Feed Conversion Ratio

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•  Conversion ratio in sustainable food production practices

Feed conversion ratios measure the efficiency of an animal in converting the food provided (feed mass) into a desired output

  • Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) = mass of feed ÷ mass of desired output
  • The lower the feed conversion ratio the more efficient the method of food production

A low feed conversion ratio is obtained by minimising the potential losses of energy for the animal stock:

  • Restricting animal movement (e.g. battery hens) will reduce energy lost to cell respiration
  • Optimising feeding practices so that food is ingested and digested more effectively
  • Slaughtering animals at a young age (older animals tend to grow more slowly and have a higher FCR)

While more efficient food production practices lower costs, there are a number of potential ethical issues that may be involved

Feed Conversation Ratios for Different Livestock 

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