Don Bell of the University of California, Riverside, has circulated Part 13 B of the National Flock Performance Study.
This report considered income over feed costs and pullet depreciation for flocks with a first-cycle length ranging from 47 to 91 weeks as the extremes.
Data was collected from 11 companies participating in the National Flock Performance Study. Seven of the 11 companies applied either non-molt or single-molt programs. The contribution margin was calculated from the difference between revenue, using standardized prices for grades, minus feed cost and pullet depreciation. This value was multiplied by 52 weeks.
The contribution margin ranged from $3.93 per hen housed to $5.37 per hen housed. The differences among respondents reflected length of the laying cycle, strain selected and management. Lower returns were associated with shorter flock aged at either depletion or onset of molt, and the higher contribution margins were associated with an extended first cycle, usually with flock depletion at approximately 80 weeks of age. The correlation factor between contribution margin and age was 0.43.
Each week of extending the first cycle from 50-90 weeks of age added 5.6 cents to the 52-week contribution margin.