Flock management tip for breeders: Separate-sex feeding equipment helps to control body-weight gain and uniformity

12 March 2020, at 10:42am

Separate-sex feeding considers the differences in head size and height between males and females and allows for more effective control of body-weight gain and uniformity in each sex.

Using separate-sex feeding equipment will:

  • Provide the proper feeder space and feed volume for both sexes
  • Reduce overconsumption by preventing male access to female feed and vice versa
  • Help manage body-weight gain and reproductive performance.
  • Prevent male access to female feed by fitting:
    • Grills (grid or toast rack)
    • Plastic pipe in the apex of the grill further restricts male access
    • Roller bar
  • Delay male feeding until about 5 minutes after the female feeders have been filled
  • Monitor feeding behaviour daily until males are excluded from female feeders
  • Male feeder height 50-60 cm (20-24 in) above the litter
  • Reduce male feeders as male numbers decline
  • If body-weight gain is too high and/or uniformity is poor
  • Check for damage, displacement or irregularity of gaps of the grills
  • Check feeding space
  • Check feed distribution and feed cleanup times.