Reproduction and genetics

Prepare breeder hens for optimum production

To read more content about aviNews International September 2022

Paul Welten

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With continuously improving genetics, the current broiler is robust with low mortality, excellent feed efficiency and high yield. This also applies to the broiler breeder, which the customer would like to see producing more and viable chicks. Therefore, adequate management of broiler breeders during the rearing is essential to achieve optimum production.

To maximize the genetic potential of broiler breeders, management details are important. The foundation for high productivity is in rearing. To achieve peak production, prepare pullets in optimal conditions for good persistency and low mortality later in lay.

Focus on uniformity, body conformation, bodyweight profiles and feed management to create the ideal preparation of the pullet.

GOOD UNIFORMITY

The goal for the end of rearing is to have a sexually uniform flock with the correct body conformation for age. With high sexual uniformity, birds increase production faster into lay. Feed and weight gain can also be better managed and there will be lower mortality in early lay.

Flocks that peak high (88-91%) are flocks that increase production fast in the first three weeks.

In the first eight weeks, skeleton uniformity is determined. In this period, the aim is to bring all chicks to the same frame size.
  • High skeleton uniformity makes it easier to bring all birds to the correct body conformation after 12 weeks.
  • Birds with a smaller frame in comparison with bigger frame birds get fleshed faster and often over fleshed on the same feed intake.

The first days for the chicks will influence how the uniformity will develop. Provide 50g feed/pullet before placement, and a floor temperature of at least 28o C. 24 hours after placement, 95% of the crops should feel soft and pliable, indicating that the chicks have successfully located feed and water.

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The second week after the chicks have reached their target weight, they should start on controlled feeding to limit growth, which will lead to




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