Layers vs Broilers Which is More Profitable?

Difference Between Broilers & Laying Hens

Keep poultry for food production or business success is an ideal way to expand your resources while providing your family with essential nourishment. When selecting layers or broilers as the species of choice, your decision should take into account your goals and resources before ultimately making an informed decision on either choice. In this article we compare their profitability, management practices and other key considerations so you can make an informed decision as to which to raise.

What are Broilers and Layers

Layers are generally smaller and lighter than broilers, specifically bred for egg production. With an extended lifespan and typically kept for over two years before laying their first eggs, layers require a diet high in protein and calcium in order to support egg laying capabilities. As their presence isn’t necessary in order for them to produce eggs successfully. They should therefore be kept separately in an enclosure from any roosters for best results.

Broilers, on the other hand, are raised specifically for meat production and typically reach harvest at six to eight weeks of age. Bred to grow quickly, broilers tend to be larger and heavier than laying hens; usually raised in confinement systems with automated feeding and watering systems to maximize growth potential.

Layers have the advantage of living longer lives and producing eggs for up to two years or longer, providing an endless source of eggs. Unfortunately, raising layers requires more labor and resources than broilers because daily checks need to be made on egg production, quality, health issues, etc.

Broilers require less labor and resources as they are usually raised in confinement systems equipped with automated feeding and watering systems. However, their processing requires additional labor as they must be slaughtered and processed into meat products for consumption. Furthermore, broilers have shorter lifespans, generally reaching 6-8 weeks of age before needing replacing more frequently.

Factors to Consider when Choosing between Layers and Broilers

When making the choice between layers and broilers, several considerations must be made such as market demand, cost of production, feed conversion rate, health and mortality rate as well as space/housing needs as well as labor needs.

  • Market demand should always be taken into account when choosing between raising layers or broilers, since demand varies based on location, season and consumer tastes. Before making a decision which type of bird to raise it is vitally important to understand local market dynamics such as demand-supply dynamics.
  • Cost of Production is another key consideration. This cost encompasses feed, labor, housing and other inputs needed for production; its total amount may depend upon location, availability of resources and other variables; it is essential that layers and broilers calculate their respective production costs and compare them in order to ascertain which is more profitable.
  • Feed conversion rate measures how efficiently birds transform food into eggs or meat. Layers typically have higher feed conversion rates than broilers, meaning that less feed is required to produce eggs comparable to what it would require from broilers to produce meat – although other factors such as feed type used, age/health of birds etc can impact this statistic.
  • Health and mortality rate should be major considerations when selecting layers or broilers as pets. Layers tend to be more resistant to diseases like coccidiosis, Newcastle disease and infectious bronchitis than their broiler counterparts; on the other hand, broilers are prone to Marek’s disease, infectious bursal disease, coccidiosis as well as having more infectious bursal disease outbreaks – therefore having a robust health management program in place is vital to reduce outbreak risks.
  • Space and housing requirements should also be taken into consideration when making this decision. Layers need more room than broilers in order to move freely while laying eggs. They will require nest boxes, perches and other equipment in order to facilitate this. In contrast, broilers require less space overall and can even be raised within confinement systems like chicken tractors.
  • Labor requirements should also be taken into consideration when making your choice between layers and broilers. Layers typically require more labor due to daily monitoring for egg production, egg quality and health concerns; broilers require less since they typically are raised in confinement systems with automated feeding and watering systems; however they do require more labor during their processing phase when being slaughtered for meat production.

Profitability of Layers and Broilers

In order to determine the profitability of layers and broilers, it is necessary to calculate both revenue and costs associated with both types of birds. Layers produce revenue through egg sales while broilers generate money through meat sales.

Production costs for both layers and broilers include feed, labor, housing and other inputs such as electricity or gas consumption. Production expenses can also depend upon factors like location, availability of resources and other considerations.

Assuming a medium-sized farm has approximately 500 chickens, let’s look more closely at their cost and revenue analysis for both layers and broilers.

Input / OutputLayersBroilers
Cost of livestock$2,500$1,250
Housing cost$2,000$1,500
Feed cost per day$10$15
Estimated annual production150,000 eggs12,500 lbs of meat
Average selling price$3.50 per dozen$3.50 per pound
Annual revenue$26,250$43,750
Annual feed cost$18,250$27,375
Annual housing cost$2,000$1,500
Annual labor cost$3,000$4,000
Net profit$2,000$10,575

As this is only an estimate, costs and revenues may fluctuate based on market demand, production costs, feed prices and labor costs; as well as depending on breed characteristics, management practices or environmental considerations.

On average, medium-sized farms require around one to two acres of land for both layers and broilers to meet production system needs – this includes space needed for nesting boxes on layers as well as pasture space for raising them confinedly. On average, each layer and broiler requires an area that accommodates housing, pasture and other facilities for their upkeep.

Overall, both layers and broilers can be profitable enterprises; the decision whether or not to raise either should depend on factors like market demand, costs of production, feed conversion rate, health and mortality rates as well as space, housing and labor needs.

Layer and Broilers Management Practices

Effective management practices are integral to any poultry farm’s success, whether raising layers or broilers. Below are key management practices specific to each bird type:


  • Housing: To ensure their welfare and productivity, laying hens require clean, dry and well-ventilated housing that allows for easy cleaning and disinfection as well as adequate space. Their housing should also facilitate easy management.
  • Feeding: It is vital that laying hens receive an optimal diet that fulfills their nutritional needs in order to produce eggs efficiently. Feed should contain an appropriate balance of proteins, vitamins, and minerals and the hens should always have access to clean water for drinking purposes.
  • Lighting: For maximum egg production, laying hens require at least 16 hours of light each day for peak egg production. Artificial lighting may prove helpful during periods of low daylight.
  • Disease Prevention: To safeguard hens against common illnesses, vaccination programs must be put in place as well as biosecurity measures that help combat their spread.
  • Egg Collection and Storage: Eggs should be collected daily to avoid breakage and contamination, while proper storage and handling practices help preserve their quality and prevent bacterial growth.


  • Housing: To ensure optimal performance from broilers, their housing should offer sufficient space, ventilation, and temperature regulation. Bedding should also be kept dry and changed frequently in order to prevent disease transmission.
  • Feeding: Broilers require a diet tailored specifically to their nutritional needs for proper growth and meat production. Feed should be distributed in sufficient amounts while water should remain readily accessible at all times.
  • Lighting: Broilers don’t require artificial illumination, but having a consistent light cycle is necessary to promote their growth.
  • Disease Prevention: Broilers can be vulnerable to various illnesses, so vaccination programs and biosecurity measures must be implemented in order to minimize disease transmission.
  • Process and Packaging: Proper broiler processing and packaging is vital to maintaining their quality and safety, with clean facilities being maintained to reduce contamination risk.

In Conclusion, choosing between layers or broilers depends on a number of factors including market demand, available resources and personal preferences. Both layers and broilers can be profitable endeavors with proper management practices in place.

At its core, poultry farming requires dedication and hard work. Proper housing, feeding, lighting and disease prevention practices for both types of birds are vitally important in achieving success. Furthermore, maintaining detailed records as well as tracking and analyzing data regularly is necessary for optimizing efficiency and maximizing profit on the farm.

At the core, poultry farming should be about meeting individual farmer goals and requirements. Raising either layers or broilers for eggs or meat production can be rewarding and profitable with careful planning and execution – regardless of which route is taken.

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