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Effects of Feeder Space Allocations During Rearing, Female Strain and Feed Rate on Broiler Breeder Female Performance

18 May 2014

Poultry Science journal

Researchers in North Carolina observed some differences in breeder performance as a result of female strain and feed trough space. They also reported lower cumulative mortality when the feed allowance between photostimulation and peak production was increased gradually.

The effects of feeder space allocations during rearing, female strain and feed increase rate from photostimulation to peak egg production on broiler breeder female performance have been investigated by researchers at the Prestage Department of Poultry Science at North Carolina State University.

In a paper published in Poultry Science, first-named author, N. Leksrisompong and co-authors, describe their study to determine if there were differences in female broiler breeder performance of two strains that had been subjected to two feeder space allocations during the growing period followed by two feeding to peak programmes.

Ross 308 and 708 pullets were reared with a single feeding programme to 23 weeks of age and with two circumferential feeder space allocations (5.3 or 7.0cm per female) and then assigned to two feed increase programmes (slow or fast) from photostimulation to peak egg production.

The flock was moved to the laying house with 8.8cm per female of female feeder space and photostimulated at 23 weeks of age when Ross 344 males were added to create 16 pens with 60 females and seven males each in a 2×2×2 design.

The fast feed increase programme significantly increased female bodyweight at 31 weeks of age, which could have contributed to an increased female mortality during the summer weather of early lay.

The 708 females with 5.3cm per female feeder space produced smaller eggs at 28 and 30 weeks of age.

The 708 females exhibited better fertile hatchability than 308 females due to fewer late dead embryos.

There were no differences in egg production, fertility or fertile hatchability due to the main effects of feeding to peak programme or growing feeder space, observed the Raleigh researchers. However, they added, the slow feed increase from photostimulation to peak production reduced cumulative mortality.


Leksrisompong N., H. Romero-Sanchez, E.O. Oviedo-Rondón and J. Brake.2014. Effects of feeder space allocations during rearing, female strain, and feed increase rate from photostimulation to peak egg production on broiler breeder female performance. Poultry Science. 93 (5):1045-1052. doi: 10.3382/ps.2013-03219

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May 2014

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