Hy-Line Brown conquers egg weight challenge

No matter the egg weight desired, the Hy-Line Brown may be adapted to meet the market preference through the genetic package and applied management. 
calendar icon 30 September 2019
clock icon 4 minute read

Recently, egg weight preferences in the UK's brown egg market have shifted from the medium to large category (greater than 63 g). JA & J Tunstall is currently achieving 60 percent large eggs. In response, Hy-Line UK began offering the larger egg weight version of the Hy-Line Brown, the Hy-Line Brown Plus, which can achieve an up to 2-gram heavier egg weight. It is living up to its reputation while maintaining the Hy-Line Brown’s well-established traits of persistency, feed efficiency, livabilty and feather cover.

Early results are showing an increased egg weight.

JA & J Tunstall, a Hy-Line UK freerange customer in Yorkshire, is seeing a 95 percent rate of lay at 30 weeks with an average egg weight of 65.7 g in their 24,000-bird flock. Neil Willett, area sales and technical manager for Hy-Line UK, has been impressed with the flock’s performance on his visits.

“The birds reared very well and were 1382 g pre-transfer,” he said. “We housed them on 10 hours light and then didn’t stimulate them until Week 19, by which time they were weighing 1612 g. At that point, we gave them an extra hour and then an hour each week until they were on 15 hours by Week 23.”

The birds, which were reared by Wota-Pullet, were weighing 1809 g at that point and by Week 30 had reached 1911 g body weight.

Reaching target body weight is crucial when it comes to achieving good egg weight. Holding back light stimulation while the birds reach the target body weight brought the flock into lay slightly later, losing one week of production. “But that was only a week of smalls we lost,” says Roger Lythe of Thompsons of York, who feed the flock.

“So far, I’m very pleased with the flock and while we may get a few eggs less with this flock in early egg production, overall profitability is likely to be better because of the improved egg size,” said Wayne Hardy, owner of JA & J Tunstall.

According to Mark Chapman, farm manager for JA & J Tunstall, floor eggs were down to a very manageable percentage by 27 weeks. “With this flock, all the birds were going up onto the system to roost within a week.”

Larger eggs early in the Hy-Line Brown means more income to the producer, while controlled egg weight growth late in lay yields optimum eggshell quality.

The Hy-Line Brown yields more saleable eggs in the preferred egg weight profile. Additionally, the Hy-Line Brown’s outstanding feather cover throughout the bird's life means the energy consumed is put into egg production with the added benefit of a higher bird value at end of lay.

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