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Successful Breeder Management All in the Details

17 July 2014

US - "How do we optimize egg production? We all know that a lot of things have to fall into place... programmes such as housing and nutrition, but the biggest factor is understanding the reproductive system in both male and female breeders," remarked Chad Mason, breeder-hatchery manager with Columbia Farms, a division of House of Raeford, at USPOULTRY’s 2014 Hatchery-Breeder Clinic held in Nashville, Tennessee.

As part of his presentation on Breeder Production and Fertility, Mr Mason emphasized the importance of optimizing the feed diets of chicks from the start and monitoring and changing programmes when necessary to ensure maximum fertility. He advised that building a healthy male and female reproductive system by avoiding overfeeding and over fleshing ensures maximum fertility and peak production. Mr Mason commented, “Successful breeder management is all in the details, details, details.”

Scott Martin, hatchery specialist with Cobb-Vantress, gave a presentation on Chick Holding and Post Hatch. He stressed that establishing environmental controls for safely transporting chicks to farms should be every hatchery manager’s concern. During transport, he stressed, "It is imperative to avoid conditions that may cause chick mortality for the first few days, such as dehydration and lethargic, overheated birds."

Josh Cox, technical service manager with Hubbard LLC, provided a best practice overview of Breed Changes... Effects on Feeding, Lighting and Fertility Programmes from a broiler management perspective. Cox asserted how paying attention to the details will determine optimal performance. He noted how the genetic changes over the last 50 years have caused a six-fold improvement in broiler yields. However, it is now essential for breeder managers to perfect their breeder management by controlling the tendency for excessive weight gain in males and females and preventing loss of fertile eggs. To do this, having a good feed, lighting and fertility programme in place is crucial.

Other topics included an Economic Impact of Poultry in Tennessee; Agri Stats for Hatcheries and Breeders; Disease Management: New Innovations for LT / Reovirus / Salmonella; Knowing Embryonic Development…A Tool for Success; Egg Pack Quality Impact on Chick Quality; Breeder Nutrition: Seasonal Shell Quality and Feather Issues; Evaluating Your Breeder Vaccination Programme; Animal Welfare Awareness: Why It’s Important to Hatcheries and Breeder Farms; The Impact of Humidity in the Hatchery; Hatchery Sanitation Best Practices; and a USPOULTRY Overview.

ThePoultrySite News Desk

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