How Much Feed Does a Meat Bird Need? Understanding Lifetime Consumption and Cost.

Are you wondering how much feed a meat bird needs to consume throughout their lifetime? Or perhaps you’re curious about the cost of feed per pound or kilogram?

As someone who raises chickens, I can assure you that these are important questions to consider. Not only does the amount of feed impact the growth and health of the bird, but it also affects your wallet.

In this article, we’ll explore how much feed you can expect a meat bird to go through in their lifetime and how much you can expect to pay per pound or kilogram of feed.

So, whether you’re a seasoned chicken raiser or just starting out, keep reading to learn more!

How much feed does a meat bird need?

The amount of feed a meat bird needs will depend on a variety of factors, such as the breed of the bird, the age of the bird, and the size of the bird. In general, meat birds will consume more feed than egg-laying birds because they need to grow at a much faster rate.

According to industry standards, a meat bird will consume approximately 1 pound of feed for every 2.5 pounds of body weight until they are 8 weeks old. After that point, the amount of feed they consume will increase as they continue to grow. By the time they reach market weight, which is typically around 6 to 8 pounds, they will have consumed between 10 to 12 pounds of feed.

It’s worth noting that these estimates are based on industry standards and may vary depending on the specific breed of bird you are raising. For example, a Cornish Cross, which is a popular breed for meat production, may consume more feed than a slower-growing heritage breed.

How much does feed cost?

The cost of feed will vary depending on where you live, the brand of feed you purchase, and the quantity you buy. In the United States, you can expect to pay anywhere from $0.20 to $0.50 per pound of feed, depending on the quality of the feed and the quantity you purchase.

In other countries, such as New Zealand, the cost of feed may be higher or lower depending on a variety of factors. For example, the cost of living and the minimum wage may impact the cost of feed, as well as the availability of certain ingredients.

When purchasing feed, it’s important to consider the quality of the feed and the nutritional needs of your birds. Cheaper feed may not provide your birds with the necessary nutrients they need to grow and develop properly, which could impact their overall health and the quality of their meat.

Tips for feeding meat birds

If you’re new to raising meat birds, there are a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to feeding them:

  1. Start with a high-quality starter feed. When your chicks are first hatched, they will need a high-protein starter feed to help them grow and develop. Look for a feed that is specifically designed for meat birds and that contains at least 20% protein.
  2. Offer free-choice feed. Meat birds will eat more when they are free to eat as much as they want. Offer your birds a constant supply of feed throughout the day and make sure they always have access to clean water.
  3. Supplement with fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition to their feed, you can also supplement your meat birds’ diet with fresh fruits and vegetables. This can help improve the overall nutrition of their diet and provide them with additional vitamins and minerals.
  4. Consider free-ranging. If you have the space, allowing your meat birds to free-range can be a great way to reduce the amount of feed they need. Free-ranging birds can supplement their diet with insects and other natural food sources, which can help reduce your feed costs.


In conclusion, the amount of feed a meat bird needs will depend on a variety of factors, including the breed of the bird, the age of the bird, and the size of the bird. In general, meat birds will consume more

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About James Polystead

I grew up on a small farm. My parents used to grow food and keep animals for our sustenance. They would sell the surplus to make an extra coin to supplement the income from their jobs. I am taking the same path. I have over 40 chickens for eggs and meat. I also grow vegetables in my backyard. follow me on Twitter

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