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Parent Stock Management Manual

ROSS308
This Manual
The aim of this manual is to assist farm staff and owners of Ross broiler parents to
achieve the highest possible performance from their stock. It is not intended to provide
definitive information on every aspect of stock management, but draw attention to
important features that if overlooked may depress flock performance. The management
techniques contained in the manual are considered to be the most appropriate to achieve
good performance consistent with maintaining the health and welfare of the birds. In this
connection due regard has been paid to the welfare recommendations for livestock
detailed by the UK Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA).
Aviagen also encourages owners and managers of Ross stock worldwide to adopt a
similar policy in this respect.

Performance
Performance can be influenced substantially by many factors including flock management,
health status and climatic conditions. Data contained in the manual indicate those levels of
performance which can be achieved under good management and environmental
conditions, where the breeder strategy is to have 5% production at 23 weeks.

Every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy and relevance of the information
presented. However, Aviagen accepts no liability for the consequences of using the
information for the management of chickens.

Variations may occur for a variety of reasons. For example, feed consumption can be
affected significantly by form of feed, energy level and house temperature. Data
presented in this manual should not, therefore, be regarded as Specifications but as
Performance Objectives.

Technical Services
For further information on the management of Ross stock please ask your local Technical
Service Manager or contact the Technical Services Department.

Aviagen Limited Aviagen Incorporated


Newbridge Cummings Research Park
Midlothian 5015 Bradford Drive
EH28 8SZ Huntsville
Scotland Alabama 35805
UK USA

tel +44 (0) 131 333 1056 tel +1 256 890 3800
fax +44 (0) 131 333 3296 fax +1 256 890 3919
email infoworldwide@aviagen.com email info@aviagen.com

www.aviagen.com
March 2006

ROSS308
1
INTRODUCTION USING THIS MANUAL

Aviagen produces a range of genotypes


suitable for different sectors of the broiler Finding a topic
market. All of Aviagen products are selected
for a balanced range of parent stock and Printed tabs appear on the right-hand side of the Manual.
broiler characteristics. The range of Ross These allow readers immediate access to those sections
genotypes allows users to select the Ross and topics in which they are particularly interested.
product which best meets the needs of their
particular operation.
The contents list presented here gives the title of each
section and subsection.
In the broiler house, all Ross broilers are fast growing,
feed efficient and have excellent liveability. The broilers
There is also an alphabetical Key Words Index at the rear
have been selected to be vigorous with strong legs and
of the manual.
robust cardiovascular systems. In the processing plant,
Ross broilers are designed to have high carcase yield and
meat yield with low numbers of downgrades.
Key Points

As parent stock all Ross genotypes are selected to produce


the maximum number of vigorous day-old chicks by
Where appropriate, key points have been included
which emphasise important aspects of husbandry
combining high egg numbers with good hatchability and
and management. They are highlighted by a red
fertility. This is achieved by mating together male lines
heading and red ticks in the left-hand margin
which are fast growing, feed efficient and have high meat
alongside the text.
yield with female lines which lay high numbers of eggs
which will produce broiler chicks with specific broiler
qualities.
Certain danger points have been given
emphasis using this sign and bold text.
This manual summarises best practice in parent stock
management for Ross 308. Ross 308 is aimed at
producers who require high numbers of feather sexable
Performance Objectives
broiler chicks which will be used in a range of different
end products. The Ross 308 broiler is very fast growing
Performance Objectives have been reproduced as a
with exceptional FCR and high meat yield. It therefore
separate booklet which is enclosed at the rear of the
satisfies the needs of broiler producers who require
manual. This will allow for regular updating.
versatility to produce a range of chicken products (e.g.
whole bird, portions and further processing). Integrators
worldwide favour the Ross 308 because it continues to
add value to all aspects of their business.

2
MANAGEMENT REQUIREMENTS
Section 1 FOR MALES AND FEMALES 6-8

Rearing BROODING 8-13

0-105 Days BODYWEIGHT CONTROL AND


FEEDING 14
(0-15 Weeks) MEASUREMENT OF BODYWEIGHT
AND UNIFORMITY 14-16
CONTROL OF FEEDING TO
MANAGE BODYWEIGHT 16-18
GRADING TO MANAGE
UNIFORMITY 18-21

MANAGEMENT OF FEMALES
Section 2 105 DAYS (15 WEEKS) TO
LIGHT STIMULATION 24-25
Management into Lay
MANAGEMENT OF MALES
105-210 Days 105 DAYS (15 WEEKS) TO
LIGHT STIMULATION 25
(15-30 Weeks)
MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES 26-28

MANAGEMENT OF FEMALES
PRE-PEAK PERIOD, LIGHT
STIMULATION - 210 DAYS
(30 WEEKS) 28-31
MANAGEMENT OF MALES PRE-PEAK
PERIOD, LIGHT STIMULATION -
210 DAYS (30 WEEKS) 31-34

MANAGEMENT OF FEMALES
Section 3 POST-PEAK PERIOD 210-448 DAYS
(30-64 WEEKS) 36-37
Management in Lay
MANAGEMENT OF MALES
210-448 Days POST-PEAK PERIOD 210-448 DAYS
(30-64 WEEKS) 37-38
(30-64 Weeks)

HOUSING AND ENVIRONMENT 40-43


Section 4
NUTRITION 43-49
Specific
Environmental LIGHTING 50-55

Requirements CARE OF HATCHING EGGS 56-59

HYGIENE AND HEALTH 60-69

APPENDICES 71-80

INDEX OF TABLES 82

INDEX OF DIAGRAMS 83

KEY WORD INDEX 84-86

3
CRITICAL AGE OBJECTIVES

In order to achieve the maximum numbers of vigorous day-old chicks, it is essential to understand the requirements of
the Parent Stock flock at each stage of its life. Critical age objectives for Parent Stock are summarised below:-

AGE KEY OBJECTIVES

1-3 days Appetite development

3-28 days Achievement of target bodyweights at 7, 14, 21 and 28 days

28 days Grade. Target is < 12 CV% at 28 days to permit 2 way grading

28-56 days Control growth within each graded population

56-70 days Stabilise populations to achieve correct incremental growth

70 days Re-draw bodyweight targets (if required)

70-105 days Achieve correct incremental growth

105 days Increase feed to stimulate growth


Re-draw bodyweight targets (if required)

105-140 days Achieve correct incremental growth

140-154 days Give first light increase

140-161 days Achieve correct incremental growth emphasising uniformity of


sexual maturity

161-210 days Increase feed in response to egg production, bodyweight gain


and egg weight gain

210 days-depletion Control bodyweight gain and egg weight by removing feed.
Manage males by observation of bird condition. Remove non-
working males to maintain mating ratios.

4
Section one
Rearing
Section one
Rearing
0-105 Days
(0-15 Weeks)

page Contents
6 Management Requirements for Males and Females

8 Brooding

14 Bodyweight Control and Feeding

14 Measurement of Bodyweight and Uniformity

16 Control of Feeding to Manage Bodyweight

18 Grading To Manage Uniformity

ROSS308
5
important management considerations at each age and
MANAGEMENT REQUIREMENTS FOR follows the phases of growth shown in Diagram 1.
MALES AND FEMALES
The principles for managing males and females in the
rearing period are the same, although the target
Objective bodyweights are different. Although males constitute a
small percentage of the flock in terms of bird numbers,
To provide male and female parent stock with their they will form 50% of the breeding value. Males therefore
requirements during each stage of rearing, in order to are just as important as females. Throughout the rearing
prepare them for sexual maturity. period, however, the management of males will require
more effort to achieve a successful result.
Principles
The most successful users of Ross parent stock grow males
Ross broiler parents exhibit the same inherent rapid and females separately from day old to mating at 140-154
growth and feed efficiency characteristics as the broiler days (20-22 weeks) of age. Where it has been traditional
generation. Growing the Ross broiler parent to the target practice to mix males and females at young ages, the
growth curve allows males and females to achieve growth and development varies according to their different
optimum lifetime performance and welfare. abilities to compete for feed within the single population.
Although the practice can be successful, it does not allow
To achieve the objectives of the rearing period, the birds the growth and uniformity of males and females to be
must be grown to the target bodyweight-for-age, controlled separately and generally does not allow the
maintaining accurate control by careful sample weighing maximum potential for chick production to be achieved.
and adjustments of feed allowances. Accurate and
appropriate grading will aid good uniformity. If, for organisational reasons, it becomes necessary to mix
the sexes early, this should never be done before 42 days
Diagram 1 shows how the bird grows in phases, with (6 weeks) of age, so that males achieve the correct skeletal
development of different organs and tissues occurring in development. In flocks of mixed sexes, it is the female
sequence as the birds age. In each phase of growth, the bodyweight in relation to target that will be used
stock attendant must consider the organ or tissue that is subsequently to determine overall feed levels.
developing at that time. Diagram 2 (page 7) indicates the

DIAGRAM 1: PHYSIOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT

6
Nutrition, page 48). Once the birds are 20-40g over target
REARING FROM 0-28 DAYS
bodyweight, the Starter 2 can be introduced. Twice
(0-4 WEEKS)
weekly weighing of birds must be undertaken to monitor
results during the transition from Starter 1 and Starter 2,
Physiological objectives are detailed in Diagrams 1 and 2 and where target bodyweight is not being achieved.
(pages 6 and 7).
A useful method for giving early indication of
Objectives development of appetite is to assess the proportion of
chicks that have fed by monitoring the number of chicks
To ensure good early development of skeletal size, with full crops. By 3 days of age 100% of the chicks
immune system, cardiovascular function, feather growth should have full crops.
and appetite. To obtain the best possible uniformity.
If there is any evidence that birds are not growing to target
Principles bodyweight, then the age at which constant daylength will
be achieved can be delayed.
The Ross bodyweight targets in the early stages of rearing
can only be achieved by ad libitum feeding of a good Flock uniformity can also be improved later in this period
quality ration from day old. Feed intakes should be by providing frequent small increases in feed allowances,
recorded from day old, so that a smooth transition can be rather than by making changes weekly.
achieved from ad libitum to controlled feeding. Feed
allowances should never be reduced. Bodyweight falling behind target weight-for-age at
any stage during the early rearing period, or
signs of failure of appetite development
In order to maximise performance, birds should be on or
require immediate action. Action taken at
over target bodyweight by 7-14 days. Flocks that fail to
this stage will prevent difficulties at later stages
achieve target tend to lose uniformity. Subsequently
in dealing with the consequences of poor
bodyweights are difficult to achieve and uniformity uniformity and poor development of essential
deteriorates further. To ensure that chicks achieve target physiological functions.
bodyweight a Starter 1 diet, in crumb form, should be
provided for the first 14-21days (2-3 weeks). (See

DIAGRAM 2: MANAGEMENT PROGRESSION

7
allowed to grow to target. Small increases in feed quantity
REARING FROM 28-70 DAYS
may be necessary (1-2g/bird/day).
(4-10 WEEKS)

In situations where birds are more than 100g ahead of the


Physiological objectives are detailed in Diagrams 1 and 2 bodyweight targets, a new target line should be drawn
(pages 6 and 7). parallel to the recommended line (see Post Grading
Management , page 20). These birds should achieve the
Objective same incremental growth as birds on the target line. In
males, sexual organs begin to develop from 70 days (10
To bring the whole flock to standard bodyweight-for-age, weeks). Stress or interruption in growth over this period
prior to 70 days (10 weeks). will affect growth of the testes and reduce adult fertility.

Principles Key Points

The period from 28-70 days (4-10 weeks) is one of rapid Grow males and females separately until mating
growth and development of the broiler parent. Good control (18 - 23 weeks).
of bodyweight gain using increasing quantities of feed is
essential. During this stage, small changes in the quantity of Achieve early bodyweight targets to facilitate
feed consumed, can have large effects on bodyweight. successful rearing.
Therefore, monitoring of bodyweight is important. The
feeding programme is only a guide to the amount of feed Ensure that birds achieve weekly bodyweight targets.
required. Changes to quantities of feed required should be
calculated using the deviation from target bodyweight Use small but regular feed increases to promote
curves and the amount of feed currently allocated. good early uniformity.

Both sexes may need to be graded within this period (see


Grading to Manage Uniformity, page 18). The different
BROODING
colonies established at grading should be managed
separately with the aim of creating a single population of
birds for each sex by 70 days (10 weeks) of age.
Objectives
The period 42-91 days (6-13 weeks) is crucial in the
development of males. During this period there is rapid To ensure a strong growth progression from day-old
development of legs (i.e. muscles, ligaments and bones). through to 7 days, to achieve target bodyweight by 14
Any deviation from the target growth profile may cause days (2 weeks), and to ensure that this is maintained on a
subsequent problems with liveability and performance of smooth growth curve through to 28 days (4 weeks).
adult males.
To achieve the successful establishment of the flock from
day-old, to develop appetite, to promote feather growth
REARING FROM 70-105 DAYS and to maintain uniformity across the flock.
(10-15 WEEKS)
Principles

Physiological objectives are detailed in Diagrams 1 and 2 Chicks must be provided with the correct temperature
(pages 6 and 7). profile, relative humidity, air quality, good quality feed
and water and appropriate stocking density. Subsequent
Objective high levels of performance in the laying period are
dependent upon achieving high standards of management
To maintain the appropriate growth profile and flock in the early stages of the birds lives.
uniformity throughout the period in preparation for the
transition to sexual maturity.
CHICK PROCESSING

Principles
The lifetime welfare of the flock can be improved by
Growth during this phase is relatively unresponsive to certain procedures carried out either at the hatchery or in
changes in quantity of feed provided. Birds should be the first few days of life. These include dubbing,

8
de-toeing or de-spurring of breeder males and beak the chicks arrive. (See also, Hygiene and Health, page
trimming of males and females. The necessity for any of 60). Temperatures should be checked at chick level. If
these procedures should be reviewed frequently, and insufficient time is allowed for floor temperature to reach
requirements specified for each flock. house temperature, there is a danger that chicks will
become chilled. Chick behaviour is the most important
Hatchery Processing of Male Parent Stock indicator of temperature. Livestock attendants must
respond quickly to changes in chick behaviour.
To prevent damage to the female at mating it is generally
advisable to remove the claw of the rear toe on each foot Fresh litter should be laid to a depth of 10cm (4in) except
(i.e. dew claw) of the male chick and cauterise at the where floor feeding is to be practised, when litter depth
hatchery. The presence of undubbed males facilitates should not exceed 4cm (1.5in). Excessive litter can create
earlier, effective separate sex feeding. This will also help a problem of litter subsidence leading to accidental burial
maintain fertility in older flocks. Males with complete of chicks. Drinker height should be adjusted in response
combs are less susceptible to heat stress. Complete combs to litter subsidence.
can, however, be more susceptible to damage from
equipment and when males fight. De-spurring and
BROODING AREA
dubbing (i.e. comb removal) of male chicks is not
PREPARATION
necessary.

Beak Trimming Two basic systems of temperature control are used:


- Spot Brooding
Beak trimming is not recommended for males or females - Whole House Brooding
unless there is clear indication that suffering would be
caused in the flock if it were not carried out. In exceptional Brooding down the centre of the pen is most likely to
circumstances, beak trimming may be undertaken at 4-5 achieve uniform chick distribution. This principle applies
days of age using a precision beak trimmer. It is to both radiant and hot air systems. A typical spot brooding
preferable to allow chicks to settle and to be feeding layout for 1,000 day old chicks is shown in Diagram 3.
before beak trimming, than to attempt this procedure at
the hatchery. Beak trimming requires a high level of skill,
concentration and precision and should always be carried DIAGRAM 3: TYPICAL SPOT BROODING LAYOUT
out by trained personnel. The objective should always be (1000 CHICKS) FOR DAY ONE
to remove the least amount of beak, minimising stress on
the chicks in the short- and long-term. A similar amount
should be trimmed from the beak of each bird.

Uniformity problems can be caused by variation


in quality of beak trimming

Great care must be taken to ensure perfect


cauterisation when beak trimming, to reduce
the possibility of infection.

It is essential that only properly trained staff, using the


correct equipment should be employed for beak trimming
and it should be carried out in consultation with a
veterinary adviser.

Chick placements should be planned so that chicks from


HOUSE PREPARATION different aged donor flocks can be brooded separately.
Chicks from very young donor flocks will catch up with the
others if kept separate for the first 14-21 days (2-3 weeks).
Houses and equipment must be cleaned, disinfected and It is good practice to allocate areas into which to grade
set up in time for the brooders to be started and birds before the chicks arrive. (See Grading to Manage
temperatures to reach the desired level 24 hours before Uniformity, page 18).

9
Chicks must be placed in the brooding area immediately DIAGRAM 4: SPOT BROODING - AREAS OF
after they arrive. Full chick boxes should never be stacked TEMPERATURE GRADIENTS
within the brooder house. Empty chick boxes should be
removed from the building and destroyed as soon as possible.
Great care must be taken in allocating equal numbers of
chicks to each brooder area. The requirements for vaccination
and provision of competitive exclusion products are
discussed in Hygiene and Health (page 60).

On arrival at the farm, the chicks require drinking water


and fresh feed. Birds given early access to feed and water
have been shown to have better early growth and
uniformity than birds in which feeding was delayed.

A maximum of one days supply of feed should be


provided daily to avoid problems associated with stale
food. Small amounts of feed should be given frequently Chick behaviour must be continuously and carefully
(i.e. 5-6 times per day), to encourage eating. observed during the brooding period, as this is the best
indicator of the correct temperature. (See Diagram 5).
To encourage even distribution of chicks, the brooder Thermometers should be placed at bird height throughout
light should be raised initially, followed 2-3 days later by the house to validate automated systems. Uneven chick
switching on the adjacent rows of house lights. distribution is a sign of incorrect temperature or draughts.

BROODING TEMPERATURES DIAGRAM 5: BIRD DISTRIBUTION UNDER


BROODERS
TEMPERATURE TOO HIGH TEMPERATURE CORRECT
The house must be at required brooding temperature 24
hours before the chicks are due to arrive.

Spot Brooding

The initial temperature under the brooders should be


29-31C (88-91F). Thereafter, temperature under the Chicks make no noise Chicks evenly spread
Chicks pant, head and wings droop Noise level signifies
brooders should be reduced by an average of 0.2-0.3C Chicks away from brooder contentment
(0.4-0.6F) per day. (See Table 1).
TEMPERATURE TOO LOW DRAUGHT

Initial house temperature should be 25-27C (75-80F).


House temperature should be reduced in line with brooder
temperature to achieve a final house temperature of 20-22C
(68-72F) by 24-27 days. Diagram 4 illustrates the areas
of temperature gradients under conditions of spot brooding. Chicks crowd to brooder This distribution requires
Chicks noisy, distress-calling investigation
Influenced by draught -
TABLE 1: BROODING TEMPERATURES uneven light distribution -
external noises
WHOLE HOUSE SPOT BROODING
Age Temp C Age Temp C Brooding surrounds may be used to control early chick
(days) (days) Brooder Edge 2m House movement. The area contained by surrounds should be
A B C expanded gradually from 3 days of age until 5-7 days,
D/O 29 D/O 30 27 25 when surrounds should be removed.
3 28 3 29 26 24
6 27 6 28 25 23 For the first 24-48 hours, illumination should be
9 26 9 27 25 23 continuous, depending on chick condition and behaviour,
12 25 12 26 25 22 after which day length and light intensity should be
15 24 15 25 24 22 controlled. (See Lighting, page 50).
18 23 18 24 24 22
21 22 21 23 23 22 The only house illumination necessary will be in the form
24 21 24 22 22 21 of circles of light 4-5m (13-16.5ft) diameter per 1,500
27 21 27 21 21 21 chick capacity. The light should be bright, 80-100 lux

10
(7.4-9.3 foot candles). The remainder of the house should begin to dehydrate, causing negative effects on
be darkened or dimly lit. The illuminated area of the performance. In such cases action should be taken to
house should be increased in proportion to the stocked increase RH.
area. For the first 24-48 hours, illumination should be
continuous, depending on chick condition and behaviour, Poor performance and loss of uniformity can result
after which day length and light intensity should be from low relative humidity in the first week.
controlled. (See Lighting, page 50).
If the house is fitted with spray nozzles (i.e. foggers) for
Whole House Brooding cooling in hot climates, then these can be used to increase
RH during brooding. Chicks kept at appropriate humidity
Where a whole house brooding system is used, the initial levels are less prone to dehydration and generally make a
brooding temperature at chick level should be 29-31C better, more uniform start.
(84-88F). House temperature should be reduced
gradually, in response to bird behaviour and condition, to As the chick grows, the ideal RH falls. High RH from 18
achieve a final temperature of 21-22C (70-72F) by days onwards can cause wet litter and its associated
21-24 days. (See Table 1, page 10). problems. As liveweight increases, RH levels can be
controlled using ventilation and heating systems.
It is less easy to use chick behaviour as an indicator of
satisfactory temperature than with spot brooding, because INTERACTION BETWEEN
there are no obvious heat sources (see diagram 6). Often, TEMPERATURE AND HUMIDITY
the noise made by the birds may be the only indication of
distress. The birds will, given the opportunity, congregate
in the areas where the temperature is closest to their All animals will lose heat to the environment by evaporation
requirements. Some care is needed in interpretation of of moisture from the respiratory tract and through the skin.
chick behaviour. At high RH, less evaporative loss occurs increasing the
animals apparent temperature. The temperature
experienced by the animal is dependent on the dry bulb
DIAGRAM 6: TYPICAL BEHAVIOUR OF CHICKS IN temperature and RH. High RH increases the apparent
WHOLE HOUSE BROODING AT temperature at a particular dry bulb temperature, whereas
DIFFERENT TEMPERATURES low RH decreases apparent temperature. The temperature
TOO HIGH CORRECT TOO LOW profile in Table 1 (page 10) assumes RH in the range 60 -70%.

Table 2 shows the predicted dry bulb temperature required


to achieve the target temperature profile over a range of
RH. The information in Table 2 can be used in situations
where RH varies from the target range (60-70%).
If RH is outside the target range, the temperature of the

TABLE 2: DRY BULB TEMPERATURES REQUIRED


TO ACHIEVE TARGET APPARENT
EQUIVALENT TEMPERATURES AT VARYING
RELATIVE HUMIDITIES
Humidity Age Conv. Temperature at RH%
(days) Temp C RH% Ideal
Relative Humidity (RH) in the hatcher, at the end of the range 50 60 70 80
incubation process will be high (approx. 80%). Houses 0 29 65-70 33.0 30.5 28.6 27.0
with whole house heating, especially where nipple 3 28 65-70 32.0 29.5 27.6 26.0
drinkers are used, can have RH levels as low as 25%. 6 27 65-70 31.0 28.5 26.6 25.0
Houses with more conventional equipment (i.e. spot 9 26 65-70 29.7 27.5 25.6 24.0
brooders, which produce moisture as a by-product of 12 25 60-70 27.2 25.0 23.8 22.5
combustion and bell drinkers, which have open water 15 24 60-70 26.2 24.0 22.5 21.0
surfaces) have a much higher RH, usually over 50%. To 18 23 60-70 25.0 23.0 21.5 20.0
limit the shock to the chicks of transfer from the incubator, 21 22 60-70 24.0 22.0 20.5 19.0
RH levels in the first 3 days should be around 70%. 24 21 60-70 23.0 21.0 19.5 18.0
RH within the parent rearing house should be monitored 27 21 60-70 23.0 21.0 19.5 18.0
daily. If it falls below 50% in the first week, chicks will

11
house at chick level can be adjusted to match that given
VENTILATION
in Table 2 (page 11). At all stages, chick behaviour should
be monitored to ensure that the chick is experiencing an
adequate temperature. If subsequent behaviour indicates Chicks must be kept at the correct temperature with an
that the chicks are too cold or too hot, the temperature of adequate supply of fresh air. It is good practice to
the house should be adjusted appropriately. establish a system of minimum ventilation during
brooding. This should replenish oxygen and remove
When RH falls below 50% during brooding,
carbon dioxide and noxious gases produced by the chicks
action to increase RH is required to prevent
and possibly the heating system. The minimum ventilation
chicks becoming dehydrated
requirements are given in Appendix 6 (page 77), (see also
Housing and Enviroment, page 40).

Excessive chick noise is a sign of incorrect Poor air quality due to under-ventilation at
temperature brooding may cause damage to the surface of
the lung, making the bird more susceptible to
respiratory disease.

If the chicks are too warm in the first 10 days,


then they will not start well. STOCKING DENSITY
Food intake and therefore early growth will 0-28 DAYS (0-4 WEEKS)
be depressed and feathering will be patchy and slow.

Bird floor space allowance should be increased


progressively so that by 28 days (4 weeks) birds are
HIGH AMBIENT TEMPERATURES stocked at 4-7 birds/m2 (1.5-2.7ft2 /bird). See Table 3.

TABLE 3: STOCKING DENSITIES

Under conditions of high ambient temperatures, Rearing 0-140 days (0-20 weeks)
acclimatisation enables birds to function well at operating Males Females
birds/m2 (ft2/bird) birds/m2 (ft2/bird)
temperatures (see below for definition) up to 28-30C (82-
3-4 (2.7-3.6) 4-7 (1.5-2.7)
86F), provided that consideration is given to stocking
Production 140-448 days (20-64 weeks)
density, air speed/ventilation and humidity. Evaporative
cooling pads, high pressure fogging and/or the operation Males and Females
birds/m2 (ft2/bird)
of in-house fans are used to reduce house temperature.
3.5-5.5 (1.95-3.1)
(See Housing and Environment, page 40).

In open-sided or curtained houses in areas with high diurnal


temperature fluctuations, situations arise where brooding FEEDING AND DRINKING SPACE
temperatures may move out of the range given in Table 1
(page 10). In such cases, it is acceptable for temperatures
An allowance of 5cm (2in) of track space per bird, or 1
to be reduced by 0.5-0.8C/day from 1-10 days.
chick feeder per 80-100 birds should be provided in the
However, from 11-21 days the daily reduction should be
first 2-3 days. The first feed should be given on feeder
limited to 0.3C.
trays or paper occupying up to 25% of the brooding area.
The 5cm feed space allowance is suitable up to 35 days,
OPERATING TEMPERATURE 10cm (4in) to 70 days and thereafter 15cm (5.5in) will be
required. See Table 4 (page 13). Feed should be given in
crumb or mash form for the first 21 days (3 weeks).
Operating temperature is defined as the minimum house
temperature plus 2/3 of the difference between minimum
It is good practice to monitor the feeding activity of chicks.
and maximum house temperatures. It is important where
An indication of feeding activity is given by the extent of
there are significant diurnal temperature fluctuations.
crop fill. By 24hrs after placement > 80% of chicks
should have full crops. By 48hrs after placement > 95%
e.g. Minimum house temperature 16C.
of chicks should have full crops. By 72 hours 100% of
Maximum house temperature 28C
chicks should have full crops. If these levels of crop fill
Operating temperature = are not being achieved then something is preventing the
[ (28-16) x 2/3 ] + 16 = 24C chicks feeding and action to resolve this is required.

12
Key Points
TABLE 4: FEEDING SPACE

Females Prepare, clean and disinfect houses and equipment


Age Feeding Space well in advance of chick arrival.
0-35 days (0-5 weeks) 5cm/bird
35-70 days (5-10 weeks) 10cm/bird Ensure that house reaches correct temperature and
70 days (10 weeks)-depletion 15cm/bird Relative Humidity 24 hours before chicks arrive.

Males
Age Feeding Space
Ensure that chicks have immediate access to fresh
water and feed.
0-35 days (0-5 weeks) 5cm/bird
35-70 days (5-10 weeks)
70-140 days (10-20 weeks)
10cm/bird
15cm/bird
Use chick behaviour as an indicator of satisfactory
brooding temperature.
140-448 days (20-64 weeks) 18cm/bird

Replenish feed frequently during the brooding period.


If more than one feeder track is used, then tracks should
operate in opposite directions. Feed distribution time can Monitor crop fill to ensure chicks are feeding
be reduced by placing a satellite bin containing sufficient
feed to fill half of the track, halfway round the feeder loop. Check and adjust feeders and drinkers at least
Feed depth, distribution time and eating-up time should twice a day.
be monitored routinely at several points.
Check the chicks at regular intervals throughout
the day.
Water is essential for growth and development. Chicks
should have unlimited access to water. Adequate
drinking space for 1,000 day old chicks is provided by 5-6
Beak trimming, if necessary, should be performed
by trained, competent personnel and be properly
standard bell drinkers each measuring 40cm (15.7in)
supervised
diameter, plus 10-15 mini supplementary drinkers each
measuring 15-20cm (5.5-8.0in) diameter. Drinkers should
be positioned strategically to ensure that chicks do not If any abnormality in chick behaviour should
have to travel more than 1 metre for access to water in the occur or if mortality exceeds
first 24 hours. Water should be clean and fresh; at 1% by 7 days, then all management factors
brooding temperatures bacteria can multiply very rapidly should be rechecked and arrangements made for a
in open water. veterinary examination as soon as possible.

The supplementary drinkers should be replaced gradually


from 3-4 days onwards. From 21 days drinking space is
provided by:

Automatic circular
or trough drinkers } 1.5cm/bird

Nipples one for every 8-12 birds


Cups one for every 20-30 birds

See table 5

TABLE 5: DRINKING SPACE

Rearing Period Production Period


Automatic circular
or trough drinkers 1.5cm/bird 2.5cm/bird
Nipples one/8-12birds one/6-10birds
Cups one/20-30birds one/15-20birds

Nipple or cup systems plus supplementary drinkers can be


used very successfully from day old.

13
From 21 days (3 weeks) of age, randomly selected samples
BODYWEIGHT CONTROL
of birds should be weighed individually. Groups of 50 to
AND FEEDING
100 birds per colony should be caught using catching
frames and individually weighed. All birds rounded up as
Objectives a sample must be weighed in order to eliminate any
selective bias. If the colony exceeds 1,000 birds, 2 sample
To control the development of the parent throughout the weighings must be taken from different places in the colony.
rearing phase so that maximum reproductive performance
is achieved. Birds should be weighed on the same day each week and
at the same time, preferably 4-6 hours after feeding. The
To establish and maintain target bodyweight-for-age and objective is to obtain a true representation of the flock
good flock uniformity by means of accurate control of growth and development by accurate sampling.
feed allowances and feed distribution.
When manual scales are being used, individual bird
weights should be recorded on a weight recording chart
as the birds are weighed. (See Diagram 7, page 15).
MEASUREMENT OF BODYWEIGHT
AND UNIFORMITY Immediately after weighing, the following parameters
should be calculated:

- Flock average bodyweight


Objective
- Flock weight range
To obtain an accurate measurement of bodyweight and - Flock weight distribution
variability of each population, so that appropriate - Coefficient of Variation % (see later for method)
decisions can be made on feed allowances.
The average bodyweight should be plotted on the
Sample Weighing bodyweight-for-age graph. All decisions on feed
allowances must be based on the deviation of average
Growth and development in a flock are assessed and bodyweight from target bodyweight.
managed by weighing representative samples of birds and
comparing them with target bodyweights-for-age. Several
COEFFICIENT OF VARIATION
types of scales are available that can be used to weigh
birds to an accuracy of 20g. Conventional mechanical or
dial scales are more labour intensive and require records to The coefficient of variation (CV%) is a mathematical
be kept and calculations to be made manually. Electronic method of expressing the uniformity or evenness of a
scales are available which record individual bird weights and flock. The precise method of calculation is as follows:
calculate flock statistics automatically. Either type can be
used successfully but only one type should be used for Standard Deviation
x 100 = CV%
repeated measurements on an individual flock. Average Weight

Automatic weighing systems that are placed in the house Standard deviation may be calculated using an electronic
will give daily records of bodyweights but these must be calculator, or from electronic scales. In the absence of an
regularly calibrated and cross-checked with manual scales. electronic calculator, the following simple formula can be
used to estimate CV%.
All measurement systems require calibration and
standard weights should always be available to check
Weight Range x 100
that scales are weighing accurately. A calibration check = CV%
Average Weight x F
should be made at the beginning and end of every
sample weighing.
Range is defined as the difference in weight between the
heaviest and the lightest birds. F is a constant and
Sample weighing should be carried out weekly starting at
depends on the size of the sample, as shown in Table 6
day old. At 0, 7 and 14 days (0, 1 and 2 weeks) of age,
samples can be weighed in bulk, 10-20 birds at a time. (page 16).
The total sample must not be less than 5% of the flock.
In flocks having early growth problems, more frequent One method of calculation should be used consistently
weighings may be necessary. throughout the rearing period, because the numerical
result obtained will differ slightly depending on the
method used.

14
DIAGRAM 7: ROSS BODYWEIGHT RECORDING CHART

FARM BREED HOUSE PEN SEX AGE DATE


2 3 F 35 November 01
UNIFORMITY
NUMBER WEIGHED AVERAGE WEIGHT TARGET WEIGHT % Sample + 10% of Av Coefficient of Variation %

120 540 560 54.2 13.28

WEIGHT WEIGHT
g NUMBER OF BIRDS g NUMBER OF BIRDS COMMENTS
00 00
20 20 Average Weight = 540g
40 40
60 60 Range = 360g
80 80
100 00 CV% = 360 x 100
20 20 540 x 5.02 = 13.28%
40 40
60 60
80 80
200 00 % Sample 10% 65
x 100 = 54.2%
20 20 120
40 40
60 60
80 80
300 00
20 20
40 40
60 60
80 80
400 24 (20%) 00
20 Light Birds 20
40 (CV% ~ 6.9%) 40
60 60
80 Cut off point 80
500 00
20 20
40 40 Age = 35 days
60 60
80 80 Target Weight = 560g
600 Normal 00
20 (CV% ~ 7.8%) 20 Average Weight = 540g
40 40
60 60 Total Birds Weighed = 120
80 80
700 00 20% of Sample = 24
20 20
40 40 Cut off point 480g or below
60 60
80 80
800 00 N.B. Approximate CV% of
20 20 Light Population = 6.9%
40 40
60 60 Approximate CV% of
80 80 Normal Population = 7.8%
900 00
20 20 Two way grading only
40 40
60 60
80 80

15
Key Points
TABLE 6: SAMPLE SIZE AND F VALUES

SAMPLE SIZE F VALUE SAMPLE SIZE F VALUE Start sample weighing at day-old and continue at
25 3.94 75 4.81 least weekly throughout the rearing period.
30 4.09 80 4.87
35 4.20 85 4.90 Weigh individual birds during sampling from
40 4.30 90 4.94 3 weeks onwards.
45 4.40 95 4.98
50 4.50 100 5.02 Weigh birds at the same time each week.
55 4.57 >150 5.03
Use accurate bird weighing equipment.

A second method of measuring evenness is to express it in Calculate average bodyweight and uniformity.
terms of percentage of birds within the range of the Record and plot using a bodyweight-for-age graph.
average weight, plus or minus 10%. Whilst this method
gives an accurate indication of the numbers of birds close Calculate feed allowances based on deviation of
to the average weight it does not, unlike the CV%, take average bodyweight from target bodyweight. Use
into account the very light and heavy birds. Table 7 the feeding programme as a guide only.
illustrates the approximate relationship between CV% and
10% of the average weight in populations with a normal
(i.e. bell-shaped) weight distribution. CONTROL OF FEEDING
TO MANAGE BODYWEIGHT

TABLE 7: RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN CV% AND


10% OF AVERAGE WEIGHT OF POPULATIONS Objectives
WITH A NORMAL WEIGHT DISTRIBUTION

CV% % UNIFORMITY 10% To achieve target bodyweights throughout the life of broiler
parents. To ensure correct growth and development
5 95.4
allowing the birds to achieve uniform and coordinated
6 90.4
7 84.7
sexual maturity, both within and between sexes.
8 78.8
9 73.3 To minimise variation within flocks thereby creating flocks
10 68.3 which are easier to manage.
11 63.7
12 58.2 Principles
13 55.8
14 52.0 Bodyweight corrections are achieved through adjustment
15 49.5 of feed allowance. Feed allocation can either be
16 46.8 maintained or increased. Feed allowances must never be
decreased during the rearing period. Good feed
distribution, which allows all the birds to have access to
feed at the same time, is absolutely essential because the
If a sample weighing produces data
inconsistent with previous weighings
birds are fed at less than ad libitum.
and expectations, a second sample should be
weighed immediately as a check before making a Good uniformity is as important as achieving target
decision upon feed allowances. This will identify bodyweights. One of the first indications of problems during
specific problems, e.g. feed allowance errors, rearing of parent stock is often an increase in variability.
drinker failures, pen number variation, disease etc.
Another important aspect of uniform growth is good skeletal
development. Onset of sexual maturity is dependent on
body composition. Flocks with uniform bodyweight but
variable skeletal size will have variable body composition.
Birds in such flocks will not respond in a uniform way to
changes in lighting pattern and feed allowances.

16
Feeding equipment should be capable of distributing feed
Failure to achieve early bodyweight targets will to each separate colony, taking no more than 3 minutes
result in non uniform flocks with poor skeletal per colony.
development and poor feathering. These
flocks will not respond predictably to stimulation As an alternative to conventional feeder systems, floor
and are unlikely to achieve potential performance.
feeding of pelleted feed can offer certain advantages.
These include rapid and even distribution of feed,
increased flock uniformity, improved litter condition and
CONTROL OF FEED reduction of physical damage to legs. Feed can be
ALLOWANCES distributed by hand, or by using a spinner system. As with
all feeding systems and techniques, management practice
Procedures of a high standard is required to allow the full potential of
floor feeding to be achieved.
All decisions on feed allowances should be based on pen
average bodyweight in relation to target bodyweight.
The following points should be considered when feeding
Feed allocation can either be maintained or increased.
on to the floor:
Feed allowances must never be decreased during the
rearing period.
- From 14-41 days (2-6 weeks), the floor feeding area
should be gradually expanded using good quality
Accurate feed weighing equipment is essential to permit
pellets of diameter 2.5mm and length 3-4mm.
calculation of feed allowance per bird to the nearest gram.
- From 42 days (6 weeks), good quality pellets of
TABLE 8: FEEDING SPACE ACCORDING TO AGE diameter 4mm and length 5-7mm should be fed on
to the floor, spread evenly by hand or spinner.
AGE FEEDING SPACE - High intensity light i.e. 20 lux minimum (1.85 foot
< 35 days 5 cm/bird candles) should be used for the feeding period.
35 - 70 days 10 cm/bird - Litter depth should not exceed 4cm (1.5in) and good
> 70 days 15 cm/bird litter condition must be maintained.
- Birds should be using the laying feeders by 140 days
(20 weeks) to minimise stress of the changeover
Adequate feeding space must be provided during the
during lay. Excluders (i.e. grids) should be removed
rearing period as shown in Table 8. Where pans are being
from the feeders for the first few days after the
used it is essential to ensure that birds have unobstructed
change from floor feeding to tracks.
access to feeding points. Pans should be spaced so that
birds feeding in adjoining pans do not obstruct access.
Ideally, birds should be fed every day. However, sometimes
To maintain good uniformity in young flocks, the birds
this can be difficult because of feed distribution problems.
must be fed ad libitum for long enough to achieve or
Situations can arise when the volume of the feed that is
exceed the 14-day target weight. This must be followed
required by the birds to support the correct growth rate is
by small regular feed increases, as shown in Table 9.
too small to achieve uniform feed distribution throughout
e.g. Between 1 and 21 days of age birds should not
the feeder system. Feed must be evenly distributed to
remain on the same amount of feed for more than 4 days.
minimise competition and maintain bodyweight and flock
TABLE 9: MAXIMUM NUMBER OF DAYS ON uniformity. This can be achieved by the accumulation of
CONSTANT AMOUNT OF FEED ACCORDING TO AGE sufficient feed on the feed day supplemented with a
scratch feed on the intermediate days. The most
AGE (DAYS) MAXIMUM (DAYS) frequently used feeding schedules are shown in Table 10.
1-21 4
22-35 5
36-49 9 TABLE 10: EXAMPLES OF FEEDING SCHEDULES IN
50+ 10
PREFERRED ORDER
SCHEDULE FEED REQUIREMENTS PER DAY
Daily feed allocation must be recorded per bird, to
MON TUE WED THUR FRI SAT SUN
monitor feed consumption. Feed allocation per colony
should also be monitored, to take into account changes in EVERY DAY
colony size. 6 AND 1
5 AND 2
Feeder layout should be such that each category of bird 4 AND 3
can be fed to its separate requirement. Key - Complete Feed - Scratch Feed

17
The signs of poor feed distribution generally appear period, which will result in good whole flock uniformity at
between 4 and 8 weeks of age. The switch from daily point of lay.
feeding should not occur before grading. The change to or
from daily feeding needs to be gradual. Principles

The feeding of hard grain (Salmonella free) or pelleted A uniform flock will be much easier to manage than a
feed as a scratch feed is permissible up to a maximum rate variable one, because the majority of the birds will be in a
of 0.5kg (1lb)/100birds/day. A reduction in the amount of similar physiological state and will respond to changes in
regular feed should be made so that scratch feeding levels of feed or light when necessary. A uniform flock
represents a balanced part of the total diet and not an will react predictably to increases in feed and will
addition. produce good results consistently. Flock uniformity can be
optimised by applying high standards of management in
The level of medication in the ration, e.g. coccidiostat, the first 4 weeks.
should be such that each birds daily intake of feed
provides the specified amount. DIAGRAM 8: UNIFORMITY AND DISTRIBUTION
OF BODYWEIGHTS
Birds should gradually be returned to every day feeding Average Weight
starting at 105 days (15 weeks) with the change being
complete by 126 days (18 weeks). The change over to
every day feed should be gradual with progression from 4
and 3, to 5 and 2, to 6 and 1 as appropriate.

Day 1 ~ CV% 8 - 9

Key Points Average Weight

Control bodyweight by adjustment of feed


allowance.

Never decrease feed allowance during rearing. Day 21 ~ CV% 10 - 13


Feed allowance should either be maintained or
Average Weight
increased.

Use accurate feed weighing equipment.

Give birds the correct feeding space. Day 42 ~ CV% > 15

Distribute feed, taking no more than 3 minutes per CV% = percentage coefficient
colony. of variation

The switch from daily feeding to a feeding schedule At day old, bodyweights of the flock will follow a normal
should not occur before grading. (i.e. bell shaped) distribution, with a low CV%. (See
Diagram 8). As the individual birds grow within a flock,
The change to or from daily feeding needs to be their different responses to vaccination, or disease, and
gradual. their differing competitiveness for feed will tend to
increase the CV%. An increasing number of small birds
tend to produce a skewed weight distribution. The
reasons for this skewed distribution are numerous and can
GRADING TO MANAGE UNIFORMITY include:

- chick quality
Objective - feed distribution
- feed quality
To sort the flock into 2 or 3 sub-populations of different - temperature
average weight at 28 days (4 weeks) of age, so that each - humidity
group may be given the management during the rearing - vaccination

18
- beak trimming The practical requirements of grading must be considered
- disease at the planning stage, before the stock is placed. The
easiest way to grade is into pens or possibly houses,
The poor competitiveness of the small birds may allow a which have been left empty at placement for this
further population of heavy birds to emerge. purpose. To allow for extreme cases (ie. CV%>12), the
housing space allocated for both the male and female
In order to create a uniform flock, small birds should be flocks must be capable of being divided into 3. Where
identified and penned separately. All birds are then fed to the entire population of a house is to be graded within
achieve the target bodyweight by 63 days (9 weeks). The that house, 2 adjustable partitions will be required. To
aim must be for a uniform flock, rather than many uniform accomplish successful grading, certain procedures should
small pens. be undertaken:

If colony sizes in lay are likely to be larger than they were - Within the flock to be graded all colonies must be
in the rearing period, and birds will have to be mixed at sample weighed.
transfer, it is especially important to manage the pens of - All the individual weighings should be consolidated
birds towards a common target bodyweight at the into a single distribution.
expected age of transfer. - Two-way grading is preferable, provided that the
flock CV% is <12 at grading. If the CV% is >12,
Procedures then a 3-way grading will be required and
management practices from 0-4 weeks should be
Grading is best carried out when the flock is aged 28 days (4 examined closely, so that improved CV% can be
weeks), at which time the uniformity of the flock is usually achieved with subsequent flocks.
within the range 10-14%. Grading is generally not - Flock CV% should be calculated. Cut-off points
permanently effective if carried out much before 28 days must be set to achieve consistent stocking densities
(4 weeks). If undertaken later than 35 days (5 weeks) the allowing for differences in pen size. Table 11, (page
time available in which flock uniformity can be restored i.e. 20) indicates the typical percentages in light,
up to 63 days (9 weeks) becomes too short. medium and heavy populations to achieve
populations with CV % less than 8 for 2- or 3-way
In most cases, grading will be undertaken when the flock grading. Cut off points should be set to achieve the
CV% is around 12. required percentage of the population in each
colony (see Diagram 9).

DIAGRAM 9: FLOCK UNIFORMITY PRE-GRADING 12 CV%

Light Medium Heavy

Estimated % of Flock - 25% Estimated % of Flock - 8%


Calculated CV% of Calculated CV% of Calculated CV% of
Light Birds - 9.5% Medium Birds - 6.0% Heavy Birds - 5.0%

Flock Bodyweight Distribution

Light Medium Heavy

Adjusted CV% 7.5 Adjusted CV% 7.0 Adjusted CV% 6.5


Revised % of Flock - 21% Revised % of Flock - 69% Revised % of Flock - 10%

Revised Cut-Off Estimated Cut-Off


Bodyweight Bodyweight

19
For accurate grading, all birds must be handled and
POST-GRADING MANAGEMENT
allocated to their correct category. It is strongly
recommended, for reasons of efficiency and accuracy,
that all birds should be weighed. Birds recorded as At grading, the flock is divided into 2 or 3 categories
having bodyweights at the cut-off point between (i.e. medium weight and lightweight; or heavyweight,
categories should be allocated to the category having the medium weight and lightweight, respectively). The aim is
lowest CV%. for each category to achieve the target bodyweight within
the period in which skeletal development and growth is
TABLE 11: GRADING CUT-OFF POINTS
taking place i.e. before 63 days (9 weeks) of age. If this is
FLOCK PERCENTAGE IN EACH COLONY achieved, then the pens can be combined easily before
UNIFORMITY AFTER GRADING
mating up, to create a uniform flock in each house. Care
CV% Light % Medium % Heavy% should be taken before mixing any pens, to ensure that
10 20 ~ 80 0 feed consumption per bird is similar.
12 22-25 ~ 70 (66-73) 5-9
14 28-30 ~ 58 (55-60) 12-15 The following procedure is recommended for post grading
bodyweight control. (See also Diagram 10).
Grading is carried out most efficiently with 3 or 4 sets of
weighing scales. It is most important that birds are Lightweight category birds - 2 situations must be considered:
counted accurately in order that the correct quantities of
feed are allocated. Stocking density per colony, and i Where the average bodyweight after grading is 100g
therefore feed and water space should have been or less below target bodyweight, the objective is to
routinely adjusted when the moveable partitions were achieve target bodyweight by 63 days (9 weeks).
positioned. However, due to the importance of feeding
space and speed and uniformity of feed distribution, a ii Where the average bodyweight is more than 100g
confirmatory check of these should be carried out. under the target, then the target bodyweight should
be redrawn parallel to the standard until 105 days
Each category should be reweighed to confirm the (15 weeks), after which it should achieve target by
average bodyweight and uniformity so that its projected 140 days (20 weeks).
target bodyweight and feeding rate may be determined.
Medium weight category birds, which will usually be
within 50g of the bodyweight after grading. The objective
is to achieve target by 42-49 days (6-7 weeks).

DIAGRAM 10: POST-GRADING BODYWEIGHT CONTROL

Flock Grading

7 14 21 28 42 49 56 63 105 140
Age (days)

20
Heavyweight category birds, which are usually within At 10 weeks of age the weight of the colony in relation to
100g of the target bodyweight. The objective is to redraw target should be examined. Colonies that are of similar
the bodyweight curve to achieve target by 56-63 days (8-9 weight and feed consumption can be combined. Where it
weeks). If the birds remain overweight at 9 weeks, then has not been possible to bring populations back to the
the target should be redrawn parallel to the curve. target line a new line should be drawn parallel to the
Attempting to bring the birds back to target will reduce published target (see Diagram 11).
peak rate of lay or fertility.
Key Points
Each category should have its own dedicated feeding
system. Where this cannot be provided, supplementary Grade males and females at 4 weeks of age.
feeding must allow even distribution of feed and adequate
feeding space per bird. Grade into 2 colonies if CV% is less than 12; into
3 colonies if CV% is greater than 12.
If grading is effective and if there has been no subsequent
problem in respect of feed quality, feeding space or feed After grading, each colony should have a CV% of
distribution, and in the absence of disease, there should 8 or less.
be no further requirement for re-grading.
Draw new bodyweight profiles for each colony
Movement of birds between categories should not occur after grading.
beyond 70 days (10 weeks), because ultimate skeleton
size is fixed by this age and there is a risk of producing Do not move birds between colonies after 70 days.
pens of birds with variable body composition which will
not respond uniformly to stimulation at point of lay.

DIAGRAM 11: REDRAWING OF FUTURE BODYWEIGHTS E.G. WHEN WEIGHTS EXCEED TARGET
AT 70 DAYS (10 WEEKS)

ight
Desired We

Actual to 70 days (10 weeks)


Redrawn from 70 days
(10 weeks) actual
Actual 70-105 days
(10-15 weeks)
Redrawn from 105 days
(15 weeks) actual

70 105 210
Age (days)

21
22
Section two
Management into Lay

Management into Lay


105-210 Days

Section two
(15-30 Weeks)

page Contents
24 Management of Females
105 Days (15 Weeks) To Light Stimulation

25 Management of Males
105 Days (15 Weeks) To Light Stimulation

26 Management Procedures

28 Management of Females Pre-Peak Period


Light Stimulation To 210 Days (30 Weeks)

31 Management of Males Pre-Peak Period


Light Stimulation To 210 Days (30 Weeks)

ROSS308
23
days (15 weeks) onwards, weekly feed allowance is
MANAGEMENT OF FEMALES always increasing usually within the range 7-10%.
105 DAYS (15 WEEKS)
TO LIGHT STIMULATION Daily feeding should be practised from 105 days (15
weeks) if possible, and by 126 days (18 weeks) at the
latest. It is most important that as birds approach sexual
Objective maturity i.e. beyond 126 days (18 weeks), the flock should
not be able to detect any reduction in daily nutrient
To prepare the females for the physiological demands of supply. This could occur if , for example, the change to
imminent sexual maturity. To minimise variation in sexual daily feeding were delayed. Over stocking and reduction
maturity within the female population. in daily nutrient supply over this period are frequent
causes of loss of uniformity.
Principles
The livestock manager must note and compensate for
The period 105 days (15 weeks) to stimulation with light is energy changes between rations e.g. grower, pre-breeder,
crucial in influencing onset of production (i.e. age at 5% breeder.
hen day production), early egg size, yield of hatching
eggs, absolute feed requirement pre-peak and potential It is common practice to move birds from rearing
peak production. During this period, increasing quantities accommodation to separate facilities for laying.
of feed are used to accelerate growth without reducing Consideration should be given to the timing of the move
uniformity and to achieve the weekly incremental weight and the associated increased feed requirements, in order
gain. to safeguard the continued smooth transition to sexual
maturity. Feed space must not be reduced and should be
Procedures in excess of 15cm (6in) of feed space per female. Flock
uniformity can be lost quickly if feed space is reduced.
At 105 days (15 weeks), a feed increase of 10-15% is Lighting programmes should be synchronised between
made to ensure a significant increase in growth. This rearing and laying houses. An increase in feed quantity
increase in feed is given regardless of bodyweight. The on the day before and the day after the move will help to
resultant increase in bodyweight initiates the physiological compensate for the stress of the move. The optimum time
changes leading to sexual maturity. The growth profile for the move is within the period 126-161 days (18-23
detailed in the Performance Objectives has been designed weeks) when the flock is well established on its transition
to achieve this aim. Increases in feed quantity which towards sexual maturity.
allow the growth profile to be followed will result in
optimum levels of production. Incremental increases in bodyweight and the development
of secondary sexual characteristics should be used as
The change from grower to pre-breeder ration should be indicators of flock progress.
made at 105 days (15 weeks) to support the increased
nutritional requirements of birds as they approach sexual Careful attention to lighting, both daylength and intensity,
maturity. is essential in maximising performance. (See Lighting,
page 50).
At 105 days (15 weeks), the livestock manager must
compare current bodyweight with target bodyweight and When flocks come into production out of season in open-
redraw the curve through to 210 days (30 weeks) sided housing, the out of season bodyweight target and
following the profile described in the Performance lighting programmes should be used. (See Performance
Objectives. The new profile should be drawn parallel to Objectives and Lighting, page 53).
the target on the bodyweight-for-age graph. The weekly
incremental bodyweight increases will ensure the smooth
physiological transition up to sexual maturity and through
to physical maturity at around 210 days (30 weeks).

At 112 days (16 weeks) a check should be made to verify


that an increase in growth has been achieved by the
nutritional changes made at 105 days (15 weeks).

Prior to 105 days (15 weeks) weekly feed allowance can


be either maintained or increased. However, from 105

24
not develop appropriate sexual behaviour (Table 16,
If weekly incremental weight gains are
page 40).
not made in line with target, then development
of sexual maturity will be affected. If
bodyweights are depressed by more than 5% Procedures
beyond 119 days (17 weeks) then future
reproductive performance will be reduced as Target bodyweight should be redrawn forward if flock
uniformity of sexual maturity is lost. Failure to bodyweight deviates by more or less than 5% at 105 days
meet the required weekly incremental gain beyond (15 weeks). The profile should be redrawn on the
133 days (19 weeks), is a common cause of poor bodyweight graph, parallel to the standard profile.
performance. Growth and ovarian development are
impaired giving rise to:
When out-of-season flocks are housed in open houses,
males are likely to become sexually mature ahead of
- Delayed onset of lay.
females. Adjustments may be required, therefore, to
- Poor initial egg size.
ensure sexual maturity coordination. This may be
- Heightened % of reject/mis-shaped eggs. achieved by:
- Reduced fertility.
- Increased susceptibility to broodiness. - delaying light stimulation for males.
- Loss of uniformity.
- postponing mating up until later and/or reduction of
initial mating ratio.
- introducing males over a period of time.
Flocks which exceed target bodyweight
(See Mating Up, page 26).
excessively in this period lose sexual and
bodyweight uniformity giving rise to:
Males are more responsive to stimulation (i.e. lighting and
bodyweight gain) for sexual development than females.
- Early onset of lay.
- Increased egg size and double yolks.
Uniformity of sexual maturity is more likely to
- Reduced hatching egg yield.
be disrupted in the period
- Increased feed requirement through lay.
105 days (15 weeks) to light stimulation, if
- Reduced peak and total eggs. the smooth transition of bodyweight gain and flock
- Reduced fertility throughout life. bodyweight uniformity does not follow the target
- Increased levels of mortality possibly due to bodyweight profile.
prolapse.
Key Points - Females and Males

MANAGEMENT OF MALES Redraw target bodyweight forward if flock is


105 DAYS (15 WEEKS) under- or overweight at 105 days (15 weeks).
TO LIGHT STIMULATION
Provide females with a feed increase of 10-15% at
105 days (15 weeks) to ensure a significant increase
Objective in growth.

To ensure males develop to optimum physical condition


Achieve uniformity of bodyweight and sexual
maturity both within and between sexes.
and will be able to sustain reproductive fitness throughout
the laying period. To minimise variation in sexual maturity
within the male population.
Ensure that the bodyweight of the flock follows the
target profile with increasing weekly incremental
weight gain through to sexual maturity.
Principles
Prevent deviation of bodyweight from target
Attention to the management requirements of males particularly beyond 133 days (19 weeks).
must be given the same priority as that of the females.
Therefore, the recommendations and observations made Change from grower to pre-breeder ration at
for female management in this period are equally relevant 105 days (15 weeks). If there is a change in energy
to the male population. As with the females, from levels make appropriate changes in feed quantity.
105 days (15 weeks), the aim should be to follow the target
profile and so bring the males to uniform and coordinated Follow recommended lighting programmes.
sexual maturity at the same time as the females. (See Lighting, page 50).
If males do not have enough space in this period they will

25
MANAGEMENT PROCEDURES TABLE 12: A GUIDE TO TYPICAL MATING RATIOS

AGE
DAYS WEEKS NUMBER OF MALES / 100 FEMALES*
During the period 126-161 days (18-23 weeks) males and
133 19 10 - 9.5
females are mixed and additional management techniques
140 - 154 20 - 22 9.0 - 8.5
are necessary. In order to maintain males and females in
210 30 8.5 - 8.0
optimum reproductive condition throughout the
245 35 8.0 - 7.5
reproductive period, attention must be paid to the
280 40 7.5 - 7.0
procedure of mating up, management of ratio of males to
315 - 350 45 - 50 7.0 - 6.5
females and equipment.
420 60 6.5 - 6.0

MATING UP *In open-sided houses ratios 1% higher will be needed

These mating ratios are a guide only and should be


Males and females are generally ready to be mated at adjusted according to local circumstances and flock
126-161 days (18-23 weeks). Care should be taken to performance.
ensure that males and females are sexually mature. If
variation exists in sexual maturity within the male
SAMPLE WEIGHING OF MALES
population, mature males should be mixed with the
females and immature males should be allowed extra time
to develop before introduction. A possible system would After mating up, monitoring of male bodyweight is
be to mix 5% males at 22 weeks, 2% at 23 weeks and the difficult because of apparent week to week variation.
remainder at 24 weeks. This arises because of the difficulty in catching
representative samples of males spread throughout the
house. The problem can be largely overcome if, prior to
Immature males should not be mated up. mating, 20 to 30% of the selected males that are within
5% of the mean bodyweight, are marked. Markings
must be discrete, i.e. leg bands or spray marks using
Mating up at a later age i.e. 154-168 days (22-24 weeks) coloured paint, so that they do not attract attention from
can allow more effective control of bodyweight. Prior to other males or interfere with mating behaviour. During
this, a large number of males will be able to use the female sample weighing only marked males should be weighed,
feeders making estimation of feed allocation inaccurate. i.e. 50% of the 20% marked. Average bodyweight and
uniformity are calculated and compared with target
MATING RATIO bodyweight and records for previous weeks. Feed
allocation should then be calculated.

At mating, selected males should be uniform in When using automatic weighing systems in the house the
bodyweight, be free of physical abnormalities, have strong recording of male weights may be inaccurate because of a
straight legs and toes, be well feathered with a good small sample size.
upright stance and good muscle tone. In addition, the
secondary sexual characteristics (i.e. face and comb
colour, wattle and comb growth) should indicate that the SEPARATE SEX FEEDING EQUIPMENT
selected males are equally advanced and uniform in
sexual condition.
From mating up onwards, males and females should be
In order to maintain persistence of good fertility, each fed from separate feeding systems. This allows effective
flock will require an optimum number of sexually active control of bodyweight and uniformity for each sex. The
males. Table 12 indicates the typical ranges of male to separate sex feeding technique takes advantage of the
female ratios throughout the laying period. The number difference in head size between males and females. The
of males to be removed should be calculated weekly from technique requires skilled management and the correct
the table and the mating ratio reviewed each week. It is equipment, well adjusted and maintained.
essential that sexually inactive males are removed during
this operation. A guide to recognising sexually inactive
males is given in Monitoring Male Condition (page 33).

26
Female Equipment entire length by supporting with sufficient blocks/brackets.
The block/bracket height may need to be adjusted as the
Trough type feeding systems are most common around the birds grow. Frequent checks must be made to ensure that
world. The most effective system of restricting male all females have access at all times.
access involves fitting grids (toast racks) which exclude
males because of their greater head width. (See Diagram Using a grid can prevent access by males to pan feeders
12). Minimum internal grid width is 45mm. The objective or hanging hoppers. With hanging hoppers, efforts should
is to allow all females free access to their feed and to be made to reduce movement of hoppers to a minimum.
restrict access by the majority of the males. The addition
of a horizontal wire or plastic pipe in the apex of the grid, Regular, daily checks should be made for damage,
further restricts male access and allows the internal grid displacement or irregularity of gaps in the female feeder
width to be increased marginally by 2-5mm. grid.

The use of undubbed males, in combination with a grid Male Equipment


and a horizontal wire (or bar or pipe) ensures that almost
100% of the males cannot obtain feed from the female Successful separate sex feeding is dependent upon good
feeders from 147 days (21 weeks) onwards. When using a management of male feeding equipment and uniform feed
grid with horizontal fittings to restrict undubbed males, distribution. Three types of feeders are generally used for
the width of grid opening should be 47-50mm and the males.
grid height 50-55mm. The use of horizontal fittings has
the additional advantage of strengthening the grid. The 1. Automatic pan-type All use same technique.
grid width should be 45-47mm when males are dubbed. feeders After feeding, feeders are
raised to deny all birds
There is a danger that narrow grid widths (under 45mm) 2. Hanging hoppers access, filled with feed
will prevent a significant number of the females from and then lowered again
feeding and cause reduced production levels. 3. Suspended feeder track at feeding time.

Breeder pan feeders are an alternative to track feeders and Whichever system is used, it is essential that each male
provide good feed distribution. Where pans are being has a minimum feeding space of 18cm (7in) and that feed
used it is essential to ensure that birds have unobstructed distribution is uniform. When using undubbed males,
access to feeding points. Pans should be spaced so that checks should be made to ensure that their combs do not
birds feeding in adjoining pans do not obstruct access. restrict access to the feeders. When manually filled
Females should have a minimum of 15cm (6in) of feeding hanging hoppers are used, it is of great importance that
space per bird. the same quantity of feed is delivered to each hopper and
that hoppers do not tilt to one side. Suspended feeder track
has proved very successful for males, as feed can be levelled
DIAGRAM 12: SEPARATE SEX FEEDING SYSTEM
by hand thus ensuring that each male has access to the
same quantity of feed. It is beneficial to delay the feeding
Horizontal bars to increase strength
and restrict male access of males until the female feeders have been filled.
50-55mm
45mm
It is essential that for whatever type of system used, feeder
height be correctly adjusted to limit access by females and
Grid to allow all males to feed. Care should be taken to avoid
Track the build up of litter under the male feeders. Correct male
GRID feeder height is dependent on male size and feeder design
i.e. trough or pan depth. The height should be in the
range 50-60cm (20-24in) above the litter. The best method
of ensuring the correct height is through observation and
adjustment. Care should be taken to avoid giving too
Trough feeding systems can also be adapted for separate much feeding space to males, as the more aggressive
sex feeding by using planks, inverted plastic guttering or males will overconsume and females will feed from the
horizontal roller bars. These systems have proved male system. The number of male feeders should be
successful where adequate supports are provided to reduced over the life of the flock to maintain a minimum
maintain correct access height. When using the plank or feeding space of 18cm (7 in).
inverted guttering the height should be 47mm at the start
of the laying period and must be kept constant along the Checks should be made at feeding time to ensure sexes
are feeding separately.

27
Key Points Procedures

Mate up at 126-161 days (18-23 weeks) of age. The spacing of the pin (pelvic) bones is measured to
determine the state of sexual development of the female.
Adopt and follow a mating ratio schedule. Under normal situations pin bone spacing develops as
shown in Table 13.
Mark 20-30% of selected males before mating up
to aid sample weighing. TABLE 13: PIN BONE SPACING ACCORDING TO AGE

Observe feeding behaviour to ensure sexes are Age Pin Bone Spacing
feeding separately, male feeders are at the correct 84-91 days closed
height and feeding space is adequate. 119 days one finger
21 days before first egg 11/2 fingers
10 days before first egg 2-21/2 fingers
Poorly managed feeding equipment and uneven point of lay 3 fingers
feed distribution are major causes of
depressed egg production and fertility. Pin bone spacing must be monitored regularly to assess
flock development throughout the period.

MANAGEMENT OF FEMALES PRE- If the birds fail to show the expected increase in
PEAK PERIOD, bodyweight; if flock variability increases or if it takes
LIGHT STIMULATION longer for the birds to consume the allocated feed, quick
- 210 DAYS (30 WEEKS) action is required to determine the cause of the problem.

Problems with feed, water or disease at this


Two phases can be identified which require different stage can have devastating effects
management: on the onset of production and on
- First light stimulation to 5% production subsequent performance of the flock.
- 5% production to peak.

Key points
MANAGEMENT OF FEMALES
LIGHT STIMULATION
TO 5% PRODUCTION
Light up on schedule.

Achieve target bodyweight by concentrating on


Objective correct weekly incremental gains.

To bring the female into lay by stimulating and supporting Provide free access to clean, good quality water.
egg production using feed and light.
Monitor flock uniformity, bodyweight and
Principles eating-up time and respond quickly.

Females must be grown to the target bodyweight profile Change from pre-breeder to breeder feed just
and with the recommended lighting programme until the before first egg.
flock has come into production i.e. 5% hen day
production. (See Lighting, page 50). Regular feed MANAGEMENT OF FEMALES
increases (i.e. at least weekly) are essential for the 5% HEN DAY PRODUCTION
appropriate bodyweight gain, fleshing and timely onset of TO PEAK
egg production.

Lighting programmes must be implemented exactly on Objectives


schedule to support and stimulate the female over this
period. (See Lighting, page 50). Water should be To promote and support the females reproductive
available ad libitum. Feed should be changed from pre- performance as measured by early egg size, egg quality,
breeder to breeder just before first egg is expected. level of peak production and persistency of lay.

28
Principles Responsive management of birds coming into production
requires frequent observation of important production
Observations of birds in the pre-peak period have parameters as shown in Table 14.
demonstrated the importance that achievement of correct
bodyweight during early lay has in maximising egg TABLE 14: FREQUENCY OF OBSERVATION OF
production and hatchability. Birds which are supplied IMPORTANT PRODUCTION PARAMETERS
with more feed than they require for egg production will Parameter Frequency
develop an abnormal ovarian structure and gain excess
Bodyweight at least weekly
weight, resulting in poor quality eggs with low
Rate of bodyweight gain at least weekly
hatchability. An excess of double-yolked eggs and
Uniformity at least weekly
mortality due to peritonitis or prolapse are also symptoms
Egg production daily
of overfeeding during this period.
Increase in egg production daily
Egg weight daily
Birds should be fed to meet the increased demands of egg
Change in egg weight daily
production and growth. In the ideal situation, it would be Eating-up time daily
possible to measure changes in egg production, Bird condition (fleshing, colour) at least weekly
bodyweight and condition on a daily basis and adjust feed House temperature (min. and max.) daily
each day. In practice, however, the number and
frequency of feed increases depend on the capability of It is most important that absolute and trend data in
the management system to observe and react in a bodyweight and egg weight are used in combination to
responsive way to the changing level of egg production determine feed increases. For example, if egg weight
and other variables. The decision on how much feed is and/or bodyweight are/is judged to be deviating
required at each stage, depends on observation and significantly from the expected profiles, then feed
measurement of short-term trends in: increases should be delayed or advanced as appropriate.

- bodyweight Feed increases beyond the theoretical maximum feed


- body condition amount i.e. 1898-2013kJ (454-481kcal) may be required
- feed quantity in high producing flocks. A further 5-10g/bird/day (14-
- eating-up time 28kcal) can be fed after evaluation of both the absolute
- egg production and actual trend data.
- egg weight
Environmental temperature is a major factor influencing
Procedures energy requirement of the bird. The daily energy intake
given in Table 15 (page 30) is calculated for an operating
The procedure for determining the pattern of feed increase temperature of 20C (68F). As operating temperature
is guided by uniformity of bodyweight and fleshing at 140 varies, energy intakes should be adjusted as follows:
days (20 weeks). These characteristics of the birds will - Increased by 30 kcal/day (11g/day) if temperature is
determine the size of the first pre-production feed decreased from 20 to 15C (68-59F).
increase. If flock CV%<10, the first feed increase should - Reduced by 25 kcal/day (9g/day) if temperature is
be at 5% production. If flock CV%>10, the first feed increased from 20 to 25C (68-77F).
increase should be delayed to 10% production. - The influence of temperatures above 25C (77F) on
energy requirement is not clear. At temperatures
The maximum metabolisable energy (ME) intake at peak above 25C: feed composition, feed amount and
production is determined initially as shown in Nutrition, environmental management should be controlled to
(page 43), and is usually around 1898-2013kJ/day reduce heat stress.
(454-481kcal/day). The difference in feed quantity
allocated prior to first egg and that given at peak allows a Circumstances will vary for each flock depending on flock
profile to be established. Feed amounts up to and at peak condition, performance and environment. The most
can then be adjusted for each individual flock depending appropriate programme should be determined by using
on bodyweight, growth, egg production, egg weight and the principles described above, and should take into
ambient temperature. Monitoring of bodyweight gain, consideration the equipment and facilities available.
daily egg production and egg weight are vital. Uniform The following example shows how a feeding programme
flocks will come into production rapidly and feed might be devised for a particular flock, taking into account
amounts must be appropriately adjusted to support the flock history, type of housing, feed composition and staff
birds at this stage. Small but frequent increases of feed ability.
should be used to prevent excessive weight gain.

29
TABLE 15: EXAMPLE OF A FEEDING PROGRAMME Inadequate or excessive gains in egg weight
and/or female bodyweight indicate(s)
Flock details: a well reared flock on target bodyweight with incorrect nutritional input. Failure to
good uniformity in closed housing at an ambient correct will result in a lower peak in production.
temperature of 17-20C (63-68F). The flock is being fed
125g of feed providing 344kcal/ME/day (i.e.2750kcal/kg,
11.5MJ/kg) prior to production. The farm staff are capable of Key Points
responding to and adjusting feed levels and anticipate
making small frequent feed increases. Grow females to programmed bodyweight profile
throughout.
Hen Day % Feed Feed Amount Daily


Increase (g) (g/day/bird) Energy
Intake Stimulate egg production from 5% hen day production
(kcal/day/
by giving programmed feed and light increases.
bird)
Prior to Feed to
Production Bodyweight 125 * 344 Define the programme of feed increases based on
5 +5 130 357 CV%, feed amount prior to production, energy
10 +5 135 371 level, ambient temperature and expected maximum
15 +2.5 137.5 378 feed amount.
20 +2.5 140 385
25 +2.5 142.5 392 Use small but frequent feed increases.
30 +2.5 145 399
35 +2.5 147.5 406 Monitor average bodyweight, uniformity and
40 +2.5 150 413 bodyweight gain at least weekly.
45 +2.5 152.5 419
50 +2 to +4 155 to 157 426 to 432 Weigh eggs and record weights daily from no later
55 +3 to +4 158 to 161 435 to 443 than 10% hen day production.
60 +2 to +4 160 to 165 440 to 454
65 +3 to +5 163 to 170 448 to 468 Respond to inadequate or excessive gains in egg
70 +2 to +5 165 to 175 454 to 481 weight, production and/or bodyweight by
*Flocks can consume 115-135g of feed per female advancing or delaying feed increases.
prior to 5% hen day production. Feeding
programmes should be adjusted accordingly. Respond to changes in eating up time.

First feed increase should be at 3 to 5%


production if flock CV%<10 and at 10% EGG WEIGHT AND FEED CONTROL
production if flock CV%>10.

Feed amounts up to and at peak will vary Objective


depending on egg production, egg weight,
bodyweight, condition, uniformity, eating-up To use egg weight to determine if nutritional input is
time and ambient temperature. adequate for achievement of optimum egg production.

Uniform flocks will come into production Principles


rapidly and feed amounts should be adjusted
accordingly. Trend in daily egg weight acts as a sensitive indicator of
the adequacy of total nutrient intake. Feed intake is
Flocks peaking at levels beyond the performance adjusted according to deviations from the expected egg
objectives may require a further feed increase weight profile.
above 70% production.
Procedures
If a different feed energy level to 2750kcal/kg
(11.5MJ/kg) ME is used, then feed intake must be A sample of 120 to 150 eggs should be weighed in bulk.
adjusted in proportion. These must be taken from eggs collected directly from the
nest at the time of the second collection. Double-yolked,
very small and abnormal eggs (e.g. soft shelled) are

30
rejected. Average egg weight is obtained by dividing the in reduced levels of peak production. Egg weight shortfall
bulk weight by the number of eggs weighed. The daily can occur, particularly in high producing flocks, between
weight is then plotted against the standard profile. It is 50-70% hen housed.
important that the graph scale is large enough to make
daily variation clearly observable. Responding to egg weight shortfall
beyond 75% hen day production is not
In flocks that are receiving the correct quantity of feed, recommended, since it is likely that excessive
bodyweight gain would occur.
egg weight will normally increase parallel to the standard
egg weight profile. Egg weight at a given age is dependent
on bodyweight and sexual maturity and can be above,
Key Points
below or on standard. If the flock is being underfed, egg


size will not increase over a 4-5 day period, as expected.
Adjust feed intake based on deviations from target
This is corrected by bringing forward the next planned
egg weight profile.
feed increase. If anticipated peak feed quantity has been


reached, then feed should be increased by 5g/bird /day.
Weigh bulk samples of eggs and record daily from
no later than 10% hen day production.
DIAGRAM 13: DAILY EGG WEIGHTS

Monitor trends in daily egg weight by plotting on a


large-scale graph.
Projection


Egg Weight (g)

Respond promptly to falling trends in daily egg


weight by increasing feed allowance.

Mid Points Joined


MANAGEMENT OF MALES PRE-PEAK
PERIOD, LIGHT STIMULATION TO 210
DAYS (30 WEEKS)

Age (days)
Objective
Original
Projection
To manage the number and bodyweight of males to
Egg Weight (g)

maximise early fertility.


New
Projection

Principles
Feed Increase
Evaluated Target bodyweight-for-age is achieved by monitoring male
bodyweight and adjusting feed quantity. Control of male
bodyweight over this period can be difficult as males
become progressively excluded from the female feeders as
Age (days) their head width increases.

Standard Average Daily


The development and establishment of successful mating
Egg Weight requires removal of surplus males by observation of flock
Actual Daily Egg Weight behaviour and of condition of females.

Procedures
Average daily egg weight will fluctuate on a daily basis
Male Feeding: After mating up, the achievement of
due to sampling variation and environmental influences.
production objectives for males and females is more likely
The effect of fluctuation in egg weight is minimised if the
if separate sex feeding equipment and techniques are
mid-points between consecutive daily weights are joined
employed. Males are more likely to be excluded from the
on the graph to produce both the trend and projected
female feeders if they are left undubbed (i.e. comb intact).
profiles. (See Diagram 13).

Average bodyweight and bodyweight gains should be


Failure to detect a falling trend within 4-5 days can result
monitored weekly and the amount of feed placed in the

31
male feeder regulated, so as to achieve the required male can be achieved by lowering males feeders after feed has
growth rate. Daily feed allowance can vary considerably, been distributed to the females.
(e.g. from 100-160g feed/male/day), depending upon the
amount of feed being taken from the feeders by either sex. Feed distribution and equipment problems,
which can seriously depress egg and semen
Males require 18cm of feeding space per bird and feeding production, may be remedied more quickly if
points should be spread evenly in a line throughout the livestock attendants are present at feeding time.
Feeding behaviour should be observed on a regular
length of the house. Fewer males will be required as the
basis.
flock ages and the number of male feeders should be
reduced over the life of the flock to maintain a minimum
Overmating: A surplus of males leads to overmating,
feeding space of 18cm (7in) per bird.
interrupted mating and abnormal behaviour. Flocks where
overmating occurs will exhibit reduced fertility,
Poor feeder security reduces the precision of
feed allocation to males and females.
hatchability and egg numbers. In the early stages, after
Problems may be experienced if the following mating up, it is quite normal to observe some displacement
are inappropriate: and wear of the feathers at the back of the females head
and of the feathers on the back at the base of the tail.
- dubbing When this condition progresses to the removal of feathers,
- grid width and height then this is a sign of overmating. If the mating ratio is not
- precision of grid installation reduced, the condition will worsen with defeathering of
- corner and satellite bin security areas of the back, scratching and tearing of the skin leading
- feeder height to welfare problems, loss of female condition and reduced
egg production. A surplus of males can also be indicated
Feeder security requires ongoing attention and should be when they show excessive feather damage.
checked twice weekly. Close observation of the flock
must be made from the point at which males become When surplus males are present, competition for females
excluded from the females feeders. Typically this will be prevents the maintenance of the optimum number of
at 189-224 days (27-32 weeks) of age for dubbed and matings. Surplus males must be removed quickly or a
154-168 days (22-24 weeks) of age for undubbed males. significant loss in persistency of male fertility will result.
At this time, a feed increase will be required to maintain
growth. The size of this increase will vary from flock to The flock should be examined twice weekly for signs of
flock, but an initial increase of 5-10g feed/male/day overmating from 189 days (27 weeks). In spite of male
followed by a mid-week sample weighing to monitor numbers being in line with schedule, overmating can be
progress is recommended. It is very important that neither frequently observed at around 196 days (28 weeks) of age
males nor females experience a reduction in nutrient and becomes very apparent by 210 days (30 weeks).
availability in this pre-peak period.
When overmating is observed, the removal of males
Failure to detect when the males are excluded from the should be accelerated, initially taking out an additional
females feeders is a common cause of male bodyweight 0.5 males/100 females and continuing to follow the
shortfall in the pre-peak period and has serious planned programme for removal of males.
implications for fertility. It is unlikely that male
bodyweight can be maintained on feed quantities of less The removal of males must be a continuous process. The
than 125g/bird/day. Males may begin to lose weight if number of males that have to be removed weekly in order
less than 125g/bird/day are allocated to the males feeders to achieve the correct mating ratio must be calculated
when exclusion of males occurs. Care must be taken to (See Table 12 page 26). A check must be made that they
adjust male feed levels once all males have become are indeed removed, either by natural mortality, culling or
excluded from the female feeder. appropriate selection.

Males stealing female feed, particularly when the flock is


between 50% hen day production and peak, may Whenever overmating occurs or recurs, males
significantly reduce peak performance levels. Livestock should be removed.
managers must be aware of factors which indicate when a
shortfall in female bodyweight is occurring, e.g. change of
daily egg weight, bird condition, etc. Removal of Males to Optimise Mating Ratio: As the flock
ages, fewer males are required to maintain fertility. (See
Males and females can be encouraged to use their own Table 12, page 26). When removing males, great emphasis
feeders if the males are fed later than the females. This must be placed upon meeting the target mating ratio and

32
monitoring the flock for signs of overmating. Males must males of this type are present. In this situation,
be removed in such a way as to maintain high average vent overweight males should be removed.
colouration, (see below, Monitoring Male Condition), in
the remaining male population. - Alertness and Activity: The flock should be
observed at various times of the day to monitor
It is good practice to monitor male condition weekly. mating activity, feeding, resting location, daytime
Average vent colour must be assessed subjectively, by distribution and distribution immediately prior to
experienced personnel, into 3 red colour groupings; high lights out. In addition, general behaviour and
colour, medium colour and low colour. The proportions posture should be noted.
of males within each category must be estimated.
- Physical Condition: Face, comb and wattle colour,
When selecting males for removal, always look for, and comb and wattle condition (e.g. firm or flaccid) are
take low colour and then medium colour category birds. important indications of physical condition.
Assessment of muscle tone, fleshing and keel bone
Monitoring Male Condition: Dispersal of the males within prominence should be made and a careful watch
the flock means that the application of good husbandry kept for deterioration of males. Condition of legs,
techniques to males may be more difficult than for joints and feet must be observed. Wet litter causes
females. Good routines are essential in order to recognise the skin under the feet to crack, leading to the risk
changes in the condition of the males. Characteristics of infection and discomfort that will reduce welfare
requiring close attention are: and mating activity.

- Sample Weighing: Average bodyweight and - Feathering: Observation of feather condition,


uniformity should be recorded. Change in average partial feather loss, neck moult and damage,
weekly bodyweight must be compared with the whether inflicted by males or females is important.
target to verify that weekly bodyweight gains are
acceptable. Feed allowance should be adjusted - Eating-up Time: Individual male behaviour and
if required. variation must be observed and recorded. It is
important that any changes within the flock are
- Underfeeding: This is most common from 245 days verified and acted upon.
(35 weeks) onwards but can occur earlier. Males
will suddenly appear dull and listless, showing - Vent Colour: Intensity of redness of the vent is a
reduced activity and less frequent crowing. If these useful management aid in the assessment of male
symptoms are missed and the condition progresses, activity within the flock. Males working at optimum
the wattles become flaccid and there is a loss of rates will demonstrate a very red vent colour. The
muscle tone. Later, there will be a loss of fleshing, objective is to promote and maintain this condition
loss of face colour and moulting. In addition, vent in all working males throughout the life of the flock.
colour will become less red and the colour range Whenever overmating is observed males with poor
will widen. This last stage is serious and a vent colour should be removed.
significant number of birds will not recover. On
observing any combination of these symptoms feed NUTRITION OF MALES
allowance should be increased by 3-5g/bird/day See Nutrition, page 43.
immediately. Eating-up time, feeding space per bird
and feeder security must be checked. A change in LIGHTING
feed texture should be considered to permit very See Lighting, page 50.
active males sufficient time to consume adequate
nutrients. The accuracy of weekly average weight
gain data must be verified and a sample reweighed Key Points
if in doubt. Prompt action is essential. The more
active males will work for a short period, using their Grow males to the target bodyweights and promote
body resources, but others will cease to function. flock uniformity.

- Overweight males: If bodyweight control is poor, a Use separate sex feeding with adequate, well
sub-population of heavy males may develop. These maintained equipment.
will cause excess damage to the females during
mating or will have a high frequency of incomplete
matings. Often females will begin to avoid mating if

33
Monitor average bodyweight and bodyweight gain
at least weekly, and twice weekly from mating up
until the males are excluded from the females
feeders.

Feed into the male feeder whatever is required to


achieve the target bodyweight gain. Any shortfall in
male bodyweight has serious implications for
fertility.

Monitor females for signs of overmating from 189


days (27 weeks) of age.

Whenever overmating occurs, reduce male


numbers by 0.5 male/100 females and readjust
future mating ratios.

Follow a weekly routine of assessment of the flock


and individual males. Maintain optimum mating
ratio by removing individual males based on their
condition.

Observe and monitor alertness and activity,


physical condition, feathering, eating-up time and
vent colour.

Remove males first from the low and then the


medium vent colour categories. High vent colour
indicates that those males are in good mating
condition.

Remove excessively overweight males when mating


damage is occurring.

34
Section three
Management in Lay
210-448 Days
(30-64 Weeks)

page Contents
36 Management of Females Post-Peak Period
210-448 Days (30-64 Weeks)

37 Management of Males Post-Peak Period


210-448 Days (30-64 Weeks)

Management in Lay
Section three

ROSS308
35
Over the period 210-245 days (30-35 weeks) egg
MANAGEMENT OF FEMALES POST-
production will rise to a maximum, as will the
PEAK PERIOD
requirement for nutrients for egg production. Thereafter,
210-448 DAYS
for best persistency, feed allowances will need to be reduced.
(30-64 WEEKS)
In order to remain healthy and to give good persistency of
lay, birds should gain an average of 15-20 grams per bird
Objectives weekly. The exact timing of any reduction in feed
allowance will depend on flock history and bird condition.
To maximise the yield of fertile hatching eggs by ensuring
persistency of high levels of egg production post peak. Procedures

Principles The timing and amount of feed reduction will be


dependent on:
Broiler parent flocks usually attain physical maturity at
approximately 30 weeks of age. If allowed they will - Bodyweight and bodyweight change from start of
continue to gain weight, through deposition of fat tissue, if production
food intake exceeds the demand to maintain ideal body - Daily egg production and trend (hen day)
composition. Rate of fat accumulation is the key to both - Changes in eating up time
controlling egg production and fertility in the post peak - Daily egg weight and egg weight trend
period. Feed consumption should be adjusted in response - Health status of the flock
to changing bodyweight and egg production, to regulate - Ambient temperature
rate of fat accumulation. - Feed composition (i.e. energy and protein level) and
quality
Peak egg production is usually achieved around 210 days - Quantity of feed (i.e. energy intake) at peak
(30 weeks) of age. Shortly afterwards, at around 231 days - Flock history (i.e. rearing and pre-peak performance)
(33 weeks), peak egg mass occurs.
Since there is variation between all flocks in the
i.e. Egg Mass = Average Egg Weight x Egg Production % characteristics above, the programme of feed reduction
will also vary for each flock.

DIAGRAM 14: RELATIONSHIP - AGE, GROWTH,


SEXUAL & PHYSICAL MATURITY,
EGG PRODUCTION % AND
EGG MASS

36
In most situations, the total amount of feed removed Key Points:
between peak and depletion is unlikely to exceed
70-kcalME/bird (25g/bird) with reduction distributed Follow a programme of feed reduction that allows
throughout the period dependent on the observations the birds to gain weight steadily at 15-20 grams per
below. In high-producing flocks (peak > 85%), the first week maintaining egg production, body weight and
feed reduction should not be earlier than 34 weeks, and egg weight profiles.
feed reductions should be gradual never more than 2g in
one week. General guidelines for feed reduction are: Start feed reduction in the period from peak to 5
weeks after peak production, depending on bird
<34 weeks hold at peak feed condition, bodyweight, feed quantity and
35-50 weeks gradual reductions down to temperature.
412 - kcal ME/bird/day
(150 g/bird/d) minimum Make a total energy reduction of no more than
>50 weeks hold feed levels 70kcalME/bird between peak production and
depletion.
Control of bodyweight and egg weight progression must
be major priorities in the period from 210-448 days (30- Make feeding decisions weekly in response to
64 weeks). This is achieved by programmed feed observations of bodyweight, egg weight, egg mass
reduction which is carried out in response to observations and bird condition.
and measurements of bird condition and egg production.
Routines should be established which allow the following Adjust feed quantities in response to changes in
to be monitored: temperature.

- Weekly bodyweight and bodyweight change of


MANAGEMENT OF MALES POST-PEAK
15-20g/bird/week calculated over a 3-4 week
PERIOD
period.
210-448 DAYS
- Daily egg weight and egg weight change relative to
(30-64 WEEKS)
target egg weight.
- Physical condition i.e. muscling and muscle tone;
fattiness; feather cover and condition; leg and foot Objective
condition; wattle, comb and face colour; state of lay.
- Changes in eating up time. To manage the number and bodyweight of males to
maintain persistency of fertility.
Feed allowances should be adjusted to compensate for
unexpected changes in the above characteristics. Principles and procedures

In extremes of temperature it may be necessary to adjust The principles and procedures used to manage males in
feed allowance according to the birds energy the post peak period are similar to those described for the
requirements. pre-peak period. (See Management of Males Pre-peak
Period, Light Stimulation to 210 days (30 weeks), page
Failure to secure control of bodyweight from 210 31). In particular, emphasis must be placed on optimising
days (30 weeks) can significantly reduce mating ratios, uniformity, physical condition and
persistency of lay, egg size, shell quality and bodyweight control.
female fertility after 280 days (40 weeks).

In the post-peak period bodyweight is controlled by


adjusting feed quantities so that the target profile is
achieved. From 210 days (30 weeks) of age, weekly
If flocks do not continue to gain weight at 15-
20g/week, then production and hatchability
bodyweight gain should be 15-20g, when averaged over
will suffer a 3-week period. Bodyweight data should be used in
conjunction with the additional husbandry information
described in Management into Lay, Section 2, page 23, in
order to make feed allowance decisions which fulfil the
birds requirements.

Male feed allowance is normally in the range 130-160g


per male.

37
The optimum mating ratio should be maintained by
removing individual males according to their physical
condition. (See Management of Males Pre-peak Period,
Light Stimulation to 210 days (30 weeks), page 31).
Culled males should be weighed in order to estimate the
effect of their removal on the average male flock weight.

Key Points:

Feed birds to achieve the target bodyweight profile.

Maintain the optimum mating ratio by removing


individual males according to their physical
condition.

Grow males to target bodyweight. Small increases


in feed may be necessary to maintain bodyweight
and uniformity.

38
Section four
Specific Environmental Requirements

page Contents
40 Housing and Environment

43 Nutrition

50 Lighting

56 Care of Hatching Eggs

60 Hygiene and Health

Specific Environmental Requirements


Section four

ROSS308
39
- Management Preference: Flock management is
more successful when controlled environment or
HOUSING AND ENVIRONMENT
blackout housing is used during the rearing period.
The type of housing used during the laying period
will be dependent on climate and latitude.
Objectives
- Function: Type of housing depends upon the
To provide a protected environment in which required function i.e. rearing, laying or dual purpose
temperature, humidity and daylight can be controlled. (i.e. day old to depletion).
To ensure that the control is at levels that are optimum for
good reproductive performance and do not compromise - Number of Birds Required: The number of hatching
health and welfare. Birds must be allowed individual eggs required per week determines the number of
access to feed and water. parent stock to be housed. The number and size of
houses is influenced by stocking density, (see Table
Principles 16), feeding space and capacity of ventilation/cooling
systems.
Broiler hatching eggs are produced commercially in
a range of climates throughout the world. Climate TABLE 16: STOCKING DENSITIES
dictates the type of housing system, (i.e. open-sided,
Rearing 0-140 days (0-20 weeks)
controlled environment) chosen for the parent stock. Males Females
The technical specification of the housing system must birds/m2 (ft2/bird) birds/m2 (ft2/bird)
be defined so that the birds are maintained under 3-4 (2.7-3.6) 4-7 (1.5-2.7)
appropriate environmental conditions. These will take Production 140-448 days (20-64 weeks)
account of bird welfare, performance targets, materials Males and Females
available and financial constraints. Ease and birds/m2 (ft2/bird)
effectiveness of environmental control is also a most 3.5-5.5 (1.95-3.1)
important factor.

Site Access - Local Topography and Prevailing Winds: These


natural features have particular importance for
The site should be planned with biosecurity of vehicle and open-sided housing. They can be exploited to
staff access in mind. Facilities must be provided for staff minimise entry of direct sunlight and for optimal
accommodation/showering. (See Hygiene and Health, ventilation or cooling. The existence of sites nearby,
page 60). which present an airborne disease risk, must also be
taken into account.

HOUSE DESIGN
- Power Availability and Costs: Controlled
environment housing requires a reliable source
Housing design should include consideration of: of power to operate electrical ventilation, heating,
lighting and feeding equipment.
- Climate: Extremes of temperature and humidity
may dictate which type of housing is most suitable - Floors: Concrete floors with a smooth, hard finish
(i.e. open or closed) and the degree of are essential for ease of cleaning and effective
environmental control required. disinfection. An area of concrete or gravel
extending to a width of 1-3m (3-10ft) around the
- Local Planning Regulations and Laws: These may house will inhibit entry of rodents. (See also Rodent
stipulate important constraints in design (e.g. height, and Wild Bird Control, page 62).
colour, materials etc.) and should be consulted at
the earliest opportunity. - Drainage: Appropriate disposal of rainwater and
cleanout water aids biosecurity.
- Biosecurity: The size, relative situation and design
- Water: A clean, fresh supply of water is required.
of houses should be such as to minimise the
(See Water Quality Page 64)
transmission of pathogens between and within flocks.
A policy of one age-one site should be adopted.
- Access: Suitable access must be provided for feed
Effective cleaning out procedures between flocks must
and egg transporters.
be undertaken. (See Hygiene and Health, page 60).

40
ENVIRONMENT TABLE 17: EVAPORATIVE COOLING SYSTEMS
IN COMMON USE
Cooling System Description
Controlled Environment Housing
Low pressure fogging 100-200psi (7-14 bar), droplet sizes > 30
microns may cause wet litter at high
Controlled environment housing has advantages over humidities.
open-sided housing, especially during rearing, since it
High pressure fogging 400-600psi (28-41 bar), droplet sizes of
limits variation due to environmental influences, facilitates 10-15 microns minimal residual moisture
control of maturity and bodyweight, and assists in the giving extended humidity range.
production of uniform flocks. Controlled environment See Diagram 15
house design should incorporate the following features: Cooling pads air is drawn through a water-soaked filter
by tunnel ventilation. See Diagram 16
- Stocking Density. Optimum stocking density is
dependent upon the quality and system of housing
in use. Recommended stocking densities are shown DIAGRAM 15: ULTRA-HIGH PRESSURE FOGGING
in Table 16, page 40. Plastic pipes for
water circulation
Fogging nozzles
- Colony Size. The colony size selected must be
manageable so that all the daily feed allowance can
be distributed evenly and be accessible to all birds
within a maximum of 3 minutes. This condition
Ventilation fans Solenoid valve
should be met for all pens before and after grading. Pump

Strainer
- Lighting. Light should be evenly distributed
throughout the house. Light intensity should be
controllable, especially in the rearing period. (See
Lighting, page 50). DIAGRAM 16: PAD COOLING IN CONTROLLED
ENVIRONMENT HOUSING
- Light Proofing. Light intensity must not exceed
0.4 lux (0.04 foot candles) in a darkened house.
Air flow
(See Lighting, page 50). In practical terms, at a light
intensity of 0.4 lux (0.04 foot candles) it is just possible Water

to read a newspaper. Accurate measurements of light Cooled air


entering house Hot, uncooled air

intensity require the use of a light meter.

Water for recirculation Evaporative


cooling pad
- House Temperature. Ambient temperature will be
influenced by level of insulation, wind-proofing,
ventilation capacity and the presence of especially in warm conditions and should provide
supplementary heating or cooling. It is desirable an environment which is uniform at bird level, and
that daily fluctuations in temperature are kept to a draught free. Ventilation rate depends on the
minimum so that the operating temperature is not metabolic rate of the bird which is determined by
less than 14C (57F) and not more than 26C (79F). the bodyweight, egg production rate and growth
The optimum range is 18-22C (64-72F). rate. In addition, where there are problems with
ammonia emission, ventilation rate may have to be
- Insulation. Good insulation will prevent fluctuation increased. The minimum and maximum ventilation
of house temperature. Effective insulation is rates for parent stock have been measured as:
provided by 10cm (4in) of glass fibre, i.e. U value
of 0.4W/m2/C. Minimum ventilation rate (m3/second/kg0.75)
= 1.6 to 2.0* x 10-4
- Wind Exclusion. Wind exclusion and light proofing
Maximum ventilation rate (m3/second/kg0.75)
are both achieved by the same design features.
= 1.55 x 10-3

- Ventilation. The ventilation system must be capable * higher ventilation rate is required to control ammonia
of supplying adequate fresh air and removing emissions
gaseous and airborne by-products. It also Source: UK Agricultural Development and Advisory Service
contributes to temperature and humidity control (ADAS).

41
Minimum ventilation rate is the quantity of air Open-sided Housing
required per hour to supply sufficient oxygen to the
birds and maintain air quality. Maximum Where open-sided housing is used, particular attention
ventilation rate is the quantity of air required per must be paid to the lighting programme. (See Lighting,
hour to remove metabolic heat such that the page 50). A combination of controlled environment
temperature within the building is maintained not rearing and open-sided laying facilities allows more
greater than 3C above external temperature in control than open-sided housing from day old to depletion.
normal circumstances and air intake temperature
where cooling pads are used. Open-sided houses rely on the free-flow of air through the
house for ventilation. Houses should be constructed to a
These figures can be used to calculate the minimum specified width i.e. 9-12m (30-40ft) and a minimum height
and maximum ventilation rates (m3/second or to the eaves of 2.5m (8ft), to ensure an adequate air flow.
m3/hour) for parent stock of different bodyweights.
(See Appendix 6, page 77). Under most practical conditions natural ventilation through
open-sided houses will provide the bird with an appropriate
In hot weather situations where wind chill effect is environment. Air flow is controlled by varying curtain
used to increase heat loss (eg tunnel ventilation) height. Recirculation fans can be used to supplement
from the birds there is a benefit to exceeding the natural ventilation and enhance temperature control
maximum ventilation rate to achieve the desired within the house. Translucent curtain materials allow the
airspeed within the house. Table 18 shows the wind use of natural light during daylight hours. Black curtains
chill effect of different air speeds at different are used in situations where it is necessary to exclude
temperatures. daylight (e.g. to provide blackout during rearing).

TABLE 18: WIND CHILL EFFECT AT DIFFERENT AIR


EQUIPMENT AND FACILITIES
TEMPERATURES

Air Velocity Est. Wind Chill Effect Est. Wind Chill Effect
ms-1 Air Temp < 32C Air Temp >32C Operation of an efficient parent stock unit requires careful
attention to equipment and facilities.
1.0 -2.0 -0.5
1.5 -4.0 -2.0
Perches
2.0 -5.5 -2.5
2.5 -6.0 -3.0
It is good management practice to install perches during
(Source: ADAS)
the rearing period in order to train and stimulate females
in nesting behaviour. Sufficient numbers of perches to
It is most important that control is infinitely variable provide 3cm/bird (sufficent for 20% of the birds to roost)
within the minimum/maximum range. should be placed in the females rearing pens from 28-42
days (4-6 weeks) of age.
- Heating equipment. Closed houses may require
supplementary heating to maintain house Feeding Space
temperature and to achieve the correct brooding
temperature (see Table 1, page 10). Feeding space per bird is determined by bird size and
requirements will increase as the bird becomes older.
- Cooling System. In hot climates, closed houses will (See Table 19). The efficiency of feeding is not only
require a cooling system. This is usually achieved dependent on space but also on distribution time. (See
by evaporation of water. Evaporative cooling is Control of Feeding to Manage Bodyweight, page 16).
employed when temperatures exceed 27C (81F)
with the objective of maintaining the acclimatised TABLE 19: FEEDING SPACE
bird at operating temperatures within the range of Females
25-32C (77-90F). The effectiveness of these Age Feeding Space
systems is dependent on relative humidity.
0-35 days (0-5 weeks) 5cm/bird
Evaporating cooling systems should not be used if 35-70 days (5-10 weeks) 10cm/bird
the relative humidity in the house will exceed 85 - 70 days (10 weeks)-depletion 15cm/bird
90%. Evaporative cooling systems commonly used
Males
in environmentally controlled houses are described
Age Feeding Space
in Table 17 (page 41), and illustrated in Diagrams
0-35 days (0-5 weeks) 5cm/bird
15 and 16, (page 41).
35-70 days (5-10 weeks) 10cm/bird
70-140 days (10-20 weeks) 15cm/bird
140-448 days (20-64 weeks) 18cm/bird

42
Separate Sex Feeding Equipment

Details of separate sex feeding equipment are provided in NUTRITION


Management into Lay, Section 2, page 26.

Drinking Space and Availability of Water


Objective

Extra drinker requirements for brooding are given in


To supply a range of balanced diets that meet the
Brooding (page 8). Drinker requirements are influenced
requirements of broiler parent stock at all stages of their
by ambient temperatures. General recommendations for
development and production, to maximise reproductive
drinking space are given in Table 20.
potential and chick quality.

In very high temperatures, extra drinking space may be Principles


required.
Maintaining good uniformity and keeping close to
TABLE 20: DRINKING SPACE bodyweight targets are essential factors in feeding parent
stock. Feed composition, feeding management and
Rearing Period Production Period
general management must be considered together when
Automatic circular
or trough drinkers 1.5cm/bird 2.5cm/bird
assessing parent stock performance. Over-feeding parent
Nipples one/8-12birds one/6-10birds stock early in the laying cycle will induce over-
Cups one/20-30birds one/15-20birds development of the ovaries. If egg production falls below
target, additional feed should not be given unless it seems
likely that energy is the limiting factor. Giving excess
A reserve supply of water is recommended in case of energy at any stage will damage production. If a nutrient
emergency. other than energy is limiting, and causing poor performance,
then the feed should be re-formulated. Economic analysis
Egg Handling and Storage of the whole broiler production cycle, shows that very
small improvements in breeder or chick performance will
Information about nests, automatic egg collection, usually cover the cost of changing nutrient levels in the
storage and handling is provided in Care of Hatching Eggs breeder feed. In general, a high quality nutrient provision
(page 56). for the breeder is economically justified.

Emergency Equipment
RAW MATERIALS
In planning a production unit, alarm systems to warn of
equipment failures should be included. Alarms should
Raw materials should be of good quality, with predictable
warn of power failure and temperature extremes. Back up
and uniform nutritional value across all consignments.
systems should be available where feasible (e.g. standby
Ingredients must be free of contamination by chemical
generators).
residues, microbial toxins and pathogens. They should be
as fresh as possible within practical limitations and should
be stored under good conditions. Storage facilities must
be protected from contamination by insects, rodents and,
in particular, wild birds; all of which are potential vectors
of disease.

Many feed ingredients are suitable for feeding to parent


stock. Supply and price will usually determine the
choice, however a few general guidelines may be given:

- When comparing cereal sources, maize has been


found to give performance advantages in the laying
period when compared to wheat. The reasons for
this are not entirely clear. A consistent finding is of
improved egg shell quality when the birds are fed on
maize-based feeds. This leads to improved yield of
hatching eggs, less bacterial contamination and
improved hatchability.

43
- Feed fats should be used at modest levels at all stages, decontaminated if total Salmonella control is required.
and at minimum levels unless good quality fat can be The most reliable method of decontaminating feed is
assured. The strategy of combining cheap, fibrous treatment with adequate heat for sufficient time.
feedstuffs with fat is not recommended at any stage. Commonly this is around 86C for 6 minutes for parent
stock feed and this will effectively reduce the total viable
- The effects of dietary fat on egg yolk lipid bacterial counts to less than 10 organisms per gram.
composition are complex. Fish oils have been Pelleting alone will not completely eliminate Salmonella
shown to depress performance. Products of fat from feed (although it may reduce the contamination
oxidation and trans fatty acids in vegetable oils are below detectable levels in tests of finished feed). Care
all undesirable in the nutrition of parent stock. must be taken not to re-contaminate feed. Critical control
points for the prevention of re-contamination include the
FEED PROCESSING cooler, storage and transportation of feed. Treatment with
organic acids is frequently necessary as a precaution.
Further information on heat treatment of feed for
Parent stock can be fed successfully on mash, crumbled or Salmonella control can be obtained from your local
pelleted feeds as long as good feeding management is technical manager.
practised in each case. (See Control of Feeding to Manage
Bodyweight, page 16). The starter feed should be a When feeds are heated, attention must be paid to vitamin
crumble and thereafter a coarse meal is probably the first loss and to the possible destruction of other feed
choice. This will give longer feeding times and better components e.g. enzymes. The vitamin levels suggested
opportunity for all individuals to feed. However, dusty in this manual will cover losses from conventional
ingredients and other factors may necessitate the use of an conditioning and pelleting of the feed. However, more
extruded product. Some management systems, such as severe heat treatment may increase the need for vitamin
floor feeding, require a high quality pellet. supplementation. There may also be changes in
nutritional value due to structural changes in the feed.
FEED HYGIENE
FINISHED FEED

All feed must be considered a potential source of


Salmonella infection for breeders and should be The time taken for feed to reach the birds after
manufacture should be as short as possible. This is

TABLE 21: MEETING THE SPECIFICATION


TARGET EFFECT OF EFFECT OF
UNDERSUPPLY OVERSUPPLY
Crude Protein % 15 Depends on amino acid levels but Increased egg size. Lower
generally decreased egg size and hatchability if above 17%.
number below 14%. Poor chick
quality from young flocks
Energy MJ/kg 11.5 Bodyweight, egg size and egg Excess leads to double yolks,
(kcal/kg) (2750) number will decrease unless feed oversized eggs and obesity. Late
quantity is adjusted. fertility suffers.

Available Lysine % 0.61 Decreased egg size and number if


more than 10% below target.
Available Methionine
& Cystine % 0.50

Linoleic Acid % 1.2 Decreased egg size below 0.9%. Oversized eggs.

Calcium % 2.8 Poor shell quality. Reduced availability of nutrients.

Available Phosphorus % 0.35 Below 0.25% may impair egg Poor shell quality
production and hatchability. Reduced
bone ash in chicks.

44
especially important under conditions of high temperature the grower feed an energy level of 11.5MJ/kg
and humidity, which will accelerate vitamin loss and (2750kcal/kg) metabolisable energy (ME) has been assumed
other changes. in this manual for the feed allowances recommended.

Quality control is essential. A programme of monitoring If a different feed energy level to 11.5MJ/kg
the quality of finished feed should be agreed with the (2750kcal/kg) ME is used, then feed intake
must be adjusted in proportion.
supplier. This should include sampling method, sampling
frequency, comparison with diet specification, tests for
contamination and storage of samples. At an environmental temperature of 20C (68F), an
energy supply of 1898-2013kJ/day (454-481 kcal/day) will
meet the energy requirement for maintenance, growth and
VARIATION IN DELIVERED FEED
egg production of female parents at peak production. This
is supplied by a feed allowance of 165-175g/bird/day
Unless nutrient content of the feed is specified clearly and when dietary energy level is 11.5MJ/kg (2750kcal/kg) (see
controlled vigorously, production will suffer. Variation Table 15, page 30). Adjustment of this energy supply will
around the target specification has a number of causes. be based largely on observation of the birds responses,
The energy and protein content of major ingredients, such especially in bodyweight and egg size.
as wheat, may vary considerably. To avoid undersupply
Additional feed should be given only when energy
of energy, nutritionists may use relatively safe matrix
appears to be the limiting factor. When a nutrient other
values for raw materials. This means that the average
than energy is limiting performance, the provision of
levels of nutrients delivered will be above specification
additional feed may lead to excess energy intake and
and energy may be oversupplied. The use of enzymes in
over-development of the ovaries. If energy supply is
parent stock feeds may further affect energy availability.
adequate and another nutrient is too low, then the feed
must be reformulated.
Table 21 (page 44) gives possible adverse effects of over-
and undersupply of nutrients. Practical difficulties in the
The choice of dietary energy level is primarily an
exact control of feed composition emphasise the
economic decision. However, constraints other than cost
importance of monitoring stock performance as described
are likely to be influential. The following points should be
throughout this manual.
considered in making this choice:

SUPPLY OF NUTRIENTS - Under circumstances of controlled feeding, the


optimum energy density will vary according to feed
ingredient costs. In theory, the optimum feed is the
In practice, the supply of nutrients to broiler parents is
one that is least-cost per calorie.
controlled through the composition of the feed and the
level of feed intake and these must always be considered
- The full range of energy levels may not be available in
together. As well as environmental factors, it is the daily
practice because of constraints on the use of fat. These
intake of energy, amino acids and other nutrients, that
constraints may include nutritional factors, as discussed
determine flock performance. These nutrient intakes
above or milling requirements for pellet quality.
should be considered when changes to either feed
composition or feed intake level are considered. - The choice of an energy level may be more widely
influenced by milling constraints. A feed is required
The required intake of nutrients by parent stock depends in a form that is consistent with good feeding
on many variables, some of which are not completely practice. Thus, in meal feeding systems,
understood. Guidelines can be given for energy, amino considerations of grist and dustiness may guide
acids and calcium. In this manual, recommendations are ingredient use and choice of energy level. In
given as dietary concentrations although the concept of pelleted products, the needs of pellet quality are
required nutrient intakes should be considered when often dominant.
making feeding decisions. This is especially important at
high temperatures. - If a different feed energy level to 11.5 MJ/kg (2750
kcal/kg) ME is used, the ratio of other nutrients to
Energy Supply energy should kept constant.

Guidelines for the setting of daily feed intakes and for Once these general factors affecting choice of energy level
adjusting them according to observations of bird performance are resolved, then the needs of individual flocks should be
are discussed in earlier sections of the manual. Except for considered:

45
- Energy contents of successive feeds should not vary Amino acid levels are listed in Appendices 3 and 4 (pages
widely. Changes of feed should be carefully controlled, 74 and 75) for those 7 amino acids which are most likely
especially when changing from pre-breeder to breeder to be limiting in practical feeds. Levels are expressed as
rations and between Breeder 1 and Breeder 2. both total and available amino acids. Formulating diets on
available amino acid levels gives better control over
- When economic least-cost feed formulation is used, variation in amino acid levels in finished feeds. Appendix
large changes in feed ingredients and in energy level 2 (page 73) lists availability coefficients for a small
between batches given to a single flock should be number of common feedstuffs. If a different energy level to
avoided. Changes from one economic situation to 11.5 MJ/kg (2750 kcal/kg) ME is used, ratio of recommended
another should be made as gradually as possible. amino acid to energy should be kept constant.

Guidelines for target daily allowances of available amino


Temperature and Energy Requirement acids are given in Table 22.

Environmental temperature is a major factor influencing TABLE 22: TARGET INTAKES OF AVAILABLE AMINO
energy requirement of the bird. The daily energy intake ACIDS AT PEAK PRODUCTION
given in Table 15 (page 30) is calculated for an operating i.e. Approximately 203-217 Days (29-31 Weeks) of Age,
FOR BREEDER HENS
temperature of 20C (68F). As operating temperature
varies, energy intakes should be adjusted as follows: Amino Acid Average Intake (mg/hen/day)
Arginine 1035
iso-Leucine 775
- Increased by 30 kcal (11g)/day if temperature is Lysine 1000
decreased from 20 to 15C (68 to 59F). Methionine 485
Methionine + Cystine 825
Threonine 705
- Reduced by 25 kcal (9g)/day if temperature is
Tryptophan 230
increased from 20 to 25C (68 to 77F).

These will support the target levels of bird performance as


- The influence of temperatures above 25C (77F) on
described in this manual. (See Performance Objectives).
energy requirement is not clear. At temperatures
Target intakes may be used to guide decisions about both
above 25C (77F): feed composition, feed amount
feed composition and feed intake. It must be stressed,
and environmental management should be
however, that they should always be considered at the
controlled to reduce heat stress.
same time as target energy intake.

Major Minerals
Protein and Amino Acids
Hens require 4-5g calcium per day from the day they lay
The level of protein in the feed must be sufficient to their first egg, to maintain calcium balance. This
ensure that requirements for all essential amino acids are requirement is satisfied by making the change from
met. The crude protein required for this will vary pre-breeder (1.5% calcium) to breeder (2.8% calcium)
according to the feed ingredients available. immediately prior to first egg.

In breeder feeds it is important not to exceed an upper The target intake of 4-5g calcium should be maintained
limit of crude protein because of the adverse effects of throughout the laying period. Some increase in egg shell
excess protein on egg size and hatchability. The upper calcification can be expected over this range.
limit will vary with breed type. As a practical guide, a The recommended strategy is to feed a constant and
maximum level of 16% is suggested for Ross parent stock. modest level of calcium in the feed (2.8%) and to use
variable quantities of calcium grit (i.e. limestone or oyster
In general, it is preferable, especially under conditions of shell) to provide the additional requirement.
heat stress, to feed small amounts of high quality protein
rather than large amounts of low quality protein. This will The principle reason for the use of calcium grit concerns
be influenced by feed ingredient availability and cost. the time of feeding. Most parent hens receive their feed
once per day and early in the day (i.e. in the light period).
The efficiency of utilisation of crystalline amino acids, The metabolic requirement for calcium is mainly in the
(e.g. methionine or lysine hydrochloride), may be reduced ensuing dark period when egg shell calcification occurs.
in broiler parents that are fed only once per day. The provision of some calcium, in a less rapidly available
form and in the afternoon (or later part of the light period),

46
will give improved shell quality. As the amount of feed Added Vitamins
will vary during the laying period, the amount of calcium
grit provided can be adjusted to give the required calcium Appropriate vitamin supplementation depends on many
intake. interacting factors and the correct course of action will
reflect local circumstances. A major source of variation in
Part of the benefit of separate calcium grit feeding can be supplementation for some vitamins is cereal type.
obtained by changing time of feeding or by incorporating Accordingly, separate recommendations have been made
a slowly soluble form of calcium in the feed. The for vitamin A, nicotinic acid, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine
incorporation of high levels of finely ground limestone is (B6) and biotin in maize- and wheat-based feeds.
undesirable because, if fed early, most of the calcium has
to be excreted via the kidney, with resultant stress. Factors that affect vitamin stability prior to feed
manufacture must be carefully evaluated and higher levels
Calcium tetany of broiler breeder hens is occasionally of vitamins used if necessary. The use of separate vitamin
seen with mortality appearing from 25 to 30 weeks of age. and mineral supplements and the exclusion of choline
Hens are found paralysed or dead in the nest in the chloride from the supplements are strongly recommended,
morning with active ovaries and an egg in the shell gland except where the risk of vitamin loss is minimal and well
with a partially formed shell. No other pathology may be controlled. The recommendation for choline is given as a
observed on post mortem. The occurrence of this minimum specification in the complete feed and not
condition is rare when the recommendations in the quoted as a component of the premix.
manual concerning feeding of calcium are followed.
Affected flocks can be treated. Vitamin losses during feed manufacture require
special attention when broiler breeder feeds
The correct phosphorus level in breeder feeds is undergo heat treatment for reasons of
biosecurity.
determined by a balance of influences. High levels of
phosphorus have been used as part of the prevention and
control of Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) during early lay. Many circumstances, (e.g. stress, occurrence of disease),
SDS of broiler breeders occurs from 25 to 30 weeks of age may make birds responsive to vitamin levels higher than
and is mortality with birds suddenly dying in the breeder those recommended in Appendices 3 and 4 (pages 74
house. At post mortem there is an enlarged flaccid heart, and 75). Increases in the levels of vitamins supplied, in
congested lungs and pericardium in some birds. the feed or via the water, must be based on local
However high levels of phosphorus throughout lay will knowledge and experience. In general, the longer-term
reduce shell thickness and have adverse effects on strategy should be to remove or reduce any stress factors,
hatchery performance. rather than to depend on permanent use of excessive
vitamin supplementation.
Ross stock has a low susceptibility to SDS therefore the
effects on shell thickness are given priority in setting Vitamin E is one of the most expensive vitamins and it has
available phosphorus levels. The recommendation is many biological functions. The basic requirement of
0.40% available phosphorus in the pre-breeder feed and broiler parent stock for vitamin E is 10-15iu/kg. The need
0.35% available phosphorus in the breeder feed. for extra supplementation will depend on the level and
Recommendations are not made for total phosphorus, as type of fat in the diet, on the level of selenium and on the
this will depend on the feedstuffs in use. presence of pro- and anti-oxidants. Heat treatment of
breeder feeds results in the destruction of 20-30% of
SDS usually respond to potassium supplementation in the vitamin E.
drinking water and it might be necessary to continue with
0.40% available phosphorus in the feed until about 35 The general recommendation, for breeder feeds, is to use
weeks of age, but the higher level should not be 100iu vitamin E/kg feed, to ensure a level of 200g/g
continued throughout lay. tocopherol in the yolk. This level of provision is believed
to supply good reserves to the hatched chick.
Trace Minerals
Vitamin E is important in the enhancement of the immune
Conventional levels of supplementation are recommended system of both breeder and offspring, but consideration of
for these nutrients. Care should be taken to ensure that this does not lead to a clear practical recommendation.
suitable forms of each mineral are included in the premix. Levels up to 300iu/kg have been suggested for this
Organic trace elements have in general a higher purpose, but these are likely to be too expensive for
availability. Some anions, especially chloride, should be routine use in healthy flocks. There may be situations (i.e.
taken into account when considering the electrolyte disease outbreaks), in which higher than recommended
balance of the feed. levels of vitamin E are beneficial.

47
Vitamin C at 150 mg/kg feed may reduce the effects of Energy levels should be determined by prevailing
heat stress. Vitamin C is unstable at high temperatures and economic circumstances. In the growing period, feed
losses due to heat treatment should be accounted for. allocations are low. Management and flock uniformity
may be enhanced by the use of lower energy levels. The
Appendix 9 (page 81) shows what problems could be recommended energy level is 11MJ/kg (2630kcal/kg)
caused by individual vitamin deficiencies. although local circumstances will determine the ME
actually used.
FEEDING PROGRAMMES AND DIET
SPECIFICATIONS
Transition to Sexual Maturity

The principles of growing broiler parent hens to maturity The use of a pre-breeder feed from 105 days (15 weeks)
and maintaining production during lay are described in of age is strongly recommended. This will provide
Sections 1,2 and 3. Feeds should be designed to fulfil sufficient amino acids and other nutrients for satisfactory
these principles, taking the recommendations given in the development of reproductive tissues. Additional calcium
manual as a starting point and making adjustments for may also be provided to ensure maximum development of
local circumstances, both nutritional and economic. medullary bone. Provision of extra vitamins will
Appendices 3 and 4 (pages 74 and 75) show maximise levels in body tissues before egg production
recommended nutrient specifications for Ross Parent Stock. commences. Energy level in the pre-breeder feed should
be similar to that in the breeder feed.
Target bodyweights must be attained throughout the life of
broiler parents. This ensures correct growth and Feeds should be formulated to meet nutrient specifications
development and allows the birds to achieve uniform and and be consistent over time. Sudden changes in feed
coordinated maturity of both sexes. ingredients and changes in other characteristics that may
reduce feed intake, even transiently, should be avoided.
Starter Period This is especially important during the pre-breeder period.
It is convenient for the same vitamin/mineral supplement
Specifications for Starter-1 and Starter-2 feeds are set up to level to be used in the pre-breeder as in the breeder diet.
provide assurance that the target bodyweights discussed in
Section 1 (page 5) are fully met. Starter-1 diets must The change of feed e.g from grower to pre-
stimulate appetite, promote early growth, physiological breeder, should not correspond with any
development and uniformity. movement of stock between houses or other
major management events such as vaccination.
Starter-1 should normally be fed to exceed target
bodyweight by 14 and 21 days (2 and 3 weeks). After
this, Starter-2 should be phased in. The change from The Laying Stage
Starter-1 to Starter-2 may coincide with a change from
crumbles to pellets. Starter-1 feed should be provided The recommendations for feed composition given in
preferably as a sieved crumb. Appendix 4, (page 75) will support target levels of
production in well-reared and uniform flocks.
During the change from Starter-1 to Starter-2, bodyweight Performance during the laying stage is often influenced by
should be monitored carefully to safeguard against checks feeding and management applied at an earlier stage.
in growth. This is especially important when the change Increasing feed allowances because of poor production in
involves a different form of feed. the laying period should only be undertaken with a clear
understanding of the nutritional status of the flock.
If problems are consistently experienced in achieving
target bodyweights by 28 days (4 weeks), then the use of a Two Stage Breeder Feeds
broiler starter ration (minus coccidiostat) should be
considered. In most flocks, the use of more than one breeder feed will
not be necessary. The slightly reduced daily requirements
Growing Period of amino acids are normally fully covered by the
withdrawal of feed after peak production and therefore the
During the growing period, daily growth rates are low and level of amino acids in the feed should not be decreased.
nutrient requirements, when expressed as daily intakes, Calcium requirement will increase in older birds. This
are not very high. However, it is very important to should be satisfied by using calcium grit and not by
maintain good feed quality in this period and to avoid the providing additional calcium in the feed. Phase feeding of
use of poor quality ingredients.

48
phosphorus may be required if higher levels are used in
SCRATCH FEEDING
the earlier stages of lay to control SDS. Otherwise,
available phosphorus levels should be kept at the low,
recommended level throughout lay. A scratch feed of whole, hard grain or pellets has a
number of benefits for the birds and for litter quality. The
If egg weight becomes too high, reductions in linoleic scratch feed should be limited to 0.5kg(1lb)/100/birds/day
acid and perhaps, some amino acid levels may be and it should be taken into account when calculating feed
indicated. However, oversize eggs are likely to be a result allowances. The feed used for scratch feeding should be
of overfeeding at some stage of the laying cycle and it is subject to the same biosecurity precautions as the main feed.
strongly recommended that this is avoided.

WATER MANAGEMENT

NUTRITION OF MALES
Water requirements vary because of factors such as diet,
temperature, humidity etc. and therefore cannot be
The use of specific male rations in the laying period has precisely defined. Consumption should be recorded
been shown to be beneficial to the maintenance of male daily. Unusual or extreme variations can indicate
physiological condition and to male fertility. possible health problems, which must then be fully
investigated.
However, the very widespread practice of giving males
the same feed as females indicates that using a single feed Water should be delivered to parent stock at a
for both sexes is not necessarily harmful to male temperature of 10-12C (50-54F). Very cold or very
performance. This practice avoids the extra cost and warm (30C/86F) water will reduce intake. In hot
inconvenience of the separate manufacture, quality weather, flushing the water lines ensures that the water is
control and storage of two feeds. as cool as possible.

Excessive intakes of protein and calcium by males are of Water requirement will increase by approximately 6.5%
greatest concern. If feed intakes which are higher than per 1C rise in the ambient temperature over 21C (70F).
normal are used to maintain bodyweight and condition Over consumption of water can occur in growing birds
then the advantage of using a separate feed may be with potentially large appetites particularly in the period
enhanced. 42-154 days (6-22 weeks).

The nutrient range for a feed specific to adult parent stock When over consumption occurs, water consumption
males is shown in Table 23. should be regulated to prevent stress and mortality. Water
should be freely available for a continuous period equal to
half of the period of daylight starting 15 minutes before
TABLE 23: FEED COMPOSITION FOR
feed has been distributed. This procedure can be applied
ADULT MALES
during the period from 5 weeks to the production of the
Crude protein % 12-14 first egg, after which the drinking period should be
Energy MJ/kg (kcal/kg) 11.0-11.7 (2630-2800) increased daily to be ad libitum by 5% production.
Lysine % (total) 0.45-0.55
Methionine + Cystine % (total) 0.38-0.46
Calcium % 0.8-1.2
available Phosphorus % 0.3-0.4
Linoleic acid % 0.8-1.2

INSOLUBLE GRIT

It is good management practice to offer 5mm granite grit


from 42 days (6 weeks) of age at a rate of 0.5kg (1lb) /100
birds/month. This assists in the breakdown of litter
material or feathers which birds may consume. Impaction
problems could result from the ingestion of such material
without the presence of insoluble grit in the gizzard.

49
Inappropriate lighting programmes will result
LIGHTING in over- or under-stimulation of the flock.

There are 3 possible combinations of lighting environment


Objective that may arise throughout the world due to different types
of facilities being used in the rearing and production
To utilise the birds responses to daylength and light periods:
intensity so that sexual maturity and subsequent
reproductive performance may be stimulated and Situation 1: Controlled environment rearing - Controlled
controlled to achieve optimum effect. environment laying.

Principles Situation 2: Controlled Environment /Blackout rearing


Open house laying.
Achieving high levels of performance from Ross parent
stock depends upon the successful combination of Situation 3: Open house rearing Open house laying.
several interrelated management techniques during the
rearing period. Daylength and light intensity during the
birds life have a key role in the development of the
SITUATION 1
reproductive system and both must be considered when CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT REARING
establishing effective lighting patterns. It is the difference - CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT LAYING
in daylength and light intensity between the rearing
environment and the laying environment that controls
and stimulates ovarian and testicular development. Both the rearing and laying houses should be light-
Responses to increases in daylength and light intensity proofed and all light supplied to the birds should be from
are dependent on achieving the correct rearing an artificial source. Satisfactory results from these systems
bodyweight profile, good flock uniformity and the are dependent on the degree of light proofing. Care
appropriate nutritional input. should be taken to avoid light seepage through air inlets,
fan housings, door frames etc.

TABLE 24: LIGHTING PROGRAMMES SITUATION 1

AGE HOURS OF LIGHT (CV% AT 133DAYS) LIGHT INTENSITY


Days Weeks 8 - 10% Above 10% Lux
1 23 23
80-100 lux
2 23 23
in brooding area
3 19 19
10-20 lux
4 16 16
in house
5 14 14
6 12 12 30-60 lux
7 11 11 in brooding area
8 10 10 10-20 lux
9 9 9 in house
**10-139 8 8 *10-20 lux
140 20 11 8
147 21 12 12
154 22 12 12
161 23 13 13 60 lux target
168 24 13 13 30-60 lux
175 25 14 14 in house
182 26 14 14
189 27 15 15

*If feather pecking occurs light intensity may be reduced.


**Constant daylength should be achieved by 21 days (week 3) at latest.
Further stimulation may be required beyond 15 hours daylength if production levels are
not increasing satisfactorily. Two further increases of half an hour should be sufficient.
There is generally no benefit in exceeding a daylength of 16 hours.

50
In practical terms this means that a light intensity of less Key Points:
than 0.4 lux (0.04 foot candles) should be achieved during
the dark period. Regular tests should be carried out to Maximise response to increases in daylength and
check the efficiency of the light proofing. light intensity by achieving the correct rearing
bodyweight profile, good flock uniformity and
Birds are very sensitive to daylength. appropriate nutritional input.
Any accidental seepage of light should be
corrected immediately to maintain control of Ensure that houses are light-proofed to an intensity
daylength. of less than 0.4 lux (0.04 foot candles) during dark
periods.
The birds must be on a constant daylength of between 8
and 9 hours by 21 days (3 weeks) of age at the latest. Provide birds with a constant daylength by 21 days
Light intensity should be in the range 10-20 lux (0.9-1.8 (3 weeks) at the latest.
foot candles) but can be reduced further if bird welfare is
compromised because of pecking and cannibalism. Rear birds on an intensity of 10-20 lux (0.9-1.8 foot
Daylength should not be increased during the remainder candles).
of the rearing period i.e. to 140 days (20 weeks).
Birds do not respond to a daylength of more than
The age of the first pre-lay, light increase will be 16 hours.
dependent on the flock uniformity at 133 days (19 weeks).
A later, more gradual light stimulation will be necessary Ensure males and females are synchronised in terms
with uneven flocks, so as to avoid over-stimulation of of sexual maturity by rearing them on the same
lightweight or heavy birds, thus avoiding problems such lighting programme.
as broodiness and prolapse. Recommended light increases
are illustrated in Table 24 (page 50) and Table 25. SITUATION 2
CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT/
Problems such as broodiness and prolapse may BLACKOUT REARING
result from overstimulation of - OPEN HOUSE LAYING
uneven flocks.

Controlled environment housing during rearing permits


TABLE 25: UNIFORMITY IN RELATION TO AGE greater control over daylength whilst allowing the use of
AT FIRST LIGHT INCREASE open-sided housing during lay. Control of lighting in
UNIFORMITY AT 133 DAYS (19 WEEKS) AGE AT FIRST rearing also resolves production problems associated with
(COEFFICIENT OF VARIATION %) LIGHT INCREASE out-of-season flocks, (i.e. delay in egg production, high
8-10% 20 weeks female bodyweight and poor uniformity, high feed
above 10% 21 weeks consumption). When blackout systems are used for in-
season flocks, care should be taken to avoid over-
stimulation when the birds are transferred to open houses.
Males reared to the Ross profile and lighting programme
Increased frequency of abnormal eggs, prolapse,
will not require a daylength or intensity increase ahead of
broodiness, egg peritonitis etc can be avoided by
the females. Growing to their target bodyweight profile
following the lighting programmes shown in Table 26,
with good uniformity will ensure synchronisation of
(page 52) and ensuring birds are at the correct weight-for-
sexual maturity. (See Management into Lay, Section 2,
age and are of good uniformity.
page 23).

Light Intensity Problems such as broodiness and prolapse may


result from over-stimulation of uneven flocks.

It is vital that light intensity and daylength are increased


together. It is the combination of increasing daylength Birds must be on constant daylength by 21 days (3 weeks)
and light intensity that stimulates sexual maturity and at the latest and reared on 10-20 lux (0.9-1.8 foot
subsequent laying performance. Target light intensity in candles). Constant daylength should be either 8 or 9 hours
the laying house should be 60 lux (5.6 foot candles) at depending on the stimulation to be received when the
bird height but a range of 30-60 lux (2.8-5.6 foot candles) flock is moved into open-sided laying houses. In latitudes
within the house is acceptable. Egg numbers and male where problems associated with over-stimulation (i.e.
activity may be improved by increasing light intensity in prolapse, broodiness or high pre-peak mortality) persist, it
the laying house to 100-150 lux (9.3-14.0 foot candles). may be necessary to rear on a constant daylength of 10
hours. (See Table 26, page 52).

51
TABLE 26: LIGHTING PROGRAMMES SITUATION 2

NATURAL DAYLENGTH LIGHT INTENSITY


AT 147 DAYS (Hours) 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 LUX
BROODING
DAYLENGTH (Hours)
AGE: Days
1 23 23 23 23 23 23 23
80-100 lux
2 23 23 23 23 23 23 23
(in brooding area)
3 19 19 19 19 19 19 19
10-20 lux
4 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 (in house)
5 14 14 14 14 14 14 14
6 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 60-80 lux
7 11 11 11 11 11 11 11 (in brooding area)
8 10 10 10 10 10 10 11 10-20 lux (in
9 9 9 9 9 10 10 10 house)

REARING DAYLENGTH)
**10-146 DAYS (Hours) 8 8 8 8 9 9 9 *10-20 lux
LAYING
DAYLENGTH (Hours)
AGE:
Days Weeks
147 21 11 11 11 12 13 14 15
154 22 13 13 13 13 13 14 15
161 23 13 13 13 13 14 15 15 Artificial Lights
168 24 15 15 15 15 15 15 16 60 lux target
175 25 15 15 15 15 15 16 16 30-60 lux
182 26 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 (in house)

189 27 16 16 16 16 16 16 16
196 28 16 16 16 16 16 16 16
e.g. where daylength at 147 days (21 weeks) was 12 hours, rearing daylength would be 8 hours constant day from 10 days to
146 days. At 147 days (21 weeks) daylength would be increased to 12 hours (all natural light). Subsequent increases in
daylength would be a combination of artificial and natural light depending on the season.

Further stimulation may be required beyond 16 hours if production levels are not increasing satisfactorily. There is generally
no benefit in exceeding a daylength of 17 hours.

** Constant daylength should be achieved by 21 days (3 weeks) at latest.


* If feather pecking occurs light intensity may be reduced.

The first pre-lay light increase should be given at 147 days Key Points:
(21 weeks). This is the age at which either the flock
should be transferred to open laying houses (i.e. rear and Maximise response to increases in daylength and
move), or the time when the blackout curtains should be light intensity by achieving the correct rearing
opened (i.e. day old to depletion). Target light intensity of bodyweight profile, good flock uniformity and
the artificial light used during production should be 60 lux appropriate nutritional input.
( 5.6 foot candles) but a range of 30-60 lux (2.8-5.6 foot
candles) within the house is acceptable. Egg numbers and
Ensure that rearing houses are light-proofed to an
intensity of less than 0.4 lux (0.04 foot candles)
male activity may be improved by increasing artificial
during dark periods.
light intensity to 100 lux (9.3 foot candles).
Rear birds on an intensity of 10-20 lux (0.9-1.8
foot-candles).

Birds do not respond to a daylength of more than


17 hours.

Ensure males and females are synchronised in terms


of sexual maturity by rearing them on the same
lighting programme.

52
DIAGRAM 17: PATTERNS OF NATURAL DAYLENGTH IN THE REARING PERIOD -
NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE

Artificial Lights and Light Intensity


SITUATION 3
OPEN HOUSE REARING
- OPEN HOUSE LAYING It is of great importance that the light intensity provided by
the artificial lighting system is sufficient to ensure
Where open-sided houses are used, both in rearing and stimulation. The target light intensity is 60 lux ( 5.6 foot
production, the programme adopted must allow for candles) but a range of 30-60 lux (2.8-5.6 foot candles) in
seasonal changes in natural daylight hours and light the house is acceptable. Egg numbers and male activity
intensity. In open house rearing there are 4 situations that may be improved by increasing artificial light intensity in
can arise: the layer house to 100 lux (9.3 foot candles). In periods of
the year when flocks have been reared in high intensity
- Natural light increasing from 0 154 days natural light, high levels of artificial light in the laying
(0-22 weeks). house are essential to ensure satisfactory performance
- Natural light increasing then decreasing from levels. Seasonal effects are the result not only of changing
0 154 days (0-22 weeks). patterns of natural light during rearing, but also seasonal
- Natural light decreasing from 0 154 days changes in light intensity.
(0-22 weeks).
- Natural light decreasing then increasing from Birds may not respond to low intensity artificial
0 154 days (0-22 weeks). light stimulation when reared on high intensity
natural daylight.

These changes in natural daylength patterns are illustrated


in Diagram 17. For each month of placement, different In open-sided houses, seasonal effects can be significantly
shading/colours indicate the pattern of increasing or reduced if the level of light intensity entering the house
decreasing hours of daylight during rearing. can be restricted. The use of black plastic horticultural
netting has proved successful. This netting reduces the
e.g. A flock placed at the start of October (Northern intensity of light entering the house, whilst allowing
Hemisphere) or April (Southern Hemisphere) will have adequate ventilation. The netting is removed at the time
decreasing natural daylight up to 10-12 weeks, then of the first production light increase. The technique of
increasing natural daylight. painting the inside of rearing houses with black paint also
produces successful results provided the stock are
The basic principle behind the lighting programmes given subsequently moved on to laying houses. Any anticipated
in Diagram 18 (page 54) is the use of artificial light to problems associated with high internal house
counteract the influence of naturally occurring changes in temperatures can be countered by painting the roofs white
daylength. The objective is to control the onset of lay on the outside.
throughout the year and thus try to avoid large
fluctuations in age at first egg.

53
DIAGRAM 18: LIGHTING PROGRAMMES - SITUATION 3

North SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN JULY AUG
Hatch
HEMISPHERE
Date
South MAR APR MAY JUN JULY AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC JAN FEB

IN SEASON OUT OF SEASON

SUPPLEMENT NATURAL DAYLIGHT


Daylength TO PROVIDE: DAY 1 23 HOURS
0-3 Days DAY 2 23 HOURS
DAY 3 19 HOURS

REDUCE TO REDUCE TO
Daylength
NATURAL NATURAL
4-10** Days
DAYLIGHT DAYLIGHT

NATURAL
DAYLIGHT TO NATURAL
Daylength NATURAL 154 DAYS DAYLIGHT
10 Days OR NATURAL TO 84 DAYS
Onwards DAYLIGHT DAYLIGHT THEN HOLD
TO 84 DAYS THEN CONSTANT
HOLD CONSTANT

Age at First
Pre- Lay 154 DAYS 154 DAYS
Increase

AGE - DAYS INCREASE - HOURS AGE - DAYS INCREASE - HOURS


154 2 - 3* 154 3 - 4*
168 1 168 1
Light
182 1 182 1
Increases
in lay
MAXIMUM 17HRS MAXIMUM 17HRS

BY 182 DAYS BY 182 DAYS

* The size of the first light increase and subsequent number of increments will depend on the difference between the
rearing daylength (10-154 days) and 17/18 hours. The difference will vary with season and latitude.
** Constant daylength should be achieved by 21 days (3 weeks) at latest.

54
and September to February in the Southern Hemisphere.
SEASONAL VARIATIONS
Out-of-season flocks will come into production later and
Seasonal changes are gradual and a precise definition of tend to have lower peak and less predictable performance
whether certain months of the year are in, or out of throughout lay than in-season flocks. To counteract these
season, is difficult to establish. Some months are neither effects it is necessary to grow the females to the heavier
one nor the other. Latitude will also influence seasonal out-of-season bodyweight. Female parents are grown on
effects. (See Diagram 19). In order to simplify a complex a restricted growth profile to improve overall performance
picture, the months in which the birds are placed are and to delay maturity. Thus by easing the degree of
classified as in, or out of season in Table 27. restriction for out-of-season flocks, maturity can be
advanced. (See Performance Objectives). First light
Out-of-season Flocks increase should be given at 154 days (22 weeks). The size
of the first light increase should be 3 to 4 hours.
The effect of natural daylight patterns and light intensity
will be to retard the age of first egg in flocks hatched In-season Flocks
between March and August in the Northern Hemisphere,
In-season flocks should be grown to the target bodyweight
profile and the first light increase given at 154 days
TABLE 27: CLASSIFICATION OF MONTHS OF
PLACEMENT AS IN OR OUT OF SEASON (22 weeks). (See Diagram 18, page 54).

IN SEASON OUT OF SEASON


Key Points
N.H. S.H. N.H. S.H.
September March March September Maximise response to increases in daylength and
October April April October light intensity by achieving the correct rearing
November May May November bodyweight profile, good flock uniformity and
December June June December appropriate nutritional input.


January * July * July * January *
February * August * August * February*
Birds do not respond to a daylength of more than
17 hours.
N.H. - Northern Hemisphere
S.H. - Southern Hemisphere
Ensure males and females are synchronised in terms
* These 4 months are difficult to define. The degree of seasonal effect in of sexual maturity by rearing them on the same
these months will depend on latitude. Slight variations in lighting
programmes and bodyweight may be necessary. These should be lighting programme.
discussed with the Aviagen Technical Service Manager.

DIAGRAM 19: NATURAL DAYLENGTH HOURS AT LATITUDE 10, 30 NORTH OR SOUTH

30 N/S
17 10 N/S

16

15

14
Daylength (hours)

13

12

11

10

7
NORTHERN
HEMISPHERE
SOUTHERN
HEMISPHERE

Months

55
more than 45cm (18in) above the litter. The bottom tier
CARE OF alighting rail should extend to a minimum of 10cm (4in)
HATCHING EGGS beyond the second tier rail.

Nest design should incorporate removable floors and a


front lip of sufficient height to retain nesting material.
Objective

Manual Collection
To provide and maintain environmental conditions which
will ensure that the hatchability potential of the eggs is Eggs must be collected frequently so that they may be
maintained from the time of lay until hatching. disinfected and cooled as soon as possible after lay.
Frequent collections reduce accidental damage to eggs in
Principles the nest box caused by hens. Manual collections should
be made at least 4 times per day, timed so that there are
The production of good quality day old chicks from never more than 30% of the total eggs in any one collection.
hatching eggs demands effective and frequent egg Exact timings required will depend on when the lights are
collections, appropriate and timely disinfection, cooling, switched on each morning and time of feeding. Eggs
storage and incubation of the eggs. Each of these should be collected on to clean setter trays or clean fibre
processes has to be carried out so that the development of Keyes trays, preferably the former. Collection into baskets
the embryo is not damaged. The best hatchability of is not recommended because of the increased possibility of
fertile eggs is achieved when the eggs are kept in clean damage and transfer of dirt. Floor and dirty eggs must be
conditions and at the correct temperature and humidity collected and stored separately from clean eggs. Dirty
from the time they are laid until when they are hatched. eggs should not be incubated and should be handled and
stored separately.
EGG COLLECTION AND HYGIENE
Automatic Egg Collection

Nests Automatic nests (i.e. autonests) should be cleared at least


3 times per day. The environment on the belt is unlikely
Naturally clean eggs maintain a greater potential to be suitable for holding eggs for any length of time
hatchability and chick quality than soiled or contaminated depending on the layout the belts may be either very
eggs, regardless of the disinfection procedures used on the warm (above physiological zero) or cold (which
shell surface. Hens are more likely to use nests that satisfy encourages condensation on the egg surface). Tunnel
the requirements of their natural laying behaviour (i.e. systems, where the eggs are held for up to 24 hours in
clean, dry, dimly lit and, secluded), and nest boxes should litter, are not recommended because of the risk of high
be of appropriate design. Nest boxes should be located levels of contamination from the litter material. Nest
where the birds will use them and should be at a height litter, belts and nest pads should all be kept clean and a
where they will not become contaminated with floor litter, regular routine of cleaning should be practised.
or provide a refuge for females avoiding the males. Birds
should be trained to use the nests prior to lay. Provision Where conveyers are used to carry eggs between
of perches during rearing assists in this training. (See buildings to a central packing station, the environment
Equipment and Facilities, page 42). surrounding the conveyor should be kept at a suitable
temperature for egg holding, ideally similar to the egg
Nest litter or liners must be clean and dry. Floor litter also packing room. The conveyors must be monitored daily for
should be clean and dry so that the hens feet are clean build up of dirt, and points where eggs are being damaged.
before entering the nest.
When belt cleaners/sanitisers are installed,
care must be taken to ensure that the belt is
Hens will lay eggs on the floor if they find nests dried before it comes into contact with eggs.
unattractive or if there are too few nests per
female. Autonests will reduce the number of staff required to collect
eggs. As with any automated system, effectiveness should be
Nest Box Design: Nest boxes are usually assembled in carefully monitored. Routines should be established to ensure
2- or 3-tier units allowing 1 nest/4 birds. The nest that the maximum number of eggs are laid in the nests. The
dimensions should be approximately 30cm (12in) wide x equipment must be maintained to minimise losses due to
35cm (14in) deep x 25cm (10in) high. The design should mechanical damage of eggs during collection and grading.
allow for good ventilation with freedom from draughts. Manufacturers should be consulted for details of house
The alighting rail for the lower tier of nests should not be design and nest layout.

56
Autonests require a sloping, slatted area extending to shells must not become wet after disinfection as this
approximately 100-125cm (40-50in) which should be 40- allows access through the shell by airborne bacteria.
50cm (16-20in) above litter height at the front edge. Light Regular fogging of the egg storage area with an approved
intensity must be a minimum of 60 lux (5.5 foot candles) in disinfectant will depress the bacterial load, but must be
houses equipped with automatic egg collection systems. undertaken in such a way as to avoid wetting the eggs.

Floor eggs TABLE 28: RELATIVE EFFECTIVENESS OF


DISINFECTION PROCEDURES
Numbers of floor eggs can be reduced by:
FORMALIN IN LINE UV
6
WASHER DIPPING LIGHT
- Introducing perches from 42 days (6 weeks).
Kills bacteria 3
- Incorporating a suitable alighting rail in nest box 1 2
Safe for embryo
design.
Safe for operator
- Ensuring that males and females reach sexual
No cuticle damage 4
maturity at the same time.
Egg shell dry
- Uniform distribution of light of greater than 60 lux Temperature extremes 5
(5.6 foot candles).
- Correct feeder space for females i.e. minimum - Good
15cm/female. - Acceptable
- Lighting the birds in synchrony with achievement of - Poor
target bodyweight gains.
- Effective management of early mating ratios. Superscripts 1-6
Overmating can predispose floor egg laying.
(1) Cannot be used between 12-96 hours of incubation.
- Set feeding times to avoid the peak of egg laying
(2) High embryo mortality associated with bacterial rots
activity. Feeding time should be either within 30
in older flocks.
minutes of lights on or 5-6 hours after lights on to
(3) Usage and solution changes require careful
prevent birds from feeding when most eggs are
monitoring.
likely to be laid.
(4) Depends on chemical used. Quaternary ammonium
products are usually acceptable, hydrogen peroxide
is not.
(5) Tank temperature and dip duration require careful
DISINFECTION OF monitoring.
HATCHING EGGS (6) Ultraviolet light does not destroy Staphylococcus
effectively. Effectiveness is improved when combined
with fumigation at some point prior to setting.
As the egg cools, the contents contract and any bacteria
on the shell will be drawn into the egg through the pores. Safety in each case is dependent on appropriate
Eggs should be disinfected, therefore, immediately after protective clothing being worn.
collection, whilst still warm. The disinfection process must
not cause the egg to cool because this can draw bacteria
into the egg. Different methods are available for hatching
egg disinfection. Disinfected eggs are frequently recontaminated
by:
Formalin fumigation remains the preferred method, but in
many cases does not satisfy local regulations for operator - Dirty water in humidifier.
- Dirty fan blades, grilles and air inlets for
safety.
coolers.
- Airborne dust drawn from egg handling area
Table 28 summarises the effectiveness of different
into storage area.
methods of disinfection. - Failure to close doors to egg store.

Hygienic conditions must be maintained throughout all


egg handling procedures. Egg storage areas and vehicles
used for transport must be kept clean at all times and
disinfected regularly. Disinfected eggs are very vulnerable
to bacterial recontamination if egg stores are not subjected
to an effective, ongoing sanitisation programme. Egg

57
Stores must be well insulated and lined with an
EGG COOLING
impervious material, which can be easily sanitised. The
area must be large enough to accommodate the
In the developing embryo, cell division slows down below anticipated volumes of eggs and to meet the egg spacing
26C (79F) and stops completely at 21C (70F). This requirements. The ceiling of the store should be
point is called Physiological Zero. If cell division approximately 1.5m (5ft) above the stored eggs.
continues beyond approximately 5 hours after lay then the
egg is less likely to hatch as a result of increased early It is most important that once established, temperatures
embryonic death. and humidity are maintained at steady levels throughout.

Hatchability problems often occur due to


Procedures should be established to ensure uniform
variation in temperature and humidity during
cooling of eggs to 20-21C (68-70F) within 4 hours from
egg collection and storage. Care should be
the time of collection from the nest. Frequent egg
taken to ensure that storage temperature and
collection will allow eggs to reach Physiological Zero at humidity are maintained during transfer of eggs
similar stages of embryonic development. from farm through to hatchery.

The effectiveness of the cooling process should be


monitored for each egg store. The cooling profile of eggs
INCUBATION
as they pass through the process can be measured using
miniature temperature loggers. This will allow
identification of problem areas. Pre-warming

EGG STORAGE Before eggs are set, they should be allowed to pre-warm.
This can be achieved by placing trolleys in the setter room
for 6-8 hours at around 23C (73F). Pre-warming in the
It is most important that correct temperature and humidity, setter can be advantageous. It results in a more gradual
once established, do not fluctuate during storage. raising of temperature which helps to reduce risk of
Throughout the whole egg handling process, free air condensation.
movement around and between all eggs is of major
importance. Eggs should not be stacked in densely Hatcher Hygiene
packed groups because this prevents air movement.
Ventilation and air conditioning systems should circulate Conditions within the hatcher are ideal for the
large volumes of air slowly within the egg store. multiplication of pathogenic micro-organisms. Chicks can
Temperature variation will result from fast moving jet become infected with Staphylococcus aureus through the
streams and obstructions to air flow. lungs, which can result in up to 50% of infected birds
developing Femoral Head Necrosis (FHN).
Correct temperature and humidity during transport and
storage are important in achieving maximum hatchability. The incubation of floor eggs increases the bacterial load
The appropriate conditions are determined by the inside the hatcher. The chances of cross-infection are
expected storage time as shown in Table 29. greatly increased when floor eggs are set in the same
machines as nest eggs. If floor eggs must be incubated,
TABLE 29: TEMPERATURE AND HUMIDITY IN then dedicated setters and hatchers should be used.
RELATION TO STORAGE TIME
DAYS TEMPERATURE RELATIVE HUMIDITY
C F % Contaminated hatch debris and chick fluff are
1-3 19 66 70-75 major sources of cross-infection in the
hatchery.
>4 16-18 61-65 70-75

Lower temperatures for longer storage help to maintain Cross-infection can be reduced by formaldehyde
internal egg quality. fumigation in the hatchers when the eggs are just starting
to pip. (See Table 30, page 59).
Correct movement of air as described above is essential to
achieve and maintain the humidity and temperature with
minimal variation (1C) throughout the entire storage
area and period. This can only be achieved if
heater/cooler equipment and humidifier units are of
adequate capacity.

58
quality of the survivors and may perform less well in the
TABLE 30: GUIDELINES FOR FUMIGATION
IN THE HATCHER broiler house. Incubation programmes should be set up to
avoid a rising temperature in the second half of
Duration from pipping to 6 hours before chick
incubation, and also to maintain as even as possible a
removal
temperature throughout the incubator.
Solutions 37% formaldehyde solution diluted 1:1
with water (final concentration 17-18%
Optimum performance in the hatchery requires action to
formaldehyde)
be taken on the basis of detailed observation and
Volumes 60ml solution/m3 of hatcher, in pans
measurement of hatchability, embryonic losses and egg
with a surface area of 50cm2/m3
weight loss. Such measurements should be included in
N.B. All local regulations regarding safe use of the Quality Control Programme for the hatchery.
formaldehyde in the workplace must be followed
Information available at the time of a poor hatch is
unlikely to be adequate to carry out the type of detailed
A C H I E V I N G O P T I M U M PERFORMANCE investigation required to identify the cause of the problem.
IN THE HATCHERY In order to resolve acute hatchability problems,
investigations should be planned for subsequent hatches
Patterns of embryonic mortality during incubation usually of eggs from affected groups. (See Ross Tech 98/35,
follow a predictable profile. Analysis of mortality patterns Investigating Hatchery Practice).
and diagnosis of specific developmental abnormalities
Key Points
provide useful information for improving hatchability.

A detailed description of the procedures useful in Plan the nest layout to minimise floor eggs. Nests
must be high enough to avoid contamination by
analysing hatchery losses is given in Ross Tech 98/35,
floor litter.
Investigating Hatchery Practice. In general, however, the
main causes of hatchery losses are as follows: Train the birds to enter the nests by providing
perches during rearing.
- Losses up to 8 days of incubation tend to be due to
problems on the farm, in storage or early in incubation. Collect eggs frequently during the day, so that they
may be disinfected, cooled and stored as quickly as
- Losses from 8-16 days will be due to contamination, possible.
or major problems with parent stock nutrition or
Carry out disinfection so that the shell cuticle is not
setter conditions. damaged, the egg shell remains dry and the egg is
not subjected to extremes of temperature.
- Losses from 17-21 days are often due to
inappropriate incubator conditions. Follow local safety regulations during disinfection
of eggs.
The pattern of embryonic mortality changes with age of
the parent flock. (See Table 31).
Cool eggs for storage to below Physiological
Zero i.e. approximately 21C (70F) within 4
hours of collection.
TABLE 31: TYPICAL LEVELS OF EMBRYONIC
MORTALITY AT DIFFERENT AGES Optimum temperature and humidity for storage
Flock Age (weeks) will depend on length of storage time required and
26 35 45 55 should not be allowed to fluctuate.
Infertile(%)
Early Dead i.e. 1-7days(%)
6
4
3
2
4
2
8
3
Avoid stacking eggs in densely packed groups.

Mid-term Dead i.e. 8-16days (%) 3 2 2 1 Aim for slow, unrestricted circulation of large
Late Dead i.e. 17-21days (%) 11 5 5 4 volumes of air.
Potential Hatch of Set (%) 76 88 87 83
Ensure that the egg collection, selection,
disinfection and cooling are organised to allow eggs
Eggs will lose weight due to evaporation of water through to move through the process with minimum delay.
the egg shell. The optimum reduction in egg weight is
between 12 and 13% of the initial egg weight from start of Establish a reliable quality control programme from
nest to hatching.
incubation to transfer (i.e. internal pipping). Setters
should be adjusted accordingly. Aim to reduce egg weight by 12-13% from start of
incubation to transfer.
Embryos which are overheated (>39C shell surface
temperature) will hatch less well, show poorer chick Avoid increased temperatures in the second half of
incubation

59
HYGIENE MANAGEMENT
HYGIENE AND HEALTH

Strict operation of a comprehensive programme of


hygiene management is essential for maximum
Objectives productivity and good health status of parent flocks. Such
a hygiene programme must include detailed attention to:
To achieve hygienic conditions within the poultry house
environment and to minimise the adverse effects of - Site cleaning
disease. To attain optimum performance and bird welfare - Site biosecurity
and to provide assurance on food safety issues. - Disposal of dead birds

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SITE CLEANING


MANAGEMENT AND DISEASE
EXPRESSION
Objectives

The incidence and severity of many diseases is affected To clean and disinfect the poultry house so that all
by the degree of stress experienced by birds within the potential poultry and human pathogens are removed and
production process. The management systems described to minimise the numbers of residual bacteria, viruses,
in this manual are designed to maximise production by parasites and insects etc. between flocks minimising any
minimising stress in broiler parents. Where it may prove effect on health, welfare and performance of the
impossible to exclude a pathogen in a particular situation, subsequent flock.
the commercial effects of a disease may be minimised by
reducing the stress deriving from other sources. House Design

Many factors interact with each other to increase the The house and equipment should be designed to enable
symptoms seen as a result of infection. When defining easy, effective cleaning. The poultry house should
control measures for disease it is important to take into incorporate concrete floors, washable (i.e. impervious)
account the possible occurrence of stress or incidence of walls and ceilings, accessible ventilation ducts and no
infections such as: internal pillars or ledges. Earth floors are impossible to
clean and disinfect adequately. An area of concrete or
- Poor feed management and other stress factors that gravel extending to a width of 1-3m surrounding the
can precipitate problems of Staphylococcal house can discourage the entry of rodents and provide an
tendonitis. area for washing and storing removable items of
equipment.
- Precocious development (overstimulation) associated
with peritonitis, increased double yolked eggs and Procedures
polyclonal E.coli septicaemia at point of lay.
Planning: A successful cleanout requires that all
- Stocking density, biosecurity, vaccination and operations are effectively carried out on time. Cleanout is
control of immunosuppressive infections e.g. Mareks an opportunity to carry out routine maintenance on the
Disease, Reovirus, Infectious Bursal Disease (IBD), farm and this needs to be planned into the cleaning and
Chicken Anaemia Virus (CAV), can markedly affect disinfection programme. A plan detailing dates, times and
the severity of other diseases. labour and equipment requirements should be drawn up
prior to depleting the farm to ensure that all tasks can be
INSPECTION OF BIRDS successfully completed.

Insect Control: Insects are significant vectors of disease


It is essential to inspect birds routinely to identify and must be destroyed before they migrate into woodwork
emerging disease or welfare problems. All groups of birds or other materials. As soon as the birds have been
should be inspected at least twice per day by an removed from the house and while it is still warm, the
experienced livestock attendant. The attendant should litter, equipment and all surfaces should be sprayed with a
pass within viewing distance i.e. approximately 3m (10ft) locally recommended insecticide. Alternatively the house
of each bird. Light intensity should be sufficient to ensure may be treated with an approved insecticide within 2
all birds are clearly visible. weeks prior to depletion. A second treatment with
insecticide should be undertaken before fumigation.

60
Remove dust: All dust, debris and cobwebs must be Inside the house, particular attention should be paid to the
removed from fan shafts, beams, exposed areas of following places:
unrolled curtains in open-sided houses, ledges and
stonework. This is best achieved by brushing so that the - fan boxes
dust falls on to the litter. - fan shafts
- fans
Pre-spray: A knapsack or low-pressure sprayer should be - ventilation grilles
used to spray detergent solution throughout the inside of - tops of beams
the house, from ceiling to floor, to dampen down dust - ledges
before removal of litter and equipment. In open-sided - water pipes
houses, the curtains should first be closed.
In order to ensure that inaccessible areas are properly
Remove equipment: All equipment and fittings (drinkers, washed, it is recommended that portable scaffolding and
feeders, perches, nest-boxes, dividing pens etc.) should be portable lights be used.
removed from the building and placed on the external
concrete area. It may not be desirable to remove The outside of the building must be also be washed and
automatic nest boxes and alternative strategies may be special attention given to:
required.
- air inlets
Remove litter: The aim should be to remove all litter and - gutters
debris from within the house. Trailers or rubbish skips - concrete pathways
should be placed inside the house before they are filled
with soiled litter. The full trailer or skip should be In open-sided housing, the inside and outside of curtains
covered before removal, to prevent dust and debris must be washed. Any items that cannot be washed (e.g.
blowing around outside. Vehicle wheels must be brushed polythene, cardboard) must be destroyed.
and spray disinfected on leaving the house.
When washing is complete there should be no
Litter disposal: Litter must be removed to a distance of at dirt, dust, debris, or litter present. Proper
least 1.5km (1 mile) from the farm, and disposed of in washing requires time and attention to
accordance with local government regulations in one of detail.

the following ways:


Many different industrial detergents are available.
- spread on arable crop land and ploughed within 1 Manufacturers instructions should be followed when using
week. detergents.
- buried in a landfill site, quarry or hole in the
ground. Staff facilities should be thoroughly cleaned at this stage.
- stacked and allowed to heat (i.e. compost) for at The egg store should be washed out and disinfected.
least one month before being spread on livestock Humidifiers should be dismantled, serviced and cleaned
grazing land. prior to disinfection.
- Incinerated.
Cleaning Water and Feed Systems
Litter must not be stored on the farm or spread
on land adjacent to the farm. All equipment within the house must be thoroughly
cleaned and disinfected. After cleansing it is essential that
the equipment is stored under cover.
Washing: Firstly check that all electricity in the house has
been switched off. A pressure washer with foam detergent The water system. The procedure for cleaning the water
should be used to remove the remaining dirt and debris system is as follows:
from the house and equipment. Following washing with
detergent the house and equipment should be rinsed with - Drain pipes and header tanks.
clean fresh water using a pressure washer. During - Flush lines with clean water.
washing, excess floor water can be removed using - Physically scrub header tanks to remove scale and
"squeegees". All equipment, that has been removed to the biofilm deposit. Drain to the exterior of the house.
external concrete area must be soaked and washed. After - Refill tank with fresh water and add an approved
equipment is washed it should be stored under cover. water sanitiser.
- Run the sanitiser solution through the drinker lines

61
from the header tank ensuring there are no air locks. Rodent and Wild Bird Control
- Make up header tank to normal operating level with
additional sanitiser solution at appropriate strength. It is necessary to prevent rodents and wild birds from
Replace lid. Allow disinfectant to remain for a entering the building because they transmit disease and
minimum of 4 hours. eat feed. The following procedure should be adopted:
- Drain and rinse with fresh water.
- Refill with fresh water prior to chick arrival. - Check all walls, panels and ceilings for holes, and
repair these if necessary.
Biofilms will form inside water pipes and regular - Ensure that the fan/inlet boxes are bird proof.
treatment is needed to prevent decreased water flow and - Check that all doors close firmly and tightly, with no
bacterial contamination of drinking water. Biofilms begin gaps.
as aggregations of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) capsules from - Check for any leaks in the feed system. Easily
bacteria. Pipe material will influence rate of biofilm accessible feed attracts vermin.
formation. For example alkathene pipes and plastic tanks - In open-sided housing, the building must be made
have electrostatic properties that assist bacteria to adhere. bird-proof, and repaired where necessary.
The use of vitamin and mineral treatments in drinking
water can increase biofilm and aggregation of materials. An area of concrete or gravel extending to a width of
Physical cleaning of the inside of pipes to remove biofilms 1-3m (3-10ft) around the house can discourage rodents
is not always possible. Between batches of chickens biofilms from entering.
can be removed by using high levels (140 ppm) of chlorine
or peroxygen compounds to partially digest. These need Disinfection
to be flushed completely before birds drink. High local
water mineral content (especially Calcium or Iron) may Disinfection should not take place until the whole
lead to increased need for modification of cleaning to building (including external area) is thoroughly clean and
include acid scrubbing. Metal pipes can be cleaned the all repairs are complete. Disinfectants are ineffective in
same way but corrosion can cause leaks. Water treatment the presence of dirt and organic matter.
before use should be considered for high mineral waters.
Disinfectants, which are approved by governments for use
Evaporative cooling and fogging systems can be sanitised against specific poultry pathogens of both bacterial and
at cleanout using a bi-guanide sanitiser. Bi-guanides can viral origin, are most likely to be effective. Manufacturers
also be used during production to ensure that water in instructions must be followed at all times. Details of
these systems contains minimal bacteria and reduce commonly used disinfectants are listed in Ross Tech 00/38
bacterial spread into the poultry house. Poultry House Cleanout Procedures.

The feed system. The procedure for cleaning the feed Disinfectant should be applied by the use of either a
system is as follows: pressure-washer or a knapsack sprayer. Foam
disinfectants allow greater contact time thus increasing the
- Empty, wash and disinfect all feeding equipment i.e. efficacy of disinfection.
feed bins, track, chain, hanging feeders.
- Empty bulk bins and connecting pipes and brush out Heating houses to high temperatures after sealing can
where possible. Clean out and seal all openings. enhance disinfection.
- Fumigate wherever possible.
Most disinfectants have no effect against coccidial
Repairs and Maintenance oocysts. Where selective coccidial treatments are
required, compounds producing ammonia should be used
A clean, empty house provides the ideal opportunity for by suitably trained staff. These are applied to all clean
structural repairs and maintenance. Once the house is internal surfaces and will be effective even after a short
empty, attention should be given to the following tasks: contact period of a few hours.

- Repair cracks in the floor with concrete/cement. Formalin Fumigation


- Repair pointing and cement rendering on wall
structures. Where formalin fumigation is permitted, fumigation
- Repair or replace damaged walls and ceilings. should be undertaken as soon as possible after completion
- Carry out painting or whitewashing where required. of disinfection. Surfaces should be damp. The houses
- Ensure that all doors shut tightly. should be warmed to 21C (70F). Fumigation is
ineffective at lower temperatures and at relative
humidities of less than 65%.

62
Doors, fans, ventilation grilles and windows must be When disinfection has been carried out effectively, the
sealed. Manufacturers instructions concerning the use of sampling procedure should not isolate Salmonella species.
fumigants must be followed. After fumigation, the house
must remain sealed for 24 hours with NO ENTRY signs TABLE 32: EVALUATION OF CLEANING AND
DISINFECTION
clearly displayed. The house must be thoroughly
SAMPLE RECOMMENDED TVC* SALMONELLA
ventilated before anyone enters.
SITE NO OF SAMPLES
Target Maximum Nil
After litter has been spread, all the fumigation procedures
Stanchions 4 5 24 Nil
described above should be repeated. For further
Walls 4 5 24 Nil
guidance, reference should be made to local Health and
Floors 4 30 50 Nil
Safety regulations, which should be adhered to at all
Feed Hopper 1 Nil
times.
Nest Boxes 20 Nil
Crevices 2 Nil
Fumigation is hazardous to animals and humans.
Drains 2 Nil
Protective clothing i.e. respirators, eye shields and gloves
* Total viable count in colony forming units / cm2
must be worn. At least two people must be present in
case of emergency.

SITE BIOSECURITY

Local health and safety regulations must be


Objective
consulted before fumigating.

To implement procedures which prevent the introduction


Cleaning External Areas of pathogens likely to affect the health, welfare or
reproductive performance of breeding birds or the quality
It is vital that external areas are also cleaned thoroughly. of their products, i.e. hatching eggs and chicks.
Ideally, poultry houses should be surrounded by an area
of concrete or gravel, 3m (10ft) in width. Where this does The health of the birds and progeny can be affected by
not exist, the area must: specific avian pathogens such as Mycoplasma and
Salmonella pullorum/S. gallinarum. The presence of
- be free of vegetation infections that affect chickens and Man (Zoonoses) e.g.
- be free of unused machinery/equipment Salmonellae, can affect both the viability of the broiler
- have an even, level surface progeny and the acceptability of the broiler for human
- be well drained, free of any standing water consumption.

Particular attention should be paid to cleaning and Precautions


disinfection of the following areas:
In order to minimise the chances of infection by
- under ventilator and extractor fans pathogens and to maintain good health status, basic
- access routes hygiene precautions must be followed. These include:
- door surrounds
- A policy of one age - one site.
All concrete areas should be washed and disinfected as - Essential visitors only, should be allowed to visit the
thoroughly as the inside of the building. farm. All visitors to sign the visitors book and
record previous visits to other farms, poultry
Evaluation of Farm Cleaning and Disinfection organisations or meat processing plants.
Efficiency - Protective clothing, washing and showering facilities
may be provided for all staff and visitors.
It is essential to monitor the efficiency and cost of - Hand basins and disinfectant soap provided and
cleaning out and disinfection. Effectiveness is evaluated used.
by undertaking total viable bacterial counts (TVC). Table - Rinse basins and foot baths provided at the entrance
32 indicates the standards to be achieved. Monitoring to every house. The disinfectant should be changed
trends in TCVs will allow continuous improvement in on alternate days or in accordance with
farm hygiene and comparison of different cleaning and manufacturers recommendations. Alternatively
disinfection methods. footwear can be changed on entry to each poultry
house.

63
- Strict hygiene/disinfection procedures employed for
TABLE 33: MAXIMUM ACCEPTABLE LEVELS OF
all vehicles visiting the site.
MINERALS AND BACTERIA IN DRINKING WATER
- Access to all buildings by wild birds and rodents
must be prevented. Total dissolved solids 300-500ppm
- Feed must be obtained from a manufacturer with Chloride 200mg/l
effective decontamination procedures for pH 6-8
Salmonella control. Nitrates 45ppm
Sulphates 200ppm
Iron 1mg/l
Untreated feed is a major source of Salmonellae,
Calcium 75mg/l
which are not always detected by laboratory
Copper 0.05mg/l
testing of finished feed. All feed should be
assumed to be contaminated. Effective treatment
Magnesium 30mg/l
of feed is not achieved by pelleting but requires
Manganese 0.05mg/l
longer exposure to heat. Zinc 5 mg/l
Lead 0.05 mg/l
Faecal coliforms 0
Organic acids can help prevent recontamination of feed.
Precautions should be taken to prevent recontamination of
treated feed i.e. by use of isolated, sealed storage; separate
transport system etc. DISPOSAL OF DEAD BIRDS

Objective
WATER QUALITY
To routinely remove carcases of any dead or culled birds
Good quality water is an essential feature of parent stock from the poultry house environment, so as to prevent the
management. build up of pathogenic micro-organisms and the possible
transmission of disease to healthy birds.
Water should be clear with no organic or suspended
matter. It should be monitored to ensure purity and Procedure
freedom from pathogens. In particular water should be
free from Pseudomonas species and have no more than All dead and culled birds should be removed from the
one coliform/ml in any one sample. Consecutive samples house immediately, and their carcases disposed of as soon
must not contain coliforms in more than 5% of samples. as possible. The most satisfactory methods of disposal are
Escherichia coli should not be present. burning or burial. Incineration by gas, oil or solid fuel
burners is complete and hygienic, but expensive since
Water composition standards are given in Table 33. carcases are slow to ignite.
These are unlikely to be exceeded if water comes from a
mains supply. Water from wells however, may have Removal of daily mortality to open trenches,
partly filled with soil is not recommended.
excessive nitrate levels and high bacterial counts, due to
Trenches are liable to attract scavengers and
run-off from fertilised fields. Where bacterial counts are
vermin and to act as sources of contamination and
high, the cause should be established and rectified as
disease.
soon as possible. Chlorination to give between 1 and 3
ppm chlorine at the drinker level can be fully effective.
Disposal pits, when constructed properly, with a solid roof
Ultraviolet light can also be used to disinfect water.
and a tightly fitted access cover, are cheap and effective.
Manufacturers guidelines should be followed in
Carcases will decompose without additional chemical
establishing this procedure.
additives, provided the pit remains dry. Areas of high
water table are not suitable for this method of disposal.
Hard water or water with high levels of iron (>3mg/l) can
cause blockages in drinker valves and pipes. Sediment
Local environmental regulations must be observed in the
will also block pipes and, where this is a problem, water
disposal of carcases.
should be filtered using a 40-50 micron (m) filter. Water
containing high levels of iron can support bacterial growth
and should not be used to wash or sanitise eggs.

64
vaccination requirements will vary. A suitable
HEALTH MANAGEMENT
programme should be devised by flock veterinary
- DISEASE CONTROL AND
advisers, who will use their detailed knowledge of the
VACCINATION
disease prevalence and intensity in a specific country,
area or site.

DISEASE CONTROL
Dyes, vaccine titres, and the elimination of clinical signs
of disease can be used to assess the effectiveness of
Objective vaccines and vaccine delivery. Excessive vaccination
may lead to poor titres and/or CVs of titres. Overly
To minimise the adverse effects of disease on the health aggressive vaccination programmes can also be stressful
and welfare of broiler parent stock and their progeny. on growing chickens especially from 10-15 weeks of age.
Hygiene and maintenance of vaccination equipment is
Procedure important. It should be noted that titres are not always
correlated with protection and the field situation should
Good management and high standards of hygiene will be considered in evaluating the effectiveness of a
prevent many poultry diseases. One of the first signs of a vaccination programme.
disease challenge is a decrease in water or feed intake
(i.e. increased eating-up time). It is, therefore, good Vaccination can help prevent disease but is not a direct
management practice to keep daily records of feed and replacement for good biosecurity. Protection against each
water consumption. If a problem is suspected, immediate individual disease should be assessed in devising the
action should be taken by sending birds for post mortem control strategy. For instance, all in-all out policies
examination and contacting the flock veterinary adviser. provide good protection against Fowl Coryza and
Early appropriate treatment of a disease incident may Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT), rendering vaccination
minimise the adverse effects on the birds health, welfare unnecessary. The vaccines used in the vaccination
and reproductive performance and also minimise the programme should be limited to only those which are
effects on the health, welfare and quality of the progeny. absolutely necessary. Such programmes will be less
expensive, less stressful and provide greater opportunity to
Records are an important means of providing objective maximise the overall vaccine response. Vaccines should
data for the investigation of flock problems. Vaccinations, be obtained from reputable manufacturers.
batch numbers, medications, observations and disease
investigation results should all be recorded in flock Types of Vaccine
diaries.
Vaccines for poultry are in 2 basic forms, live or killed. In
some vaccination programmes, they may be combined to
promote maximum immunological response. Each type of
VACCINATION
vaccine has specific uses and advantages.

Objective Killed Vaccines: These are composed of inactivated


organisms (antigens), usually combined with an oil
To provide the bird with exposure to a form of the emulsion or aluminium hydroxide adjuvant. The adjuvant
infectious organism (antigen) which will promote a good helps increase the response to antigen by the birds immune
immunological response. system over a longer period of time. Killed vaccines may
contain multiple inactivated antigens to several poultry
This will actively protect the bird from subsequent field diseases. Killed vaccines are administered to individual
challenge and/or provide passive protection, via birds by injection either subcutaneously or intramuscularly.
maternally derived antibody, to the progeny.
Live Vaccines: These consist of infectious organisms of
Vaccination Programmes the actual poultry disease. However, the organisms will
have been substantially modified (attenuated) so that they
Common diseases, including Mareks Disease, Newcastle will multiply within the bird but will not cause disease.
Disease (ND), Avian Encephalomyelitis (AE) i.e. Epidemic Some vaccines are exceptional in that they are not
Tremor, Chicken Anaemia (CAV), Avian Rhinotracheitis, attenuated and therefore require care before introduction
Infectious Bronchitis (IB), Infectious Bursal Disease (IBD) into a vaccination programme e.g. AE vaccine.
i.e. Gumboro Disease, should be routinely considered
when a vaccination programme is prepared. However, In principle, when several live vaccinations to a specific

65
disease are given, the most attenuated is normally given Newcastle Disease (ND): Where field challenge with
first, followed by live vaccines where available. This pathogenic strains is anticipated, the mild live HB1
principle is commonly utilised for ND live vaccination vaccine strain is usually followed by the stronger La Sota
when pathogenic field challenge is anticipated. vaccine strain. La Sota vaccine is not licensed in all
countries and some countries do not vaccinate against ND
Occasionally, non-attenuated live vaccines are used in (e.g. Denmark, Sweden and Finland within the European
poultry vaccination programmes. They are administered Community).
either via a route along which the pathogen would not
normally enter (e.g. the wing web route with Fowl Pox) or Infectious Bronchitis (IB): H120 live vaccine virus is
by exposure to the vaccine during the period when disease normally used to prime the birds for IB. H52 live
does not occur (e.g. CAV exposure to birds during rearing). vaccine virus is less attenuated and should not be given to
unvaccinated birds. Furthermore, the use of H52 may
Live vaccines are usually administered to the flock via interfere with the birds subsequent response to a killed
drinking water, spray or eye drop application. antigen when combined live and killed vaccination
Occasionally live vaccinations are given by injection programmes are used. Variant IB isolates have emerged
(e.g. Mareks Disease vaccine). over the years and frequently require the use of IB
vaccines which contain the variant antigen to achieve
Live bacterial vaccines have been uncommon but good protection. For maximum protection, these variant
Salmonella and Mycoplasma vaccines are now available antigens should be available in both live priming
and may have a place in some production systems. Some vaccines and killed vaccines.
competitive exclusion products can also have a place in
protecting parent stock from Salmonella and possibly Infectious Bursal Disease (IBD): A wide range of live IBD
other infections early in life or after antibiotic treatment. vaccines are available for priming broiler parent stock.
Mild strains should be given first. There is usually little
Combined Live and Killed Vaccinations: The most need for the use of hot strains in broiler parents.
effective method of achieving high and uniform levels of
antibody to a disease is by the use of one or more live ND/IB/IBD: A killed injection containing antigens to
vaccines containing the specific antigen, followed by ND/IB/IBD is usually given at 126 days (18 weeks) or at
injection of the killed antigen. The live vaccines prime transfer to the laying house. Some inactivated vaccines
the birds immune system and facilitate a very good containing more antigens are now available.
antibody response when the killed antigen is presented.
This type of vaccination programme is used routinely for Avian Rhinotracheitis: Combinations of live and killed
many diseases such as IB, IBD, and ND. It ensures active vaccines are considered to be most effective in protecting
protection of the bird and provision of high and uniform the bird and the progeny.
levels of maternally derived antibody. This allows passive
protection of the progeny. Avian Encephalomyelitis (AE): A single dose of a live
vaccine given in the drinking water between 56 and 84
days (8 and 12 weeks) of age can give lifelong protection
SPECIFIC VACCINATION
to the breeding bird. Killed vaccine has also occasionally
PROGRAMMES
been used effectively to control AE.

Mareks Disease: Mareks Disease vaccines are all live Chicken Anaemia Virus (CAV): This vaccine is
vaccines and 3 different serotypes are available. All commonly administered at approximately 56 days
broiler parent stock should receive Mareks Disease (8 weeks) of age. A single dose of a live, non-attenuated
vaccine at day old. Usually this is a combination of cell- vaccine administered via the drinking water has been
associated Turkey Herpes Virus (THV also known as HVT) used to give lifelong protection to the broiler parent.
which is a serotype 3 vaccine and cell associated A live attenuated vaccine is also available which is given
attenuated Mareks Disease virus (MDV) which is a by intramuscular injection.
serotype 1 vaccine. The Rispens strain is the commonest
attenuated MDV vaccine. Where a large field challenge Reovirus Infections: Reovirus infections have been
from MDV is anticipated or the endemic strains are associated with a number of disease conditions, the most
considered to be particularly virulent, revaccination with widespread being Viral Arthritis. Combinations of live and
freeze dried THV on the farm, between 14 and 21days killed vaccines can be used to protect the bird, prevent
(2 and 3 weeks) of age, is commonly practised and is vertical transmission and pass on maternally derived
considered to give enhanced protection. antibody to the progeny. Care and consideration should
be given when introducing live Reovirus vaccination into

66
the overall parent stock vaccination programme, especially
WORM (HELMINTH) CONTROL
if administered early in the birds life. Maternal antibodies
may interfere with vaccine uptake. Some live Reovirus
vaccines may have the potential to induce disease It is important to monitor and control the internal worm
especially in young birds. A combination of 2 killed burden (Helminth parasites) to which birds are exposed.
injections at approximately 42 and 112 days (6 and 16 Birds should routinely receive 2 doses of an anthelmintic
weeks) has been used to protect the bird and provide high drug during the rearing period where required.
levels of maternally derived antibody to the progeny, Monitoring the efficiency of the control programme
without the use of a live priming vaccination. A suitable through routine post mortem examination of cull birds can
programme should be devised by the local veterinary determine the necessity for an additional anthelmintic
adviser who should take into account flock history, disease treatment at approximately 154 days (22 weeks) of age.
challenge and antibody levels.

Fowl Cholera (Pasteurella multocida) and Fowl Coryza


NON-INFECTIOUS DISEASE
(Haemophilus paragallinarum): These are diseases
caused by bacteria. In areas or on farms where the
diseases are considered to be endemic, control can be Some non-infectious diseases can be confused with viral
enhanced by the use of killed vaccines, usually containing infections:
several strains of the organisms to broaden the level of
protection. Two killed antigen injections approximately Peritonitis. Although E. coli is often isolated this does not
28-42 days (4-6 weeks) apart are usually administered appear to be the primary cause. Rather the failure to
during the rearing period. The use of killed antigen control body weight during rear will predispose to
vaccines against bacterial disease enables the use of peritonitis secondary to lack of control of ovulation.
strategic therapeutic antibacterial drugs if necessary, Excessive yolk material for reabsorption through the
without affecting the efficiency of the vaccination peritoneum increases the risk of peritonitis with
programme. Live bacterial vaccines are uncommon and opportunistic invasion by E. coli and other bacteria.
could be affected by the use of antibacterial drugs. Treatment is largely unsuccessful but peritonitis can be
Coryza is unusual in all in-all out systems. prevented in subsequent flocks by improving body weight
management.
Egg Drop Syndrome 1976 (EDS 76): This disease is
common in some areas of the world and control can be Tendonitis with Secondary Staphylococcal Infection.
enhanced by the use of a single, killed oil adjuvant This may be caused by developmental aberrations.
vaccine, usually administered intramuscularly between Factors affecting the incidence of this disease include
98 and 126 days (14 and 18 weeks) of age. growth profiles, bird activity, house layout, lighting
programmes and nutrition. The moving of birds or faulty
Salmonellae: Salmonellae vaccination of parent stock can application of controlled feeding can precipitate problems
be very useful where there is poor control of feed such as staphylococcal tendonitis. It is often confused
contamination. Killed vaccines can decrease vertical with reovirus-associated tenosynovitis and arthritis.
transmission.
Swollen Head Syndrome. Separate sex feeding
Coccidiosis: Vaccination of broiler parents with live equipment which has been poorly manufactured, may
coccidiosis vaccines in the first week is now the method cause damage to birds heads and this can be mistaken for
of choice for controlling this condition. Care should be Swollen Head Syndrome associated with Avian
taken to prevent subsequent exposure of the flock to Pneumovirus infection.
substances with anticoccidial activity (except where
recommended by the vaccine manufacturer). Coccidosis Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS). This occurs in broiler
can also be controlled by the use of anticoccidial drugs parents at point of lay and can be well controlled by
in feed. careful nutrition. (Nutrition, page 46). It is an aberration
of mineral metabolism at point of lay that can be triggered
by inappropriate phosphorus levels in diets.

67
Egg Drop Syndrome 1976 (EDS 76)
HEALTH MONITORING PROGRAMMES
Specific haemagglutination inhibition or ELISA tests can
be used to verify absence of EDS 76, where this is
Objectives required. Where drinking water for poultry is drawn from
dams where wild birds (especially waterfowl) have access,
To confirm freedom from specific pathogens that can chlorination should be undertaken. This will also give
adversely affect the health, welfare and reproductive protection against Avian Influenza.
performance of broiler parent stock and the health,
welfare and quality of the progeny. To identify the Other Diseases
presence of disease at an early stage so that corrective
measures can be implemented to minimise adverse effects Serological monitoring for the presence of other diseases
either to the flock or the progeny. can be carried out routinely or as is more common,
following clinical signs and/or a drop in production.
Salmonellae Serological monitoring for diagnostic purposes can
include those diseases to which flocks have been
Salmonella pullorum and S. gallinarum are strains which previously vaccinated, e.g. ND, IB and Avian
are specific to poultry. Control is monitored by detecting Rhinotracheitis. Field challenge is suggested when higher
the presence of specific antibody in blood using an antibody response than normal has occurred in the flock.
agglutination test. This can be carried out either on the
farm using whole blood or in the laboratory using serum. Sampling for the Presence
Many countries have official government programmes of Disease
for the control and eradication of both S. pullorum and
S. gallinarum. Both commercial and government supplies Monitoring for most diseases in a population should be
of specific antigen are available in many countries. The designed to detect a prevalence of at least 5%, with a 95%
absence of these infections can also be monitored by confidence. For those population sizes which normally
microbiological surveys of the hatcheries. apply to broiler parent flocks (i.e. > 500 birds)
approximately 60 samples should be taken when
The presence of Salmonellae is usually detected by monitoring each flock. Traditionally, a higher level of
bacteriological examination of the bird, the environment monitoring is carried out at 140-154 days (20-22 weeks) of
and the product as it proceeds through the hatchery. age especially for Mycoplasmas and Salmonellae in parent
Many Salmonellae can affect both birds and Man flocks. Usually 10% or a minimum of 100 samples are
(Zoonoses). S. Enteritidis and S. typhimurium are of tested at this critical time. The frequency of testing will
particular importance and can readily be transmitted vary with the individual disease and the requirements of
vertically to the broiler progeny. However, specific local trading.
commercial ELISA tests for S. Enteritidis and
S. typhimurium are available and can be used in a similar Trade Between Countries
manner to the agglutination test for S. pullorum and
S. gallinarum, to detect specific antibody in serum. Cull Certification of freedom from specific avian pathogens is
birds, cloacal swabs, fresh caecal droppings, litter, drag required when products from a flock, either eggs or day
swabs and dust samples have all been used to monitor old chicks, are traded between countries. The specific
flocks for the presence of Salmonellae. Hatchery samples requirements will vary from country to country.
include dead-in-shell, cull chicks, hatcher tray papers
(where available) chick box liners and hatchery fluff. e.g. To meet the requirements for Intra-Community
Samples can be pooled, usually in tens, to facilitate Trade within the EC, Salmonellae monitoring
practical processing through the laboratory. necessitates the submission of 60 samples of cull
chicks and/or dead in shell at the hatchery from all
Mycoplasmosis flocks in production every 2 weeks. Samples can be
pooled for processing in a laboratory, which must be
Blood samples taken from parent flocks should be approved by the local government.
monitored routinely for both Mycoplasma gallisepticum
and Mycoplasma synoviae using the rapid serum The Mycoplasma status of flocks is certified by testing
agglutination test or specific, single or combined 60 sera samples using either the agglutination test or
commercial ELISA tests. approved ELISA tests every 9 weeks during production.

Government veterinary advisers should be consulted for


requirements of trade between countries.

68
MONITORING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF
VACCINATION PROGRAMMES

Objective

To monitor the effectiveness of vaccination programmes


by assessing the specific antibody level at various ages
throughout the life of the flock.

Procedure

For CAV and AE, serological testing one month after


vaccination can give the opportunity to revaccinate flocks
that have not sero-converted before the onset of lay.
IBD titres and titre CV% of parent stock may be used to
predict timing of broiler vaccinations for IBD.

As vaccination programmes provide both active


protection to the bird and positive protection to the
progeny by the provision of high, uniform levels of
maternally derived antibody, it is important to monitor
their effectiveness. Monitoring of vaccination
programmes is achieved by measuring the level of specific
antibody in individual birds and by assessing the range of
response in the number of birds sampled. Usually, a
minimum of 20 blood samples per group are used and
various quantitative tests including the haemagglutination
inhibition test, agar gel diffusion test and more recently
the ELISA test have been used to quantify antibody
response in vaccinated flocks. The ELISA test is
considered to be more specific, sensitive and repeatable
and can be automated to enhance the efficiency of
serological testing in a laboratory.

Routine testing after killed vaccination (around point of


lay) can allow maternal antibody to be predicted for the
total period of lay. Cross-reactions in mycoplasma
serology are commonly seen in birds for a 2-week period
after the use of killed vaccines, so sampling around this
time should be avoided.

69
70
Appendices

page Contents
72 Appendix 1: Records

73 Appendix 2: Nutrient Composition of Some Commonly


Used Feed Ingredients

74 Appendix 3: Nutrient Specification - Rearing Feeds

75 Appendix 4: Nutrient Specification - Breeding Feeds

76 Appendix 5: Useful Management Information

77 Appendix 6: Ventilation Rates

78 Appendix 7: Conversion Tables

80 Appendix 8: Trouble Shooting - Hatch Problems

81 Appendix 9: Trouble Shooting - Vitamin Deficiency

Appendices

ROSS308
71
APPENDIX 1: RECORDS

Records complemented with target performance


parameters constitute essential aids to management. TARGET PARAMETERS:

Records required are as follows:


Weekly bodyweight - male and female
REARING: Egg production - number and weight
Hatching egg production
Hatchability and infertility
Breed Egg weight and egg mass - weekly
Number of birds housed
Floor area and stocking density RECORD CARDS
Hatch date
Feed/bird - weekly and cumulative
Eating up time All essential record cards are available in the Ross Parent
Mortality - weekly and cumulative Stock Flock Control System.
Bodyweights, CV% and age of recording
Temperatures - minimum and maximum
Water consumption - daily

LAYING:

Breed
Number of birds housed
Floor area and stocking density
Eggs produced - daily, weekly, cumulative per bird.
Hatching egg number - daily, weekly, cumulative
Feed - daily and cumulative
Eating up time
Bodyweights - male and female - weekly
Average egg weight - daily and weekly
Egg Mass - daily and weekly
Mortality - male and female
Infertility - hatch of fertile
- total hatch of first grade chicks
House temperatures - external and internal
Temperatures - minimum, maximum and operating
Water consumption - daily

TREATMENTS AND SIGNIFICANT


EVENTS:

Lighting programme
Feed deliveries
Vaccination - date, dosage and timing
Medications - date, dosage and timing
Disease - type, date and number of birds affected
Veterinary consultations - date and recommendations
Disinfection - bacterial counts at cleaning out
Incidents - equipment malfunction etc.

72
APPENDIX 2: NUTRIENT COMPOSITION OF SOME COMMONLY USED FEED INGREDIENTS (PER KILOGRAM)

C PROT ENERGY ARGININE ISO-LEUCINE LYSINE METHIONINE METH + CYST THREONINE TRYPTOPHAN CA AV.P NA CL K CHOLINE LINOLEIC DRY
T* A* T A T A T A T A T A T A ACID MATTER
g MJ kcal g g g g g g g g g g g g g g g g g g g mg g g
BARLEY 107 11.7 2790 5.4 4.5 3.7 3.0 3.8 3.0 1.8 1.4 4.2 3.4 3.6 2.7 1.2 0.9 0.6 1.4 0.1 1.0 4.8 990 8.6 880
MAIZE 87 13.7 3275 4.1 3.8 3.0 2.7 2.4 2.2 1.8 1.7 3.7 3.3 3.1 2.7 0.6 0.5 0.3 0.9 0.1 0.5 3.6 620 18.8 880
WHEAT 119 12.7 3020 5.6 5.0 3.9 3.5 3.3 2.7 1.9 1.7 4.6 4.0 3.4 2.8 1.4 1.2 0.7 1.3 0.1 0.4 4.2 1000 6.8 880
SORGHUM 101 13.5 3215 4.0 3.4 4.0 3.3 2.3 1.8 1.8 1.5 3.6 3.0 3.4 2.6 1.1 0.9 0.4 0.9 0.1 0.7 3.8 660 12.2 880
OATS 112 11.0 2620 7.5 7.1 4.2 3.7 4.8 4.2 1.9 1.7 5.1 4.3 3.9 3.3 1.3 1.1 1.1 1.7 0.1 0.7 4.7 950 16.8 880

MAIZE GLUTEN FEED 209 8.0 1915 9.5 8.3 6.7 5.5 6.7 4.8 3.6 3.1 8.9 6.4 7.7 5.9 1.2 1.0 1.2 3.7 2.4 2.1 12.6 1510 17.2 890
MAIZE GLUTEN MEAL 607 14.9 3565 19.5 18.8 25.1 24.1 10.3 9.3 14.5 14.1 25.5 23.7 21.0 19.6 3.2 3.1 0.4 1.8 0.1 0.5 1.6 330 16.3 890
WHEATFEED/MIDDLINGS 156 7.6 1825 9.5 8.2 5.2 4.1 5.6 4.6 2.6 2.0 5.7 4.3 5.0 3.7 1.9 1.5 1.0 2.9 0.3 0.3 13.7 1440 14.0 870
WHEAT BRAN 150 6.2 1475 10.1 7.8 4.6 3.5 6.0 4.4 2.3 1.7 5.5 4.0 4.9 3.6 2.1 1.4 1.9 3.5 0.4 1.3 12.5 1230 14.0 870
RICE BRAN RAW 129 9.9 2370 10.3 8.9 4.4 3.7 6.0 4.8 2.7 2.2 5.6 4.7 5.0 4.1 1.6 1.2 1.0 2.5 0.1 0.4 10.6 1130 38.5 890
RICE BRAN EXT. 147 6.8 1610 11.6 10.0 5.2 3.8 6.5 4.8 3.2 2.5 6.4 4.5 5.9 4.1 1.7 1.3 1.4 2.8 0.2 0.7 12.1 1230 3.6 890

FIELD BEANS (WHITE) 300 11.2 2665 28.6 26.6 11.8 10.1 18.8 16.5 2.3 1.8 5.9 4.6 10.1 8.9 1.7 1.4 1.1 2.3 0.2 0.7 13.4 1670 5.2 870
PEAS 227 11.4 2715 21.4 19.7 8.8 8.0 15.7 13.5 2.3 1.9 5.6 4.2 8.1 6.9 2.0 1.6 1.1 1.8 0.1 0.6 11.0 642 4.0 870
SOYABEANS, HEATED 356 14.4 3450 26.3 22.9 16.2 14.1 22.4 19.3 5.4 4.7 10.9 9.2 14.2 12.1 4.9 4.2 2.3 2.2 0.1 0.3 17.6 2860 97.0 880

SOYABEAN MEAL, 48 473 9.3 2230 34.6 32.2 21.3 19.5 29.3 26.7 6.8 6.3 13.8 12.1 18.6 16.6 6.1 5.2 2.7 2.7 0.2 0.3 22.6 2730 7.0 870
SUNFLOWER MEAL, 39 386 6.7 1600 33.3 31.6 16.3 15.0 13.8 12.0 9.2 8.5 16.1 14.2 14.6 12.7 4.8 4.1 3.7 2.9 0.3 1.2 14.7 2890 6.8 900
RAPE/CANOLA MEAL 343 7.1 1700 20.8 18.7 13.4 11.4 19.2 15.4 6.9 6.1 15.6 12.7 15.1 12.1 4.5 3.7 7.3 3.6 0.3 0.3 12.6 6700 3.1 880

FISH MEAL 66 660 13.6 3250 38.1 35.0 27.4 25.2 51.4 45.7 18.9 17.0 24.8 21.6 28.0 25.2 7.0 6.2 34.9 17.6 10.3 15.8 10.0 3050 0.1 910
HERRING MEAL 706 14.1 3360 40.4 37.1 30.0 27.6 56.3 50.1 20.7 18.6 27.0 23.5 30.5 27.4 7.8 7.0 26.4 15.5 10.3 16.2 13.9 5300 0.1 910
MEAT & BONE MEAL 538 12.6 3000 37.7 29.4 16.1 12.9 29.6 22.5 8.1 6.6 14.0 9.9 18.8 14.0 3.6 2.5 73.3 22.6 7.6 6.3 4.8 1900 8.1 940

Notes
* T= Total amino acid content; A = Available amino acid content
These data are given as a guide to feed formulation. Local information on the actual quality of available ingredients should always be used in preference.
Data are based on information published by Degussa AG; CVB, Netherlands; National Research Council, USA.
Meat and Bone Meal is a very variable product and is increasingly excluded from breeder feeds on the grounds of biosecurity. Data relate to a sample with 54% protein, 14% fat and 23% ash.

73
APPENDIX 3: NUTRIENT SPECIFICATION - REARING FEEDS

STARTER-1 STARTER-2 GROWER


(0 - 21 DAYS) (22 - 42 DAYS) (43 - 105 DAYS)
Crude Protein % 20.0 18.0 - 20.0 14.0 - 15.0
Energy per kg kcal 2750 2750 2630
MJ 11.5 11.5 11.0
AMINO ACIDS
TOTAL AVAIL. TOTAL AVAIL. TOTAL AVAIL.
Arginine % 1.17 1.03 0.95 0.83 0.67 0.59
iso-Leucine % 0.79 0.67 0.65 0.55 0.46 0.39
Lysine % 1.12 0.96 0.91 0.78 0.64 0.55
Methionine % 0.46 0.42 0.38 0.34 0.27 0.24
Methionine + Cystine % 0.87 0.74 0.73 0.62 0.52 0.44
Threonine % 0.73 0.60 0.61 0.51 0.43 0.36
Tryptophan % 0.19 0.16 0.15 0.13 0.11 0.09
MINERALS
Calcium % 1.00 1.00 1.00
Available Phosphorus % 0.45 0.45 0.35
Magnesium % 0.05 - 0.1 0.05 - 0.1 0.05 - 0.1
Sodium % 0.16 0.16 0.16
Chloride % 0.16 - 0.22 0.16 - 0.22 0.16 - 0.22
Potassium % 0.40 - 0.90 0.40 - 0.90 0.40 - 0.90
ADDED TRACE MINERALS PER KG
Cobalt mg 0.25 0.25 0.25
Copper mg 8.0 8.0 8.0
Iodine mg 1.0 0.50 0.50
Iron mg 60.0 60.0 40.0
Manganese mg 70.0 70.0 60.0
Zinc mg 50.0 50.0 50.0
Selenium mg 0.15 0.15 0.15
ADDED VITAMINS PER KG
(UNLESS SHOWN)
WHEAT MAIZE WHEAT MAIZE WHEAT MAIZE
BASED BASED BASED BASED BASED BASED
FEED FEED FEED FEED FEED FEED
Vitamin A iu/g 10.0 10.0 10.0 10.0 10.0 10.0
Vitamin D3 iu/g 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5
Vitamin E iu/kg 60.0 60.0 50.0 50.0 40.0 40.0
Vitamin K mg 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0
Thiamin (B1) mg 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0
Riboflavin (B2) mg 6.0 6.0 6.0 6.0 5.0 5.0
Nicotinic Acid mg 25.0 30.0 25.0 30.0 20.0 25.0
Pantothenic Acid mg 12.0 14.0 12.0 14.0 12.0 14.0
Pyridoxine (B6) mg 3.0 2.0 3.0 2.0 3.0 2.0
Biotin mg 0.2 0.15 0.15 0.10 0.10 0.08
Folic acid mg 1.5 1.5 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
Vitamin B12 mg 0.02 0.02 0.015 0.015 0.015 0.015

MINIMUM SPECIFICATION
Choline per kg mg 1300 1300 1000
Linoleic Acid % 1.00 1.00 0.85

These feed specifications should be used as a guide. They require adjustment for local conditions, legislation and
markets.

74
APPENDIX 4: NUTRIENT SPECIFICATION - BREEDING FEEDS

PRE-BREEDER BREEDER
(105 - 154 DAYS) (155+ DAYS)

Crude Protein % 15.0 - 16.0 15.0 - 16.0


Energy per kg kcal 2750 2750
MJ 11.5 11.5
AMINO ACIDS
TOTAL AVAIL. TOTAL AVAIL.
Arginine % 0.64 0.57 0.73 0.63
iso-Leucine % 0.51 0.43 0.55 0.47
Lysine % 0.64 0.55 0.71 0.61
Methionine % 0.30 0.27 0.32 0.29
Methionine + Cystine % 0.53 0.46 0.58 0.50
Threonine % 0.47 0.39 0.51 0.43
Tryptophan % 0.15 0.13 0.17 0.14
MINERALS
Calcium % 1.50 2.80
Available Phosphorus % 0.40 0.35
Magnesium % 0.05 - 0.10 0.05 - 0.10
Sodium % 0.16 0.16
Chloride % 0.16 - 0.22 0.16 - 0.22
Potassium % 0.60 - 0.90 0.60 - 0.90
ADDED TRACE MINERALS PER KG
Cobalt mg 0.50 0.50
Copper mg 10.0 10.0
Iodine mg 2.0 2.0
Iron mg 60.0 60.0
Manganese mg 60.0 60.0
Zinc mg 100 100
Selenium mg 0.20 0.20
ADDED VITAMINS PER KG
(UNLESS SHOWN)
WHEAT MAIZE WHEAT MAIZE
BASED BASED BASED BASED
FEED FEED FEED FEED
Vitamin A iu/g 13.0 12.0 13.0 12.0
Vitamin D3 iu/g 3.0 3.0 3.0 3.0
Vitamin E iu/kg 100 100 100 100
Vitamin K mg 5.00 5.00 5.00 5.00
Thiamin (B1) mg 3.00 3.00 3.00 3.00
Riboflavin (B2) mg 12.0 12.0 12.0 12.0
Nicotinic Acid mg 50.0 55.0 50.0 55.0
Pantothenic Acid mg 12.0 15.0 12.0 15.0
Pyridoxine (B6) mg 6.00 4.00 6.00 4.00
Biotin mg 0.30 0.25 0.30 0.25
Folic acid mg 2.00 2.00 2.00 2.00
Vitamin B12 mg 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.04

MINIMUM SPECIFICATION
Choline per kg mg 1000 1000
Linoleic Acid % 1.20 - 1.50 1.20 - 1.50

75
APPENDIX 5: USEFUL MANAGEMENT INFORMATION

STOCKING DENSITIES FEEDING SPACE


Rearing 0-140 days (0-20 weeks) Females
Males Females
Age Feeding Space
birds/m2 (ft2/bird) birds/m2 (ft2/bird)
0-35 days (0-5 weeks) 5cm/bird
3-4 (2.7-3.6) 4-7 (1.5-2.7)
35-70 days (5-10 weeks) 10cm/bird
Production 140-448 days (20-64 weeks)
70 days (10 weeks)-depletion 15cm/bird
Males and Females
birds/m2 (ft2/bird) Males
3.5-5.5 (1.95-3.1) Age Feeding Space
0-35 days (0-5 weeks) 5cm/bird
35-70 days (5-10 weeks) 10cm/bird
70-140 days (10-20 weeks) 15cm/bird
140-448 days (20-64 weeks) 18cm/bird
A GUIDE TO TYPICAL MATING RATIOS

AGE
DAYS WEEKS NUMBER OF MALES / 100 FEMALES
133 19 10 - 9.5
140 - 154 20 - 22 9.0 - 8.5 DRINKING SPACE
210 30 8.5 - 8.0 Rearing Period Production Period
245 35 8.0 - 7.5 Automatic circular
280 40 7.5 - 7.0 or trough drinkers 1.5cm/bird 2.5cm/bird
315 - 350 45 - 50 7.0 - 6.5 Nipples one/8-12birds one/6-10birds
420 60 6.5 - 6.0 Cups one/20-30birds one/15-20birds

76
APPENDIX 6: VENTILATION RATES

MINIMUM & MAXIMUM VENTILATION RATES AT VARYING LIVEWEIGHTS

Liveweight Ventilation Rate (m3/hour) Liveweight Ventilation Rate (m3/hour)


(kg) (kg)
minimum maximum minimum maximum
(Depending on NH3 control) (Depending on NH3 control)

0.050 0.061 0.076 0.590 1.800 0.895 1.119 8.671


0.100 0.102 0.128 0.992 1.900 0.932 1.165 9.030
0.150 0.139 0.174 1.345 2.000 0.969 1.211 9.384
0.200 0.172 0.215 1.669 2.100 1.005 1.256 9.734
0.250 0.204 0.255 1.973 2.200 1.040 1.301 10.080
0.300 0.233 0.292 2.262 2.300 1.076 1.345 10.421
0.350 0.262 0.328 2.539 2.400 1.111 1.388 10.760
0.400 0.290 0.362 2.807 2.500 1.145 1.431 11.094
0.450 0.316 0.396 3.066 2.600 1.179 1.474 11.425
0.500 0.342 0.428 3.318 2.700 1.213 1.517 11.753
0.550 0.368 0.460 3.564 2.800 1.247 1.558 12.078
0.600 0.393 0.491 3.804 2.900 1.280 1.600 12.400
0.650 0.417 0.521 4.039 3.000 1.313 1.641 12.720
0.700 0.441 0.551 4.270 3.100 1.346 1.682 13.036
0.750 0.464 0.580 4.497 3.200 1.378 1.723 13.350
0.800 0.487 0.609 4.720 3.300 1.410 1.763 13.662
0.850 0.510 0.637 4.940 3.400 1.442 1.803 13.972
0.900 0.532 0.665 5.156 3.500 1.474 1.842 14.279
0.950 0.554 0.693 5.369 3.600 1.505 1.882 14.583
1.000 0.576 0.720 5.580 3.700 1.537 1.921 14.886
3.800 1.568 1.960 15.187
1.100 0.619 0.773 5.993 3.900 1.599 1.998 15.486
1.200 0.660 0.826 6.398 4.000 1.629 2.036 15.783
1.300 0.701 0.877 6.793 4.100 1.660 2.075 16.078
1.400 0.741 0.927 7.182 4.200 1.690 2.112 16.371
1.500 0.781 0.976 7.563 4.300 1.720 2.150 16.662
1.600 0.819 1.024 7.938 4.400 1.750 2.187 16.952
1.700 0.858 1.072 8.308 4.500 1.780 2.225 17.240
Source: UK Agricultural Development and Advisory Service (ADAS)
Notes:
Minimum ventilation rate is the quantity of air required per hour to supply sufficient oxygen to the birds and maintain
air quality.

Minimum ventilation rate (m3/second/kg0.75) = 1.6 to 2.0* x 10-4


* higher ventilation rate is required to control ammonia emissions

Maximum ventilation rate is the quantity of air required per hour to remove metabolic heat such that the temperature
within the building is maintained not greater than 3C above external temperature or air inlet temperature where
cooling systems are used.

Maximum ventilation rate (m3/second/kg0.75) = 1.55 x 10-3

For a flock of 5,000 female and 450 male breeders weighing 2.80 and 3.68kg respectively:

Average bird weight = 2.87kg


Minimum ventilation rate is (1.280 to 1.600 x 5450) = 6,976 to 8,720m3/hour
Maximum ventilation rate is (12.400 x 5450) = 67,580m3/hour

77
APPENDIX 7: CONVERSION TABLES

LENGTH PRESSURE

1 metre (m) = 3.281 feet (ft) 1 pound per square inch (psi)
1 foot (ft) = 0.305 metre (m) = 6895 Newtons per square metre (N/m2)
1 centimetre (cm) = 0.394 inch (in) or Pascals (Pa)
1 inch (in) = 2.54 centimetres (cm) 1 pound per square inch (psi)
= 0.06895 bar
AREA 1 bar = 14.504 pounds per square inch (psi)
1 bar = 105 Newtons per square metre (N/m2)
or Pascals (Pa)
1 square metre (m2) = 10.76 square feet (ft2) = 100 kilopascals (kPa)
1 square foot (ft2) = 0.093 square metre (m2) 1 Newton per square metre or Pascal (N/m2)
= 0.000145 pound per square inch (lb/in2)
VOLUME
STOCKING DENSITY

1 litre (l) = 0.22 gallon (gal)


1 imperial gallon (gal) = 4.54 litres (l) 1 square foot per bird (ft2/bird)
1 imperial gallon (gal) = 1.2 US gallons (gal US) = 10.76 birds per square metre (bird/m2)
1 cubic metre (m3) = 35.31 cubic feet (ft3) 1 bird per square metre (bird/m2)
1 cubic foot (ft3) = 0.028 cubic metre (m3) = 10.76 square feet per bird (ft2/bird)
5 birds per square metre (bird/m2)
WEIGHT = 2.15 square feet per bird (ft2/bird)
7 birds per square metre (bird/m2)
= 1.54 square feet per bird (ft2/bird)
1 kilogram (kg) = 2.205 pounds (lb) 1 kilogram per square metre (kg/m2)
1 pound (lb) = 0.454 kilogram (kg) = 0.205 pound per square foot (lb/ft2)
1 gram (g) = 0.035 ounce (oz) 1 pound per square foot (lb/ft2)
1 ounce (oz) = 28.35 grams (g) = 4.878 kilograms per square metre (kg/m2)

ENERGY TEMPERATURE

1 calorie (cal) = 4.18 Joules (J) Temperature (C) = 5/9 (Temperature F - 32)
1Joule (J) = 0.239 calories (cal) Temperature (F) = 32 + 9/5 (Temperature C)
1 kilocalorie per kilogram (kcal/kg)
= 4.18 Megajoules per kilogram (MJ/kg)
1 Megajoule per kilogram (MJ/kg) C F C F
= 108 calories per pound (cal/lb) 0 32.0 22 71.6
1 Joule (J) = 0.735 foot pound (ft lb) 2 35.6 24 75.2
1 foot pound (ft lb) = 1.36 Joules (J) 4 39.2 26 78.8
1 Joule (J) = 0.00095 British thermal unit (Btu) 6 42.8 28 82.4
1 British thermal units (Btu) 8 46.4 30 86.0
= 1055 Joules (J) 10 50.0 32 89.6
12 53.6 34 93.2
14 57.2 36 96.8
16 60.8 38 100.4
18 64.4 40 104.0
20 68.0

78
VENTILATION

1 cubic foot per minute (ft3/min)


= 1.699 cubic metres per hour (m3/hour)
1 cubic metre per hour (m3/hour)
= 0.589 cubic foot per minute (ft3/min)

INSULATION

U value measured in Watts per square metre per degree


centigrade (W / m2 / C)

LIGHT

1 foot candle = 10.76 lux

79
APPENDIX 8: TROUBLE SHOOTING - HATCH PROBLEMS

80
APPENDIX 9: TROUBLE SHOOTING - VITAMIN DEFICIENCY

81
INDEX OF TABLES

Table Title Page


1 Brooding Temperatures 10
2 Dry Bulb Temperatures Required to Achieve Target Apparent Equivalent Temperatures at 11
Varying Relative Humidities
3 Stocking Densities 12
4 Feeding Space 13
5 Drinking Space 13
6 Sample Size and F Values 16
7 Relationship between CV% and 10% of Average Weight Populations with a Normal 16
Weight Distribution
8 Feeding Space According to Age 17
9 Maximum Number of Days on Constant Amount of Feed According to Age 17
10 Examples of Feeding Schedules in Preferred Order 17
11 Grading Cut-Off Points 20
12 A Guide to Typical Mating Ratios 26
13 Pin Bone Spacing According to Age 28
14 Frequency of Observation of ImportantProduction Parameters 29
15 Example of a Feeding Programme 30
16 Stocking Densities 40
17 Evaporative Cooling Systems in Common Use 41
18 Wind Chill Effect at Different Air Temperatures 42
19 Feeding Space 42
20 Drinking Space 43
21 Meeting the Specification 44
22 Target Intakes of Available Amino Acids at Peak Production 46
23 Feed Composition for Adult Males 49
24 Lighting Programmes Situation 1 50
25 Uniformity if Relation to Age at First Light Increase 51
26 Lighting Programmes Situation 2 52
27 Classification of Months of Placement as in or Out of Season 55
28 Relative Effectiveness of Disinfection Procedures 57
29 Temperature and Humidity in Relation to Storage Time 58
30 Guidelines for Fumigation in the Hatcher 59
31 Typical Levels of Embryonic Mortality at Different Ages 59
32 Evaluation of Cleaning and Disinfection 63
33 Maximum Acceptable Levels of Minerals and Bacteria in Drinking Water 64

82
INDEX OF DIAGRAMS

Diagram Title Page


1 Physiological Development 6
2 Management Progression 7
3 Typical Spot Brooding Layout (1000 Chicks) for Day One 9
4 Spot Brooding - Areas of Temperature Gradients 10
5 Bird Distribution Under Brooders 10
6 Typical Behaviour of Chicks in Whole House Brooding at Different Temperatures 11
7 Ross Bodyweight Recording Chart 15
8 Uniformity and Distribution of Bodyweights 18
9 Flock Uniformity Pre-Grading 12 CV% 19
10 Post-Grading Bodyweight Control 20
11 Redrawing of Future Bodyweights e.g. When Weights Exceed Target at 70 Days (10 Weeks) 21
12 Separate Sex Feeding System 27
13 Daily Egg Weights 31
14 Relationship - Age, Growth, Sexual & Physical Maturity, Egg Production % and Egg Mass 36
15 Ultra-High Pressure Fogging 41
16 Pad Cooling in Controlled Environment Housing 41
17 Patterns of Natural Daylength in the Rearing Period 53
18 Lighting Programmes Situation 3 54
19 Natural Daylength Hours at Latitude 10,30 North or South 55

83
K e y Wo r d s
Index

Pages Pages

Antibody 65-69 Drinking Space 13, 43


Antigen 65,66 Dubbing 8, 9, 32
Artificial Lights 52, 53 Eating-up Time 28-30, 33, 34, 36, 65, 72
Automatic Egg Collection 43, 56, 57 Egg Collection 43, 56-59
Average Egg Weight 29-31, 59 Egg Cooling 58
Avian Encephalomyelitis (AE) 65, 66 Egg Disinfection 57
Avian Rhinotracheitis 65, 66, 68 Egg Drop Syndrome (EDS 76) 67, 68
Beak Trimming 9, 13, 19 Egg Mass 36, 37, 72
Behaviour 9-13, 25, 26, 28, 31-33, 42 Egg Production 7, 28-30, 36, 37, 43,
Biosecurity 40, 60, 63, 65 45, 48, 51, 72
Bodyweight-for-age 6, 8, 14, 16, 24, 31 Egg Storage Areas 57, 58
Bodyweight Recording 15, 72 Elisa Test 68, 69
Breeder Diet 24, 28, 48, 49, 74 Energy Requirement 29, 37, 45, 46, 74, 75
Brooders 9-11 External Areas 40, 62, 63
Broodiness 25, 51 Feathering 6, 7, 17, 32-34, 81
Brooding 8-13, 42, 50, 52 Feed Allowance 6, 7, 14-18, 24, 31-33,
Brooding Temperature 10-13 41, 45, 48, 49
Carcases 64 Feed Distribution 13, 14, 16-19, 27, 28, 32
Care of Hatching Eggs 56 Feed Raw Materials 43-45, 73
Chicken Anaemia Virus (CAV) 60, 65, 66, 69 Feed Reduction 36, 37
Coccidiosis 67 Feed Sampling 45
Coefficient of Variation 14-16, 18, 19, 51 Feed Systems 12, 13, 17, 26, 27, 61, 62
Colony Size 17, 19 Feeder Grids 27
Combined Vaccine 66 Feeding Frequency 17, 18
Controlled Environment Laying 41, 50 Feeding Programme 8, 16, 29, 30, 48, 74, 75
Controlled Environment Rearing 41, 50, 51 Feeding Space 12, 13, 17-19, 27, 28,
Conversion Tables 78, 79 32, 33, 40, 42
Crude Protein 44, 46, 49, 73-75 Fertility 8, 9, 21, 25, 26, 28, 31-34,
Daylength 7, 10, 50-55 36, 37, 45, 81
Dead Bird Disposal 64 Flock Uniformity 7, 8, 14, 16-21, 24, 28,
De-spurring 9 33, 50-52, 55
Diet Specifications 44, 45, 48, 73-75 Floor Eggs 57-59
Disease Control 65 Floor Feeding 9, 17, 44
Disinfection 40, 56, 57, 59-64 Floors 40, 56, 62, 63
Disposal Pits 64 Foot Baths 63
Drinkers 11, 13, 43, 61 Formalin 57, 62

84
Pages Pages

Fowl Cholera 67 Mating 6-9, 25, 26, 31-34


Fowl Coryza 65, 67 Mating Ratio 25, 26, 28, 32, 34, 37, 38
Fumigation 57-59, 62, 63 Mycoplasmosis 68
Grading 6, 7, 18-21, 56 Natural Daylight 42, 53-55
Grower Diet 48, 74 Nests 56, 59
Growth Profile 8, 14, 20, 21, 24, 55 Newcastle Disease (ND) 65, 66
Hand Feeding 17, 18, 27, 49 Northern Hemisphere 53, 55
Hatchability 29, 32, 37, 43, 46, 58 Nutrient Specification 44, 48, 74, 75
59, 72, 80, 81 Open House Laying 50, 51, 53
Hatching Egg Hygiene 56-59 Open House Rearing 50, 53
Hatcher Hygiene 58 Operating Temperature 12, 41, 42, 46, 72
Head Size 26, 27 Overmating 32-34, 57
Hen Day Production 24, 28-32 Out-of-Season Flocks 24, 51, 55
Health Monitoring 68 Overstimulation 51, 60
House Preparation 9, 60, 61 Peak Egg Production 36, 37
Housing and Environment 40 Perches 42, 56, 57, 59
Hygiene Management 60 Physical Condition 25, 33, 34, 37
Incremental Weight Gain 24, 25 Physical Maturity 6, 24, 36, 37, 55
Infectious Bronchitis (IB) 65, 66 Physiological Development 6
Infectious Bursal Disease (IBD) 60, 65, 66 Post-Peak Management 36-38
In-season Flocks 51, 54, 55 Pre-Breeder Diet 24, 25, 28, 48, 75
Insect Control 60 Pre-Peak Management 24, 25, 28-34
Insoluble Grit 49 Pre-Warming Hatching Eggs 58
Insulation 41, 79 Prolapse 25, 29, 51
Killed Vaccine 65-67 Records 14, 15, 26, 65, 72
Light Proofing 41, 50, 51 Relative Humidity 8, 11-13, 41, 42, 58
Light Intensity 10, 11, 41, 50-53, 55 Removal of Males 32-34
Lighting 10, 24, 25, 28, 40-42, 50-55, 67, 72 Reovirus Infections 66, 67
Litter 9, 11, 17, 27, 49, 56, 57, Repairs and Maintenance 62
59-61, 63, 68 Reproductive Performance 14, 25, 28, 40, 50,
Live Vaccine 65, 66 63, 65, 68
Male Feed 37, 49 Rodent Control 40, 43, 60, 62
Male Management 7, 25-28, 31-34, 37, 38 Salmonellae 63, 64, 67, 68
Manual Egg Collection 56, 58, 59 Sample Weighing 6, 14-16, 26, 28, 32, 33
Marking 26 Satellite Bins 13, 32
Mareks Disease 60, 65, 66 Scratch Feeding 18, 49

85
Pages

Seasonal Variation 55
Separate Sex Feeding Equipment 26-28, 43, 67
Sexual Maturity 6, 8, 16, 24-26, 31, 36,
48, 50-52, 55, 57
Site Cleaning 60-63
Skeleton Size 6, 7
Southern Hemisphere 53, 55
Spot Brooding 9-11
Starter Diet 7, 48, 74
Stocking Density 8, 12, 19, 40, 41, 60, 78
Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS) 47, 67
Swollen Head Syndrome 67
Target Bodyweight 6-8, 14-21, 24-26, 28, 30-34,
38, 48, 51, 55, 57
Temperature 8-13, 18, 29, 30, 36, 37, 40-43,
53, 56-59, 62, 72, 78
Tendonitis 60, 67
Trade Between Countries 68
Trouble Shooting - Hatch Problems 80
Trouble Shooting - Vitamin Deficiency 81
Underfeeding 33
Vaccination 10, 18, 48, 60, 65-67, 69, 72
Vent Colour 32-34
Ventilation 11, 12, 40-42, 53, 56, 58,
60, 61, 63, 77, 79
Water Consumption 49, 65, 72
Water Quality 64
Welfare 6, 8, 32, 33, 40, 51, 60, 63, 65, 68
Whole House Brooding 9, 11
Worm Control 67

86
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