An economic analysis of commercial egg production

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute

This study employed actual farm data to obtain estimates of the input-output relationships that might prove useful in farm management plans by commercial egg producers and those interested in the poultry industry.

The study was in two phases. Egg production functions were estimated for flocks with particular combinations of management practices and equipment. Analysis of variance was used to determine the particular combinations of building, equipment, and management practices. Least squares regression analysis was used to estimate production functions with eggs produced per hen as a function of feed. Birds in cage and floor housing had different production functions. Also, different types of birds under various frequencies of culling had different functions. However, the relationship a type of bird had to other types was not consistent when different frequencies of culling were compared.

The labor to perform specific chorea was estimated using time per 100 birds as a function of flock size when particular combinations of equipment were used in performing the chores. These functional estimates were unusable because of the low coefficients of multiple determination. However, the average time was used to make an economic analysis of the labor saved by using various combinations of equipment.

When various price combinations for feed and eggs were used, the additional eggs produced by cage housed layers justified cages with only one price combination. All other price combinations showed labor and/or capital with a value greater than the additional eggs were saved by using mechanical equipment in floor housing.