Feed Conversion Ratio Calculator, Formula, Calculation & Example

Feed Conversion Ratio Calculator

The FCR calculator (feed conversion ratio calculator) is an invaluable tool to calculate the amount of feed required to get an animal to a certain weight, to compare the feed yields for different feeds, as well as to estimate the cost of raising an animal.

This tool is available to anyone, regardless of whether they are a farmer who wants to learn more about animal husbandry such as beef feed conversion or just want to estimate how long it will take for your cat or goldfish grow to reach a certain weight. The feed conversion ratio (or feed conversion rate) is an important metric for budgeting feed costs. It helps you assess how efficiently an animal uses the feed it eats. It’s an excellent tool to determine the FCR formula for poultry, to calculate the feed conversion rate in poultry, and to analyze the swine feed ratio.

The FCR is the relationship between animal growth and productivity and the amount of food that was consumed. This article will explain how it works. This article will explain the FCR meaning the relationship between feed conversion and animal’s growth and productivity. These are essential tools for assessing your animal production cycle’s profitability. For planning your pasture, you can also use the plant populations calculator.

What is the feed conversion rate? FCR is the meaning

We are what we eat. Our farm animals are just like us. However, unlike us, they don’t know much about nutrition. If we give them freedom to roam or source their food, it is unlikely that they will grow fast or get fat. We have a responsibility to love our animals and provide high-quality, tasty food. We will help to increase growth, promote animal health and facilitate reproduction by providing complete or supplementary feeding.

How much feed do you need to raise a chicken, pig, fish, horse, or snail large enough to reach table weight, or to produce a market-sized animal? This crucial question can be answered by the feed conversion ratio (FCR). It shows how feed is consumed and how efficient it is.

This calculator calculates the feed conversion ratio of an animal to produce one unit of product in a growing cycle.

  • FCR refers to the feed required for meat animals. It is the feed that allows the animal gain one pound or one kilogram of bodyweight.
  • FCR refers to the amount of feed required to produce a liter or pint of milk for dairy animals.
  • ** FCR refers to the feed required by Layer poultry to produce eggs.
    FCR (per dozen eggs) = Total feed consumed * 12 / Total eggs produced
    Learn more about the FCR formulas.

A feed conversion ratio simply shows how efficient an animal converts feed into food. You can calculate the animals’ feed conversion rates on a monthly, quarterly, annual, or flock basis with good recordkeeping. This will allow you to determine the mathematical relationship between the input of feed animals, the output, cost, and economic benefit associated with raising them.

It is important to remember that the majority of animal food is converted into tissue, or added to body mass. Some animals do better than others at converting food into weight gain. This is an indicator of an animal’s growth efficiency. There are many stages in which an animal’s growth rate varies. Smaller animals and young animals have higher growth rates than larger animals. This is because they use less energy which allows them to grow more.

Aquatic animals, particularly fish do better than land animals. The food that land animals eat is used for maintenance and support. They also use it to grow, produce heat, and keep warm. However, aquatic animals tend to do better than terrestrial animals. A pig feed conversion or swine food conversion would be greater than that of poultry. Therefore, a cow will need more food to gain 1kg in weight than a Tilapia.

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How do you calculate FCR? Formula for converting feeds

Feed conversion ratio (FCR), is:

FCR = Total Feed Consumed / Total Product Weight.


  • Product weight = product final weight - product weight

FCR is calculated on the animal’s or animal’s weight. When calculating FCR, the two variables (feedweight and weight gained), must be in one unit. You don’t need to worry about conversion when you use the FCR calculator. Simply fill out the information that you have.

The following formulas can be used to perform a thorough analysis of a farm’s financial statements:

  • Economic FCR = Total Feed Consumed / Total Weight of Animals Accepted at a Shallowhouse.where:
    weight accepted at the slaughterhouse = The weight of the life-sized
    meat and the weight of any by-products (e.g. feathers, hides, skin)
    Economic FCR can also be called Edible-weight FCR, because it calculates FCR after the animal has been killed and dressed. The Economic FCR is a measure of how much food an animal can be made from flesh, after it has been removed all bones.

  • Technical FCR = Total Feed Consumed / Number Of Animals That Exit Farmhouse
    The difference between technical and economic FCRs is that the Economic FCR shows how much feed was converted into meat. The Technical FCR shows a farm’s productivity simultaneously. It includes all animals that left the farm feeding program, including those that arrived at the slaughterhouse. To learn more about managing animal mortality on your farm, you can check the livestock mortality rate calculator.

Farm businesses can get a better view of their profitability by using both the Technical and Economic FCRs. These parameters can be calculated using the advanced feed conversion ratio calculator.

How can you compare the quality of animal feed using FCR?

Example 1 – Using feed conversion ratios to compare and select animal feeds

Let’s illustrate the FCR formula for poultry feeds: Let’s suppose a farmer bought chicken feeds from two mills. Let’s call them Feed A and Feed B. To gain 1kg weight, the chickens need 2.5kg of Feed A.

Feed-A FCR = 2.5 kg feed / 1 kg chicken weight = 2.5

To gain 1kg of weight, chickens only need 1.8 kg Feed-B

Feed-B FCR = 1.8 kg feed / 1 kg fish = 1.8

The farmer would prefer Feed-B if they could observe the results in the same conditions. It produces better results with less feed.

A feed with a low FCR means that animals will need less food to gain weight than animals fed a high FCR feed. A lower FCR means that the feed is of high quality. This allows you to keep costs down and ensure profitability for your agricultural business.

Why is the FCR result so different between the two feeds

Factors that influence FCR in farm animals

There are many factors that could influence FCR results.

  • Different species of animals and different genetic makeup
  • The stage of the animal’s development;
  • The health of the animals;
  • The feed must be high in quality and nutritious.
  • The environment can have an impact on the comfort of animals (e.g., light intensity, temperature)

Let’s say you are confident in your animals’ growth conditions and still receive a low FCR. If you are confident that your animals are growing in a healthy environment, but still have a poor FCR, it is advisable to investigate the feed consumption of your animals. Feed wastage can have a significant impact on the FCR value and cause you to calculate a false feed conversion value if it is not taken into account. You can reduce feed wastage by using specialized feeders for your animals. Overfeeding your animals can have a negative impact on their feed conversion rate. The feed conversion calculator will help you determine the optimal feed amount.

You should next check the feed for nutritional components so that animals are receiving a healthy diet at every stage of their growth. Animals that are growing eat a lot. If your pets aren’t eating between 2 and 4% of their bodyweight daily, it’s a sign that they need to be checked on the animal’s health or the feeds’ palatability. Everyone wants to eat a tasty meal. Even animals. You should also check the feed content. Animals can convert protein into weight gain when properly fed. The FCR will be lower if there is more protein in the feed.

Protein diets are generally more expensive per kilogram because they require less feed to grow animals. You will need to decide whether a higher-protein-content diet is more cost-effective than a lower-quality alternative. Remember that animal husbandry can be a long-term endeavor. Our feed conversion ratio calculator is a great tool to budget your feed costs.

How do you budget with feed conversion ratio?

Example 2 – Using FCR for planning feed expenses

Assuming that Feed-A was produced by a feed mill with a 24% meat diet, this would result in an FCR of 2.5.

The farmer will need:

Expected Return = 1,000 kg of chicken

= 1000kg * 2.5 = 2500kg of Feeds-A.

The Feed-A complete feed will cost $800 a kilogram

$800 * 2500 = $2,000,000

Feed-B has a 1.8 FCR and is $1000 per kg because it contains a 34% Protein Diet. The farmer will need to produce the same 1,000kg chicken.

1000 * 1.18 = 1,800kg of FeedB.

The higher quality Feed B will result in a lower total cost for chickens.

= $1000 * 1800 = $1,800,000

If your Expected return is 1000kg of chicken, then it will be more expensive $200,000 to feed them with low-quality feed over the long term. However, it will appear cheaper than the other option due to the $200 markup for the high-protein diet per kg.

High-quality feed is better for animals as it will result in higher growth rates and greater economic turnover. You should still analyze and confirm the most cost-effective method of achieving your goal. There are other factors that could affect your feed purchase decision.

Let’s take another example…

Example 3

A farmer purchases 1000 Pangasius catfish, each weighing 0.20 pounds. They grow to a weight of 1. They ate 1800 lbs of total feed during their growing period. What is the ratio of fish feed to chicken?

Use the FCR formula

FCR = Total fish feed / Total fish weight gain

Total feed equals 1800 pounds.

Step 1 – Estimate the total fish weight at the start of the growing season

1000 fishes * 0.20 lbs = 200 lbs fish

Step 2 – Calculate the fish’s total weight at the end the growing cycle

1000 fishes * 1.0 lb = 1000 lbs

Step 3 – Calculate the total weight gain

Product weight = final weight + starting weight

= 1000 lbs. - 200 lbs = 800

Step 4 – Determine the FCR

FCR = 1800 lbs food / 800 pounds fish = 2.25.

This is a remarkable result.

Using the FCR information above, the farmer can estimate how much it would cost to feed Pangasius catfishes by adding price to the equation.

If the price of fish feed is $300/metric tons and the farmer is looking to invest $15,000 he can buy the feed:

$15,000/300 = 50 metric tonnes fish food.

How much Pangasius catfish can a farmer expect to grow in a given year? Remember that the last growing season had an FCR of 2.25.

These are the steps to determine how many fishes the farmer will be able to grow from the investment.

Step 1 – Find out how many metric tons are in pounds

1 metric tonne = 2,204.62 pounds 50 metric tons = 50 *2204.62 lbs = 110.231 lbs

110,231 lbs will therefore be 50 tons of fish feed .

Step 2 – Use the FCR for the number of pounds of fish that can grow with 110.231 lbs.

2.25 lbs produces 1lb fish. 110.230 lbs will then produce:

110,230 / 2.25 Lbs of Fish = 48,991.55 Lbs of Fish

This means that a farmer can expect to grow around 48.991.55 pounds fish for a $15,000 investment. Simply enter the information required to calculate your feed conversion ratio.

It is important to remember that FCR can vary between animals and feed diets. This also changes as an animal grows.

The FCR can also be affected by aquatic animals.

  • The water quality
  • The pond management system
  • Temperature levels;
  • How and when to eat;
  • The health of the fish.

Fish have the highest feed conversion ratios, and are usually kept in enclosed houses. You can even get an FCR lower than 1. This is rare, but it is possible under two conditions.

  1. A fish that is raised in a pond that has a lot of natural foods will eat both your feed and the natural food and grow stronger. The result would be that you are not contributing all the feed to the fish’s weight gain.
  2. Fish can turn the feed into moist flesh by using a highly efficient management system. This means that if you weigh the fishes compared to the dry feed they are given, the FCR is lower. However, if the dry time is the same as the feed they were given, it’s impossible to achieve a lower FCR.

Average FCR for different farm animals

The feed conversion rate for certain farm animals is as follows:

AnimalAverage FCRCattle8.0 – 12.0Pig 3.0 – 3.9Rabbits3.5 – 5.0Goats and sheep4.5 for high concentrate feed
Good quality forage at a 5.5 discount
Straw ration: 30ChickenBroilers 1.5 – 2.0Layers2.25 per kilogram of eggs
Eggs per year: 330-360FishTilapia1.6 – 1.8Catfish1.5 – 5.0Salmon1.3

This table shows that a beef feed ratio is higher than a pork feed ratio. When fed straw rations, goats and sheep have better feed conversion rates than those of other animals.

Agricultural projections can change as production conditions change. Farmers often produce more or less product than what is projected. The projected values are still a guide. However, it is important to improve FCR in order to master animal husbandry. A low FCR directly correlates with feed cost. Keep accurate records of all your farm activities to calculate the FCR for each animal and feed combination.

How can you improve FCR?

Here are some ways to improve your animal’s FCR:

  • Animals should be fed the right diet in the proper amount to ensure they absorb all the nutrients they require.
  • Give the animals a safe environment to grow and use the food they eat.
  • Through proper biosecurity measures, vaccinations and monitoring closely the health of animals, you can monitor and manage their health.
  • You should provide adequate housing that allows animals to exercise while limiting unwanted movements. This will allow animals to conserve energy and help them grow.

FCR has many advantages

A powerful tool that can be used to assist anyone is the feed conversion ratio calculator

  • Calculate the feed needed during an animal’s growth cycle. This is approximately 70% of the production cost.
  • Create budgetary plans to cover a complete growing season and decide the animal’s sale price, as well as the overall carrying capacity.
  • Get valuable insight into the profitability of raising an animals to help farmers make smart decisions when selecting and using feed for maximum profit.
  • Find out if an animal can be efficient.
  • Compare and Evaluate the Efficiency of Different Feeds.
  • For farm managers, provide a benchmark.
  • Aquaculture companies can increase a pond’s capacity for fish by using less water pollution.
  • Do an industry analysis and economic valuations for a farm economy. Using information about the FCR of specific farm animals, agricultural economists can determine the market’s size and value in that particular area or scale . If we have data that shows that 10,000,000 broilers were raised and sold in a given country with an average FCR 1.5:1 kg then we can calculate that the feed market produced 15.2 million kilograms of feed in that year. The $150 million market for broiler feed is calculated if the average feed cost per kilogram is $10 for the year data was collected. This example is only a snapshot of the many variables that can be considered when an industry is being analyzed. If you are interested in learning more about valuations, please visit our EBITDA calculator.

FCR Limitations

There are some limitations in using the FCR technique to evaluate feed efficiency:

  • Feed wastage can cause FCR to give misleading estimates. Calculations based on feed that was delivered to a farm rather than feed eaten by animals can alter the FCR result.
  • To make an FCR comparison relevant, a farmer must compare feeds and animals reared under similar conditions. This means that the same animal species, genetic lineage and production system are required.
  • When combined, management style and feed components can have different FCR rates.
  • FCR values that are calculated by weighing an whole animal population will be more accurate than those calculated using a sample. If a farm has a large animal population, such as 1000+, it might be difficult to weigh every animal. To determine the FCR, a farmer will need to take a representative sample of the entire farm population. The closer the sample size is to the FCR value, the better.
  • A high mortality rate could make FCR applications less practical. If a farmer calculates the FCR for an animal population at the beginning of the growing season and the animal dies near the end of that growing season, then all weighted values must be subtracted from the final result. FCR will be affected if the mortality rate is not taken into account. This makes it more important to regularly register farm activities and make performance adjustments. This problem can be addressed by the technical FCR.


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