Breeder Signals, A Practical Guide to Optimal Management of Broiler Breeders

By Rick van Emous, Jolanda Holleman and Ton van Schie

Breeder Signals, A Practical Guide to Optimal Management of Broiler Breeders PDF. Poultry meat is the most important animal protein source in the human diet. As a consequence, global production of broiler meat is rapidly growing to over 125 million tons in 2020. A relatively small number of broiler breeders has a major impact on the whole poultry meat chain. The continuing increase in the genetic potential of broilers makes the production of first class chicks increasingly challenging. State of the art management is crucial for a successful flock. Differences in results up to 10 day-old chicks per hen housed are not rare, costing tens of thousands of euros.

Breeder Signals contains practical information about broiler breeders to ensure a maximum production of first grade hatching eggs. With practical tools and modern insights to optimise sexual behaviour, fertility, egg production, and hatchability, based on the look-think-act approach. Feathering provides you signals about the quality of your flock. Too nice? Then they are hardly mating. Too little? These hens will not mate since it will be painful. The book follows the day-old-chick arriving at the rearing house towards the laying period up to egg transport to the hatchery.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 
The broiler meat production chain 5
Signals concept 6
Structured observations 7
2. The broiler breeder 
Great progress 9
Breeding for meat or eggs 10
Characteristics of lines 10
Breeder dilemma 11
Growth control 12
Phase feeding 13
Natural behaviour 14
Mating behaviour 15
Aggressive behaviour 16
Ranking and pecking 17
Sounds 17
Importance of ventilation 18
Negative pressure 19
Biosecurity 20
Entering a poultry farm 21
Personal hygiene 22
Vermin 23
Cleaning and disinfection 24
Dry cleaning 25
Wet cleaning 26
Disinfection 27
3. First weeks of rearing 
Sexing 29
Treatments and interventions 30
Feeding systems in rearing 33
Drinking systems 36
Preparation of the house 38
The ideal temperature 39
Transport to the rearing house 40
Arrival of day-old-chicks 41
Climatic requirements 43
Chick distribution 44
Humidity 45
Poisonous gasses and dust 46
Light in rearing 47
Feed and water during rearing 48
Checklist crop filling 49
4. Rearing from 3 to 17 weeks
Controlled feeding 52
Monitoring weight 53
A feed-less day 53
Reducing feed restriction stress 54
Feeding management 55
Water restriction 56
Body development 57
Uniformity 58
Grading 59
Feathering and feeding 60
Sexing errors 61
Recognising the sexes 62
Development of the female 63
5. Puberty (17-22 weeks) 
Types of production houses 66
Transfer 69
Loading reared birds 70
Arrival in the new house 71
Stocking density 72
Feed around transfer 73
Separate feeding 74
Getting used to systems 77
Drinking water 79
Feather sucking and feather pecking 80
Synchronous development 81
Maturity of males 82
Separate male house 83
Ratio of males to females 84
Maturity of females 86
Pin (pelvic) bones spacing 87
Light programme 88
Do not stimulate too soon 89
Natural light 90
Light intensity and floor eggs 91
6. Onset of lay (up to 5% production) 
Laying nests 93
Egg laying behaviour 95
Development of the reproductive tract 95
Floor eggs 96
Preventing floor eggs 98
Night-layers 99
Male feed during production period 100
Feeding time 101
Capacity of the feed/water system 102
Growth and condition 103
7. Production towards peak 
Eating behaviour 105
Feeding management 106
Feeding early lay 106
Monitoring behaviour 107
Signals of feed intake time 109
Signals of feeding errors 110
Monitoring the flock 111
Drinking water 112
Heat stress 114
Cooling in the house 116
Signals from the laying curve 117
Male grading 118
Male-female interaction 124
Influencing mating behaviour 125
Sperm quality 126
Moment of mating 126
Deviating mating behaviour? 127
Male aggression 128
Artificial insemination 129
Quality Time House 129
8. Peak production to end of lay
Attention points in the house 131
Clean laying nests 132
Maintaining litter quality 133
Feeding after the peak 135
Adjust according to circumstances 136
Protein in the feed 136
Condition/conformation of males 137
Spiking and intra-spiking 138
Male persistency 139
Signals from egg weight 140
Feathering at end of lay 141
Moulting 142
End of lay 143
9. Egg handling and storage
Not suitable as a hatching egg 146
Hairline cracks 147
Large and small eggs 148
Shell quality 149
Drying and cooling 150
Cooling and nest type 150
Egg collection 151
Egg grading 152
Packing eggs 153
Cool down after collection 154
Point setting 154
Storage 155
Humidity 156
Washing eggs 157
Washing procedures 158
Candling and breakout 159
On-farm transport 160
Transport of hatching eggs 160
Preventing cracks and breakage 162
Climatic conditions 163
10. Health and diseases
A healthy chicken 165
Vaccination 166
Efficacy of vaccination 167
Vaccination at the hatchery 168
Vaccination during rearing 169
Other vaccination methods during rearing 170
Disease symptoms 172
Viral diseases 174
Bacterial diseases 178
External parasites 182
Internal parasites 183
Non-infectious diseases 186
Index 187

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