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 – 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 – 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 – 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 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,

Dave