258-4 Organic Poultry Production in Chicken Tractors: An Economic Analysis.
An economic analysis revealed that, at a sales price of $3 per lb, returns over total costs ranged from a high of $0.19 per chicken in 2005 to a low of -$6.92 per chicken in 2004, with an average return of -$4.37. General labor was valued at $15/hour and a slaughter charge of $3.50 per bird was assessed.
We used data from four years of side-by-side comparisons with two strains of Cornish Cross broilers to create a spreadsheet to calculate breakeven prices by breed, using the study data for feed conversion, meat yield, age at slaughter, mortality rates, labor needs, and infrastructure costs. The standard strain of Cornish Cross broiler had an average carcass weight of 4.71 lb at 8 weeks, with 3.71 lb feed consumed per lb of finished carcass. The average mortality rate was 12%. The slower maturing strain of Cornish Cross broiler averaged 11 weeks at slaughter with a mortality rate of just 6.67%. However, the carcass weight averaged 3.50 lb and the feed conversion was 5.51 lb of feed per lb of meat. Using 2014 costs, breakeven prices to cover total costs averaged $5.21 per lb for standard Cornish Cross and $7.88 per lb for the slower strain.