TECHNICAL ARTICLES Broilers/Layers/Breeders

Broiler Records


The necessity of records cannot be overemphasized as a part of the broiler production program. Without careful records there is little indication of the economic progress of the flock.

A record system mustn’t contain excess and unnecessary information. The system must be well organized so that the access to information is quick and illuminating. Apart from the financial records, is the keeping of a few production records also important. Just as the financial records are an indication of where the difficulties lays in a business, is the production records of invaluable worth to solve production problems.

Keeping Records

Records of expenditures are interesting, but more important; they should be studied following the sale of each flock so the grower may benefit from the additional knowledge gained. There are many kinds of records – some very fancy, some very simple. The simple records seem better if they still show the necessary detail.

For broiler production, these items are about all that are needed:

The number of chicks bought and their cost; the kilogram and price of feed, etc. the cash costs of other items such as medicines, vaccinations, repairs, new equipment, hired labour, disinfectants, litter, etc. and the number of birds sold, their weights and the price received.

Even though some flocks may have to be sold for less than their feed bills, there is something to be learned even from failures. These will help you to prevent the same mistake next time. In this connection, many growers keep a mortality record sheet tacked on the disinfectant room door or some other handy place. Some supplement this information with a diary of happenings. Five years from now you won’t remember what made the great difference between flocks unless you have such records to fall back on.

On large flocks, mortality usually is figured as the number sold or slaughtered compared to the number ordered. This usually will be off about two chicks per hundred. However usually one or two percent of the chicks are dead upon arrival or die in a day or so. The extra chicks are included by the hatchery to assure that you will receive the number of live chicks ordered. Thus the average grower should rise to market age from 90 to 94 out of each 100 chicks ordered. An efficient operator usually will have mortality running consistently lower than 6 percent.

As EPEF and FCR still do not give us the information we require, in broadest terms our goal in broiler production is as follows:

Maximize the return per square meter of housing per unit time (Unit Profitability). Unfortunately, many broiler farmers do not keep accurate enough records to be able to calculate this figure.

Types of Broiler Records

Certain records must be compared with a set of standards if there is to be any assurance that the flock is as good as or better than average. There are three types of broiler records:

  • Those involved with growing the flock
  • Those used for general management info
  • Those involved with determining profit or loss

The most important parts of each record keeping system are given below:

Those Involved with Growing the Flock
1. Date broiler chicks started
2. House number and location
3. Number of chicks started (DOC)
4. Parent stock age
5. Source of chicks
6. Floor space per chick
7. Name of feed manufacturer
8. Type of feed used, including any medication

Daily record of:

Feed Consumption – must be noted as accurate as possible. The reason for feed consumption figures is to see whether there is a decrease in feed intake. Such a decrease can point to sickness or palatability problem.

  • Water consumption
  • Mortality – this % must be compared with the breed standard
  • Feed delivered
  • Vaccinations and medications – note the age of the bird as well as the expiring date
  • Management notes
  • Temperatures – at least twice a day

Weekly record of

  • Mortality
  • Body weight
  • Feed consumption for flock
  • Feed consumption per live bird at end of week
  • Feed conversion to date

Final Record of

  • Date birds were slaughtered
  • Age of birds at time of slaughtered
  • Total weight of birds slaughtered
  • Average daily gain
  • Number of birds slaughtered Percent mortality
  • Liveability – 100 minus mortality percentage
  • Average weight per bird
  • Total kilogram of feed used
  • Kilogram of feed used per bird slaughtered

Kilogram of feed used per kilogram slaughtered

Feed conversion – it is important to know how much meat and other saleable products are produced with the quantity feed. This is calculated with the following equation: Total feed used during the cycle divided by the Total body weight produced.

EPEF – European Production Efficiency Factor can be determined as follows:

(Liveability X Ave Live weight) / (FCR X Ave Slaughter age) X 100

Those used for general management:

  • Square meter of floor space in house
  • Stocking density
  • Number of broilers per drinker
  • Number of broilers per feeder
  • Date chicks were placed
  • Next placing date – The difference between the two dates is known as the cycle length
  • Cycle length
  • Weighted average feed cost
  • Average Feed cost/square meter
  • Weight (kg)/square meter
  • Total cost/square meter
  • Gross income/square meter – determined as follows: (Total weight/Ave fresh chicken price)/Total house area
  • Average fresh chicken price
  • Unit profitability – this equation is determined as follows: (Gross Income/square meter – Total Costs/square Meter)/Cycle Length.

Those Involved with Determining Profit or Loss:

This record is a list of income and expenses connected with each group of birds and are primarily for the integrator, although the independent operator could use it. Income

  • Net received from the sale of broilers50
  • Other income
  • Total income from the venture

Net profit or (loss)

  • For the flock
  • Per bird marketed
  • Per kilogram marketed


  • Chick cost
  • Feed cost
  • Feed delivery cost
  • Sanitation and medication cost
  • Vaccination cost
  • Flock service cost
  • Fuel cost
  • Litter cost
  • Other costs
  • Wages
  • Other costs

Total costs


Remember that there is little point in keeping records if you don’t use them.

For any other information regarding broiler records, Attie Venter can be contacted at 082 779 8329.

Date published: 2003-11-25

Attie Venter