Tag Archives: broilers

Are You a Data Junkie Too?

I admit it.  I have a problem.  “Hi, my name is Dave and I am a data junkie”.  The numbers from the flocks fascinate me and I look at a lot of numbers.  I thought I would share a flock with you.  This spreadsheet, flock 127,  is for the flock we just finished.

We start each day (unless something bad happens) by checking our numbers.  Each day we record the following for each house:

Feed Used

Water Used; drinking and cooling are separate

electricity used; lighting, ventilation, and total

propane used

temperature and ventilation set points

temperature and humidity highs and lows as well as the actual at the time the numbers were taken

bird weights from in house scales

mortality

All this information can be found on the DATA tab of the spreadsheet.

The Flock Summary tab contains all the descriptive information about the farm and the flock.  Here you will find the equipment in each house, various sizes and distances, the lighting schedule and maintenance preformed prior to or during a flock.  All the weights, crop checks, water treatments, and vaccines are listed here.  There is also a section for any problems encountered during a flock.

I wrote the Daily Comparison sheet when we were evaluating the sprinkler systems as a method of activity promotion.  We started the sprinklers in one house at day 21.  They ran every hour, morning to evening, for 10 seconds.  This was enough to make the birds stand up and move around.  The idea was that as long as they were up, they might as well eat and drink too.  I used this sheet to track the differences starting at day 21.

Charts and curves are nice for a quick glance at a current situation.  The Growth Curve tab contains a graph which shows how our current weights compare to the Cobb targets.  The house weights are the daily readings from the in house scales.  We hand weigh 100 birds per house each week, at placement, 7 days, 14 days, 21 days, etc.  These weights are recorded in the check weights column.

Total Water is drinking water plus cooling water per house, per day.

We brood birds in front half of the house and turn out to full house on day 7 or 8.  We pull out the migration fences, lift the brood curtain and allow the birds to move at their own pace.  The Water Variance tab is useful in deciding when to put the migration fences in.  Once the water intake in the back of the house equals the water intake in the front of the house, the birds are equally distributed and the fences go in.  We may have to move some to even the intake, so the spread sheet tells us how many have to be moved.

I haven’t been using the Feed Inventory page the last few flocks, but it is designed to compare the amount of feed our scales say we have used to what the feed mill says they delivered.   The Feed Summary tab contains all the feed delivered for the flock as well as the FCR calculations.

The Weekly Summary tab contains a comparison per house of feed, water, propane, and electricity usage.  A standardized number is assigned to each to estimate their costs and make comparisons between houses.  The Production Summary tab is the final evaluation of the flock.  It includes the profit and loss per house and a comparison between the houses.

I am still tinkering with the Final Weights tab and it is a bit of a mess.  When we go in to raise the water lines just before the birds are shipped, I weigh ten birds in the center of each house, fives roosters and five hens.  This gives me a really rough idea of our final weight.  I also use it to compare to the plant weight and estimate shrink.

For further analysis, I will pull this data into JMP and run the statistics.  Here is a pdf of an analysis I ran comparing the houses.  house comparisons2

We thought that one house was producing at a higher level than the other three.  The statistical analysis demonstrates that there is no statistically significant difference between the houses.  Since we are a research farm, this is really important to know.  It means that a  product, an LED bulb for example, does not have an advantage or disadvantage based on the house in which it is placed.

I hope you found this useful, enlightening, or at least entertaining.  Leave me a comment or email me if you have any questions or to admit that you too are a data junkie.

Thanks,

Dave

mccreery@uark.edu

 

Ace and Callie installing the migration fences.
Ace and Callie installing the migration fences.

 

Migration fences in the center of the house.  We allow the birds to move on their own, then install the migration fences when the water intake in the front equal the water intake in the back.
Migration fences in the center of the house. We allow the birds to move on their own, then install the migration fences when the water intake in the front equal the water intake in the back.

 

The migration fences are actually just shelves that can be purchased at a hardware store.  Their open construction allows air flow through them.  This makes for more comfortable chickens in warm weather.
The migration fences are actually just shelves that can be purchased at a hardware store. Their open construction allows air flow through them. This makes for more comfortable chickens in warm weather.

 

This is Chance and I and our guest, Ubah Azubuike (AKA Simon). Simon is a graduate student from Nigeria studying Beef Reproductive Physiology.  He spend an afternoon with us learning about the US poultry industry.  And, yes, our office is a mess.
This is Chance and I and our guest, Ubah Azubuike (AKA Simon). Simon is a graduate student from Nigeria studying Beef Reproductive Physiology. He spend an afternoon with us learning about the US poultry industry. And, yes, our office is a mess.