Broiler yield is a VERY IMPORTANT value-added topic.
Hint: value-added. (Yield from geldan (Anglian) “to pay, pay for; reward, render;)
Work is only really work if it pays, otherwise, it’s all a waste.
In the broiler business, the real value is meat.
Whilst the whole carcass is sold,
After all the processing, the product of real value is actually the meat.
In fact, the various cuts of broiler meat each carry their own respective premium.
In other words, the market values each cut differently according to relative consumer demand.
In the UK, for example, the popularity of chicken meat cuts look like this (numbers in tonnes sold per annum – 2017 figures):
Fresh Whole – 226,142 (~40%)
Fresh Breast – 159,381 (~28%)
Fresh Leg – 96,083 (~17%)
Frozen Breast – 42,741 (~8%)
Sliced Cooked – 22,031 (~4%)
TOTAL = 561,714 tonnes sold
Source: Poultry Pocketbook – 2018 AHDB
Looking more closely at the price variety associated with cuts,
…birds with a higher proportion of actual meat (value) vs. bone, fat, cartilage etc. (waste)…
…carry higher demand, higher price and contribute more kg of meat to every sale.
This, of course, equals more profit for every broiler farmer.
All this, simply for making the right decisions in getting the best quality carcass to market.
But as a broiler farmer, how can you improve the yield of your meat delivered to market?
According to this publication by North Central Regional Committee on Poultry Products Technology Research, there are 5 primary contributors to broiler meat yield:
Over the decades of selective breeding by commercial vendors like Avigen, Cobb etc…
…certain breeds of broiler have been influenced for their optimal meat yield.
Maturity has a direct correlation to meat yield.
Immature birds yield lower meat. Their bodies are yet to reach potential.
…certain strains reach an optimal size and weight sooner than others, which leads to greater turnaround and increased profits.
Shorter rearing cycles = more sales & lower cost of goods sold (feed expenses) = greater profits.
Diet & Management
- What birds eat, and…
- how they are handled…
…directly impact their eventual market weight and muscle (meat) composition.
Getting the right balance and approach in this area can add to your overall broiler farming gains.
Firstly, it has been seen that supplying birds with lower energy feed, can result in lower yields…
(careful though – too many calories in broiler diet can have an adverse effect on their appetite):
As far as pre-processing handling is concerned, for example, every hour of delay in the lead time to slaughter can cause “weight loss…
Chilling and unscrupulous practices
Care should be taken on the processing/evisceration lines, not to saturate meat in water – as this practice significantly increases yield…
The bottom line…
Actual meat increase is where you as a broiler farmer get rewarded for your efforts.
This comes in financial return.
Money per kg or lbs.
You can influence this ratio in your favour significantly by:
- Your choice of strain
- Age of slaughter
- Processing methods
…amongst other factors, like humidity, floor space etc.
If each factor adds a small percentage of gain toward your target weight.
For everything done effectively, you stay on track for profit.
Yet every point lost is effort without reward.
Having your eyes on yield continually and it’s contributing factors should keep you on track for long term profits.
An now, over to you:
Are you a broiler farmer looking to increase the weight of your birds?
Or, are you still in planning and need tips on hitting optimal output?
Either way, write me back and let me know.
I read every comment.