30 .........
31 or more ....

All farms ..


81 Farms, 1927-28

25 9 1,220 525
30 23 1,142 475
26 45 1,788 429

81 30 1,333 476
46 Farms, 1928-29


Less than 16 14 8 1,365 I 6'
16 to 30 .......... 18 24 2,056 7
31 or more ... 14 45 1,995 5(

All farms -. 46 29 1,803 6'
29 Farms, 1930-31


$1.22
1.31
1.75

$1.41



$1.06
1.17
1.65

S1.26


Less than 11 9
11 to 25 .--..- 12
26 or more -. 8
All farms
All farms ..j 29


9 1,907 798 $0.97 | $1.13 $0.46
17 1,660 682 0.94 1.27 0.64
32 1,173 486 1.11 1.15 0.21

17 1,459 664 $1.00 $1.20 $0.50
22 Farms, 1931-32


5 851 401
15 1,859 776
37 2,120 605

21 1,721 609


$1.00
0.75
0.96


$1.01
0.95
1.11


$0.23
0.42
0.42


$0.85 $0.99 I $0.37


has been shown in a number of bulletins on successful baby chick manage-
ment.
The farm on which chick mortality was lowest had a much lower net
cost per pullet and a higher return per hour of labor. In 1927-28 the farms
with a chick mortality of less than 16 percent had a net cost per pullet
of $1.22 and a return per hour of labor of 88 cents compared with a net
cost of $1.75 per pullet and a return per hour of 28 cents on farms having
a chick mortality of 31 percent or more. This relationship also existed in
1928-29 and 1930-31, but not in 1931-32 because of the smaller number of
pullets raised per farm and a higher return for cockerels and eggs sold on
the farms with higher chick mortality.
The low net cost per pullet on farms with low chick mortality was a
result of savings in all items of cost but primarily in chick cost and in the
extra returns from cockerels (Table 63). In 1930-31 the chick cost per
pullet did not decrease as the mortality decreased because of the higher
average values per chick started in the lower mortality groups.


Mortality
per 100
Chicks
Started


Return
!per Hour
Iof Labor
I


$1.76
1.63
1.65

$1.69



$1.62
1.62
1.86

$1.68


$0.88
0.62
0.28

$0.60



$0.92
0.81
0.55

$0.76


Less than 11
11 to 20 .......-
21 or more

All farms







80 Florida Cooperative Extension

In addition to the effect of chick mortality on cost of raising pullets, it
also had a marked effect on hen mortality, egg production and profits
the following year. There were 48 of the 60 farms included in 1928-29
for which costs were obtained on raising pullets in 1927-28, the year
previous.
The chick mortality on these farms ranged from 2 to 80 percent. The
11 farms with less than 11 percent chick mortality in 1927-28 produced
pullets at a net cost of $1.26 compared with $1.82 on farms having a chick
mortality of 35 percent or more (Table 64). In 1928-29 the cost per dozen
eggs was 36 cents on farms with low chick mortality compared with 53
cents on farms with high chick mortality the previous year; hen mortality
9 percent compared with 17 percent; and the value of eggs above feed cost
$2.80 compared with $1.80 per bird.

TABLE 63.-RELATION OF MORTALITY PER 100 CHICKS STARTED TO NET
COST PER PULLET.

Average per Pullet
Credit
Mortality per for
100 chicks Man Value Cock-
Started Feed Labor of Other Total erels Net
Cost Cost Chicks Costs Cost and Cost
Eggs
_____Sold
81 Farms, 1927-28

Less than 16 $1.14 $0.34 $0.41 $0.32 $2.21 $0.99 $1.22
16 to 30 ....-....... 1.15 0.36 0.43 0.30 2.24 0.93 1.31
31 or more .... 1.25 0.47 0.74 0.30 2.76 1.01 1.75

All farms .... $1.18 $0.38 $0.51 $0.31 $2.38 $0.97 $1.41
46 Farms, 1928-29

Less than 16 $1.15 $0.36 $0.35 $0.29 $2.15 $1.09 $1.06
16 to 30 ....... 1.07 0.28 0.47 0.28 2.10 0.93 1.17
31 or more .... 1.17 0.40 0.65 0.31 2.53 0.88 1.65

All farms .... $1.12 $0.33 $0.48 $0.29 $2.22 $0.96 $1.26
29 Farms, 1930-31

Less than 11 .. $0.75 $0.16 $0.31 $0.23 $1.45 $0.48 $0.97
11 to 25 .......... 0.83 0.23 0.31 0.16 1.53 0.59 0.94
26 or more -... 0.75 0.21 0.31 0.23 1.50 0.39 1.11

All farms .... $0.78 $0.20 $0.31 $0.21 $1.50 $0.50 $1.00
22 Farms, 1931-32

Less than 11 ..I $0.55 $0.22 $0.30 $0.25 $1.32 $0.32 $1.00
11 to 20 .......... 0.63 0.18 0.25 0.19 1.25 0.50 0.75
21 or more .... 0.62 0.19 0.40 0.30 1.51 0.55 0.96

All farms .. $0.61 $0.19 $0.30 $0.21 $1.31 $0.46 $0.85







An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


Hen mortality in 1927-28 was also higher in the same year on farms
with high chick mortality, but there was no relationship between chick
mortality in 1927-28 and chick mortality the succeeding year. Therefore,
it does not seem that the farms with higher chick mortality in 1927-28 had
consistently higher mortality or were below average in efficiency. Part of
the lower cost per pullet in 1927-28 was due to the larger number of pullets
raised per farm and the lower cost per dozen eggs in 1928-29 to the larger
number of birds per farm.

TABLE 64.-RELATION OF CHICK MORTALITY IN 1927-28 TO HEN MORTALITY,
EGG PRODUCTION AND RETURNS IN 1928-29.

Percent Chick Mortality 1927-28 Average
Less 11 to 20 to 35 or All
Than 11 19 34 1 More Farms

Number of farms .................. 11 12 14 11 60
Average per Farm

Chick mortality 1927-28 ........ 8 15 28 45 30
Chick mortality 1928-29 ........ 26 24 30 28 29
Hen mortality 1927-28 .......... 9 9 12 15 11
Hen mortality 1928-29 ........... 9 10 13 17 12
Net cost per pullet 1927-28 .. $1.26 $1.10 $1.46 $1.82 $1.41
Pullets raised per farm
1927-28 ................................ 650 568 481 428 476
Chicks started per
farm, 1927-28 ............... 1,436 1,350 1,408 2,033 1,333
Eggs per hen 1928-29 ........... 168 155 140 127 150
Winter eggs per hen, 1928-29 33 26 22 19 25
Cost per dozen eggs, 1928-29 $0.36 $0.34 $0.39 $0.53 $0.37
Number of layers, 1928-29 .... 888 956 681 771 810
Percent pullets, 1928-29 ....... 55 48 50 46 48
Value of eggs over feed
cost per bird, 1928-29 ........ $2.80 $2.49 $2.09 $1.80 $2.33


COSTS AND RETURNS IN INCUBATING CHICKS
The percent of farms hatching chicks was less for the last two years of
the study than for the first two, largely because of the decrease in number
of farms having chicks custom hatched. There was more custom hatching in
the Jacksonville and Tampa areas than in the other areas and a smaller
percent of the total number of farms were located in these two areas in
1930-31 and 1931-32.
The number of chicks hatched per farm and the percent of chicks
hatched that were sold was much higher in 1930-31 and 1931-32 than in
1927-28 and 1928-29 (Table 65). The cost per 100 chicks hatched was
slightly lower on farms hatching chicks than on farms having chicks
custom hatched. Less than 10 percent of the eggs set in 1927-28 and 1928-
29 and none of those set in 1930-31 and 1931-32 were purchased.
Costs and Returns in Incubating Chicks on Farms.-Chicks were hatched
on 20 farms in 1927-28, 10 in 1928-29, 7 in 1930-31, and 7 in 1931-32 (Table
66). The number of chicks hatched per farm varied from 2,198 in 1927-28
to 5,925 in 1930-31. The highest percent hatch for any one year was 69
percent in 1928-29 and the lowest 62 percent in 1927-28. It required 1.6
hours of labor per 100 eggs set in 1930-31 when 8,682 eggs were incubated







82 Florida Cooperative Extension

TABLE 65.-SOURCE OF EGGS, PLACE INCUBATED, AND DISPOSAL OF CHICKS
FOR FARMS HAVING INCUBATION RECORDS.


39 farms 1927-28 1 202
24 farms 1928-29 275
12 farms 1930-31 488
8 farms 1931-32 I 652


TABLE 66.-COSTS AND RETURNS IN INCUBATING CHICKS ON FARMS WHERE
CHICKS WERE HOME-HATCHED.


Eggs set per farm ...........
Chicks hatched per farm ....
Percent hatch .........-............--
Hours labor per 100 eggs .-


20 Farms
1927-28

3,545
2,198
62
3.4


10 Farms
1928-29

4,817
3,304
69
2.6


7 Farms 7 Farms
1930-31 1931-32

8,682 7,196
5,925 4,650
68 65
1.6 2.4


Costs and Returns per 100 Chicks Hatched


Cost per 100 chicks:
Labor ---...-------------.
U se of auto .......................
Use of buildings ..............
Use of equipment ............
M miscellaneous ....................
Hatching eggs ................

Total ........-..........------------

Value of chicks ....................

Gain --..--.....--....-- ..-......----
Costs and

Costs per 100 eggs set:
Labor ............... ... ..
Use of auto .................--
Use of buildings ................
Use of equipment ............


$ 1.90 $ 1.39 $ 0.57
0.03 0.02 0.01
0.63 0.55 0.36
1.40 1.75 0.91
0.52 0.37 0.18
7.72 7.67 3.99

$12.20 $11.75 $ 6.02

$16.89 $15.89 $12.72

$ 4.69 $ 4.14 $ 6.70
Returns per 100 Eggs Set


$ 1.18 $ 0.95 $ 0.39
0.02 0.01 0.01
0.39 0.38 0.24
0.86 1.20 0.63


Miscellaneous .---....--..............- 0.32 0.26
Hatching eggs .......--..-...... 4.79 5.26

Total ................................ $ 7.56 $ 8.06

Value of chicks ............-..... $10.49 $10.80

Gain ................................... $ 2.93 $ 2.74


0.12
2.72

$ 4.11

$ 8.68

$ 4.57


$ 0.98
0.04
0.65
1.23
0.28
3.94

$ 7.12

$10.04

$ 2.92




$ 0.64
0.03
0.42
0.79
0.18
2.54

$ 4.60

$ 6.48

$ 1.88








An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


per farm and 3.4 hours in 1927-28 when only 3,545 eggs were incubated
per farm.
The cost per hundred chicks including hatching eggs was about $12
per hundred in 1927-28 and 1928-29, but dropped to $6 in 1930-31 and to
$7.12 in 1931-32. Hatching eggs comprised about 65 percent of the cost of
hatching chicks and incubation costs about 35 percent.
The cost per 100 chicks hatched and 100 eggs set in 1930-31 and 1931-32
was about 50 percent of the cost in 1927-28 and 1928-29 because of the
larger number of chicks hatched per farm and the lower cost for hatching
eggs and incubation expenses.
Cost of Chicks Custom Hatched.-The number of chicks hatched per
farm was less on farms having chicks custom hatched than on farms
hatching chicks at home (Table 67). The average cost per 100 chicks custom
hatched was higher than the average cost for chicks hatched on farms, but
was lower than the cost on farms where about the same number of chicks
were hatched per farm. Farms having chicks custom hatched obtained
a slightly higher number of chicks per 100 eggs set than was obtained
where chicks were hatched on farms.

TABLE 67.-COSTS OF INCUBATION ON FARMS HAVING EGGS CUSTOM
HATCHED.
19 Farms 14 Farms 5 Farms
S1927-28 1928-29 1930-31

Eggs set per farm ................... .............. 1,238 2,223 1,903
Chicks hatched per farm ........................ 867 1,359 1,388
Percent hatch .......... ........ ............. .. J70 61 73

Per 100 Chicks Hatched


Costs:
Use of auto .....- ...........
Custom hatching .............
Hatching eggs ..............


Total .........

Value of chicks ..

Gain ..............


Costs:
Use of auto ................
Custom hatching ......
Hatching eggs ............

Total .......................

Value of chicks .............

G ain .....................


.--...................... $ 0.41
--....-.- .- ..-..-.- 5.58
..................... 7.13

....-......-....-..I $13.12

-........... $18.90

........................ $ 5.78


Per 100 Eggs Set

..... .. $ 0.28
S 3.90
........................... 4.98

.................. $ 9.16

... ............. ........ $13.19

.......................... $ 4.03


$ 0.20
5.60
7.12

$12.92

$18.34

$ 5.42


$ 0.12
3.42
4.36

$ 7.90

$11.21

$ 3.31


$ 0.42
4.11
3.65

$ 8.18

$12.55

$ 4.37



$ 0.31
3.00
2.66

$ 5.97

$ 9.15

$ 3.18


The average cost per 100 chicks, custom hatched, was $13.12 in 1927-28,
$12.92 in 1928-29, and $8.18 in 1930-31. In 1927-28 and 1928-29, about 55
percent of total cost was for hatching eggs compared with 45 percent
in 1930-31. The cost of hatching eggs dropped more rapidly than did








Florida Cooperative Extension


custom hatching charges. In 1927-28 the cost of custom hatching was $3.90
per 100 eggs set but by 1930-31 had dropped to $3.00.
The gain per 100 chicks hatched and per 100 eggs set averaged slightly
higher on farms having chicks custom hatched than on farms hatching
chicks because of the higher average value placed on chicks.
Value of Eggs Set-In order to show the value and setting dates of
eggs incubated the incubation records of farms hatching their eggs and
those having them custom hatched were combined. Monthly incubation
records were not secured for the farms in 1931-32.
About 75 percent of the eggs set in 1927-28 and in 1930-31 were set
in February and March, but in 1928-29 the hatching season was extended
because of high egg prices during the spring. In this year 32 percent of the
eggs were set during April. Very few of the eggs were set prior to
January or later than April in any of the years.
The average value of eggs incubated was 58 cents per dozen in 1927-
28, 59 cents in 1928-29, and 33 cents in 1930-31. The values were about
30 percent higher than prices received for market eggs. There was little
variation in monthly values of eggs incubated.
Sales of Baby Chicks.-Baby chicks were sold by 30 percent of the
poultrymen hatching chicks in 1927-28; 40 percent in 1928-29 and 1930-
31; and 60 percent in 1931-32. Both farm-hatched and custom-hatched
chicks were sold. The number of chicks sold per farm averaged about
1,000 during the two first years of the study; 5,000 during 1930-31, and
2,000 in 1931-32.
The percent of baby chicks sold during each month of the hatching
season was very similar to the percent hatched and started each month.
From 70 to 75 percent of the chicks were sold during March and April.
Factors Relating to Costs and Returns in Hatching Chicks.-The average
cost per hundred chicks hatched was about the same in 1927-28 as in 1928-29
and the cost in 1930-31 about the same as in 1931-32. In order to have
a larger number of farms to study the relationship of various factors
td the cost of hatching chicks, the 30 farms in 1927-28 and 1928-29 were
combined into one group and the 14 farms in 1930-31 and 1931-32 into
another group. The larger the number of chicks hatched per farm and
the greater the number hatched per 100 eggs set, the lower the cost per
100 chicks hatched.
Number of Chicks Hatched per Farm.-About one-third of the 30 farms
in 1927-28 and in 1928-29 hatched less than 1,000 chicks per farm. One-
third hatched from 1,000 to 3,000 chicks, and one-third hatched 3,000 or
more (Table 68). The number of chicks hatched per farm in 1930-31 and
1931-32 was much larger than in the two earlier years. Eight of the 14
farms hatched less than 5,000 chicks and 6 hatched 5,000 or more. As
the average number of chicks hatched per farm increased the percent
hatched also increased. The larger farms usually had better equipment
and buildings for hatching chicks.
All charges per 100 chicks decreased as the number of chicks hatched
per farm increased. In 1927-28 and 1928-29 the total cost per 100 chicks
including hatching eggs was $24.71 on farms hatching less than 1,000
chicks compared with $11.05 on farms hatching 3,000 chicks or more. On
the 14 farms in 1930-31 and 1931-32 the cost per hundred chicks was $9.18
on farms hatching an average of 2,510 chicks and $5.50 per 100 chicks on
farms hatching an average of 8,991 chicks.
Labor cost per 100 chicks decreased very rapidly as the number of
chicks hatched per farm increased. Labor per 100 eggs set averaged








An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


TABLE 68.-RELATION OF THE NUMBER OF CHICKS HATCHED TO COSTS AND
RETURNS.


Number of farms.........
Chicks hatched per
farm .... ..............-
Chicks hatched per
100 eggs set ............
Hours labor per 100
eggs set .... ............


30 Farms 1927-28, 1928-29

Number of Chicks Hatched
Under 1,000 3,000
1,000 2,999 or More
10 11 91

267 1,838 5,978

52 55 71

10.1 I 3.6 2.2


14 Farms 1930-31,
1931-32

Number of Chicks
Hatched
Under 5,000
5,000 or more
8 6

2,510 8,991

62 68

3.3 1.4


Costs and Returns per 100 Chicks

Costs
Labor .................--. ...-- $7.82 $1.85 $1.32 $1.36 $0.52
Use of buildings .....-. 1.76 0.76 0.48 1.21 0.22
Use of equipment ........ 2.17 1.30 1.62 2.12 0.65
Miscellaneous ........... 0.53 0.34 0.53 0.47 0.15
Hatching eggs ............ 12.43 8.80 7.10 4.02 3.96
Total ..................... $24.71 $13.05 1 $11.05 $ 9.18 $ 5.50

Value of chicks .............. $19.84 $16.74 $16.27 $11.31 $11.62
Gain ............................... $ 3.69 $ 5.22 $ 2.13 $ 6.12

Loss ......--.......................... $ 4.87 -

10.1 hours on farms hatching an average of 267 chicks; 3.6 hours on
farms hatching an average of 1,838 chicks, and 1.4 hours on farms hatching
an average of 8,991 chicks. The decline in cost of hatching eggs per 100
chicks, as the number of chicks hatched per farm increased, was due to
the higher percent hatch and the lower average value of eggs set on larger
farms.
Chicks Hatched per 100 Eggs Set.-Twenty percent of the farms obtained
less than 50 chicks per 100 eggs set and 34 percent obtained 70 or more.
The average number of chicks hatched per 100 eggs set on all farms was
70. No farm secured more than 90 chicks per 100 eggs set.
In 1927-28 and 1928-29 farms with less than a 55 percent hatch had
a cost of $17.42 per 100 chicks, farms with from 55 to 69 percent hatch
had a cost of $11.25 and farms with a 70 percent hatch or more had a
cost of $11.08 (Table 69). In 1930-31 and 1931-32 farms which had a
percent hatch of less than 70 had a cost of $7.18 compared with $5.73
per 100 chicks on farms having a percent hatch of 70 or more.
Practically all the decrease in cost per hundred chicks, as the percent
hatch increased, was due to a decrease in the cost of hatching eggs.
Cost of equipment was higher on farms hatching 70 or more chicks per 100
eggs set than on farms hatching less than that. Better equipment probably
accounted for part of the increase in the percent hatch. The percent that
the cost of hatching eggs was of the total cost decreased as the percent
hatch increased.








florida Cooperative Extension


TABLE 69.-RELATION OF THE NUMBER OF CHICKS HATCHED PER 100 EGGS
SET TO COSTS AND RETURNS.


Number of farms....
Chicks hatched
per farm ..............
Chicks hatched per
100 eggs set .......I


30 Farms 1927-28, 1928-29

Chicks Hatched per 100
Eggs Set
Under 55- 70 or
55 69 More

10 12 8

1,057 2,106 5,144

45 65 73


14 Farms 1930-31, 1931-32

Chicks Hatched per
100 Eggs Set
Under 70 or
70 More

7 7


5,637 4,939

60 76


Costs and Returns per 100 Chicks


Costs
Labor ... ............
Use of buildings
Use of equipment
Miscellaneous --..
Hatching eggs ....

Total .................

Value of chicks ........

Gain ................ --

L oss ........................-


$ 3.32
0.76
1.28
0.39
11.67

$17.42

$16.58


$ 0.84


$1.48
0.80
1.16
0.36
7.45

$11.25

$16.00

$ 4.75


$1.38
0.43
1.86
0.57
6.84

$11.08

$16.70

$ 5.62


$0.75
0.52
0.82
0.19
4.90

$ 7.18

$11.09

$ 3.91


$0.75
0.45
1.32
0.32
2.89

$ 5.73

$12.05

$ 6.32


SUMMARY OF THE POULTRY ENTERPRISES
Costs and returns in producing eggs were calculated for all farms
included in the study, costs and returns in producing pullets on about
75 percent, and costs and returns in hatching chicks on about 20 percent
of the farms. A few additional farms purchased young or mature
pullets and some had eggs custom hatched. A summary of the number of
farms having each enterprise, average number of laying birds, pullets
raised and chicks hatched per farm, the labor applied on each enterprise
and the returns per hour of labor applied on them for the years 1927-28,
1928-29, 1930-31 and 1931-32 are shown in Table 70.
During this four-year period total returns for labor above all other
expenses for the laying enterprise decreased more rapidly than did returns
for raising pullets or hatching chicks. In 1930-31 and 1931-32 total returns
for man labor in raising from 500 to 600 pullets or in hatching from 4,500
to 6,000 chicks was greater than the returns for labor in caring for 800 to
900 layers.
Returns per hour of labor in hatching chicks was higher than for
labor raising pullets, which in turn were higher than returns for labor
producing eggs. However, unless a poultryman raised pullets and hatched
chicks for sale there was need for only a small number of hours of labor
on these enterprises. It required about 700 hours of work raising pullets
and about 100 hours hatching chicks to raise 800 pullets each year from
home-hatched chicks.
Starting with 1,200 layers each fall a poultryman should be able to
care for them and raise about 800 pullets, if a small amount of family
labor or day labor were available during the spring months. This would








An Economic Study of Poultry Farming 87

TABLE 70.-SUMMARY OF POULTRY ENTERPRISES.

1927-28 1928-29 1930-31 1931-32
Number of Farms

Producing eggs .................... 104 60 42 35
Raising pullets .......................... 81 46 29 22
Hatching chicks ...................... 20 10 7 7
Average per Farm

Laying birds ..................... ... 676 810 874 788
Pullets raised ...--------...-------- 476 627 664 609
Chicks hatched ......................... 2,198 3,304 5,925 4,650
Hours Labor per Farm

Producing eggs ----..--...... -----..- 2,210 2,340 2,434 2,287
Raising pullets ...................... 529 619 531 534
Hatching chicks ........................ 120 125 135 179
Total Labor Returns per Farm

Producing eggs .-........--.......-- $346 $740 $248 $136
Raising pullets .--...-----.-- 315 468 264 200
Hatching chicks ........ .....--.. -- 145 182 430 181
Returns per Hour of Labor

Producing eggs ....-..---- ..--....- $0.157 $0.316 $0.102 $0.059
Raising pullets ............--............ 0.595 0.756 0.497 0.375
Hatching chicks ........................ 1.21 1.46 3.18 1.01

require about 2,500 hours of work producing eggs and about 700 hours
raising pullets. If less than 1,000 chicks are needed per year it would seem
advisable to buy them, as cost per chick increased and returns per hour of
labor decreased very rapidly when less than this number was hatched.
Labor on Poultry.-Total hours of labor and net returns for man labor
per farm, for all farms included in each of the four years, would be less
than the total number of hours and the returns from producing eggs,
raising pullets and hatching chicks per farm shown in Table 70, because
only 20 percent of the farms had all three enterprises. Of the total
number of hours of labor actually applied on all farms in 1927-28 and
1928-29, 81 percent was used in producing eggs, 18 percent in raising pullets,
and 1 percent in hatching chicks. On farms raising pullets and hatching
chicks about 75 percent was used in producing eggs, 20 percent in raising
pullets, and 5 percent in hatching chicks.
Sources of labor applied on the three enterprises were secured only
for 1927-28 and 1928-29. Of the total number of hours about 65 percent
was accounted for by the operator, 11 percent by the operator's wife, 1
percent by the operator's children, and 23 percent by hired help. The
percent accounted for by hired labor was greater in 1928-29 than in
1927-28.
Poultry Capital.-The capital actually used for the three poultry enter-
prises represented only about 43 percent of the total farm capital. It







88 Florida Cooperative Extension

included the value of buildings, land, and equipment used for poultry
and the value of the poultry itself. It did not include the farm dwelling
or other farm capital. The total capital used for poultry enterprises
varied from $4,979 in 1926 to $2,736 per farm in 1931-32 and from $6.25
per bird in the laying flock in 1926 to $3.29 per bird in 1930-31. About
35 percent of the total capital was invested in buildings, 36 percent in
poultry, and 29 percent in land and equipment.
Poultry Receipts.-Average prices of eggs and poultry products were
highest in 1926, but poultry receipts per farm were highest in 1928-29
because of an increase in capital. In 1930-31 receipts were about 65
percent of the 1926 level and in 1931-32 were 50 percent of the 1926 level
(Table 71).
Market eggs comprised about 80 to 84 percent of the receipts. They
included market eggs sold from both the rearing and laying flock. Hatching
eggs made up about 1 percent of the total receipts.
In the first four years of the study the highest monthly receipts from
egg sales occurred from January to April. In 1931-32 sales were highest
in the months of November, December, and January because of relatively
high winter egg prices and egg production per hen. The dozens of eggs
sold per farm were highest during the period from February to May, when
10 percent or more of the total dozens were sold each month. In three
of the five years the highest numbers of dozens were sold in March and in
two of the five years in April. The dozens of eggs sold per month fluctuated
more during the year than did the value of egg sales per month.
Poultry Expenses.-Expenses for the poultry enterprise were highest,
$3,443, in 1928-29 and lowest, $2,037, in 1931-32 (Table 72). They decreased

TABLE 71.-SOURCES OF RECEIPTS FOR POULTRY ENTERPRISES.
20 J 104 60 42 35
Farms Farms Farms Fa rms Farms
1926 1927-28 I 1928-29 1930-31 1931-32
Receipts per Farm
Eggs:
Market .............................. $3,754 $2,940 $3,716 $2,773 $1,974
Hatching .....................- 49 85 66 27 12
Poultry:
Baby chicks ................. 20 18 19 75 28
Birds for meat ................ 669 406 586 376 284
Birds for layers
and breeders ....-..........- 112 15 26 7 40
Miscellaneous .....................- 26 21 43 36 42
Increase in capital ............ 10 198 -
Total ...................... $4,630 $3,495 | $4,654 $3,294 $2,380
Percent of Total
Eggs:
Market ..................-......... --81 84 80 84 83
Hatching ...................... 1 2 1 1 -
Poultry:
Baby chicks .... ............... 1 3 1
Birds for meat ............... 14 12 13 11 12
Birds for layers
and breeders ................ 3 1 2
Miscellaneous ................ 1 1 1 1 2
Increase in capital ........... 4 -
Total .......................... 100 100 100 100 100








An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


less rapidly during depression years than did farm receipts. A number
of poultrymen did not have so high a percentage of pullets on hand at
the end of the years 1930-31 and 1931-32 as they did at the beginning,
which caused a decrease in the value of poultry. The average value of
buildings also decreased because of the need for repairs and few new
buildings constructed.

TABLE 72.-DISTRIBUTION OF EXPENSES PER FARM FOR POULTRY
ENTERPRISES.
20 104 60 42 35
Poultry Share of Farms Farms Farms Farms Farms
Farm Expenses 1926 1927-28 1928-29 1930-31 1931-32

Expenses per Farm


F eed ............. ... ....... ......... I $2,
Marketing commissions ....
Hired labor and board ....
Unpaid family labor ..........
Poultry and eggs
purchased .....-..........
Auto and truck cost ..-...--
Building repairs .................
Buildings, new ....................
Egg cases, cartons, etc. ....
Taxes .--. ...-....- .... ..-....
M medicines ..............................
Medicines ... .....
Coal, oil and fuel ................
Equipment repairs ...........
Wire and fencing ................
Sprays and disinfectants
Litter .............. ...........
Decrease in capital ...........
Miscellaneous ..................


Total


233

172
118

252
44
34
76
26
18
14
35
20
19
4
12
81
28


-..--.........-........... $3,186


$2,069
141
117
116

198
112
16
39
15
12
11
16
8
3
5
7

59_

$2,944


$2,403
160
201
58

210
107
28
92
22
15
13
18
14
12
6
7

77

$3,443


$1,940
174
144
42

83
72
23
24
20
15
14
12
11
5
4
4
235
18

$2,840


$1,358
94
89
41

113
37
9

8
16
10
15
6
4
5
9
182
41

$2,037


TABLE 73.-SUMMARY OF RETURNS FOR POULTRY ENTERPRISES.


20 104
Farms Farms
1926 1927-28


60 42 35
Farms Farms Farms
1928-29 1930-31 1931-32


Average per Farm


Number of birds ..
Poultry capital ..
Poultry receipts
Poultry expenses


............ 796
- ...- :: : $4,979
-.- ...-.- 4,630
....... .... 3,186


Receipts less expenses ...... $1,444
7% interest on capital .... 348
Operator's poultry
labor income ............ $1,096
Poultry products consumed 92
Operator's poultry labor
earnings .......................... $1,188


676 810 874 788
$3,218 $3,800 $2,872 $2,736
3,495 4,654 3,294 2,380
2,944 3,443 2,840 2,037

$ 551 $1,211 $ 454 $ 343
226 266 201 191

$ 325 $ 945 $ 253 $ 152
69 81 54 35

$ 394 $1,026 $ 307 $ 187


_ I







Florida Cooperative Extension


Feed was the most important item of expense, averaging about 70
percent of the total expenses. Each of the items, marketing expenses,
hired labor, and poultry purchased averaged about 5 percent. All other
items made up the remaining 15 percent.
Returns from Poultry Enterprises.-The operator's poultry labor in-
come and poultry labor earnings represent the returns received for his
labor and management from the poultry enterprises. They do not include
any returns from other farm enterprises.
The operator's poultry labor earnings varied from $1,188 in 1926 to
$187 in 1931-32 (Table 73). This was what the operator received for his
labor and management from all three enterprises above expenses including
hired labor and unpaid family labor (except his own) and 7 percent
interest on the capital.

SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
Since 1880 the population of Florida has increased about twice as
fast as the population of the United States. In Florida the dozens of eggs
produced per capital in 1929 were about three times as many as in 1880,
but were still only about one-half the per capital production of the United
States. In 1930 there were fewer chickens per capital in Florida than in
1880.
During the period 1925 to 1939 the wholesale price of white eggs for
the Jacksonville market averaged 33.6 cents per dozen and poultry feed
averaged $2.28 per 100 pounds. During this period it required an average
of 6.8 dozens of eggs to buy 100 pounds of poultry feed. Index numbers
of both feed and egg prices were below 60 percent of the 1926 to 1929
level in 1931-32 and 1932-33.
The price of eggs has a greater seasonal variation than the price of
poultry feed. During the three years of low prices, 1931-34, there was a
tendency for egg prices to rise more rapidly during the late summer and
fall months than was the case during the period 1921-26.
The average total capital per farm was $12,134 in 1926, $7,633 in 1927-
28, and $8,545 in 1928-29. Seventy-eight percent of the capital was in real
estate, 18 percent in livestock, and 4 percent in equipment. About 80 per-
cent of the farms had an investment of from $3,000 to $12,000.
The total farm receipts varied from $3,722 in 1927-28 to $5,161 in 1926.
About 90 percent of the total receipts was from poultry and eggs sold.
Crop sales accounted for about 2 percent of the total farm receipts. Garden
produce was the most important item of crop sales.
Purchased feed accounted for about 70 percent and hired and unpaid
family labor about 10 percent of the total farm expenses. The remainder of
the farm expenses was divided about equally between poultry purchased,
real estate expenses, equipment, marketing, and miscellaneous items.
The operator's labor income averaged $965 in 1926, $48 in 1927-28 and
$694 in 1928-29. In addition the operator received certain farm privileges.
These averaged $400 in 1927-28, and $459 in 1928-29. Approximately 45
percent of the total was for food and 55 percent was for the use of the
house. Fifty percent of the farms made labor incomes of more than $1,000
in 1926; 7 percent in 1927-28; and 31 percent in 1928-29.
The average acres of land per farm varied from 20.1 acres in 1926 to
22.5 acres in 1928-29; the average man equivalent from 1.5 in 1926 to 1.4
in 1927-28; the number of productive works units per farm from 293
in 1927-28 to 397 in 1926; and the average number of birds from 679 in
1927-28 to 810 in 1928-29.







An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


Some of the important factors related to labor income were size of
business, eggs per hen, labor efficiency, capital efficiency, and type of
poultry business.
The results of this study indicate that there are opportunities for
relatively high returns on commercial poultry farms in Florida provided
the farms are large enough and efficiently operated. The number of birds
needed to provide a definite income will depend on the price level and how
well the flock is managed. In 1927-28 when the average labor income was
only $48 per farm it required about 1,200 birds and an average production
per hen of 165 eggs or more to make a labor income of $1,000 or over.
In 1928-29 when the average labor income was $694 per farm, labor incomes
of $1,000 or more were made with 800 or more birds per farm and an
average production of 165 eggs per hen, or on farms having 1,600 birds
per farm and an average production of 140 eggs per hen.
Practically all the concentrated feed was purchased and all the green
feed was raised on the farm. Total consumption of concentrated feed per
bird varied from 78.3 pounds in 1926 to 73.1 pounds in 1931-32. Mash
constituted from 45 to 51 percent of the concentrated feed. The average
feed cost per bird varied from $2.36 in 1927-28 to $1.36 in 1931-32. The
monthly feed consumption per bird was about 33.3 percent higher during
the high producing months.
The average number of hours of labor per bird was slightly under 3
in all the years except 1927-28, when it was 3.3 hours. Of the total number
of hours of labor per farm about 59 percent was used in performing daily
chores, 14 percent in cleaning houses, 17 percent in gathering and packing
eggs, and 10 percent in hauling feed and marketing eggs. The average
charge per hour of labor varied from 23.2 in 1931-32 to 32.6 cents in
1927-28.
Slightly more than half the farms used horse and tractor labor and
about 80 percent used an auto or a truck for the laying flock. On the farms
actually using automobiles and trucks for the laying flock the cost
averaged about 18 cents per bird.
Approximately 10 percent of the cost of producing eggs was composed
of charges for the use of land, buildings, equipment and interest on birds.
The total charge for birds for the use of these items depended on the
average investment per bird, and amounted to about 12 percent of the
average value.
The charge for depreciation on birds varied from 70 cents per bird
and 5.8 cents per dozen eggs in 1927-28 to 54 cents per bird and 4.3 cents
per dozen eggs in 1931-32. Depreciation was influenced by percent mor-
tality, value of birds on hand at the beginning and end of the year, price
received for birds sold and percent of birds culled. During the decline in
cost of production from 1927-28 to 1931-32 depreciation on birds did not
decline so fast as did other costs.
Mortality gradually increased from 9.6 percent in 1926 to 15.8 percent
in 1931-32. The number of deaths per thousand birds on hand at the
beginning of each month was highest during summer. During the last
three years of the study about 35 percent of the birds on hand at the
beginning of the year were sold, 1.5 percent were consumed on the farm,
13.5 percent died, and 50 percent were kept for layers the following year.
The sales of layers for meat were heaviest during the months of June,
July, August and September. The average value of birds sold during
these months was 25 percent below the average value of those sold during
March and April. Hens on hand at the end of the year were valued at
approximately 50 percent more than the average value received for hens
sold for meat.







Florida Cooperative Extension


About 95.5 percent of the eggs produced by the laying flock were sold
as market eggs, 1 percent were sold as hatching eggs, 1.5 percent were
eaten, 1 percent were incubated and slightly less than 1 percent were un-
accounted for. The average yearly prices received per dozen for market
eggs varied from 39.7 cents in 1926 to 20.4 cents in 1931-32. Prices for
hatching eggs sold averaged about 50 percent above the prices for market
eggs. Eggs incubated were valued at about the same price as hatching
eggs and eggs eaten at about 30 percent less than market eggs. Differ-
ences in average market prices received were due largely to methods of
selling eggs and the percent of eggs sold during months of high egg
prices.
The two most important factors related to costs and returns in pro-
ducing eggs were eggs per hen and number of birds per farm. As the
number of eggs per hen increased the total cost per bird increased,
but the cost per dozen eggs decreased. The chief advantage of large flocks
was in lower labor costs per bird and per dozen eggs. Many feeding
practices were found that affected the egg production per hen or economy
in the use of feed. Most of the other factors were found to be related to
costs and returns through the three factors mentioned above.
The average number of birds per farm varied from 676 in 1927-28 to 874
in 1930-31. Sixty percent of the farms had between 300 and 900 birds.
The average number of eggs per hen varied from 148 eggs in 1927-
28 to 156 eggs in 1930-31. The highest per hen for any one flock was 214
eggs and the lowest 91 eggs. About 50 percent of the flocks produced
between 140 and 159 eggs per hen.
The average poultryman had a greater net income above feed cost
during the spring months when eggs were cheapest. However, on many
of the farms in the high winter egg producing groups the total value of
egg sales above feed cost was greater during the winter months. It cost
slightly more to produce eggs in the winter months, but the higher prices
obtained exceeded the cost and the increased production for the year
lowered the average yearly cost per dozen.
Very few poltrymen had laying flocks composed of all pullets or all
hens. About 65 percent of them kept between 40 and 80 percent pullets.
The total value of eggs above feed and depreciation cost per bird increased
as the percentage of pullets increased in each of the four years. In three
of the years it increased more rapidly when the percentage of pullets was
increased from 30 to 60 percent than when it was increased from 60 to 90
percent. Higher average returns per hour of labor were obtained from
flocks having from 50 to 75 percent pullets than from flocks with less
than 50 percent or more than 75 percent pullets.
Very few farms used lights prior to 1931-32. In view of the results
secured by the 17 farms using lights in 1931-32 it seems that they may be
more widely used in future than they were prior to that time.
Ninety-six percent of the birds on the farms studied were Leghorns.
Breeds other than Leghorns were found mainly on farms selling hatching
eggs, baby chicks and fryers.
In 1927-28 the flocks on light, sandy, well drained soils averaged 155
eggs per hen and 8 percent mortality as compared with 140 eggs per hen
and 14 percent mortality for flocks on heavy, poorly drained soil. The best
location for a commercial egg farm is near a good market for eggs on a
well drained, sandy soil.
The average cost per dozen eggs increased as percent mortality in-
creased. This was due to a higher depreciation cost per bird and a lower
egg production per hen.







An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


Many feeding practices were found to be related to egg production per
hen and feed cost per dozen. The most economical way to lower feed cost
per dozen was to increase egg production per hen by breeding. Egg pro-
duction could not be economically raised above 160 eggs per hen by increas-
ing feed intake per hen. Pullets were more efficient users of feed than
were hens. The higher the percentage of grain fed the lower was the
feed cost per dozen as long as egg production was maintained. There
was little difference in the average eggs per hen and the feed cost per
dozen between farms using wet and dry mash and those using only dry
mash. Higher returns above feed cost per bird were obtained by those
using mash mixed according to a good formula than by those using a
commercial mash. Flocks fed green feed the year round consumed more
pounds of concentrated feed and produced more eggs per hen at a lower
feed cost per dozen than flocks fed little or no green feed.
A small number of birds per house not only caused a higher labor
cost per bird but also increased the charge for use of land, buildings, and
equipment per bird. A high investment per bird also increased the charge
for the use of land, buildings, and equipment.
An increase in the number of dozens of eggs produced per man
equivalent caused a very rapid increase in the returns per hour of labor.
The total labor returns on farms producing the largest number of dozens
of eggs per man equivalent was higher than that on farms with high egg
production per hen or on farms with a large number of birds per man.
In the last four years of the study about 70 percent of the farms
raised their pullets from chicks. An additional 10 to 20 percent purchased
part or all of their pullets. The net cost per pullet decreased from $1.41 in
1927-28 to 85 cents in 1931-32. The cost of feed and baby chicks started
averaged 70 percent of the total cost of pullets in each of the last four
years. Labor made up another 15 percent of the total cost. When the
cost of chicks was omitted feed constituted about 60 percent, labor about
20 percent and other items about 20 percent of the cost per pullet.
Average returns of labor from raising pullets varied from 76 cents per
hour in 1928-29 to 38 cents per hour in 1931-32. When about 600 pullets
were raised per farm it required an average of 0.8 of an hour of labor, 29
pounds of feed, and 2.5 chicks to raise a pullet to 6 months of age. The
two most important factors related to costs and returns in raising pullets
were number of pullets raised per farm and mortality per 100 chicks
started. In addition to the effect of chick mortality on the cost of raising
pullets, it also had a marked effect on hen mortality, egg production, and
costs and returns in producing eggs the following year.
During the last four years of the study the percent of farms that
hatched their own chicks decreased, but those poultrymen who continued
to hatch chicks greatly increased their volume. The average cost per 100
chicks custom hatched was less than the cost per 100 chicks hatched on
farms hatching about the same number of chicks per farm.
Hatching eggs comprised about 65 percent of the cost of hatching chicks
and incubation costs about 35 percent. As the number of chicks
hatched per farm and per hundred eggs set increased the cost per hundred
chicks hatched decreased. The percent that the total cost of hatching eggs
was of the total cost of incubation decreased as the percent hatched in-
creased, and increased as the number of chicks hatched per farm increased.
The average returns per hour of labor used in hatching chicks and
raising pullets was higher than for labor applied in producing eggs. How-
ever, unless a poultryman produced pullets and baby chicks for sale only a
small number of hours of labor were needed for these enterprises. If less
than 1,000 chicks are needed per year it would seem advisable to buy them,






94 Florida Cooperative Extension

as cost per chick increased and returns per hour of labor decreased very
rapidly when less than this number were hatched. Poultrymen caring for
less than 1,000 laying birds per man can increase their yearly income by
raising their own pullets, unless confronted with a very high chick mortality.
Prospective poultrymen should take every precaution to avoid making
a mistake in selecting a location for a commercial poultry farm. A mistake
in selecting a location near a poor market, on a poorly drained soil, or
in placing too high a percent of the capital in land and buildings will affect
profits for years to come. While a large flock of birds is necessary for
low cost and efficient operation, persons without previous poultry experi-
ence should begin with a small number of birds and expand the business
as they gain experience. Plans should also be made for financing the
expansion of the business. The profits from a small number of birds will
not provide sufficient net income to expand the business and maintain a
very high standard of living for the operator and his family.
The development of commercial poultry farming in Florida in the future
as in the past will probably be largely confined to the production of
eggs and poultry for local markets.

APPENDIX

DEFINITIONS AND DIRECTIONS FOR WORKING FACTORS
Number of Layers per Farm.-The average number of layers per farm
was calculated by securing an average of number on hand for each month
in the following manner.

Purchases
Number or Trans Sales Deaths Eaten On Average
Month on Hand, fers During During During Hand Num-
Beg inning During Month Month Month End of ber for
of Month Month Month Month
October ..- 1,230 j 39 8 3 1,180 1,205
N ovember 1,180 16 4 2 1,158 1,169
December | 1,158 23 6 4 1,125 1,142
January ..1 1,125 12 7 5 1,101 1,113
February 1,101 9 20 3 1,069 1,085
March ... 1,069 1 22 3 1,043 1,056
April ...... 1,043 2 33 6 1,002 1,022
May ........ 1,002 55 22 2 923 962
June ...... 923 72 20 2 829 876
July ........ 829 119 18 2 690 760
August .... 690 16 28 3 643 666
September 643 -- 24 2 617 630

Total .. Xi 364 212 37 X 11,686.
Average number of layers = 11,686 12 = 974.

Number of Males per Farm.-The average number of males per farm
was determined in the same manner as the number of layers. On the farm
listed above they averaged 17.
Number of Birds per Farm.---The number of birds per farm is the sum
of the number of layers and the number of males.
974 + 17 = 991
This is the number of birds used in calculating all costs and returns
per bird.








An Economic Study of Poultry Farming


Total Eggs per Hen.-The average number of eggs per hen for the
year was calculated by dividing the sum of the daily egg records for
the year by the average number of layers.
144,587 974 = 148.5
The total number of eggs per hen can also be calculated by adding
the monthly eggs per hen which would have given 147.2 eggs. This
number is always different than the one used in the study unless no birds
die or are sold during the year and is usually slightly less than the
number used because of the different methods of weighting.
Percent Mortality.-The percent mortality for layers was calculated by
dividing the number of deaths for the year by the number of layers on hand
at the beginning of the year, and multiplying by 100. This is called the
percent mortality of the beginning number.
212 1,230 X 100 = 17.2


Month


October ........
November .....
December ......
January .........
February .......
March -...........
April ..............
May ................
June ...............
July ................
August ..........
September .....


Total or average


Average
Eggs Number of Eggs
Produced Layers per Hen

10,495 i 1,205 8.7
9,498 1,169 8.1
10,150 1,142 8.9
12,240 1,113 11.0
17,486 1,085 16.2
18,672 1,056 17.7
17,925 1,022 17.5
16,192 962 16.8
13,176 876 15.0
7,098 760 9.3
6,239 666 9.4
5,416 630 8.6

144,587 974 X


Return per Hour of Labor.-The return per hour of labor is the amount
of income left for man labor after deducting all other expenses, divided
by the number of hours of man labor on the enterprise. This measure
of returns was calculated for the laying, rearing, and hatching enterprises.
When used in connection with each enterprise it applies only to the returns
obtained by labor from that particular enterprise.
Depreciation on the Laying Flock.-Depreciation on the laying flock
is the charge made against the laying enterprise to cover the cost of
mortality and the decrease in the value of laying birds. It is the value of
hens, pullets, and males on hand at the beginning of the year plus the cost
of birds purchased or the value of those added during the year, less the sales
and value of those on hand at the end of the year.
Value of Eggs Above Feed Costs per Bird.-The value of eggs above feed
costs per bird is the total value of eggs produced less the cost of feed for
the laying flock, divided by the average number of birds in the laying flock.
Percent Pullets.-The percent pullets is the number of pullets on hand
at the beginning of the year divided by the total number of hens and pullets
on hand at the beginning of the year, multiplied by 100.


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