BS in Agricultural Business
Wayne Howard, Robert Spiller
The California poultry industry is at a turning point due to the approaching deadline of Proposition 2 taking effect in 2015. The method of choice to be implemented to stay in business is called an enriched colony cage system. This system is very popular in E.U production, however has yet to be implemented in the United States. Thus, for the purpose of this project the modification of Chore Time® equipment at the Cal Poly poultry unit to resemble colony cages was the taken approach.
The fiscal impact the new law will have on California egg farmers can only be estimated. This project focused on how new density requirements will have an impact on feed consumption, egg production, feed conversion and mortality. Through 111 days of research birds were isolated in a controlled environment where feed was calculated and distributed, eggs were gathered and mortality monitored.
The research found that when comparing feed consumption, 16 bird densities having 144.2 in. per bird reveal a significant difference at the 1% level when compared to the remaining groups. Furthermore, feed to egg conversions for 16 birds cage densities reveal a significant difference at the 1% level when compared to the other bird densities. Thus, it can be assumed that there will be an increase in cost of production resulting from an increase in cage densities if colony cages at lower bird densities are to be implemented.