Turbo Feeding

I have mentioned the turbo feeders in past posts.  We have used them for 7 flocks.  Bart, a grower in Holland, asked me about them.  I pulled my data together for him and decided to share it here.  We use the turbo feeders in place of the chick trays under the feed lines.  We also replaced the large, cardboard feeders in the aisles with them.   There is a link in front of each section that will take you to a pdf file of the statistical analysis.  The statistics were analyzed using JMP.  Take a look, see what you think and draw your own conclusions.  I would appreciate any feed back.


This picture shows the turbo feeders in use under the feed lines.

I ran a two flock trial testing the two different kinds of feeders.  Each flock had two houses of turbo feeders and two houses of chick trays.  Between the two flocks, we traded feeders so that each house had one flock with chick trays and one flock with turbo feeders.  Here are the results:

7 day gain

7 day gain – Look at the chart on the top of the page.  The horizontal green line is the average gain at 7 days.  The turbo feeders had an average gain of .285 lbs.  The chick trays had an average of .261.  In the Summary of Fit section, the first line is Rsquare.  This tells you the percentage of the difference between the two variables that is explained by this model.  In this case, about 60% is explained and 40% of the difference is caused by something else, for example chick placement weights.  On this type of experiment, we would not want to be much lower but that number is acceptable.  Down a little farther is analysis of variance.  The Prob>F number of 0.0261 means that there is 2.61% chance that this difference would have happened regardless of which type of feeder we used or a 97.39% chance that the difference is due to the difference in feeders.

14 day gain

14 day gain – It starts to get ugly now.  The average gains are close, .85 and .827, but turbos are still ahead.  The Rsquare is only 25%, so 75% of the difference in the results from the two types of feeders is unexplained.  The probability that the difference occurred due to the difference in feeders is down to 20.43%.  In most experiments, you need to be under 5% to say that the difference is statistically different.  In some, 10 % is fine.  Medical tests are 1% or less.  It appears that the difference in feeders did not play a big part in gain to 14 days.

14 day fcr

14 day fcr – The averages are 1.035 and 1.082, with the turbo feeders having a lower fcr.  The rsquare is 39.44 % meaning  about 60% of the variation is unexplained.  The probability indicates that there is about a 10% chance that the difference is due to something other than the feeders.

We start picking up the supplemental feeders the day before we turn out to full house (we half house brood).  We pick up 1/3 per day so that we are picking up the last supplemental feeders the day after we turn out.  We turned these flocks out at 8 days.  I chose not to evaluate 7 day fcr because the two types of feeders hold differing amounts of feed.  Since the feeders were still in use on day 7, I felt that the fcr numbers would not be accurate.


We also used the turbo feeders as extra feeders in the aisles.  These were filled by hand each day.

42 day weight and fcr

42 day weights and fcr – both show rsquares of about 10% and insignificant probabilities.  I think this is far enough from chick placement that there are too many variables to say that chick feeders influence final weight and feed conversion.

There are two ways to look at this.  From the scientific perspective, there is not enough significant difference.  From a farmer perspective, I know that an increase in 7 days weights and a decrease in 14 day fcr is to my advantage.  We will have to run a couple more flocks and reevaluate.

Let me know if you have any comments , recommendations or questions.

Thanks again,




8 thoughts on “Turbo Feeding

    1. I am not using them except as supplemental feeders in our pen trials but I still like them. We have changed to full house brood to facilitate some of the research we are doing. I don’t have enough turbos for all four houses in full house. Also, we have had a change in directors and the new professor in charge does not like them, so I could not get approval to buy more. We are currently using paper trays instead. I think the turbos help but it is hard to prove. There are so many variables in a commercial house that gains at 7 days are not always seen at the end of the flock. I would suggest you try one house and see what you think. You might look at the oval turbo. I have had several growers tell me they really like them. The best price I found on either style was Georgia Poultry. The oval comes with a replacement feed drop that will allow more feed into the turbo. If you try them, I found it helps to take the tube off the chick mate to get more feed into the turbo. I hope this helps. Feel free to email me or give me a call.

      1. Thanks for your reply! I went whole hog and got 6 houses worth. We are 50% brood so we will see if it makes much difference. How many did you put down for supplemental in the aisles? Thanks again!

      2. Great! I hope you like them. Please let me know how you did. Also, I’d like to know if you got the round or oval ones. We put one down by every other water line string on both sides of the center aisle. We set them between the water line and the feed line prior to placement to stay out of the way of the forklift. As we dumped chicks, we pulled the turbos out into the aisle 1-2 feet. Good Luck, Dave

  1. Hello I am not sure if you have done any further tests at University of Arkansas.
    Our company INDIV is located in Springfield Mo and we are the exclusive North American Distributor. We would be more than happy to work with the university for any future field tests, supplying TG2 ( rectangular rounded). In addition to the FCR reported in 2013, we are also interested in your findings on feed wastage or other benefits you may have found for growers or integrator. We have a lot of data from outside the USA, but not in USA.

      1. You are correct, however the fillers in your pictures, appear to not be
        filling the chick feeder at the levels we would suggest for best results. If you let us know how many you need we would be glad to send to you at no charge.

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